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Citadel Breaks Off Partnership With Sterling Bay For Planned Miami HQ

Miami's Brickell neighborhood has been the epicenter of office activity in South Florida.

When hedge fund giant Citadel announced plans last summer to move its headquarters from Chicago to a new skyscraper in Miami, it tapped one of its longtime Chicago corporate neighbors to build it. But that partnership is now off.

While Citadel and Citadel Securities are still planning to move into a $1B new development in the coming years, Sterling Bay will no longer be involved in the building's development, the companies confirmed to Bisnow Tuesday. Crain's Chicago Business was the first to report the news.

Citadel is bringing that development process in-house, according to statements from both companies.

“Sterling Bay has been instrumental in selecting and procuring critical real estate investments that have expanded Citadel’s Miami presence in Brickell and in Palm Beach,” Citadel spokesperson Zia Ahmed said in a statement.

“As Citadel’s internal workplace team has grown, so have the firm’s capabilities to directly support the growth and development of its real estate portfolio. We are grateful to Sterling Bay for the critical role it has played in our early progress to date at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive, and we look forward to maintaining a strong working relationship with their team moving forward.”

Citadel, working with Sterling Bay, started acquiring land along Brickell Bay Drive last year before announcing plans for the new headquarters tower. Since then, the companies have prepared the site and started to go through the permitting and approvals process.

Billionaire Citadel CEO Ken Griffin told Bloomberg last year that the company plans to spend roughly $1B building a tower that reaches north of 1,000 feet tall and includes not only street-level retail but a helipad, a marina and windows that open onto Biscayne Bay. He also said it wouldn't just be filled with Citadel offices and that he plans to pitch other corporate giants to sign leases there.

“I'm going to work to create a building that's iconic in Miami,” Griffin told the publication in September. “If it takes longer to fill the building, so be it. It's more important to me to create the right environment to draw human capital that drives Citadel.”

While the new headquarters could take five or six years to build, Citadel is already a major presence in the Miami office market. It will occupy 90K SF across six floors at 830 Brickell when the buzzy office tower opens later this year. Citadel also has a presence in Palm Beach, and Griffin has for a decade been one of South Florida's most aggressive buyers of residential real estate.

The development ambitions of the hedge fund are growing with its founder's. Citadel struck a deal last year with Vornado and Rudin Management to develop a 1.7M SF supertall tower in Midtown Manhattan, which Citadel has the option to own outright.

Related Topics: Sterling Bay, Brickell, Citadel