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DORAL, FL-Locally based developer Dolphin Boulevard LLC has begun construction on a $9-million shopping center. The 30,000-sf Dolphin Plaza will be completed in late fall 2008.

The project is under way on the southeast corner of the intersection of NW 112th Avenue and NW 17th Street, across from the Dolphin Mall. Coral Gables, FL-based Beame Architectural Partnership is the project architect; Fortex Construction, also a local firm, is the general contractor.

Jose Perez De Corcho of Dolphin Boulevard LLC tells GlobeSt.com that the project is aimed at providing services to those who work at Dolphin Mall and live in Doral, which is experiencing a tremendous amount of growth in recent years. “We’re looking for an upscale supper club to be located on the second floor of the project with the first floor being dedicated to typical service-type retailers,” De Corcho says.

“Dolphin Mall is the largest mall in Miami-Dade County and it’s an extremely popular mall,” De Corcho says. “Our project is meant to serve as an alternative to the mall.”

Victor B. Suvall & Associates LLC of Doral is leasing the project. According to De Corcho, there are no signed leases in place as yet. Projected rents aren’t being released, but industry experts say the Doral market is averaging about $30 per sf.

According to CB Richard Ellis, the South Florida market in the third quarter continues to show low vacancy rates for retail space, averaging only 6% combined for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Researchers say the combined average rent is $27.12 per sf, triple net and it’s continuing to rise as property owners take advantage of tight market conditions and pass along costs to tenants. Retail completions in South Florida could total about six million sf before the year ends, with 3.3 million sf in the pipeline for the next two years.

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