South Florida

  • Oct
    6

Ram Acquires Doral Site

October 6, 2015

via The Real Deal, by Katherine Kallergis

On the heels of selling a newly completed apartment community in downtown Boca Raton, Ram, a real estate development, management and investment company, has closed on a new development site, records show. And the seller is tied to a Salvadoran billionaire family.

Ram Columbia Doral, an affiliate of the Palm Beach Gardens-based company, paid $19 million for the 17-acre property at 2520 and 2611 Northwest 84th Avenue. Avante Limited, tied to Transal Corp., was the seller, according to Miami-Dade County records. Eduardo Poma is listed on the seller’s corporate records.

The Poma family of El Salvador owns Grupo Poma, an automotive, real estate, industrial and hotel company. Salvadoran billionaire Ricardo Poma was an original investor in Bain Capital.

Ram, which operates in the Southeastern United States, also closed on $48 million in financing for the parcels. PNC Bank is the lender. The firm has plans for a 332-unit, Class-A garden apartment community on the site, according to a press release. The one, two and three-bedroom units will be spread throughout 13 three-story buildings. Amenities will include two pools, green space, a gym, business lounge and condo-quality finishes.

The development site surrounds a cul de sac. The InterContinental at Doral Miami Hotel, at 2505 Northwest 87th Avenue, is sandwiched by the two properties. The hotel was not included in the sale. Previous sales information for the properties was not available.

KAST Construction will break ground this month. Units will be delivered in early 2017, according to Ram.

“The whole purpose of this project is to provide Class-A apartment opportunities for people who work in Doral,” Hugo Pacanins, managing director of residential development at Ram, said in a statement. “People commute from all corners of south Florida to work in Doral, creating immense traffic problems. Intercontinental Village will help alleviate those issues.”

Doral has seen an influx of big name tenants and new developments this cycle. Its urban transformation includes the of addition two mixed-use, master-planned communities: Downtown Doral, developed by Codina Partners, and CityPlace Doral, developed by the Related Group, Shoma Homes and Prudential. Sergio Pino’s Century Homebuilders Group is also planning a mixed-use development, Midtown Doral, a four-phase development near the corner of Northwest 107th Avenue and Northwest 74th Street.

Last week, Ram sold the Mark at Cityscape, a 12-story apartment complex with retail and parking, for nearly $82 million.

  • Sep
    30

Ram Sells Newly Built Boca Apartments

September 30, 2015

via The Real Deal, by Sean Stewart-Muniz

Ram Realty Services, a development company based in Palm Beach Gardens, just closed on the $81.74 million sale of its newly built apartment community in downtown Boca Raton.

The community is called the Mark at Cityscape, at 11 Plaza Real South. It’s a 12-story apartment complex with 208 units, 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and an attached parking garage with 686 spaces.

Ram, which finished construction on the complex this month, sold the community to the Monogram Residential Trust, according to Palm Beach County records.

Monogram is a real estate investment trust based in Texas. It specializes in buying and operating multifamily companies and has a portfolio of 54 properties spread throughout 11 states, according to the REIT’s website.

The deal breaks down to $393,788 per unit and $426 per square foot. Both prices set state records for a multifamily rental sale, according to data from commercial brokerage CBRE, which represented Monogram for the sale.

Asking rents at the building are also some of the highest in Palm Beach County, averaging $2,320 per unit. At the time of the sale, Ram said the apartments were nearly 80 percent leased.

The Mark is part of a 4.5-acre development site in the heart of downtown Boca, which Ram has owned for the last nine years. It’s split into three parts: a roughly one-acre parcel where the Kolter Group is building a Hyatt-branded hotel, another one-acre parcel where the Palmetto Park office building sits, and the 2.3-acre site where Ram built the Mark apartments.

Ram first purchased the property for $42 million in 2006 on behalf of a private equity fund, Ram Realty Partners II. The company’s plans to redevelop the property were halted when the recession hit, but Ram re-launched its apartment project in 2013.

This year, the company re-platted the 4.5 acres into three sections and beginning selling them off. In March, Kolter paid $5.5 million for its one-acre parcel where the Hyatt Place Hotel will be built. And in September, Ram sold the office building for $25.7 million to Kireland Management LLC.

