New York Developer KAR Properties Acquires Fifth Site in South Florida.

Shahab S. KarmelyAs part of its strategic South Florida expansion, New York developer KAR Properties announced today it has acquired a 1.03-acre site in Wynwood, one of Miami’s trendiest neighborhoods. The property, at 2050 N. Miami Ave., marks KAR’s fifth South Florida acquisition and signals its continued commitment to the South Florida real estate market.

The firm, led by founder and CEO Shahab S. Karmely, purchased three parcels along the Miami River over the past year and most recently closed on a 1.3-acre oceanfront site in Hallandale Beach in November. KAR Properties has invested more than $100 million in South Florida with additional acquisitions on the horizon. KAR Properties did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. The seller was Mega Shoes, LLC. and was represented by Aztec.

“These assets are strategic and focused on South Florida’s emerging and established neighborhoods. Each project will be in synergy with the other, creating a connection between the beach, arts and design neighborhood and burgeoning Miami River district,” Karmely said. “Wynwood, with its vibrant arts scene, is a significant catalyst to Miami’s evolution as a global city, and we are pleased to have acquired this well located parcel.”

The Wynwood Arts District, formerly an industrial area once quiet after dark, is undergoing a significant transformation into a new hipster neighborhood with major art and fashion elements. Vogue Magazine rated Wynwood ninth in its 2014 list of “Coolest neighborhoods in the world.” Wynwood is home to some of Miami’s most cutting-edge eateries, contemporary galleries, and eclectic shops. Its well-attended Art Walk, popular art fairs during Art Week, and dazzling Wynwood Walls have helped it evolve into a popular destination for residents and visitors alike.

Iris on the Bay Rallies Behind Neighborhood.

Iris on the Bay

Even a dreary day couldn’t dampen the spirits of the North Beach Media Tour hosted by real estate development company The Spear Group on November 21st.  Supporters of the neighborhood, residents, community activists, business leaders, and city officials all offered sunny forecasts for the area, while also sharing thoughts of its history, challenges and opportunities for growth. Participants were shown points of interest and were able to experience “Little Buenos Aires” first-hand.

Kicking-off the tour was long-time Miami Beach Commissioner and Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Libbin. A resident of Normandy Isles since the early 90’s, he’s seen the  neighborhood evolve but cautions more needs to be done. “In order to really have a renaissance, we need more street-level retail.” Libbin and his Chamber are currently looking at ways to further promote commerce and support business owners in the area.

The second stop was at the Normandy Shores Golf Course, which was completed in 1941 and is a historic MiMo building. President of the North Beach Development Corp Carol Housen spoke about the walkability and unique character of this French-inspired neighborhood. “Living in Normandy is different than any other part of the city, it’s like living in a European town.”  Amenities include an eclectic restaurant scene, a new artsy cinematheque, a youth center, a revitalized and soon-to-be-renovated Bandshell, two new dog parks, yoga on the beach, tennis and a new senior center.

Chair of the Transportation and Parking Committee Mark Weithorn, also a neighborhood resident, talked about Blueways. This initiative looks to transform underutilized street ends along the shoreline, and create Kayak and SUP launches as well as parks where people can congregate.  Weithorn believes this will add value to the area.

Crime is down as well. According to Miami Beach Police Captain Enrique Doce and North District Officer Julio Blanco, “20 years ago, the area had one of the highest crime rates in the city. Today it’s down to the lowest.” This reduction can be attributed to the department’s comprehensive efforts – from a strong community-policing program to environmental design, crime prevention and safety education.

Organized by The Spear Group, the development company behind Iris on the Bay, an elegant townhome community located at 25 North Shore Drive on Normandy Isles, the tour is part of the developer’s campaign to support and promote the neighborhood. Designed by Beilinson Gomez and offering TUI Lifestyle interiorsIris on the Bay is energizing North Shore Drive while offering buyers a unique value proposition.

Iris on the Bay

Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Libbin

Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Libbin

Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Libbin, Developer Jeff Spear

North Beach Development Corp Carol Housen

North Beach Development Corp Carol Housen

Iris on the Bay

Developer Jeff Spear

Chair of the Transportation and Parking Committee Mark Weithorn

Chair of the Transportation and Parking Committee Mark Weithorn

IMG_9237 Iris on the Bay

Sales Director Ann Nortmann

Sales Director Ann Nortmann

North District Officer Julio Blanco, Miami Beach Captain Enrique Doce

North District Officer Julio Blanco, Miami Beach Captain Enrique Doce

Enrique Doce, Barbie Fraguio, Jeff Spear, Ann Nortmann, Carlos Hernandez, Carolina del Rivero, Liza Walton, Eleazar Melendez, Frances Alban

Enrique Doce, Barbie Fraguio, Jeff Spear, Ann Nortmann, Carlos Hernandez, Julio Blanco, Carolina del Rivero, Liza Walton, Eleazar Melendez, Frances Alban