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2 Of Florida's Biggest Developers Team Up To Develop 28 Acres In Hialeah

Two of Miami’s biggest developers are teaming up on a 642-unit multifamily project on 28 acres.

Related Group and Fontainebleau Development broke ground Monday on Las Carreras, a garden-style rental community in Hialeah at 7218 West Fourth Ave. The new project will bring luxury touches to what has traditionally been a working-class enclave. The project is the first in Hialeah for both developers and also the first time they are teaming up. 

The groundbreaking of Las Carrereas was led by Fontainebleau Development Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Soffer, fourth from left, and Related Group President Jon Paul Pérez, third from right.

“You don't get many opportunities [to] find a site this large in the city of Miami," Related Group President Jon Paul Pérez told Bisnow. "It's been very underutilized."

Las Carreras’ 642 units will include a mix of townhomes and apartments across three stories in a walk-up configuration. Units range from studios to three bedrooms and average about 1,038 SF. Construction is expected to complete by the end of 2023.

Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in Florida and has an extremely tight rental market, he said.

“Las Carreras” means “the races” in English. The site is a former greyhound kennel. Greyhound racing was banned in the state in 2020. Public records show the land’s market value as $6.7M.

Fontainebleau’s premier assets include the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Resort and JW Marriott Turnberry Resort. It is developing a major casino project in Las Vegas and has been pushing for gaming in Florida. Fontainebleau Development Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Soffer had previously bought a casino property in Broward County and said he was approached with the opportunity to redevelop the kennel.

Soffer told Bisnow that he is hospitality-focused and doesn't typically develop apartments, so he teamed up with Related, whose chairman, Jorge Pérez, he had known for years.

Jon Paul Pérez, who took over day-to-day oversight of Related from his father, Jorge, last year, said he has always looked up to Soffer and wanted to work with him.

A rendering of Las Carreras in Hialeah

Neighbors were concerned about a huge project coming in on the site. Soffer said he wanted to make the project homelike, with a pool and a clubhouse. The partners worked with city officials on zoning and settled on a low-rise project.

Mayor Carlos Hernández said Hialeah has been losing young people and families to other South Florida cities like Pembroke Pines, and Las Carreras may start to fill the void that sent segments of the population elsewhere.

"It was because we didn't have the kind of development, the kind of businesses they wanted," Hernández said.

Related Group Development Manager Sheila Lorenzo is a trained architect who grew up in the area. She said she hopes the new project will persuade people that they "don't have to leave this area. We have everything here."   

Las Carreras is expected to have a pool deck with private cabanas and an oversized Jacuzzi. Other amenities include a private theater, an outdoor kitchen, a fitness room, a virtual spinning studio, sports courts, a full indoor sauna, a dog play area and a linear park. It has also been designed with an on-site conference room and a coworking area.

"I was really happy to do a deal with the Pérez family and put it in my kids' trust and their trust, so this will be owned for a long time by many generations to come of Soffers and Pérezes," Soffer said.