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CORAL GABLES, FL-Office condominiums, which had been written off by some as a bygone investment of the downturn, appear to be making a comeback. One stark example is a 4,200-square-foot unit along US 1 here that sold for nearly $1.6 million, or $372 per square foot.

R.C. Chaffin Family Holdings LLC bought the condo from Brown Development Group LLC. The unit is in a private three-story boutique office building with only 10 units along Dixie Highway between Riviera Drive and LeJeune Road.

“This is a pretty unique situation,” John Crotty, senior vice president with Miami-based Colliers Abood Wood-Fay, tells GlobeSt.com. For one thing, he says, the condo comes fully equipped with upscale amenities such as leather furniture and flat-screen TVs that amount to $150 per square foot in tenant improvements.

Crotty, who worked with colleague David Metalonis in representing the seller, says Brown Development wanted to move to a smaller space while the buyer, which had been leasing space, saw the unit as a great value. The unit includes five private offices, three large executive spaces, two conference rooms, a reception area and 14 assigned parking spaces. Randy Olen with Holly Sime Realty represented Chaffin in the transaction.

Office condos within the Miami market typically sell for between $200 and $250 per square foot, and usually to individual buyers rather than institutional investors, according to Crotty. This particular unit’s price was helped by its desirable location and its amenities package, he says.

“I would definitely call this a private-client market,” Crotty says. “They understand local real estate and they’re looking for opportunities.”

Sales of office condos could be helped by availability of capital, a willingness by banks to sell units they currently hold and greater optimism that the real estate cycle has finally bumped bottom, he says. “We are seeing a bit of an uptick in interest.”

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