Developer picks up Coral Gables site of boutique condo project, plans rentals

Buyer will complete rental project within two years, broker says

Palmcorp Development Group sold a boutique condo development site in Coral Gables for $2.55 million to a developer who plans to build rentals instead.

1091 Galiano Investments LLC bought the 24,200-­square­-foot plot at 1091 Galiano Street and 44 Santillane Avenue, listing broker Deme Mekras said. The entity, which is controlled by investor and developer Ricardo Carozzi, paid about $94,000 per buildable unit.

It was on the market with Mekras and Elliot Shainberg, both of MSP Group, for $2.9 million or $107,000 per unit. Mekras said the buyer plans on building the project as planned, which was designed by Lawrence Cohan of BC Architects. The two­-and three-­bedroom units include 24 condos and three townhomes with an average unit size of 1,387 square feet. There are at least two parking spaces per unit, and the project features a pool deck on the ground floor, lobby and parking garage.

Palmcorp, led by Gus De Ribeaux, is working on single-­family home projects in South Miami, Pinecrest, Miami’s Upper East Side and other neighborhoods. Records show a Palmcorp affiliate bought the Coral Gables lots at 1091 Galiano Street and 44 Santillane Avenue out of foreclosure for $1.1 million in 2013.

Mekras, who said the Galiano development site was shovel­-ready, estimated it could sell out for $18 million. “We had lots of interest but it was a development deal, so it was a little bit challenging,” Mekras said, adding that condo is “a four­-letter word” in South Florida.

The buyer, he said, will complete the project within two years. It will be all rentals.

South Florida saw a slew of boutique condo projects pop up over the past year, which market experts said was motivated by the desire to limit investment risk late in the real estate cycle.

Other boutique projects in Coral Gables include a four­-unit townhome development planned for Almeria Avenue called New Town; Beatrice Row, a nine­-unit luxury townhouse development planned for 2409 Anderson Row; and Biltmore Parc, a 32-­unit condo project on Valencia Avenue.

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