Robert Suris, founder and principal of The Estate Cos. Photo by Rigoberto Perdomo III Robert Suris, founder and principal of Estate Investments Group LLC. Photo by Rigoberto Perdomo III

Prolific multifamily developer Estate Investments Group LLC is moving forward with its Palmetto Bay apartment complex after securing $34 million in financing for the project.

Miami-based Estate Investments is building the 211-unit, five-story Soleste Bay Village at 18301 S. Dixie Highway.

The financing, which covers 75 percent of the project cost, came from Coral Gables-based Banesco USA and Spain’s Abanca in a deal that closed Oct. 24.

This is Estate Investments’ ninth apartment venture in Miami-Dade County. Some projects have been finished and sold, and others are under construction or in the planning stages. While many developers have focused on Miami’s urban core with projects catering to urbanites seeking a live-work-play lifestyle, Estate Investments focuses elsewhere.

Founder and principal Robert Suris has said part of the company’s business model is to find untapped areas that are centrally located but lack multifamily developments. In West Miami west of Coral Gables, the Palmetto and Dolphin expressways are nearby. Estate Investments has finished and sold three projects and is building two others.

Soleste Bay Village is being built in the southwestern corner of Palmetto Bay next to the bus service on Dixie Highway. The village wants to turn the neighborhood into a walkable downtown. The village plans to invest in infrastructure investment in the area between Richmond and Eureka drives to spur development, according to the village website.

But the scale of development supported by village council members has been a touchy subject. Just ask Estate Investments.

Getting Village Council approval for Soleste Bay Village was tricky. The project shrank because the council changed from a pro-growth to a more controlled-growth majority.

“Palmetto Bay had a somewhat pro-development commission that wanted to develop their downtown area right off U.S. 1. A new commission got elected a little bit over a year ago that has put a stop to a lot of density. They are reconsidering the density and how the units are handed to developers,” Suris said.

Soleste Bay Village went from an eight-story, 301-unit concept to 211 units in five-story buildings. Suris said that’s still more than the 160 units under previous development regulations.

The project is in an opportunity zone, a government-designated, economically distressed area that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offers tax breaks to investors under the December 2017 law.

This doesn’t apply to Estate Investments, which committed to Soleste Bay Village earlier, Suris said.

Soleste Bay Village will have studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 600 to 1,100 square feet. Rents will start in the $1,200s.

The complex will have 16,000 square feet of ground-floor retail split between commercial tenants and live-work units. It will have 297 parking spaces, a pool with cabanas, a gym with spinning and yoga rooms, playground, dog park and spa.

The building is to be completed in early 2020, and preleasing will start in late 2019.

Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Gomez & Machado partner Roland Sanchez-Medina Jr. in Coral Gables represented Estate Investments; Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo attorney Bernardo Portuondo represented Abanca; and Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson shareholder Kearey Wan in Miami represented Banesco USA.

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