In the largest commercial real estate transaction to take place in Coral Gables this year, a joint venture between Greenstreet Partners and principals of CREC have sold the 2121 Ponce office building to a member company of Zurich North America (“Zurich”) for $57.5 million.
Zurich was advised by Zurich Alternative Asset Management LLC (“ZAAM”), its alternative investment adviser.
Brokered by CREC and CBRE, the sale of the 164,848 square-foot building marks the latest sign of mounting demand for high-performing South Florida office properties among institutional investors around the world.
Since acquiring 2121 Ponce in 2005, CREC and Greenstreet have undertaken the substantial renovation of all common areas and a leasing and marketing program that has repositioned the building as a boutique, service-oriented option for Coral Gables office users. This vision has elevated the property’s occupancy rate to over 95 percent. CREC has served as exclusive leasing agent and property manager throughout this period, and will maintain these roles under new ownership.
The CREC team of Warren Weiser, Harry Blyden and Andrew Remick co-brokered the sale of Coral Gables office property alongside CBRE’s Christian Lee, Jose Lobon and Andrew Chilgren. The ZAAM team was led by Roy Rosenbaum, Director of Acquisitions, and Sean Bannon, Managing Director and Head of U.S. Real Estate.
“Our experience at 2121 Ponce is an example of how a building’s value can be maximized by bringing a clear vision to life through creative leasing, construction, marketing and property management strategies,” explains CREC Chairman Warren Weiser. “The investments we’ve made over the past decade have transformed the building into a core institutional-grade asset, leading to this sale. We expect similar acquisition activity in the coming months given high barriers to new development across South Florida.”
Located in the Coral Gables business district one block north of the ‘main and main’ intersection of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Alhambra Circle, 2121 Ponce includes a 5-story, 586-space parking garage and street-level retail space. The building is home to a number of high-profile tenants, including accounting firm Goldstein Schechter, Fox Latin America, Valley National Bank, the Consulate of Barbados and CREC. POC restaurant is located on the building’s ground floor.
The property’s setting in Coral Gables’ walkable downtown is also appealing to tenants as the $21 million makeover of two of the neighborhood’s main retail thoroughfares, Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue, gets underway. The submarket is home to more than 150 multinational corporations, more than a dozen luxury hotels, a free public trolley system, and a growing number of boutiques and restaurants, with 85 new eateries opening in the last five years. Meanwhile, more than 1,500 residential units are expected to come online over the next three years.
“Coral Gables has long been one of South Florida’s most desirable submarkets, and that position will only grow as office users prioritize locations that are walkable and in close proximity to public transit options,” says CREC principal Steven Hurwitz, who manages leasing at the building in tandem with CREC’s Doug Okun. “2121 Ponce has emerged as one of the neighborhood’s best addresses over the past decade, particularly among companies in the market for space priced slightly below the rates at newer buildings nearby.”
Built in 1971 in the MiMo (Miami Modern) architectural style, 2121 Ponce is a boutique property offering above-market parking ratios, efficient floor plates, and a tenant engagement program that includes free health and wellness classes for all employees in the building. These factors have resulted in an 85 percent tenant retention rate.
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