The Real Deal

BF Group buys property near Merrick Park

BF Group paid $7 million for a development site in Coral Gables, where the firm plans to build a 10-story mixed-use office building.

The company, led by partners Jose Boschetti, Rene Brillembourg and Carlos Acosta, bought the 20,000-square-foot property 4311 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Boschetti told The Real Deal. The deal breaks down to about $350 per square foot for the land, which is across the street from the Shops at Merrick Park.

Property records show 4311 Ponce de Leon LLC, which is controlled by Ruby Bacardi of the Bacardi family, sold both lots to BF Group. Together they have about 200 feet of frontage along Ponce de Leon Boulevard, and they last sold for a combined $4.9 million between 2006 and 2012.

BF Group, a co-developer of the office condo building Ofizzina, plans to spend about $40 million on the project, Boschetti said. It will have about 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, leased to high-end furniture, appliance and fixture retailers, and up to 50,000 square feet of office space. BF Group will start preleasing in about three months, break ground in about nine months, and deliver the building a year from then, which would be the first quarter of 2019.

Asking rents will start at about $35 per square foot, triple net for the office space, and north of $50 per square foot, triple net for the retail space, Boschetti said, citing the lack of office space in the area.

Nearby development is mostly residential, retail and hospitality. It includes Laguna House, a boutique condo project at the Shops at Merrick Park, and Merrick Manor, a 227-unit condo building planned for 301 Altara Avenue.

BF Group is also still searching for more properties in Coral Gables. Ofizzina topped off recently at nearly 80 percent presold, and the developers plan to deliver it in the fall. “We’re looking, and we’ve been looking in the Gables a lot,” Boschetti said. “Who wants to live with the traffic on Brickell?”