Terramark sells land, signs up an NAP costumers
By Sherri C. Ranta
Terremark Worldwide Inc.'s sale of a $17.2 million oceanfront site in Fort Lauderdale is just another sign, company officials said, of its transformation from a real estate company to a provider of Internet infrastructure.
Sale of the 90,000-square-foot site to South Florida developer Bilden Inc. closed last week as an all-cash transaction, according to Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, Terremark's senior vice president for corporate communications.
The site, at 505 Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., was to be the home of Fortune House II, a condominium-hotel similar to Terremark's Fortune House in Miami. Bilden Inc. plans to move forward with the $100 million project under a different name.
"Terremark has evolved into an Internet Infrastructure and managed services company," Ms. Gonzalez-Levy said. "We're exiting all other businesses that are not part of our core business."
The company is developer and operator of the Technology Center of the Americas, 50 NE 9th St., home to the nation's fifth network access point, known as the NAP. The NAP opened June 30 on the second floor of the center and has 36 customers signed to multi-year, binding, revenue producing contracts, she said.
France Telecom is one of the NAP's newest customers, officials announced last week. The firm leverages sustained growth in telecommunications services both in Europe and the rest of the world. According to company statements, the primary engines of this growth are wireless, the increasing demand for data services and continued expansion of fixed-line services, driven by Internet usage.
Global communications company Sprint also has just agreed to lease part of the technology center's fourth floor, according to Terremark officials. The firm is a leader in integrating long-distance, local and wireless communications services and a large carrier of Internet traffic.
Developer Bilden Inc.'s principal Xavier Hawley is excited about the purchase of the Fort Lauderdale land he called "such a good deal." Ocean Bank was expected to finance about $8.5 million of the purchase price.
In addition to the land, the purchase included plans, permits, approvals, sales center and marketing materials for the condominium hotel that was being developed by Terremark, he said.
Most recently, the principals of Bilden Inc. are developing Grand Venetian, a condominium under construction on Belle Isle in Miami Beach, and Harbour Centre in Aventura, an 11-story office tower.
The 90,000-square-foot lot is a little more than a city block long, six blocks north of Las Olas Boulevard. An old hotel on the site will be demolished.
Mr. Hawley said he will go forward with development of the 278-unit condominium hotel with groundfloor retail, but will not be allowed to use the Fortune House name. He said negotiations are under way to find a major hotel company interested in the project.