Sales  ·  Retail

Low-Rise Retail Building in South Beach Sells for Nearly $9M

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A historic property in Miami Beach changed hands for the first time since its completion in the 1930s.

The Matthews family sold the single-story retail building at 1401 Washington Avenue in South Beach for $8.5 million. 

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The buyer is 215 Building Corporation, whose directors include Eduardo Botte, Laura Irene Palermo and Enrique Marcelo Seisdedos, according to state corporate records. Martin Bravo of Apex Capital Realty, who represented the buyer, described the entity as a partnership from Argentina, but declined to provide additional details. 

The group closed the deal thanks to a 1031 tax exchange, using the proceeds from a parcel sale in Edgewater at 230 and 246 NE 33rd Street, the broker said. A 1031 exchange allows sellers to defer capital gains taxes if they buy another property within a designated time frame.  

The buyers have no intention of redeveloping the Washington Avenue property, which sits on a site at the corner of 14th Street covering about one-third of an acre, said a representative for Apex Capital Realty. 

The Matthews family has owned the South Beach building since it was completed in 1935. 

After losing much of his wealth in the Great Depression, James Matthews used his remaining funds to buy parcels in South Beach, Frank Holder, Matthews’ nephew, told Commercial Observer. 

The investor then leased the sites to operators who developed them. One became the historic Hotel Greystone on Collins Avenue, which the Matthews family sold in 2007, and the other became the 1401 Washington Avenue property.

About three decades ago, the Matthews family sold the Washington Avenue ground lease to an entity tied to the Praschnik family, which leased up the property. The 12,397-square-foot building is now occupied by nine tenants, which include La Sandwicherie and Tattoos by Lou.

The $8.5 million sale price covers the building and also eliminates the ground lease, giving the buyers full control of the property.

“We just felt like now was the right time to sell. The lessee wanted to sell as well because they still had some equity in it. They had 15 years left on the lease,” Holder explained. “We reached a point where the 8.5 [million dollars] covered what we wanted out of the property and what the leaseholders wanted for their leasehold agreement.”

Mary Roman of Southern Signature Realty represented both seller and the leaseholders. 

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com.