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MIAMI-Broward Yacht had the winning bid of $28 million at the Aug. 10 auction of the 337,000-sf Miami Arena in Downtown. The price represents nearly $83.12 per sf.Sperry Van Ness/Fisher Auction Co. Inc. auctioned the 4.7-acre property, located at 721 N.W. 1st Ave., in a 31-minute auction between two parties, according to Louis B. Fisher III, who handled the auction. The other bidder was Hank Sopher, who prior to the auction inked a contract to buy the arena for $25 million and didn’t expect anyone to outbid him, according to Fisher.”They were two very sophisticated investors vying for a position to see who would be the last one standing,” Fisher says. Typically, such an auction would take about seven to 10 minutes, he adds. The arena auction was broken down into $10,000 increments. “You have to take your hat off to these two guys, because they knew what they were doing.” Broward Yacht’s president, Glenn Straub, represented the company at the auction.Appraisals of the 16-year-old Miami Arena from two independent commercial appraisal firms that the city hired were scheduled to be opened Aug. 11; however, they remained sealed for the auction, Fisher adds.The Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority, which the Miami City Commission founded in 1983, has been the owner and operator of the Miami Arena. Its board is scheduled to vote Aug. 13 on the approval of the sale.Broward Yacht plans to use the arena for 100 to 105 events per year that would be too small for the AmericanAirlines Arena–built for the Miami Heat–a few blocks away. Events the company plans to hold include conventions and boat, car and horse shows, Fisher says.”I think he’s got a wonderful concept, particularly if he’s going to be embraced by the city,” says Fisher. He adds that Straub indicated that he saw a synergy between the Miami Arena and the AmericanAirlines Arena.In all, 13 parties bought the $280 information package that interested bidders had to buy before the auction. The Miami Arena is the former home of the NBA’s Miami Heat and the NHL’s Florida Panthers. The property, zoned C1-Restricted Commercial, could have accommodated up to 300 multifamily units an acre.

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