Florida International University doubles size of Brickell center
By Rachel Tannenbaum
Less than a year after Florida International University Downtown on Brickell opened in a 32,000-square-foot center, it will almost double its space.
FIU signed a 10-year, $12 million lease last August with Florida East Coast Realty for three floors at 1101 Brickell Ave. after six years at Macy's downtown.
The center now houses programs of the College of Business Administration, School of International and Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences' Metropolitan Center. These include MBA and master of science programs in international real estate and finance and the healthcare MBA.
Starting in fall, 28,000 more square feet will add two classrooms and reception area that will also house the College of Business Administration's redesigned executive MBA and the new master of science in health information and management systems.
"We needed more space for receptions, special events and possibly more dining," said Joyce Elam, business school executive dean. "This is the main reason behind the expansion."
In the expansion, she said, FIU will have one floor for offices and two added floors for offices, classrooms and breakout rooms. Expansion will include space on the 10th and 11th floors of the south tower and the 19th floor of the north tower.
Current space hosts about 350 students. Ms. Elam said expansion will raise that to 500. Adding students and facility, she said, won't affect parking because the center is mainly used weekends and evenings.
Building leasing agent Brian Gale, managing director of Taylor & Mathis, said the 10-year lease's terms are confidential. He did say the building is doing deals starting at $27.50 to $29 a foot.
As part of the expansion, FIU's name and logo will appear on the building. Ms. Elam said she doesn't yet know how large the sign will be but it will be seen up and down Brickell. "It will be fairly large and is supposed to happen soon, within the next couple of months."
Expansion students, Ms. Elam said, will be around ages 27 to 30 for the professional MBA and 35 to 60 for the executive MBA.
"The center is targeted for working professionals and the campus is in a really great location for that," she said.
In growing, FIU will move all the programs' support staff to Brickell. Because faculty will now permanently be at the Brickell hub, Ms. Elam said, the main campus will give them traveling offices, "but Brickell will be their main location."
Since FIU considers Downtown on Brickell a center, not a campus, said Chris A. Lovell, senior managing director of Studley, a commercial real estate services firm, the site will still be categorized office space.
"The space contains a mixture of offices and classrooms, but the space would still be technically considered as "office space' by the brokerage and development community and in various leasing statistics," he said.
Ms. Elam said that if FIU expands again it will try to do so at 1101 Brickell.
"It would make sense to expand there because we are already there," she said. "We do have plans to take some space in the lobby if that becomes available."
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