Native Realty Co. founder and CEO Jaime Sturgis in Fort Lauderdale. Courtesy Photo

Broker Jaime Sturgis saw the potential for Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village when few others did. It paid off.

The founder and CEO of Native Realty Co. fully leased two properties after they were retrofitted from warehouse to mixed-use and then brokered the same for a total of $13.25 million.

“Everyone told me I was crazy when I set out to do these projects and lease them. Everyone told me, ‘You’ll never get those numbers. The demand is not there,’ ” Sturgis said.

Tricera Capital, a Miami-based real estate investment company with a value-add and urban retail focus, bought Flagler Uptown at 750 N. Flagler Drive and The Hive at 900 N. Flagler Drive from 750 Flagler LLC and 900 Flagler LLC, respectively, for $6.625 million each in deals that closed Jan. 15.

“ Even just a few years ago I couldn’t get anybody to take the neighborhood seriously. But a lot has changed,” said Sturgis, who represented the sellers. “As you start to see some of these bigger, more institutional investors taking interest in the neighborhood, I think it speaks volumes about the neighborhood.”

Flagler Village, which stretches from Broward Boulevard to Sunrise Boulevard and from Federal Highway to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks, once was a neglected industrial area with some residential. Its website says its revival started in the early 2000s, although Sturgis says it really picked up in the last three to five years. It’s home to the FATVillage arts district and the MASS District.

The 18,000-square-foot Flagler Uptown, which 750 Flagler bought for $975,000 in December 2015, is home to Wells Coffee and Montce Swim and includes an adjacent building home to Invasive Species Brewing.

The 15,000-square-foot Hive, which 900 Flagler bought for $2.3 million in October 2016, is home to Red Pearl Yoga, Glitch Bar, JB&C Juice Bar & Cafe and Bean to Brew coffee shop.

The properties were renovated and leased “very much to the spirit of the neighborhood,” Sturgis said. ”You are kind of recycling buildings, bringing new life into them.”

The rent is about $25 per square foot triple net at Flagler Uptown rent and $35 and $45 at The Hive, Sturgis said.

The prices per square foot set records for the building and land based on Sturgis’ own data and work in Flagler Village.

Flagler Uptown traded for $362 per building square foot and $267 per land square foot, while The Hive traded for $428 per building square foot and $228 per land square foot.

“The feedback I’ve received from the brokerage community and other owners seems to verify that. Everyone has been blown away by the pricing. No one has seen those prices in the neighborhood.”