“This investment reflects the benefits of being patient and focusing only on high quality real estate. As a direct result of that focus and a conservative capitalization structure, we were able to hold the asset through a difficult economic environment and ultimately deliver a project that benefited our investors and the community,” Ram CEO Casey Cummings said in a statement. “While we have a high level of confidence in the long-term prospects for Boca Raton, we were fortunate to have received a compelling inquiry from a high quality institution like Monogram. We continue to look for other similar opportunities throughout South Florida.”

  • May
    7

Ram and Pinnacle Announce Development of Sheridan Station

May 7, 2015

  • Ram and Pinnacle announce redevelopment of former mobile-home park in Hollywood, Fla.
  • Sheridan Station is a 336-unit luxury rental community with a 6-acre public park
  • Demolition to begin immediately; construction to commence thereafter

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.—May 7, 2015—Ram Realty Services, a leading developer and real estate investment manager throughout the Southeast, and Pinnacle Housing Group, a leading multifamily developer who has built over 6,000 units in the past 17 years in Florida, Texas and Mississippi, announce the joint-venture development of Sheridan Station. The luxury apartment community will replace an existing 21-acre mobile home park located just west of I-95 between Sheridan Street and Taft Street in Hollywood, Fla. Demolition of existing structures will begin immediately, followed by start of construction.

Sheridan Station is the first large Class A apartment development in the City of Hollywood in nearly 15 years. This transit-oriented community provides immediate access to the Tri Rail and I-95, and close proximity to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. When complete, Sheridan Station will comprise one, two and three-bedroom units. It will also include a spacious clubhouse with a large outdoor pool, fitness center, playground and pet areas. The project includes a 6-acre public park that will be built by the developer and dedicated to the City of Hollywood.

“We worked extensively with the neighboring community and the City of Hollywood officials to create a very thoughtful apartment community. Through close coordination with an arborist, hundreds of existing mature trees across the entire site will be preserved—particularly the natural canopy that exists today in the location of the future park,” said Eran Landry, a developer at Ram.

“South Florida residents are embracing mass transit and we are meeting rising demand by building transit-oriented developments and communities,” said Mitch Friedman, partner at Pinnacle Housing Group. “Sheridan Station will offer high-end apartments close to Tri Rail and I-95, making it easy for residents to commute to work.”

The general contractor is Kaufman Lynn.

About Ram

Founded in 1978, Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and residential properties in the Southeast. The group also selectively acquires debt secured by retail and residential properties.  Ram is currently investing Ram Realty Partners III LP, a value-added fund targeting retail and multifamily properties in select high growth markets in the Southeast.  Since 1996, the company has deployed $1.7 billion in real estate transactions.  Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ramrealestate.com.

About Pinnacle

Pinnacle Housing Group continues to be recognized as an industry leader and multifamily developer in Florida who has constructed and developed over 6,000 units in the past 17 years in Florida, Texas and Mississippi. The firm’s partners, Louis Wolfson III and Mitchell M. Friedman and David O. Deutch are committed to providing high-quality communities that enhance the lives of their residents. Additional information may be found at: www.pinnaclehousing.com.

 

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  • Apr
    27

Ram Sponsors ‘Walk Like MADD 5K’

April 27, 2015

Ram Employees and their family participated in the Fort Lauderdale "Walk Like MADD 5K on Sunday."

Ram Employees and their family participated in the Fort Lauderdale “Walk Like MADD 5K” on Sunday.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – April 27, 2015 – Ram Realty Services sponsored the “Walk Like MADD” 5K in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, April 26. The walk took place along the Las Olas Riverwalk and is just one of hundreds of walks across the country put on by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in an effort to end drunk driving crimes. Employees of Ram showed their support by walking in the 5K and donating to MADD, ultimately raising $1,388 for the organization. In total, the event raised over $175,000.

Money donated to MADD is used for victim services, as well as drunk driving awareness, education and prevention.

About Ram

Founded in 1978, Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and residential properties in the Southeast. The group also selectively acquires debt secured by retail and residential properties.  Ram is currently investing Ram Realty Partners III LP, a value-added fund targeting retail and multifamily properties in select high growth markets in the Southeast.  Since 1996, the company has deployed $1.7 billion in real estate transactions.  Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ramrealestate.com.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. For more information, visit www.madd.org.

