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January 31, 2013

Heitman Buys 243 KSF Retail Property in Miami from AWE Talisman

By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor

AWE Talisman has sold Miracle Marketplace, a Class A, 243,047-square-foot, retail power center in the Miracle Mile/Coral Way submarket of Miami, to Heitman for $92 million.

“Miracle Marketplace offered investors best-in-class tenants in a densely populated, high barrier-to-entry retail corridor offering a great deal of market growth,” Carson Good, a managing director with Jones Lang LaSalle’s Capital Markets Group, said in a statement.    “Heitman’s purchase of this irreplaceable asset with a towering physical presence will allow them to capitalize on Miami’s ongoing urban revitalization and strengthening retail fundamentals.”

Good and his colleagues Margaret Caldwell, Kris Cooper and Denny St. Romain, all JLL managing directors, handled the transaction for AWE Talisman.

The Coral Gables, Fla., real estate firm, which specializes in repositioning shopping centers, bought the seven-story retail property located on nearly 3.5 acres at 3301 Coral Way, for $15 million in July 2004, according to Miami-Dade County, Fla., records. In recent years, AWE Talisman, led by President and CEO James Schlesinger, redeveloped the shopping center built in 1989. It replaced five floors of retail with three floors targeted at big box retailers and upgraded the parking. The power center is now about 96 percent occupied with tenants including Nordstrom Rack, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls, LA Fitness, PetSmart, DSW Shoe Warehouse and Ulta.

John F. Cohane, president and CEO of Cohane Realty Advisors, added several retailers to the power center in the last year, including Toys R Us, which leased 9,720 square feet; Famous Footwear, 4,479 square feet; Vision Works, 3,239 square feet; and Mattress Express, 3,035 square feet.

Cohane told Commercial Property Executive his job was “to make the shopping center more attractive to prospective buyers.” With the change in ownership, Cohane said he is no longer the leasing agent for the property.  But he said retail in general is on the upswing in the city.

“Miami is a great spot,” he said. “Miami retail is doing very well because it’s an international market … with lots of tourism.”

Caldwell of JLL also noted that Miami commercial real estate, including retail, is recovering.

“Miracle Marketplace proved extremely attractive to investors not only for its inherent top-shelf qualities, but because the overall retail capital markets continue to gain positive momentum. More trophy properties are coming to market with pricing not seen since before the recession,” Caldwell said. “Capital is also building for retail opportunities – culminating in quicker closings.”

Marcus & Millichap credits another condo boom in the city with driving retail demand again.

“Condo construction is taking place near downtown, but many retailers are taking advantage of the improved operations across Miami-Dade,” Marcus & Millichap stated in a third quarter 2012 Retail Research Market Report.

The report also noted that retail rents were expected to continue rising throughout the end of 2012 into 2013. It also predicted that investment activity would also be increasing.

“Buyers will be drawn to the market as strong tenant demand drives improved operations,” the reported added.

The Florida Capital Markets Division of Jones Lang LaSalle closed more than $2.5 billion in transactions during the past two years, including the $131 million sale of the SunTrust International Center in Miami to Crocker Partners in August 2011.

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