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CORAL GABLES, FL-Within weeks, locally based Talisman Cos. will begin its transformation of Miracle Center at 3301 Coral Way into Miracle MarketPlace, a 247,000-sf stacked big box retail center. The new owner acquired the property for $15 million in 2005, James Schlesinger, Talisman’s president and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com. The cost of redevelopment, he says, is $67 million, including the acquisition. New York City-based Wien & Malkin Strategic Capital IV LP has provided an $11-million mezzanine loan for the project.

Renovation of the seven-story structure, which contains covered parking on the top floors, calls for turning five floors of existing retail space with 10-foot ceilings into three floors with 16-foot ceilings, Schlesinger says, which enables it to accommodate big box retail. The facade is also being redone, and a ramp is being torn out to make way for a double helix to accommodate better parking access. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2007.

It is 98% preleased, according to Schlesinger, with just one 10,000-sf unit still available. Rent rates range between $20 per sf and $45 per sf, depending on the size and terms of leases, he says. The tenants include Marshall’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Office Max, PetSmart, DSW, Michael’s, an Ulta day spa, Sweet Tomatoes, Sal’s Italian Restaurant and Bally’s Fitness Center. The latter is the only carryover tenant from the former Miracle Center.

Schlesinger says the original center was built in 1988 “as a very early iteration of a lifestyle center with a movie theater and restaurants.” In the early 1990s, it lost the General Cinema and restaurants also began to exit.

“It’s a fantastic location at the northern end of the Miracle Mile where motorists head into Coral Gables,” says George S. Perry, SVP and director of investments for W&M Properties, an affiliate of Wien & Malkin. “The demographics for retail are extremely strong, and Talisman has turned a previously failed concept into a very successful one. We’re delighted to be making this preferred equity investment in the project.”

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