MIAMI-Key Colony Plaza, a 30,527-square foot mixed-use propertyin the village of Key Biscayne, was recently sold to a Canadianinvestor based in Nova Scotia for $13.7 million. The seller wasTesaurus Holdings, whose principal, Fritz Scharenberg, also ownscommercial real estate in Europe, says Christian Johannsen, seniorvice president at Colliers International in Miami, who representedthe seller.

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Key Colony, which was built by Scharenberg, opened inAugust 2008. The property has 12,000-square feet of retail,12,000 square feet of office and 6,000 square feet of storagespace. Lead tenants include Starbucks, Mount Sinai Medical Centerand Origin Asian Bistro & Sushi. The property was 96% occupiedat closing. The transaction was a cash deal. After a letter ofintent was received by the seller, the sale closed in less than 30days, says Johannsen.

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Scharenberg bought the land for Key Colony Plaza more than tenyears ago, but had difficulty having his plans approved for theproperty, because he had wanted to put 42 apartments and seventownhouses into the mixed-use development and the village masterplan did not permit residential units in a commercial district. Theoriginal project was to be known as the Key Colony Village. After aprotracted legal fight, Scharenberg altered his plans for hisproperty.

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“In this market, there’s an investor flight to safety,” saysJohannsen, referring to the recent sale of Key Colony Plaza. “Thebuyer was attracted to this property based on its location andquality,” he says. “It’s a triple A asset in a land-constrainedenvironment with extraordinary high demographics.”

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Key Biscayne is an island community just a few miles fromMiami's Brickell Avenue. It has an average median household incomeof $150,000, says Johannsen. President Richard Nixon had awinter home on Key Biscayne, which has a full time registeredpopulation of a little over 10,000. That population balloonsto roughly 40,000 in the winter tourist season, saysJohannsen, although the village also enjoys an influx of “snowbirds which come from south of the border in the summer,” whenSouth America is in its winter season, he says. The area wasthe site of a coconut plantation in the first half of the20th Century.

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