MIAMI-While Dr. M. Lee Pearce says he had “offers for much more money,” he has sold a city block of land in Miami’s CBD to Miami Dade College for $24.8 million. The price equates to close to $219.47 per sf for the 113,000-sf, approximately 2.6-acre property–not bad for the college in an area where property is said to be going for $250 or more per sf. The seller is land investment company Dade Holdings Inc. as trustee.Miami Dade College plans to use the land to expand of its Wolfson Campus Downtown–the college’s third-largest of its eight campuses and also the fastest-growing campus “because of the large influx of Hispanics,” says source. Currently, about 20,000 students attend the College. Wolfson Campus enrollment in the last three years has increased more than 50%.Pearce, a local entrepreneur and principal of the seller, assembled this block mainly in the 1980s and did not need to sell now, says a source. However, “The college had been after him for years to try and buy it,” she says. “He’s always done a lot for the community. I think they just appealed to him.” It was a much needed purchase for the college, which is “bursting at the seams,” the source says. At the same time, “He didn’t give it away.” Miami-Dade County property appraiser records show he paid about $12 million total for the parcels contained in the city block.The sale puts an end to hopes of other developers purchasing the land. “Developers have been after him for years to sell” the property, she notes.Ben S. Moss, a broker with Taylor & Mathis, located on Brickell Avenue in Miami, says land is scarce in the city’s central business district. “Anything fronting Biscayne Boulevard, it’s all being snapped up,” he says. “It’s a very tight market.” Given those dynamics, says Moss, it’s no surprise that the price is “by far the highest I’ve seen in that area.”College president Eduardo J. Padron said in a statement: “It’s prudent that the college invest now since open land Downtown is diminishing rapidly.”

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