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The renewed interest for Miami’s historic downtown began with Israeli investor Moishe Mana and his buying spree last year.
MIAMI—Something big is happening in Downtown Miami along the historic Flagler Street. Investors are pouring millions of dollars to buy old office and retail properties in an area public and private investment has largely ignored for decades.
What’s fueling buyer demand? GlobeSt.com caught up with Alex Zylberglait, senior vice president of Investments and senior director of the National Office and Industrial Practice Group at Marcus & Millichap, to get some insights.
As he sees it, the renewed interest for Miami’s historic downtown began with Israeli investor Moishe Mana and his buying spree last year. Mana has been assembling commercial real estate properties along Flagler Street and has acquired a critical mass strategically located for future redevelopment.
“Their acquisitions have helped fuel demand,” Zylberglait says. “He could be a catalyst for change, just like the late Tony Goldman was for Wynwood, Craig Robins was for the Design District and Jorge Perez was for the residential market on Brickell Avenue in the last cycle. So some investors are following his lead.”
Leaving Mana aside, Zylberglait says, the fact that there is only one Downtown Miami, which offers a true live-work-play environment is fueling demand. On top of that, the area is attracting major capital sources with All Aboard, Miami Worldcenter and Brickell City Center across the Miami River.
“In most countries in Latin America, their major cities have strong and vibrant downtowns that function as the lifeblood of their economies,” Zylberglait says. “Since so much of our economy is influenced by Latin American investors, Downtown Miami is poised to evolve into a world-class downtown.”
But that’s still not all of the fuel on the Downtown Miami fire. Zylberglait points to one additional factor that he finds interesting: for the first time in decades, Downtown Miami will receive an influx of public investment to upgrade its streetscape.
“The city is in the process of widening and leveling sidewalks, planting trees and adding other pedestrian amenities to make the main street more walkable,” Zylberglait says. “Flagler property owners have already agreed to self tax themselves
Author: Jennifer LeClaire