MIAMI LAKES, FL-Bala Cynwyd, PA-based Keystone Property Group continues with its push in Florida with the $11.4-million acquisition of a 144,000-sf office building at 5875 NW 163rd St. The acquisition price factors out to $79 per sf.

The property, which is currently vacant, used to serve as a check cashing and training facility for Bank of America. Keystone Property Group senior vice president Matt Sigel tells that the property was acquired because it is a well-located asset that requires substantial capital investment. The seller was American Financial Realty Trust. “The seller acquired the property as part of a portfolio and didn’t do much with it,” he says.

Keystone has hired CB Richard Ellis to handle leasing and Colliers Abood Wood-Fay for property management. The company plans to reposition the building for multi-tenant occupation by constructing a new facade with ribbon windows and upgrades to the lobby, AC systems and common areas. Plans also call for demolishing an existing 6,200-sf day care center and increasing the parking ratio to 5.5 spaces per 1,000 sf. Sigel says Keystone plans to spend in excess of $10 million on improvements. Work will begin immediately.

“Our strategy is to begin work before securing a tenant,” he says. “We find that leasing activity picks up when you can see that work in being done.”

The property is located on 10.71 acres four miles west of Interstate 95, just south of the border of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The location has immediate access to the Palmetto Expressway, Interstate 75 and the Florida Turnpike. It is also close to the Opa Locka Airport, Miami International Airport and Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport and is close to amenities such as restaurants, hotels and a golf course.

As reported earlier this month, Keystone is targeting Florida for expansion. The company is turning its focus to value-add opportunities in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, and possibly Jacksonville. This is Keystone’s third acquisition in Florida in recent months. The company has also acquired Pinebrook, a six-building flex/office center in Largo for $11.05 million and the 244,225-sf Dadeland Towers North property for $41.15 million.