Wharton Urban Sells 2 Million Square Foot Development Site in Downtown Miami for $46 Million

Partnership parts with mixed use development parcel near Brickell primed for resi, hotel, retail, and office use

MIAMI (June 28, 2021) Wharton Urban, an operating platform of real estate investment firm Wharton Equity Partners, and Cross Lake Partners, a privately-held real estate investment firm, announced today that they have sold the “Burdines Site,” a prime development parcel at 16 Southeast 2nd Street in downtown Miami covering a full city block. The property, which is zoned for a 2-million-square-foot mixed-use development, was purchased by a South American family office.

After acquiring the distressed note for $16.25 million from IberiaBank on the 2.2-acre parcel, the partnership negotiated a complex deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure with the borrower and ultimately gained title to the site. The property, one of the largest undeveloped parcels in the Miami Central Business District, came with previously approved site plans by internationally-acclaimed architect, I.M. Pei and Miami-based Oppenheim Architecture+Design, and included residential, hotel, retail and office components as part of the development.

“When we first saw the site, we knew immediately it presented a unique opportunity to acquire a 2-million-square-foot development in Downtown at a very attractive basis, despite the fact that many local investors passed on the transaction,“ said Peter C. Lewis, Chairman of Wharton Equity Partners. “While all eyes were focused on the Brickell market, we believed in the future of Downtown given incoming retailers, other projects in planning, funding for the new arts and science museums, and the expansion of the port. It’s very rewarding to have our contrarian view validated, which has been the hallmark of Wharton over its 30-plus-year existence.”

The property sits just a few blocks from Brickell CityCentre, a nearly 4-million-square foot mixed-use project located in Mary Brickell Village, and Met 3, a mixed-use project comprising 462 high-end apartments and a Whole Foods Market in its ground-floor retail space. The site also boasts convenient access to I-95.

“This offers a unique opportunity to construct a mixed-use property on one of the largest undeveloped sites in downtown Miami — an area which is only growing in demand,” David E. Eisenberg, CEO and head of Wharton’s Miami office. “We hold a firm belief in South Florida’s potential and prospects across multiple asset types, and intend to apply our time-tested acquisition and development strategies to even more prime assets in the coming years.”

Wharton Equity Partners has been active in the Miami market in recent years, and earlier this month sold a 1.82-acre development site at 1177 Kane Concourse in Miami’s Bay Harbor Islands submarket to Terra Group for $31.5 million. Wharton also currently owns the Eve at the District, a 500,000-square-foot mixed-use project at Northeast 36th Street and Northeast First Avenue and the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel.

Cross Lake Partners actively invests in the residential markets and has experience in both residential land development as well as the acquisition and development of single family, townhome, condominium and apartment communities. It is currently involved in mixed-use destinations with residential, retail, hotel and office opportunities across the Sunbelt, such as Quay Sarasota, along downtown Sarasota’s waterfront.

About Wharton Equity Partners

Wharton Equity Partners is a New York City-based investment with significant roots as a real estate owner, developer, and operator. Since its inception in 1987 as a developer of large-scale residential communities, the firm has shown an innate ability to foresee macroeconomic trends and move with conviction to invest in emerging opportunities. Today, Wharton Equity has a family of wholly-owned platform businesses which provides the company with the agility and expertise to act on a wide variety of transactions, including venture capital investing. This flexible philosophy has enabled Wharton Equity to generate superior returns over various business cycles and garner unrivaled trust, earned through proven performance.

About Cross Lake Partners LP
Cross Lake Partners is an independent, privately held real estate investment firm with approximately $1 billion in assets under management. The founders have worked together since 2004 and collectively have more than 40 years of real estate investing experience across a broad array of real estate asset classes. Cross Lake pursues a value driven, disciplined approach to investing in the top 30 growth markets of the U.S.  For more information, please visit www.crosslakepartners.com.

Wharton Urban Sells 2 Million Square Foot Development Site in Downtown Miami for $46 Million