MIAMI BEACH-Office space in Meridian Center, the 60,000-sf building at 1680 Meridian Ave. is going condo, while the first-floor retail space is up for leasing. Grant Savage, VP of the Grubb & Ellis investment services group in Miami, tells, “the office condo sale prices average $290 per sf, and the asking rental rate for retail space is $40 per sf, triple-net.”

The owner, New York City-based Leviev Boymelgreen, a private development company which also has offices in Miami and Toronto, retained Savage and Brian DiRienzo, also a G&E VP, to market the property. Individual suites as well as whole floors are available on floors two through six. Leviev Boymelgreen acquired the facility this June, and it is currently undergoing a full renovation that includes up-to-date systems and newly designed common areas. The project is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in May 2005.

The move toward conversions to office condos in South Florida began in Palm Beach and Broward counties and is now reaching into Miami-Dade. Coral Gables-based Bayview Financial, for example, took the same tack at the 72,000-sf Sony Music building at 605 Lincoln Rd., which is about one block south of Meridian Center. Savage says the advantages of owning versus leasing are driving the recent increase in the office condo market. Meridian Center is within steps of Lincoln Road, City Hall and the Miami Beach Convention Center. Savage says he has already received considerable interest.

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