Walgreens at 100 Lincoln Road
Walgreens at 100 Lincoln Road (J. Albert Diaz)

The white-hot pricing on South Beach’s Lincoln Road is tempting long-established institutions to kiss their real estate goodbye, cashing in on record prices even if it means no longer owning a piece of the famed Miami Beach high street.

An arts nonprofit that helped jump-start the revitalization of Lincoln Road in the late 1980s announced Tuesday that it was offering its headquarters at 800-810 Lincoln Road for sale.

ArtCenter South Florida bought the building in January 1988 for $700,000. The organization could see a potential windfall of over $50 million if it’s able to sell its two-story, 17,642-square-foot facility at the area’s going per-square-foot rate of $3,000.

“Right now we have exposure and public presence, but I think there’s much more we can do for the artists and the community,” Maria Del Valle, executive director of the organization, told the Daily Business Review.

She said the cultural collective, which provides studio residencies and other resources to artists, made the decision to sell the building to create a fund for institutional programming. The organization would keep a toehold at 924 Lincoln Road and will be able to “invest in the artists so that they can advance.”

“At some point, we reached our top here, and there’s not much more than we can do,” Del Valle added.

The ArtCenter is widely credited with helping revitalize Lincoln Road during the late 1980s and early 1990s by coaxing artists to take up retail space in what were then boarded-up storefronts. As rental and property prices on the commercial drag skyrocketed, however, many notable galleries have been displaced or decided to move. In May, the building at 818 Lincoln Road that houses artist Romero Britto’s showroom was sold for $34.5 million.

Current acquisitions are expected to turn into high-end retail shops. The higher rents those establishments are willing to pay, up to $300 per square foot net according to some brokers, can easily edge out many other tenants.

The arts collective is far from the only long-time Lincoln Road fixture looking to cash out.

A controversial plan was recently approved by city review boards that will allow the Miami Beach Community Church to develop its courtyard as a retail center. Preservationists fighting that plan noted the church was betraying its history as Miami Beach’s first community beacon.

Among other recent dispositions, Illinois-based Walgreen Co. sold a store it has operated for 15 years at 100 Lincoln Road just east of Collins Avenue on June 23.

The drugstore chain, which makes its stores in South Beach stand out with progressive architecture from locals Robert Brown and Frank Demandt, sold for $28 million the commercial space it bought in April 1999 for $4.9 million.

That works out to $2,084 per square foot, a discount on other recent area sales that likely takes into account the retail condo nature of the property and the fact it’s east of the main Lincoln Road retail segment.

The chain will remain in its location under a leaseback agreement. A new Walgreens store is being built three blocks south on Collins Avenue.