Natixis Lends $177M on Blackstone’s MiamiCentral Office Towers Buy

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Blackstone Real Estate tapped the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market for its recent acquisition of two office towers in Downtown Miami, Commercial Observer has learned. 

Natixis was the lender in the deal, providing a $177 million loan. The financing was negotiated by Cushman & Wakefield’s Rob Rubano

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Shorenstein Properties sold the two recently built, Class A office buildings, 2 & 3 MiamiCentral, to funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate for roughly $230 million, as first reported by the Miami Herald.

The property comprises 329,260 square feet and is the office component of the larger MiamiCentral development, a six-block, 11-acre, mixed-use, transit-oriented development that also offers shopping and dining options.  

“We are high conviction, thematic investors focused on investing in growing markets with strong demographic tailwinds and talent pipelines, such as Miami,” David Levine, senior managing director at Blackstone Real Estate, said in a release. “2 & 3 MiamiCentral are extremely high-quality assets in a prime location with access to mass transit, and we are pleased to acquire them on behalf of our investors.”

Located directly adjacent to the MiamiCentral train station, the office buildings offer tenants access to Downtown Miami’s restaurant, bar, shopping and residential offerings. The Brightline station sits directly underneath 2 MiamiCentral, providing direct access to Fort Lauderdale in less than 30 minutes, West Palm Beach in less than an hour and — eventually — Orlando in just two hours. Additionally, Miami’s public transit options — Metrorail, Metrobus, Metromover and Tri-Rail  all converge at the location. 

The two buildings at 2 & 3 MiamiCentral were delivered in 2018 and are approximately 98 percent occupied today, with remaining lease terms of more than eight years, and in-place rents that are approximately 17 percent below market — providing plenty of opportunity for the new landlord to increase rents over time.  

Blackstone’s technology and innovations group already leases 41,000 square feet at 2 MiamiCentral, having leased the space in January 2021 with plans to hire 200 professionals at the location. Other tenants include law firm Carlton Fields, Ernst & Young and New Fortress Energy. Property amenities include a conference center, fitness center and covered amenity deck.

While Blackstone is busy cementing its commitment to Miami, other high-profile names — including Icahn Enterprises, Elliott Management Corporation and Blumberg Capital — have also underscored the city’s draw by moving their headquarters there. In addition to its booming economy and the lifestyle it promotes, Miami offers plenty of perks for big companies considering relocating to the area, including low income taxes and no local corporate taxes. 

Two MiamiCentral is located at 700 NW 1st Avenue and comprises a 17-story, Class AA office building plus a 288-stall valet parking garage; while 3 MiamiCentral is located at 161 NW 6th Street and consists of a 4-story office building atop an 8-story parking garage with 33,000 square feet of street-level retail.

“We are pleased to have completed the sale of 2 & 3 MiamiCentral,” Claude Esposito, a vice president in Shorenstein’s investments group, said of the sale in a release yesterday. “This deal is a great example of executing on our thesis of investing in high quality properties in growing markets and adding significant value through leasing and capital improvements. We are proud to have positioned the property for future success and know that the tenants of 2 & 3 MiamiCentral are in good hands with Blackstone Real Estate.”

Natixis officials declined to comment.