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CORAL GABLES, FL-IBEX Construction Inc. of New York is weighing the option of opening new offices in the Miami area just as its construction crews begin work on the 200,000-sf Nordstrom Inc. department store in the mixed-use Village of Merrick Park, a Rouse Co. project.

The estimated hard cost of the Nordstrom store is $25 million or about $125 per sf, construction industry estimators tell GlobeSt.com. Completion is tentatively scheduled for fall 2002. The value of the IBEX contract with Nordstrom wasn’t disclosed.

Ibex opened its first office in Fort Lauderdale a year ago when company officials decided to venture further into the South Florida construction market. The company has completed about 250,000 sf of mostly retail-oriented projects in South Florida, though it also is building luxury multifamily properties in Palm Beach County. The company’s work on another Nordstrom retail site in the Boca Raton TowneCenter accounts for about 185,000 sf of the total.

The Coral Gables Nordstrom store is part of the 850,000-sf mixed-use project that Maryland-based Rouse Co. is building on a 20-acre site it leases from the city of Coral Gables.

To expand its reach into South Florida, Frankl says it’s apparent the construction company must establish a more visible presence in the Miami market.”We’re committed to South Florida,” Andy Frankl, IBEX founder and president, tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s a good market for us.”

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