Doral Commerce Park conversion to office condos a big hit
By Marilyn Bowden
Doral Commerce Park sold out in seven months after officials converted available space to office condominiums, said Ernesto CambŪ, general partner and principal at Alliance Real Estate Group.
"From last June to the present, we've executed about $28 million in deals," he said, "and a total of about 340,000 square feet." He credited Alliance broker Ernesto Casal with finalizing transactions.
The park, on 36 acres at Northwest 58th Street and 97th Avenue in Airport West, consists of two buildings of about 200,000 square feet each. During the high-tech boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Bell Canada leased one of them as a telecommunications data facility. Bell Canada had made about $30 million in capital improvements, Mr. CambŪ said, when the bottom fell out of the telecommunications market and the company left.
To salvage the building for industrial use, Mr. CambŪ said, Alliance hired Guillermo Fernandez of Link Construction Group to remove specialized equipment left by Bell Canada and convert the building to condominium space. The cost of the renovations, he said, was more than $2 million.
Alliance's other building includes leased space and condo space, Mr. CambŪ said. Major lease tenants include Crescent Trading Inc. and Cool Cargo Carriers. Due to strong market interest in condo space, he said, Alliance stopped leasing in June and converted the building's remaining space to condos.
Buyers of the 15,200-square-foot units, he said, include a number of refrigeration and import-export companies such as South Florida International Foods. "The concept works well for them," he said, "because they're able to wrap the cost of the refrigeration equipment into their mortgage."
Mr. CambŪ said Carey Kramer Co. arranged financing for the project with Allstate Financial. Attorneys Dana Clayton and Sue Zabloudil of Akerman Senterfitt handled legal issues.
He said Alliance may look at more opportunities for similar projects in the area.