Melo Group launches preleasing for latest A&E rental tower

Renderings of Miami Plaza and Carlos and Martin Melo

Renderings of Miami Plaza and Carlos and Martin Melo

The Melo Group is getting ready to open its latest rental project in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District.

Melo launched preleasing of Miami Plaza, a 36-story, 425-unit apartment tower at 1500 Northeast Miami Place, next to the Miami-Dade Metromover School Board Station, according to a press release. Miami Plaza is the fourth multifamily project that Melo has delivered in the A&E District since 2016, with a combined total of more than 2,300 units. The first was the 497-unit Melody Tower in 2016, followed by the 710-unit Square Station in 2018, and the 667-unit Art Plaza development in 2019.

Miami Plaza includes a 70-foot swimming pool, fitness center, lounge, and garage with valet parking. The units will range from one- to three-bedrooms, from 700 square feet to 1,400 square feet. Rents will be between $1,680 a month and $2,800 a month – slightly below the asking rents in projects in nearby areas like Midtown Miami.

The building is expected to open in May, according to the release.

Apartments at Miami Plaza will have floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, energy efficient tinted glass, washers and dryers, ceramic tile and wood flooring, and stainless steel appliances.

Melo financed the construction of Miami Plaza with a $62.7 million loan from BB&T Bank in April. The project has about 7,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

In December, Melo closed on $142 million in refinancing for Art Plaza from Freddie Mac. Art Kitchen, an indoor/outdoor dining promenade at the base of Art Plaza, is expected to open in the summer. The food hall will have 10 restaurant concepts.

Miami-based Melo Group, led by Jose Luis Melo and his two sons Carlos and Martin Melo, is land-banking for the next cycle. Melo paid $28 million for the 1.6-acre block between 18th and 19th streets on the west side of Biscayne Boulevard, also in the A&E District.

Now, Melo is building Downtown 5th, a luxury apartment development with 1,042 rental units in two 51-story towers in downtown Miami, at 55 Northeast Fifth Avenue. The project will also include 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail/restaurant space.

Melo also owns land at 24th Street and Biscayne Bay in Edgewater, where it is planning a two-tower, 800-unit development.

Canvas signs off on $70M loan, plans groundbreaking event

Renderings of Canvas
Canvas, the condominium tower planned for Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District, has signed off on its $70 million construction loan from Bank of the Ozarks, The Real Deal has learned.
NR Investments, developers of the 513-unit project, signed off on the loan on Tuesday, Ron Gottesman, co-founder and principal of NR Investments, told TRD. The funding had been in the works for months.
The 37-story project began construction two weeks ago and is now finalizing excavation. By the end of the week, work on pilings will begin, said NR Investments co-founder and principal Nir Shoshani. “So the 24-month process started last week.”
Canvas is planning a ground breaking ceremony on Feb. 23, with at least 350 guests, as a “celebration for the district,” he said.
Canvas, at 1630 Northeast First Avenue, is now 58 percent sold, with 298 units under contract, Gottesman said. Sales began in October 2014, and the project is now registered in New York.
So far, 50 percent of the buyers are domestic, mostly from New York, with some from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and even Hawaii. The other 50 percent is split between Europeans — from France, Germany, Spain and Italy, as well as Israel — and Latin Americans from Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil. Chinese buyers also bought 12 units, he said.
Canvas has received Fannie Mae approval, which allows qualified domestic buyers to put down as little as 5 percent.
“Our target is the end-user and this is why we insisted on the Fannie Mae approval and are refusing any bulk buyers,” Gottesman told TRD.
The tower is aimed at the “affordable luxury,” segment of the market, with prices ranging from $300,000 to $550,000. Units will range from 620 square feet to 1,150 square feet, and average $483 per square foot, the developers said.
The building, which will include a restaurant by Kevin Aoki — son of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki — is targeting the 30-to-45 year-old sub-market, they said. Fortune International Realty is the exclusive sales and marketing firm for the project.
The tower was designed by CFE Architects. NR Investments paid $7.2 million for 1.1-acre site, which it acquired through an October 2013 bankruptcy auction. The company also paid $4.8 million in impact fees in 2014.
Canvas’ amenities will include sunrise and sunset pools, a fitness center, glass-enclosed racquetball court, spa and sauna treatment rooms, business center, and children’s playroom and lab.
NR Investments last year filed an offering plan with the New York State Attorney General, so that condo units can be legally marketed and sold there. The total listed sell out price for the project is $221 million, according to the documents filed in New York.
Canvas is one of three properties NR Investments owns in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District, the former Omni area north of downtown. Shoshani and Gottesman developed the Filling Station Lofts, an 81-unit rental building at 657 North Miami Avenue. They also own a one-acre parcel between Northeast 14th and Northeast 15th Streets, on which they plan a mixed-use project including hotel, office and residential components.

Source: The Real Deal Miami