Chinese investors buy Miami site for $74.7 million

An affiliate of China Communications Construction Company U.S. International purchased a block-size site in the red-hot Brickell neighborhood for $74.7 million, in its first major bet on Miami.

Plans for what will be built on the 2.4-acre site at 1430 S. Miami Avenue aren’t yet complete, according to Dr. Shan-Jie Li, chief executive officer of American Da Tang Group Co. Ltd. in New York. American Da Tang, he said, is working closely with CCCC as the Chinese firm’s U.S. representative on the venture.

In an interview conducted through an interpreter, Li said the new owners are in the process of researching what type of development to pursue and could end up with a mixed-use project that includes condominiums, hotel and office elements. As their first project in Miami, Li added, he wants the development to be “a landmark.”

The buyer of the land is listed as a newly formed Delaware entity, CCCC International USA LLC.

The seller was Teca Group Investments GP LLC, which controlled 1430 SMA LLLP, the limited liability limited partnership that owned the land. Teca Group is managed by Elias Cababie Daniel, a Mexican.

The property is located between 14th Street and 14th Terrace and South Miami Avenue and Southwest First Avenue. The transaction closed on Dec. 26.

In the last development cycle, Cabi Developers had planned to build two towers on the site, but Li said the Chinese group doesn’t intend to pursue those plans and instead is starting with a clean sheet.

American Da Tang Group, which caters to wealthy Chinese interested in U.S. real estate investment, health care, visa assistance, and the like, made an earlier foray into Miami with its Da Tang Longevity Club.

The Longevity Club has an agreement with Elite Health in Miami Beach, which provides concierge health care services, Li said.

Li’s translator said he has a comprehensive plan to make Miami “a hospitable city for Chinese travelers and investors.”

He said the recent U.S.-Chinese reciprocal agreement to issue business and tourist visas valid for 10 years in lieu of visas that expire in one year will foster more Chinese visitors and investors.

With the Brickell acquisition, the Chinese are coming to an area that is Ground Zero for Miami’s latest condo boom, with a host of high-rise condominiums under construction and in the planning stages in the vicinity.

Indeed, Peter Zalewski, an expert in Miami’s condo market who writes a column for the Miami Herald, said the Chinese are late to the game to consider building in the current cycle.

“There are 17 towers and 5,300 units going up just in the 12-block stretch,” Zalewski said. “It’s overwhelming.”

A few blocks north of the site, Swire Properties, the U.S. real estate arm of a prominent Hong Kong firm that has deep roots in Miami, is well along in the construction of Brickell City Centre. That complex is a mixed-use project that will have more than $1 billion in condominium, hotel, office and retail space that has served as a magnet for other development in the neighborhood, which is evolving into a work-live-play center.

Saurce: http://www.miamiherald.com