MIAMI-In a deal closed Dec. 5, Biscayne Development Partners LLC has purchased the 56-acre Buena Vista rail yards here, and plans to develop up to 1 million sf of retail space and thousands of high-rise residential units.

Biscayne Development Partners bought the land from Florida East Coast Railway LLC, a subsidiary of publicly traded Florida East Coast Industries Inc., for $34.5 million.

The property is located between Northeast 29th and 36th streets in the city’s historic Florida East Coast Corridor, which goes along the Florida East Coast rail line south of the city’s Design District and north of its Performing Arts Center.

Buena Vista Yards will have “a significant number of residential units as well as diversified retail space including restaurants and entertainment venues,” said Edie Laquer of Laquer Corporate Realty Group, which brokered the sale.

Seth Gordon, a spokesman for the developer, tells that the residential units will be in separate, “individually developed, but compatible” buildings, not one massive structure. They will not be single-family, and they will be high-rises, but it’s not determined how high.

He said the number of residential units will be in the “low thousands.”

“There’s sufficient space there for tremendous numbers,” Gordon says. “You could comfortably put thousands” of units. When developers get together with the city, they will know more details, he adds.

“This project … will allow for the creation of an entirely new urban neighborhood in an area that has been long neglected,” Miami Mayor Manny Diaz said in a statement.

Architect Bernard Zyscovich, a principal with the Miami-based architectural design and planning firm Zyscovich Inc., created the master plan for the renovation of the corridor’s neighborhoods along with Florida International University and the city of Miami. Zyscovich will guide the project’s development to conform with the FIU/Miami plan.

The city contracted with FIU to project what might go there, and the plan calls for residential and retail, Gordon says. A number of the historic streets that run in the area will be re-opened, he adds.

More than a dozen bids for Buena Vista Yards were received. Buena Vista Yards is one of the largest and most significant undeveloped parcels of land in Miami. For many years, the rail yard linked South Florida to the Eastern Seaboard. The tract’s new owners say the renewed property will help bridge north Miami with downtown to the south.

Biscayne Development Partners LLC is a partnership led by Samuel & Co. and Midtown Equities LLC.

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