(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

CORAL GABLES, FL-Amid a deepening recession and rising vacanciesin the real estate market, a new $130-million, Mexican-backedproject has been announced for the local office market. The 396Alhambra project is set to feature 285,000 square feet of class Aoffice space, with 20,000 square feet of retail on the ground floorof an 850-space parking structure. The project is expected to reachfull completion by spring 2011.

The entities behind the development company, 396 Alhambra LLC,are CEO Hector Fernandez and Eddie Avila, principal and managingmember who is also president of Key Realty Advisors. Backed byMexican investor Agave Florida Investments LLC, the real estate armof popular tequila brand Jose Cuervo, the project has been in themaking for the past three years since the two-acre site at 396Alhambra was purchased. Development will begin in February with therefurbishment of an existing 100,000-square-foot office building onthe site, followed by the demolition of a parking structure there.Space at the renovated building should be ready for occupancy byspring 2010, says Avila. Ground breaking on a 15-story buildingwill begin once the market improves, according to developers.

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