For South Florida’s Priciest Properties, Appraisers Deliver Mixed Valuations

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South Florida’s most prominent commercial properties experienced mixed fortunes during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest valuations by county property appraisers.

The value of the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood jumped 26 percent last year, according to the Broward County property appraiser, making it the biggest gainer among the region’s 10 most valuable properties. In another gain, 1101 Brickell, the 2.6 million-square-foot office complex in Miami, rose 10 percent from last year, according to the Miami-Dade County property appraiser.

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The Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, on the other hand, was the biggest loser among the 10 priciest properties. The landmark resort’s value dropped 15 percent as public health restrictions roiled the tourism industry.

Aventura Mall, with a valuation north of $800 million, was the most valuable address in the region.

Florida’s property appraisers are elected officials who establish market values of commercial and residential properties, and the state’s taxing authorities — cities, counties, school boards and other public bodies — collect property taxes based on those valuations.

The owner of The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, for instance, valued at $379 million, can expect to pay $7.8 million in property taxes this year.

The county valuations don’t necessarily match what a property would fetch on the open market. Southeast Financial Center, for instance, sold in 2016 for $517 million, a price well above its valuation for tax purposes.

Here’s a look at 10 of South Florida’s most valuable properties, based on a Commercial Observer analysis of Comprehensive Annual Financial reports filed by the three counties, as well as property valuations released by county property appraisers:

  1. Aventura Mall: The Amazon effect is hammering the traditional retail industry. But the Miami-Dade County property appraiser judged that Aventura Mall’s value jumped from $764.3 million last year to $802.4 million this year. Owned by Turnberry Associates, the high-end mall is anchored by Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.
  2. Town Center at Boca Raton: Another high-end mall, this property’s valuation went the other direction, falling from $617 million in 2020 to $587 million this year, according to Palm Beach County’s property appraiser. The mall is owned by Simon Property Group.
  3. Sawgrass Mills: Another Simon property, this outlet mall held steady, according to Broward County’s property appraiser. Its valuation was $566.6 million, essentially unchanged from last year.
  4. Dadeland Mall: This Simon mall in Kendall saw its valuation jump to $436 million, up 9 percent from $401 million last year.
  5. Diplomat Beach Resort: The oceanfront hotel in Hollywood is worth $434 million this year, up from $344 million in 2020.
  6. Southeast Financial Center: The most valuable non-retail asset on the list, Southeast Financial Center is a 1.2 million-square-foot office tower in Downtown Miami. It’s valued at $412 million this year, up from $402 million last year.
  7. 1101 Brickell: This office complex saw its value rise to $405 million, up from $368 million last year. 
  8. The Gardens Mall: This shopping mall in Palm Beach Gardens saw its value decline to $379 million in 2021, down from $399 million last year. The regional mall is owned by The Forbes Company.
  9. Dolphin Mall: The outlet mall’s value was unchanged, at $361 million. Owned by Taubman, the mall was developed to grab some of the overflow traffic from Sawgrass Mills to the north.
  10. Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel: Formerly owned by Turnberry Associates and now part of the Fontainebleau Development portfolio, this famous hotel saw its valuation fall so far that it almost dropped out of the top 10. It’s now worth an estimated $321 million.

Jeff Ostrowski can be reached at jostrowski@commercialobserver.com.