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Assurant To Relocate In One Of Miami’s Largest Leases Of 2024 So Far

Assurant is moving its Miami offices from the sprawling 79-acre campus it owns to a 78K SF lease that marks the second-largest office deal in the city so far this year. 

Assurant leased three floors at 701 Waterford Way in the Waterford Business District.

The insurance giant is slated to move into three floors at 701 Waterford Way in the Waterford Business District in June 2025 after listing its campus west of Cutler Bay for sale nearly a year ago. 

The Waterford Business District “location will be a key business hub for our 1,500 employees in the area and will support our continued growth,” an Assurant spokesperson said in a statement. “This move does not change our intent to sell our current headquarters site.”

The 250-acre Waterford Business District, owned by Nuveen Real Estate and PIMCO Real Estate Partners, has nearly 1.7M SF of office space across seven buildings.

Nuveen and Allianz embarked on a $50M renovation and repositioning of the office park starting in 2020, including changing its name from The Blue Lagoon office park to Waterford Business District. 

The upgrades included renovated lobbies, common areas and conference rooms, and complimentary shuttle service to Miami International Airport. The owners also created a tenant app to facilitate events like outdoor yoga classes and food truck activations.  

"Companies, including Assurant, are increasingly drawn to dynamic hubs like Waterford due to the compelling combination of exceptional office spaces as well as a thriving business ecosystem,” Charles Russo, Nuveen’s senior director and head of the Southeast for workplace, retail and mixed-use, said in a statement. 

Assurant was represented by CBRE brokers Brent Woodruff, Matthew Goodman and Tyler Wyant, according to a release announcing the deal. Leasing at the development is handled by a Blanca Commercial Real Estate team of Juan Ruiz, Andres del Corral, Jack Davidson, Jessy Aguila and Tere Blanca

Assurant put its sprawling campus at 11222 Quail Roost Drive up for sale in May 2023. The property, where it’s the sole tenant, includes three office buildings, a warehouse and three school buildings totaling 619K SF along with 25 acres of undeveloped land. 

The site is owned by American Bankers Insurance Co., which underwrites Assurant. CBRE is marketing the property as a redevelopment opportunity or a turnkey solution for a corporate buyer. A CBRE spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

Assurant's spokesperson declined to comment on the status of the campus sale beyond its commitment to offload the property. A spokesperson last year said the planned headquarters sale came as Assurant “embraced more of a hybrid workstyle” that led the firm to consolidate its real estate portfolio. 

The Fortune 500 firm has more than 13,000 employees worldwide and relocated its headquarters from New York to Atlanta last year. It offers insurance for a wide variety of products, from cell phones to multifamily housing.

Office at Waterford Business District is listed for $33 per SF to $35 per SF, a significant discount on the $60.28 per SF average asking rates for Class-A space across Miami-Dade County, according to Cushman & Wakefield. It’s less than half the asking rates in popular neighborhoods like Brickell, Wynwood and Miami Beach.

Blanca secured more than 200K SF of deals at the campus last year and has closed on more than 1M SF of leasing at the property since 2019, according to the release. 

The homebuilding firm Lennar paid $68M in December to buy the 213K SF building at 5505 Waterford Way, where it has its headquarters. 

Assurant’s lease is around half the size of the deal MSC Group signed in January at Block 55 at Sawyer's Walk, an under construction mixed-use project in Overtown. The office will be the North American headquarters for the Swiss company's cruise division and also house an office for its cargo operations. 

Miami saw 468K SF of leasing activity in the Q1, up 3.2% from the same period a year earlier, and asking rates have continued to climb, posting a 9.1% gain year-over-year at the end of March. 

"As the demand for innovative and enhanced office space and experiences continues to surge, Waterford Business District is ideally positioned to meet these needs head-on,” Ruiz, vice chairman of Blanca, said in a statement.