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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

MIAMI GARDENS, FL-DZD Holdings, a Miami-based boutique investment firm, has finalized plans to develop Palmetto Gardens Plaza, a 108,000-sf retail shopping center, including a 20,000-sf outparcel. Originally the firm considered a multi-use project for the site, but has decided that the development will focus on retail.

“We were looking at creating a residential/commercial project—a city center with possible office space,” Zvi Shiff, CEO of DZD Holdings, tells GlobeSt.com. “At this point in time it doesn’t seem feasible as a project in that city, and so we’ve gone with a retail shopping center. We’re working with the city to create something that’s also providing for locals, not only big-box shops that already exist around the area.”

Stores such as City Furniture, El Dorado, Rooms To Go, high-end car dealerships and BrandsMart USA currently line the Palmetto Expressway. DZD Holdings plans to create a lifestyle center that will provide more services to the local community such as retail banks, restaurants, drug stores and apparel outlets.

Leasing for the project has begun, with flex space spanning 1,500 to 20,000 sf with prices ranging between $24 to $32 per sf. “We have one major retail tenant that is not yet announced taking 23,000 sf,” Shiff tells GlobeSt.com.

Financing for the project was secured last June, as reported by GlobeSt.com , in the amount of a $19.8-million loan from National City Bank. Macken Realty is the exclusive leasing agent, Vercon Construction is the general contractor and Behar Font & Partners are the architects for the project. Construction is set to begin in the third quarter and is scheduled to be complete in 14 to 18 months. The property is located at 3791 NW 197th Street, convenient to both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Within Miami-Dade County, DZD Holdings also owns a multi-family complex in Opa-locka called Silver Blue Lakes Apartments and also holds land in Okeechobee, according to Shiff. The company has a portfolio of 1.5 million sf of commercial and residential space in the US, UK and Israel worth nearly $250 million.

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