Sunrise Investors Pay $19M For South Miami Retail Building

5700 Sunset Drive (Loopnet, iStock)

A trio of Sunrise-based investors paid $18.5 million for a South Miami retail property, three months after selling a downtown Miami office building to Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty.

An entity managed by Robert Balogh, Cara Balogh and Orli Teitelbaum bought The Crossroads, a 34,901-square foot building at 5700 Sunset Drive that was completed in 1955, records show. The deal breaks down to $531 a square foot.

Miami attorney Michael Gallinar represented the buyer. An Avison Young team led by Michael Fay, and Joseph Weston with Maddux Co. represented the seller, Patricia Myer, acting as representative of the estate of Louis Jepeway Jr.

Jepeway, a Miami-based civil rights attorney who died in 2019, bought the property in 1970, records show. It is near The Shops at Sunset Place.

The Crossroads’ tenants include Lanes South Miami clothing, DK Nails, Beach Club Salon and Footworks Running.

In April, the Balogh and Teitelbaum entity sold Bayside Office Center, a 12-story loft-style office building in downtown Miami, for $25 million to an affiliate of New York-based RFR, records show. The same month, RFR paid $25.7 million for a downtown Miami hotel.

Robert Balogh and his wife Cara are the brother and sister-in-law of the late David Balogh, founder of Balogh Jewelers. The couple also own a Plantation office building that they acquired for $14.2 million in 2018.

Investors are bullish for South Florida retail properties, as that segment of commercial real estate continues to rebound from a decline in business during the early stages of the pandemic when government shutdowns forced businesses to close.

The tri-county region’s retail rents outpaced the national average in the first quarter by about 7 percent, year-over-year, according to a recent Lee & Associates report. The average asking rent hit $32.71 a square foot, compared to $29.48 a square foot in the first quarter of last year, the report shows. The vacancy rate dropped to 3.7 percent from 4.6 percent, year-over-year.

“New spaces are pre-leasing quickly, just like the high demand for existing space, and are pushing vacancy down,” the report states. “Investors from all over the country are attracted,
as sales transactions are up and demand for South Florida assets are at or near an all-time high.”

Shopping centers anchored by grocery stores are in high demand, including a $38.4 million deal for a Food Fair-anchored retail site in Plantation and an $18.7 million purchase of a Deerfield Beach shopping plaza anchored by Winn-Dixie and Bealls Outlet.

Yet, pockets of retail trouble exist in South Florida. For example, a 26 percent increase in vacancy and diminished net cash flow at Pembroke Lakes Mall in Pembroke Pines could make it more difficult for its owner, New York-based Brookfield Properties, to refinance a $260 million interest-only loan, according to a recent Morningstar report.

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