CUBE Wynwyd, the first office tower to rise in Miami's Wynwood Arts District, won't be the neighborhood's last.
RedSky Capital announced plans this week to build the eight-story building in the heart of the district — a project brokers are welcoming with open arms.
"There is tremendous demand across the board for unique properties that have something to offer," said Tere Blanca, CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, which has been tapped to lease CUBE. "We are constantly receiving inquiries from companies that really want to be a part of that really special neighborhood."
RedSky, a Brooklyn-based development company that has quietly amassed a large portfolio of Wynwood property, plans to break ground in January and deliver in 2018. The company purchased the site for $5.85 million about a year ago, but development plans were secret until now.
Arquitectonica designed the LEED-certified tower, a contemporary structure that will feature a rooftop terrace, ground-floor breezeway and Wi-Fi connected common areas. Retail will occupy the building's street level.
Blanca said her firm is targeting technology and professional services firms, but she expects the property to attract a wide spectrum of tenants.
The Wynwood neighborhood is brimming with hip retail stores and art galleries, its streets lined with tourists and Miamians looking for a taste of homegrown eateries and cafes. A new zoning code has fueled a flurry of activity beyond retail development. More than a dozen projects have been proposed this year, mostly residential.
"What's fascinating to us as brokers is in the past six to nine months corporate America has begun looking there," said Stephen Rutchik, an executive vice president with Colliers International. "The majority of tenants in South Florida and those new to market want to be in a well-amenitized area. That means live, work, play. That's where the urban core is achieving a lot of its success today because the companies are chasing the workforce."
Miami-Dade County's central business district experienced significant office absorption during the third quarter, according to research by Colliers. Vacancy rates range from 16 percent in downtown Miami to 6 percent in Coconut Grove.
When tech companies look at South Florida, the one place they get excited about is Wynwood, said Rutchik, a Miami office broker.
"Certainly, there's enough demand right now to support more than this project," he said.
Joseph Furst, chair of the Wynwood Business Improvement District, said offices are necessary for the neighborhood's growth.
While the community is known for its retail, food and beverage and entertainment experiences, Furst and other stakeholders originally lured people to the once-sleepy industrial district by converting warehouses into creative office space for small companies.
For a city that's trying to grow its economy, investing in new office product is key, and Wynwood is poised to become "the space for creative offices," he said.
CUBE at 222 NW 24th St. will offer 79,548 square feet of office space and 10,155 square feet of retail space. Leasing rates will start at $50 per square foot, Blanca said.
With each floor spanning 11,000 square feet, small-scale companies have the option to occupy a full floor.
"You will see several new office developments over the next five years arrive in Wynwood," Blanca predicted.