Sales  ·  Land

13th Floor Under Contract To Buy Historic Brickell Church

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It’s official: 13th Floor Investments and Key International are under contract to buy a historic Presbyterian Church in Miami’s Brickell district.

Initial development plans include building an 80-story luxury condo tower onto the surface parking lot of the First Miami Presbyterian Church, which faces Biscayne Bay, and a building that houses a religious school. The church, built in 1949 and designated as a historical landmark in 2003, would remain.

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“All parties look forward to a continuing partnership to develop this one-of-a-kind project and sharing their vision with the community as notable progress is made,” according to a statement from the development team. A spokesperson for the developers declined to comment on when the deal would close. 

The 3.4-acre site, located at 609 Brickell Avenue, is one of the last vacant pieces of land in the popular Miami district, where condo units sell for millions. 

The pending deal comes after years of wrangling between the Miami-based developer and the congregants of the church. Some members had opposed the deal, first valued at $240 million, but ultimately the 150-person congregation voted in favor of selling the land in 2021.

Last month, the Miami-based developers and the congregation, one of Miami’s oldest, entered into a “transaction and development agreement,” according to a new filing in Miami-Dade County, first reported by The Next Miami

Under the agreement, reported by the Miami Herald in 2021, the congregation would be entitled to 90,000 square feet of space in the new building, 148 parking spaces, and a small park. As compensation, it would receive $48 million in cash, 15 percent of condo sales, pegged at $125 million, as well as a percentage of sales from the restaurant on the ground floor.

The document filed in Miami-Dade County does not provide the exact terms and conditions of the sale, divulging only “the developer’s obligation to construct the project on the property in accordance with the terms of the agreement.” 

In recent years, First Miami Presbyterian Church had run into financial issues, including a $7 million tax bill in 2018 because it used some of its land for for-profit purposes. 

A representative for First Miami Presbyterian Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com