Related Group Scores $328M From Bank OZK to Build Baccarat Residences in Brickell

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Related Group and GTIS Partners scored $328 million from Bank OZK (OZK) to build the uber-luxury Baccarat Residences in Miami’s Brickell district, nabbing one of the largest South Florida construction loans this year, Commercial Observer has learned. 

The 75-story development will house 355 condo units, including eight penthouses, at 99 SE Fifth Street, facing the Miami River to the west of Brickell Avenue. The 848-foot-tall project, which launched in 2021, is now more than 95-percent pre-sold, valuing the total sellout at over $1 billion, according to a spokesperson for Related, Miami’s largest condo developer. 

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“From breaking ground last October, to now closing this loan, our vision for a skyline-defining property is quickly becoming a reality,” Jon Paul Pérez, President of Related Group, said in a statement. “We’d like to thank our lender, Bank OZK, and our various partners for sharing our optimism on the long-term potential of the South Florida market.”

The Berkadia team, led by Scott Wadler, which included Michael Basinski, Mitch Sinberg, Matthew Robbins and Brad Williamson, brokered the debt.

“The tower’s strong pre-sale commitments underscoring Miami’s market fundamentals, coupled with the sponsors’ proven track record of success in the immediate submarket, created a compelling lending opportunity to capitalize Brickell’s most distinguished new address,” Wadler said in a statement.

Jorge Pérez, Related’s chairman and CEO, touted the Arquitectonica-designed Baccarat building as his firm’s “most luxurious product” in Related’s 45-year history. Construction is currently expected to be completed in early 2028.

The floating-rate debt is the latest financing to come from Bank OZK, which has emerged as the most prolific construction lender in South Florida in recent months. Just this week, the Little Rock-based bank closed on a $172 million construction loan for Jackie Soffer’s Turnberry to build a high-rise condominium within the SoLé Mia master development in North Miami.

Since December, Bank OZK has originated more than $1 billion in loans for high-profile developers such as Hines, CMC Group, Fortune International Group, and Oak Row Equities.

Back in 2013, Related and GTIS purchased the 4-acre Brickell site for $104 million. Last year, the Miami-based developer secured a $164 million loan from Truist Bank to build a separate 44-story rental tower on the same site. 

In the ensuing year, the Baccarat Residences sparked controversy after archeologists found human remains and artifacts from the indigenous Tequesta tribe, some of which are thought to date as far back as 7,000 years. 

The discoveries prompted calls to halt the development to preserve the parcel. As a compromise, the Miami Historic & Environmental Preservation Board designated a portion of the site as a protected archaeological landmark, but granted permission for the developers to proceed.

In return, the partners promised to preserve and display artifacts within the property. There were also discussions of building a tunnel connecting the landmarked Miami Circle park, located just across Brickell Avenue, where 24 post holes were discovered, indicative of a wooden 2,000-year-old structure. But the plans, discussed at a public meeting, are not final.

We “agree that the site should be celebrated and honored. We will work with the city hand in hand on the designation,” Related President Jon Paul Pérez said in a statement in November after the historic designation. 

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com