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New Development Focused on Wellness Opens in Florida

Aventura ParkSquare Envisioned as New Town Center
September 4, 2018
Credit: Integra Investments.

Aventura ParkSquare opened in the past month as a mixed-use project focused on health, wellness and walkability in Aventura, Florida, an affluent suburb north of Miami that’s drawing increasing interest from developers.

Victor Ballestas, principal of Integra Investments, said he expects the 1.2 million-square-foot project on 7.4 acres at Waterways Boulevard and NE 207th Street to serve as a new town center for the community.

It features 131 condominiums ranging in price from $500,000 to $1 million, with about 80 percent of the units sold so far, Ballestas said. Among the amenities are a communal vegetable garden and a fitness center.

The development includes 140,000 square feet of office and medical-office condos, all of which are sold, according to Ballestas.

In addition, it has 55,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, with leasing commitments from a mix of restaurants and fitness-specific retailers. A luxury senior rental tower and a 207-room Starwood Aloft Hotel also are part of the project.

"You’re always looking for some sort of an edge,” Ballestas told CoStar News. “We didn’t want to do something gimmicky, something that would pass. Health and wellness is obviously here to stay.”

Integra selected Zyscovich Architects to design Aventura ParkSquare around the wellness and walkability theme. The firm chose extra-wide sidewalks and open staircases that discourage patrons from using elevators. A tree-lined street and shrubs shade sidewalks to promote pedestrian traffic.

Brokers view Aventura ParkSquare as a key addition to a city made up primarily of Latin American investors, retirees and part-time residents looking for a safe place to park their money.

Jonathan Kingsley, an executive vice president of Colliers International in South Florida, noted that Integra made Aventura ParkSquare different from the Aventura Mall, providing another place for patrons to gather.

“They hit the market right,” Kingsley said of Integra. “It’s very-well executed. All of the components are attractive to the demographics in the area.”

With thousands of new residential units built in Aventura in recent years, developers are proposing offices, office-condos and retail in and near the city.

Jaime Sturgis, founder of Native Realty in Fort Lauderdale, said Aventura’s office market has plenty of potential because it’s a well-to-do, centrally located city.

“Demand is definitely there,” Sturgis said. “I think it’s a ‘you build it, they will come’ scenario.”

But Kingsley, who leases two Class A office buildings in Aventura, pointed out that while Integra has sold all of its office-condos, they typically are a tough sell because owners discover that the cost of building out the space for tenants isn’t economically viable.

He added that over the past decade, only a handful of office tenants larger than 15,000 square feet have entered the market. What’s more, he said, Marriott and other office tenants want to sublease their spaces, but they’ve sat on the market for months with no takers.

Meanwhile, Mexican developer Brom Inmobiliara is building a 272,000-square-foot office tower along Federal Highway in neighboring Hallandale Beach in Broward County, a project that could prove challenging, Kingsley said.

“It’s a concern for a market that has yet to prove that it’s an office location for tenants larger than 10,000 or 15,000 square feet,” he explained.

Paul Owers, South Florida Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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