Major Mexican developer to build Aventura project
By Paola Iuspa
One of Mexico's largest commercial and residential developers plans to build condominium towers on the last open parcel on Aventura's Turnberry Isle, develop an office building in the city and co-produce two other residential projects.
The officers of CABI Developers, a subsidiary of GICSA in Mexico, fell in love with Aventura almost a decade ago when they began buying condos in Aventura, said Elias Cababie, company chairman. Now, the group is making the city home to its first project outside of Mexico.
Mr. Cababie said Miami-Dade County was the most logical place because he already owned properties here and liked the multicultural environment.
Last year they bought land from Turnberry Associates, headed by Aventura founder Donald Soffer, and plan in April to start building the $40 million The Parc at Turnberry Isle. To be completed in 18 months, the project consists of two 22-story residential towers.
The two- and three-bedroom residences will sell from $400,000 to $1 million, he said. The group also hopes in July to start the $15 million Country Club Center across from Turnberry Isle Resort & Country Club. It would be the area's first office building since 1996, said Bruce Weiner, president of Turnberry Associates.
"There is a big demand for office space in Aventura," Mr. Weiner said. "It is a niche market. Possible tenants could be banks, accountants, lawyers and doctors."
Emil Hubschman, chairman of the Aventura Chamber of Commerce, said the area needs office buildings with broadband capability to support existing and future technology.
"None of the buildings in Aventura are smart buildings," he said. "That is the most pressing need in our business community. Our class A buildings are 10 to 15 years ago and don't have conduits [built-in] to add broadband infrastructure. "
Mr. Cababie said he wants to provide office space for some of the 27,000 Aventura residents who might want to work closer to their homes. The high-end, 70,000-square-foot Country Club Center is to have ground-level retail and restaurant space, highlighted by 9-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows.
Country Club Center, a $15 million project, is scheduled for completion in late 2003.
CABI recently partnered with Turnberry Associates on the proposed Turnberry Ocean Colony in Sunny Isles Beach, Mr. Weiner said. Still in the conceptual stage, it will be a gated oceanfront enclave north of Bal Harbour.
The parties have one other joint project on the drawing board but declined to give specifics.
"CABI is mostly an investor in these projects," Mr. Weiner said. "We are doing most of the design, development and marketing. They may bring some marketing experience to the table."
Developer of office and residential buildings, industrial parks and shopping malls, GICSA developments in Mexico include Maralago Acapulco; Puerta del Sol in Cabo San Lucas; Cancun's Forum By the Sea, La Isla and Maralago Cancun; and Esmeralda III, Punta Santa Fe, Residencial Lomas II and Mexico City's Torre Picasso.
Some of Turnberry Associates developments are Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, a resort with 340 suites; Aventura Mall, and Porto Vita, a luxury condo high-rise.
In 1967, Mr. Soffer bought 785 acres of submerged land in northern Miami-Dade County and began developing what today is the city of Aventura, 12 miles north of Miami.