MIAMI—Ram Realty Services just closed on 80acres of land and inked a $120 million financing deal for theinitial phase of a mixed-use development project in Miami. Theproject calls for 900 multifamily units and300,000 square feet of retail as part of acommunity dubbed Coral Reef.

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The first phase will see 408 luxury multifamilyunits and 250,000 square feet of retail andrestaurants come online. Wells Fargo is providingfinancing for this $120 million initial phase. Ram says the projectwill ultimately growing to 125 acres.

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Ram plans to break ground on the multifamilyproject within weeks. Mareas at Coral Reef will offer 408apartments on 18 acres of land. Amenities include a swimming pool,volleyball courts, playground facilities, a dog park, and avegetable garden. The remaining 192 multifamilyunits are scheduled for phase two. A separate community, across thestreet from Mareas and yet unnamed, will offer an additional 300multifamily units in a future development.

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“Our residents will be able to shop, choose from among a diversegroup of popular restaurants and enjoy recreational opportunities,all with a reduced reliance on the automobile,” says Ram vicepresident Hugo Pacanins. “With over 30% of theland dedicated as preserve areas, we will offer a uniquecombination of quiet and convenience all in one location.”

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Ram reports strong retail interest, with over 90% of phase onepre-leased. Walmart will anchor the retail with a 158,500 squarefoot Super Center. LA Fitness, Panera, Chick-fil-A, and Chili'shave also signed leases. According to Ram, lease negotiations arealso underway with several leading national retailers. The secondphase of the retail component will include 50,000square feet of regional and national tenants.

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The University of Miami (UM) sold the parcel, which fronts onSouthwest 152nd Street (Coral Reef Drive) and is next to Zoo Miami,south of Kendall. The university had once planned to build a southcampus at the location.

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“As part of our long-term strategy, we both acquire and divestof assets including land,” says Brian Gitlin,assistant vice president for real estate at UM. “Consequently, weare able to divest and plan to use the proceeds for new projects atthe University.”

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