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The Boring City Where Johnny Depp Grew Up Is Now A Real Estate Hot Spot

The Boring City Where Johnny Depp Grew Up Is Now A Real Estate Hot Spot
The Grove at Miramar broke ground in June 2018.

Anyone would be forgiven for never having heard of Miramar, Florida, a city that abuts the Everglades in western Broward County. Besides a nice park and Spirit Airlines' headquarters, the city has no attractions to speak of, though Johnny Depp and singer Jason Derulo both once lived here.

“Where I grew up in Miramar, there’s the school, a water tower, a grocery store, a drugstore and a pizza joint," Depp once said in an interview. "A big day was when the pizza joint started selling sub sandwiches."

But prices have exploded in beachfront cities like Fort Lauderdale, and land has become scarce, so development has pushed inland, making Miramar quite the real estate hotbed, as a slate of recent transactions shows. 

Miramar was incorporated in 1955 with just 200 people. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the city now has a population of 121,826 and is projected to grow 13.2% over the next five years.

C&W this week secured $20M in financing from New York Life Insurance for the acquisition of Fountains of Miramar, a 140K SF shopping center developed in 2005 on a 15.26-acre site on Southwest 160th Avenue. The property, home to Ross, Marshalls and HomeGoods, is 93% occupied.

Nearby, developer Elit LLC, owned by Maria Ardizzoni, announced this week it began construction on the $15M Grove at Miramar, an upscale retail center on 5.62 acres at the corner of Miramar Boulevard and Flamingo Road. When finished next July, it will consist of four buildings with 45K SF of leasable space. 

In the industrial space, Miramar Megacenter Park is a new 14-acre master-planned business park that recently inked a 35K SF lease to FliteLine LLC, which sells aviation equipment. In announcing the lease this month, Miramar Megacenter Park spokespeople cited the location — with Florida’s Turnpike frontage and easy access to every major highway in South Florida — as a draw.

In late 2017, HapCor, a distributor of grocery products, relocated its headquarters from Davie to 32K SF at the Miramar Park of Commerce, owned by Sunbeam Properties & Development. Hap Clare, president and founder of HapCor, said the connectivity Miramar offered to ports and airports was important.

“As we grew and signed agreements with brands such as Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm, Borden Dairy, Badia Spice and others, we realized the importance of a location that would serve as a gateway to not only the Caribbean, but also to Latin America and eventually Cuba," he said. 

Housing prices in Miramar have spiked, too. Last July, RentCafé found that Miramar had the highest rents in the state of Florida, with average monthly rent for a three-bedroom costing $1,800. That ranking was largely because several new, high-end developments have been built in the city since 2013. 

This April, an investor paid $7.8M for a portfolio of 53 homes in Miramar and flipped them days later for $14M. Lennar and CC Homes in May proposed a new subdivision with 385 single-family homes.