Sales  ·  office

Black Lion’s Robert Rivani Buys Miami Beach Office for $63M, Plans $50M Renovation

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Black Lion President Robert Rivani wants to create an entirely new office asset class, and his company bought a building in the heart of Miami Beach to do it — albeit at a significant discount.

Hotel developer Rivani paid $62.5 million for The Lincoln at 1691 Michigan Avenue, which features nearly 119,000 square feet of office space and over 43,000 square feet of retail, Black Lion announced. 

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Black Lion will take 5,000 square feet for its new Miami headquarters, which is currently at 1001 Brickell Bay Drive in the city’s Brickell neighborhood. 

The purchase is the largest office trade in Miami Beach since 2016, according to Black Lion. 

Although a spokesperson for Black Lion did not immediately respond to a request for clarification, that 2016 sale was likely when the same property was purchased by an affiliate of Washington, D.C.-based Clarion Partners for nearly $110 million, or roughly 43 percent less than what Black Lion paid. Clarion had planned to sell the building to Starwood Capital in 2022 for $92.5 million, but Starwood pulled out of the deal later that year.

Rivani plans to invest $50 million to reimagine the property, which will be dubbed Rivani, into what he calls a “Class X” building, an ultra-high-end luxury office designed by architecture firm Rockwell Group and interior design firm Escala Forma Studio, according to Black Lion. 

To that end, the reimagined Lincoln will feature attributes commonly found in luxury hotels, such as a spa, concierge, salon, meditation room, fitness center, cafè and even a Japanese-style restaurant and speakeasy bar, according to Rivani.

The project is expected to finish renovations by mid-2025. 

“While luxury residential and hospitality projects push the boundaries of service and experience to attract discerning clientele, office spaces remain conventional, failing to meet today’s expectations. Companies are struggling to entice employees back to the workplace,” Rivani said in a statement. “I see an opportunity to cultivate an environment that isn’t just functional, but genuinely desirable — something people will truly want to be a part of.” 

The showy Rivani — who decked out his old home with a “Harry Potter”-themed room and a replica “Game of Thrones” chair — wasn’t exactly humble about his plans for his office project, claiming it will “set a new standard for the entire industry.”

Christian Lee and Sean Kelly of CBRE represented Clarion in the sale, while Jeremy Hakala, Clay Sidner and Brandon Shores of Newmark represented Black Lion. Other tenants at the property include Apple, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, Morgan Stanley and Coldwell Banker.

“This transaction stands out as a milestone in South Florida’s commercial real estate industry, underscoring Black Lion’s confidence in the area’s office and retail sector,” Hakala said in a statement.

Rivani and Black Lion have been busy in South Florida in recent years. Black Lion listed a pair of high-end Miami restaurant properties last summer with a $55 million asking price, or nearly double what it paid for them in 2021. The company, meanwhile, purchased a separate high-end Mediterranean restaurant, called Gaia, in Miami Beach earlier in 2023 for an undisclosed price

Nick Trombola can be reached at ntrombola@commercialobserver.com.