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CocoWalk Changes Ownership Once Again

May 5, 2015

CocoWalk-211Long the cultural and commercial center of historic Coconut Grove, CocoWalk has had a tumultuous history. In less than two decades, the open-air mall has changed hands five times, most recently yesterday, when it was acquired for $18.7 million by buyers lead by Federal Realty Investment Trust.

The Maryland-based company owns an 80 percent stake in the property, which was acquired from PMAT Real Estate Investments, which bought the property during the height of the real estate boom in 2006.

Opened in 1990 to much fanfare, CocoWalk was a resounding success, keeping true to the town’s longstanding reputation for being an artsy and laidback place. But over time, a succession of developers and businesses began to loose touch with the original character of the neighborhood, leading to a decline in both visitors and, thus, tenants.

Although it offers popular venues like Fat Tuesday, Cheesecake Factory, and Cinepolis Movie Theater, CocoWalk currently has one of the highest vacancy rates of any retail center in Miami – one-fifth of its available space is unoccupied. The new owners hope to change this.

According to a press release quoted in the Miami New Times, Federal Realty aims to “integrate the property back into the neighborhood” and “capture the Grove’s vibe”. What this will entail exactly is still unknown, although a renovation of some sort is in the works and one of the aims will be to improve walkability, thus making the pedestrian-friendly mall even more accessible to foot traffic.

In any case, as the New Times observes, venerable Coconut Grove burgeoning. Its attracting trendy local establishments like Panther Coffee and Harry’s Pizzeria, its historic Coconut Grove Playhouse may be do for a re-opening, and renowned architects like Bjarke Ingels and Rem Koolhaas designing pioneering new residential towers.

In other words, like Miami as a whole, the Grove is constantly growing and reinventing itself, and offering a lot of opportunity along the way.

This real estate update was brought to you by Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate expert Matt Crane. To learn more about the amazing opportunities available in the rapidly expanding Miami market, contact (305) 203-0000.

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