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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

AVENTURA-Biscayne Medical Properties LLC has sold a vacant 43,000-square-foot commercial development site to a Mexico City-based group for $5.5 million. The seller bought the vacant land with the intention of finding a developer to buy it, says Michael Stein, managing director of Miami-based Aztec Group, the exclusive representative for the property.

“The new owner plans to construct an office building, and with the proximity to Aventura Hospital [within 1,000 feet] will probably market some of the space to doctors,” Stein tells GlobeSt.com. The site, located on Biscayne Boulevard along the county line between Miami-Dade and Broward across from Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, has been approved for a 70,000-square-foot medical office building.

Bringing any land transaction to closing in this market is unique during the ongoing credit crisis, says Stein, adding that there are very few deals getting done. “There were no complications on this transaction because the buyer paid cash for the site,” he says of the 90-day deal. “Where there’s no financing needed, deals are clearly much easier.”

More importantly, entitlements were already in place on the site that matched the needs of a developer looking to invest long-term, Stein says. “Had they been a speculator looking to build, or one without a long-term strategy, the deal wouldn’t have materialized,” he adds.

CB Richard Ellis reports that market challenges have caused a slowdown of office development in Miami-Dade County this quarter. Research by the brokerage shows many planned projects that were anticipated to break ground in 2008 and 2009 have been put on hold. CBRE reports that Aventura, the market the newly sold site sits in, had third-quarter office vacancy of 10.5%, with only 150,000 square feet currently under development.

In a related note, Aztec Group handled the $5.3-million foreclosure sale of the 122-unit Pelican at Hyde Parc apartment complex in Tampa. Birmingham, AL-based Compass Bank sold the complex to a Michigan-based multifamily owner-operator in an all-cash deal.

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