 

  • Apr
    21

Apartment project proposed in Doral industrial park

April 21, 2015

By Brian Bandell, Senior Reporter via South Florida Business Journal

The trend of converting South Florida office park land to residential could continue as Doral considers an apartment proposal by Ram Realty.

Ram Dev, an affiliate of Peter D. Cummings’ Ram Realty in Palm Beach Gardens, wants to build Intercontinental Village, a 332-unit apartment complex in the Transal Business Park. The company has the 16.4-acre site under contract with current owner Avente Ltd.

Transal Business Park is zoned industrial, although it has a hotel and a restaurant that are considered compatible uses for the business park.

The property that could go residential is located on the south side of Northwest 27th Street at Northwest 84th Avenue. That’s next to the Intercontinental at Doral hotel.

A handful of other industrial and office properties in Doral have residential development plans pending.

  • Apr
    14

That village vibe: South Floridians embracing developments with residential, retail units

April 14, 2015

By Johnny Diaz via the Sun Sentinel

South Florida is feeling the village vibe.

The Manor at Flagler Village in Fort Lauderdale, The Mark at CityScape in Boca Raton and other soon-to-come, residential-retail complexes are adding to a growing urban sprawl, as people look to move into the greater downtown areas and enjoy shops and restaurants just a short walk away from their doorsteps.

“We were seeing a suburban model for so many years. People are shifting back to the city center,” said Barbara Blake Boy, executive director of the Broward County Planning Council. “I think it’s an attraction to the amenities and what the downtowns have to offer.”

CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton, The Venture in Aventura and The Residences at the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables all have led the way toward more of these mixed-use developments. Developers and analysts agree there is demand for complexes with businesses on the ground floor and residential units above.

The 12-story Via Mizner, which will have luxury residential rental units and shops, is under construction at the corner of Federal Highway and Camino Real.

And later this year, The Related Group, which developed The Manor at Flagler Village, is expected to break ground on West Palm Beach Marina Village. The mixed-use development would feature six towers of 1,059 units, 15,000-square feet of restaurants and 10,000 square feet of retail stores, according to the developer.

Agave Ponce LLC has proposed building a Mediterranean Village on the former Old Spanish Village site on Ponce Circle in Coral Gables.

Some South Florida architecture experts say these urban complexes stand out in style and function, contrasting with what’s traditionally been built in the region.

“What’s really important about these new buildings is their relationship to the city,” said David Rifkind, an associate architecture professor at Florida International University, in an email. “They engage the city, rather than wall themselves off from it.

“Many of these complexes include ground-level retail [shops and restaurants] that foster a lively street life, and create public spaces open to both residents and non-residents. That creates the kind of rich, vibrant community that we see in the Art Walks in FAT Village, and which are typically missing in developments.”

Jeffrey Huber, an assistant architecture professor at Florida Atlantic University, thinks the region is seeing more of these mixed-use developments “because the market, like municipalities, are rediscovering ‘walkable urbanism’ … Homebuyers are willing to spend more to be within a certain distance of urban retail development, and the market is merely reacting to this demand.”

At The Manor at Flagler Village, flags hang off street poles touting “Beach, Urban, Chic.” The development has a beachside resort-type feel but is blocks away from downtown Fort Lauderdale skyscrapers. It has a clubhouse, fitness center, and daytime music playing on the speakers above the pool (as well as underwater).

New residents Dennis and Amanda Weiss say they moved to South Florida from just outside Houston, Texas, seeking a warmer climate and a close proximity to the beach and downtown. They found The Manor online and liked “the amenities, the pool, the fitness center, the restaurants going up,” said Dennis Weiss, 25. “It’s like a luxury community.”

Open since last summer, the complex off Federal Highway and Northeast Fifth Terrace offers luxury studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, with monthly rent starting at $1,700.

There’s also a courtyard with towering bamboo trees and a fire pit, creating a Zen-like garden. Colada Cuban Coffee House and Eatery and the Mellow Mushroom pizza place are scheduled to open next month, developers say. A nail and hair salon and a craft beer bar also are in the plans.

“It creates a village for people, for pedestrians to walk around and shop and enjoy the nightlife as well,” said Arturo Peña, vice president and development manager at The Related Group.

“We definitely think it’s sprawl, it’s urbanism, people who want to be able to walk to the grocery store, walk to retail and not rely on their car,” added Peña, whose complex is 80 percent full. It sits next-door to another new complex, The Edge at Flagler Village, which has 331 units.

