Hotels developer Urbanica, with projects in Miami Beach and Buenos Aires, has set its sights on Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.
The company has assembled four lots northeast of Biscayne Boulevard and 30th Street — with help from broker associate Rosy Cancela — where it will build an office building and a restaurant.
“It was a lot of fun getting everybody together and getting a meeting of the minds,” Cancela, who works for Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Miami Beach, said of the transactions.
Urbanica bought the adjacent properties at 3023 Biscayne Blvd. and 3030 NE Fourth Ave. for $7.3 million from Biscayne Edge Inc. on Feb. 21. This added to holdings to the south at 3001 Biscayne Blvd. and 325-331 NE 30th St., which it bought in late 2018 for $7.95 million.
Charlie Porchetto, a founder at Urbanica, said the company plans to build an office building and a restaurant on the four-lot assemblage. Specifics like the height of the office building still aren’t known as plans are preliminary, he said.
Separately, Urbanica plans to build a 220-room hotel at the vacant lot at 3200 Biscayne Blvd., or just northwest of its four-lot assemblage, Porchetto said.
Urbanica through an affiliate bought the 3200 Biscayne property for $5.2 million in December 2017, according to Miami-Dade County and state Division of Corporations records.
Cancela, who didn’t work on the 3200 Biscayne transaction, represented both Urbanica and the sellers in the purchase of the four lots northeast of Biscayne Boulevard and 30th Street.
For Cancela, closing the deal was equal parts hard work and luck.
It all started when Biscayne Edge, the latest seller, reached out to her saying it wanted to sell its properties. By chance, she met the Urbanica principals, who were interested in buying.
Urbanica also developed The Meridian Hotel at 418 Meridian Ave., which at 70 rooms is a boutique hotel in Miami Beach.
“I went into their hotel on Meridian. I live very close by and wanted to see how it had turned out. So I went in and introduced myself and met the general manager, and he showed me around and just in passing I mentioned I had this property on Biscayne Boulevard that would work for a hotel,” Cancela said. “He introduced me to the owners of Urbanica, and it just went from there.”
It also was lucky that the owners of 3001 Biscayne Blvd. and 325-331 NE 30th St. were willing to sell at the same time, she added.
“The real estate gods were with me,” Cancela said.
Over the past couple of years, one- and two-story apartment buildings with diverse architectural styles in Edgewater have been torn down to make room for high-rises. The neighborhood is home to The Related Group’s four-building, bayfront Paraiso condominium complex. Urbanica’s hotel, office and restaurant projects promise to bring more change to the area.
In Miami Beach, Urbanica also is building the 30-room Sofi Hotel at 426 Euclid Ave, according to its website. It also plans to build a hotel across the street, according to Cancela.