Barlington's Brickell Dreams
Imagine two towering office mixed-use buildings up to 50 stories tall complete with a pedestrian bridge between them spanning 8th Street in Brickell. That could be one day. But for now, Barlington Group is happy to just make cash flow on a couple of refurbished historic buildings, as the firm's Martin Pinilla tells us just days before he will appear at our Evolution of Brickell & Downtown Miami event next week.
Barlington Group is under contract with 90 Southwest 8th St (here), a four-story, 45k SF office/retail building at the corner of 8th Street and 1st Avenue. It's the second purchase in Brickell, a submarket that Martin says has some of the strongest promise for growth going forward in Miami. Along with Brickell Station, a 10k SF retail complex across the street that Barlington purchased in 2011, the firm has two strategic corners in one of Miami's hottest submarkets that could be turned into twin 50-story towers in the future. It's a plan that Martin says the firm is eyeing, just not in this development cycle. “We think the potential assemblage...could come in the next cycle,” Martin says, noting that leases with retailers at Brickell Station are as long as 20 years. “I'm not sure that the timing is right to do [towers] at this cycle.”
Martin (on left with partner Bill Fuller) says Barlington is taking 90 Southwest 8th (which will be hosting our event on Wednesday), adding a fourth floor to it and creating a mixed restaurant/entertainment venue with a rooftop bar. And such an intimate (albeit $40M) project still makes sense given where rents have grown in the last five years. “The market has shifted. When we signed those leases [for Brickell Station] back in 2011...the increase Brickell has seen in rental rates has doubled and close to tripled.”
Barlington continues to scout for more buying opportunities to hold long term, not only in Brickell, but in other areas of Miami, like the firm did in Downtown Miami (here with 172 West Flagler St, purchased in 2014) and Little Havana, Martin says. “We consider these all emerging neighborhoods and are very bullish on them,” he says. Brickell's transformation has been even more noteworthy than other areas of Miami. “Brickell has all of the sudden...become probably the densest neighborhood south of New York City. And that is very exciting to Miami and is a big reason why these rental rates have gone up.”'
Hear more from Martin along with a host of other Downtown Miami and Brickell luminaries, including 13th Floor Investments' Arnaud Karsenti, Royal Palm Cos' Dan Kodsi, Rilea Group's Alan Ojeda (here) and Miami DDA executive director Alyce Robertson 7:30am, Thursday, June 23, at our Evolution of Brickell and Downtown Miami event at 90 Southwest 8th St in Brickell. Sign up here.