MIAMI—The office condo concept continues to pick up steam in a recovering Miamioffice market. The latest project announcementcomes from Riviera Point Development Group andmoves deeper into Miami-Dade County.

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Beyond Tibor Hollo's 2020 Ponce in Coral Gables and Newgard's OneFlagler in Downtown Miami Riviera Point Business Center at Doralwill rise in what has emerged as one of the hottest cities in theregion for new commercial real estate development.The $9.5 million, 41,000-square-foot business center is fundedthrough an EB-5 investment.

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“Doral's population growth means opportunities for smallprofessional firms, international trading companies, insuranceagencies, title companies, marketing and technology businesses toserve a dynamic local community,” says Riviera CEO Rodrigo Azpurua.“Yet the existing supply of new, for-sale officespace for companies needing 2,000 square feet or less isextremely limited.”

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Located at 9000 Northwest 89th Court and Northwest 15th Streetin Doral, the lakefront two-story building has a competitivedifferentiator. Beyond its location, it's also targeting smallbusinesses looking to build equity in first-generation condooffice space. The majority of the 2 million squarefeet of office space approved by the Doral willserve larger space users—the regional, national, and internationalcompanies that have fueled Doral's growth.

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Corrales Group Architects designed the project,which promises to sell at prices comparable to properties builtbefore the economic downturn. Office condos dominated the Miamimarket a few years ago, with about 4 million square feet underdevelopment just before the Great Recession.

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Riviera is doing something right. Fifty-five percent of thecomplex's 825- to 1,530-square-foot office suitesare pre-sold. Construction will begin this month, and he expectscompletion in first-quarter 2016.

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“Now, with the Doral area's leasing rates and construction costsclimbing as the economy strengthens, small companies with stablespace needs are looking at owning their space to control futurecosts,” says Azpurua. The site is located five minutes from MiamiInternational Airport and the Miami Free Zone and also offers quickaccess to Dolphin Expressway/Palmetto ExpresswayInterchange.

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Market conditions support the office condostrategy, with SBA and conventional loan interest rates atappealing levels. There's also a strong culturalcomponent. Many Doral residents are entrepreneurs andprofessionals from Latin America, where it's typical for smallbusinesses to own their office space, according toAzpurua, who was an attorney in his native Venezuela beforeimmigrating to the US with his family in 2001.

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“South Florida is a powerful draw for Latin American investorsfacing economic crisis and political uncertainty in their nations,and Doral has a high profile in Caracas, Bogotá and other keycities,” says Azpurua. His company is among Florida's most activeEB-5 developers. Riviera has three projectsunderway in South Florida via the federal Immigrant InvestorProgram.

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Newgard is also targeting foreign buyers, with Latin Americanstopping the list, according to Harvey Hernandez,chairman and managing director of the development firm. Newgard ispresenting One Flagler as an opportunity to own a piece of DowntownMiami's office market at prices well belowreplacement cost.

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“There is no doubt that demand for luxury condos in Miami amonginternational buyers is high,” Hernandez tells GlobeSt.com. “Werecognized that these buyers—especially those from LatinAmerica—are also used to owning office andcommercial properties in their own countries but have not had manyopportunities to own those types of properties in Miami.”

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