In Boca Raton, the 12-story Mark at CityScape is expected to officially open in May with 208 units and more than 18,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space on the ground level, according to the developer. Staying true to Boca Raton’s traditional Addison Mizner style of architecture, the white-hued complex features a Spanish red-tiled roof.

The development has allowed some residents to move into their studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units in March, with rents averaging $2,100 a month. Officials for the developer, Ram Realty Services, said they are negotiating leases with a yoga studio and restaurants for the ground floor.

Mixed-use developments are attracting a diverse mix of folks, said Hugo Pacanins, a managing director of residential development at Ram Realty Services.

“You have some younger professionals that work in Boca or close to Boca and they don’t want to live out west. And you have an older population, empty-nesters who don’t want to live in the big house in West Boca,” he said.

“A lot of people are downsizing from big homes and moving into downtown locations because they want to have the ability to walk to the restaurants or walk to Trader Joe’s … They are willing to sacrifice the space, the size of the unit, to live in a downtown location,” Pacanins added. “We are trying to create a destination.”

Johnny Diaz can be reached at johnnydiaz@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4939.

  • Apr
    9

New Apartments offer lofty living in West Palm Beach

April 9, 2015

By Alexandra Clough – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Click here to read the article on PalmBeachPost.com 

What once was a historic telephone building now is home to an airy loft apartment building, the first of several new apartment projects set to
open in downtown West Palm Beach.

Final touches are being made to Alexander Lofts, an 85-unit converted loft building at 326 Fern Street set for occupancy in May. The historic property, previously known as The Meridian, was built in 1926 for Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph as a regional office headquarters. Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram purchased the building and an adjacent property for $5.25 million in 2012.

Ram converted the Meridian building into apartments and renamed the six-story property Alexander Lofts, after telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell. In tribute to the property’s origins, a mural on the east-facing exterior wall is a a colorful surrealist portrait of Bell. The mural was completed last year by Los Angeles artist Tristan Eaton, who used 600 cans of acrylic spray paint over 15 days to create the artwork.

When Ram bought the property three years ago, Ram chairman Peter Cummings said the goal was to create apartments “very different from new construction.”

It appears he succeeded.

The converted loft apartments feature adaptable open space. This means there no interior bedroom doors, just walls. (Bathrooms do have doors, however.)

Soaring ceilings, some as high as 15 feet, neutral color palates and industrial features, such as exposed ductwork, blend the historic elements of the building with modern finishes, such as glass-and-marble backsplash in the kitchen.

The property consists of studios, one and two-bedroom apartments. Rental rates still are being finalized.

But Hugo Pacanins, managing director of multifamily for Ram Realty Services, said monthly rents will start at $1,350. The building is pet friendly and has Wi- Fi throughout.

Reminders of the 1926 building’s historic roots are everywhere. Some units have original, 10-foot transom windows. Exposed brick decorates the lobby. Even the lobby’s modern ceiling light fixtures, large orbs lit in white and yellow, resemble the telephone assembly of rotary phones.

Pacanins said the goal was to create apartment space that was bright and neutral, to allow the apartments to be a “canvas” for tenants.

Back in 2012, Cummings said the cost of the Alexander Lofts redo could equal the purchase price.

In fact, Pacanins said, the conversion was about double the $5.5 million purchase price. Construction challenges, including piping, electrical and even exterior pavement issues were among the reasons for the added expenses, which sometimes take place with historic properties, Pacanins said.

In any event, Ram finally is at the finish line with the lofts. Plans are to start leasing in about two weeks, Pacanins said.

More WPB apartments
Farther north in downtown, the first apartment complex that is all brand-new construction is moving along well. The first residents are expected to be in Loftin Place by October, according to the developer. Loftin Place is between North Dixie Highway and North Olive Avenue, with Sixth Street on the south and Eucalyptus Street bordering the north side of the property. The first phase is in progress, with 259 planned studios, one- and twobedroom apartments, said Nader Salour, a principal with Cypress Realty in Jupiter. Leasing for the first completed units in this phase will start in May or June. When the property’s second phase is completed, Loftin Place will consist of 463 units.

Alexandra Clough writes about the economy, real estate and the law.