PMG closes on Las Olas Riverfront site for $29M, moves forward with mixed-use plans

Las Olas Riverfront renderings. Inset: Ryan Shear

Updated, 4:30 p.m., Jan. 19: New York and Miami-based Property Markets Group bought a large portion of the Las Olas Riverfront from Dev Motwani for $29 million and is moving forward with its plans to build a millennial-oriented, mixed-use development. 

“Our real goal is to bring the riverfront back to its original glory, and more,” PMG principal Ryan Shear told The Real Deal. The developer plans to turn the 2.38-acre portion of the 3.67-acre riverfront in Fort Lauderdale into a two-phase apartment and retail project. FSMY Architects and TBG Landscape Architect and Planners will redesign the Las Olas Riverfront.

As part of the deal, PMG sold back part of the retail to Motwani, Shear said. Robert Given of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the sale, and Luis Flores of Arnstein and Lehr and Courtney Crush of Crush Law also worked on the deal. Mowani was represented by Andy Gross of Hunt & Gross.

Motwani held onto 1.3 acres on the eastern part of the riverfront, along the New River. “We’re exploring different concepts, but we were thinking of building possibly a hotel with condos,” he told TRD. He said he’s also open to selling the site to a developer.

The riverfront outdoor center opened in 1998, but later fell into foreclosure and is now mostly vacant. Motwani and Shear announced they would partner on the riverfront redevelopment last year. Las Olas Boulevard is experiencing a wave of transformation, including the development of Icon Las Olas, a Related Group project, and new retail plans for a four-block stretch, which is being led by the Comras Company.

PMG will demolish the Riverfront site in a couple of months, break ground in early fall and deliver the project by the fall of 2020. Shear said he’s in talks with lenders and is looking to close on a construction loan by the end of the summer.

Phase one will include roughly 650 apartments geared toward millennials and 35,000 square feet of retail that will activate the riverfront, leased to restaurants, bars and stores that draw a crowd, Shear said. PMG will build a raised building so that the riverfront is a large plaza.

“We studied sites around the world,” Shear told TRD. “You don’t want to run into a big wall that’s inhibitive to social scenes.”

The developer is in the late-construction stages of its condo towers in South Florida, including Echo Brickell and Muse Residences in Sunny Isles Beach. It’s also on the 13th floor of Vice, another millennial-oriented apartment tower with smaller units and increased amenities. It will be delivered next summer, Shear said. PMG is building the sales center for an unnamed condo tower next to Vice, for which the the company will announce a brand later this year.

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