Offices planned after sale of First Avenue buildingBy Catherine Lackner
South Beach developer Scott Robins has made a $2.5 million foray into downtown Miami, purchasing the city's original US post office building at 100 NE First Ave.
The ground floor of the 1912 neoclassic revival building is occupied by an Office Depot retail store.
The balance of the 36,000-square-foot building is vacant, opening it to a number of intriguing possibilities, Mr. Robins said.
"Our plans for that building are to convert the top three floors to class B-plus office space," he said. "We're just incredibly excited.
"I love being able to acquire that building and bring it back online as office space."
The deal, handled by Boris Kozolchyk of International Venture Realty Inc., brought a building that's "built to last," Mr. Robins said. "It's a very solid building they made them very, very well back then. I appreciate the construction techniques they used."
The top floor, adorned with high ceilings and skylights, would lend itself ideally to loft space, Mr. Robins said, an idea that's under consideration.
"It's an amazing space," he said.
The Office Depot lease has 1" years to run and, Mr. Robins said, "if they decide or we decide not to renew, that space would make a beautiful restaurant."
Creating new office space downtown, when tenants appear to be fleeing to suburban parks, makes sense in a number of ways, he said.
"I think that downtown has so much to offer for an office tenant proximity to everywhere in Miami, an abundant amount of resources right outside your front door, restaurants, all kinds of shopping, all kinds of cafes for me the urban element that downtown Miami offers is perfect for an office environment."
A particular selling point of his new building, he said: it's equidistant from the Miami-Dade County Courthouse and the federal courthouse and has private parking.
"What came with this building is a parking lot that's associated with it," Mr. Robins said. "That makes a lot of sense. Because if there's one big complaint about downtown, it's the lack of parking.
"I see Miami as a very viable office market. I'd much rather work there than in Airport West or in Coral Gables," Mr. Robins said. "For me, the cultural diversity of downtown and its urban aspects far outweigh the advantages of going into a suburban environment. This is a great opportunity."
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