Terra’s Martin plans Design District retail project
by Sep Niakan | December 18, 2013
|Terra Group’s David Martin|
Terra Group’s David Martin and retail specialist Michael Comras are teaming up for a new development in Miami’s Design District they hope will create a pedestrian-friendly connection between the district and Midtown Miami, The Real Deal has learned.
A company managed by Martin has a contract to acquire a property at 3635 Northeast First Avenue that would be developed into The District 36. The purchase is expected to close early next month.
Martin and Comras, president and CEO of Miami Beach-based The Comras Company, are finalizing plans for a 60,000-square-foot project geared toward attracting high-end home furnishing retailers seeking showroom space.
Ahead of the closing, the demolition of the existing building is almost finished and a promotional fence wrap for the project surrounds the site.
Martin and Comras are currently working several firms on the project’s design.
“The District 36 fuels both the Design District and Midtown neighborhoods by expanding market demand for high-end home brands in Miami’s hottest retail and design hub,” Martin said in a written statement. “Our partnership with Comras Company allows us to maximize the area’s potential for luxury retail growth.”
Current zoning allows for 110 on-site parking spots and as many as 10 showrooms, according to Comras. The development would also include restaurant space and an art-filled walkway between the Design District and Midtown.
The site “abuts right up against I-195,” Comras told The Real Deal. “There’s nothing currently connecting the Design District and Midtown. This project can transform that area.”
Developer Craig Robins’ firm Dacra has been luring luxury fashion retailers to its $1 billion Design District project. Tenants already on board include Cartier, Hermes and Louis Vuitton.
But the arrival of these high-end retailers is sending many of the traditional district tenants, like home furnishing companies, looking for new locations. Comras said he is in talks with numerous retailers considering a move to The District 36. He has also heard from potential new-to-market tenants.
“I am speaking to many retailers interested in repositioning within the district or Midtown,” he said. “We have spaces starting at 3,000 and 4,000 square feet, so we are able to accommodate small and large tenants.”
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