CLIENT NEWS: Robert Rivani’s Black Lion pays $63M for Miami Beach mixed-use building

April 23, 2024

Robert Rivani’s Black Lion hunted down its biggest purchase in South Florida to date, but will have to compete with other heavy hitter developers in Miami Beach’s office market.

The Miami-based commercial real estate investment firm paid $62.5 million for a Miami Beach mixed-use building, The Real Deal has learned. Black Lion is paying at a 42 percent discount off the previous sale price seven years ago.

Black Lion acquired the ground lease for The Lincoln, a six-story building with 43,166 square feet of ground-floor retail and 118,658 square feet of office space at 1691 Michigan Avenue, a press release states. The land underneath the building off Lincoln Road is owned by the city of Miami Beach, which declined its right to first purchase the low-rise structure in January, city records show. The Lincoln was completed in 2003.

The seller, an affiliate of New York-based Clarion Partners, paid $109.2 million for the ground lease in 2016, records show. Two years ago, a previous deal for Clarion to sell the ground lease for $92.5 million fell through, city documents show.

Black Lion targeted The Lincoln after canceling the purchase of another ground lease for a mixed-use office building on land owned by the city.

In January, New York-based Nightingale sued a Black Lion affiliate for backing out of the $82 million deal for Lincoln Place at 1601 Washington Avenue. Nightingale is seeking a court order to keep a $2 million deposit put up by Black Lion and its partner Mathieu Massa for the eight-story building that was previously the headquarters of Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital.

For its latest purchase, Black Lion plans a $50 million renovation of The Lincoln’s exterior and interior, the release states. The building, which will be rebranded as The Rivani, is currently 87 percent occupied, a Black Lion spokesperson said. Retail tenants include West Elm and Williams Sonoma.

Designed by New York-based Rockwell Group and Miami-based Escala Forma Studio, The Lincoln’s revamp will incorporate features found at five-star hotels such as a concierge, spa, meditation room and a podcast room, the release states. Black Lion also plans to have a Japanese restaurant and speakeasy lounge.

“Office spaces remain conventional, failing to meet today’s expectations, and companies are struggling to entice employees back to the workplace,” Rivani said in a statement. “I see an opportunity to cultivate an environment that isn’t just functional, but genuinely desirable.”

Rivani will be going head-to-head with bigger players in the Class A office game. Last month, the Miami Beach Planning Board approved One Soundscape Park, a planned 62,500-square-foot office building at 1665 and 1667 Washington Avenue by New York-based developer Michael Shvo. The project is near The Lincoln.

Shvo also has two other South Beach mixed-use office and retail projects in the works. And  Sumaida + Khurana, also based in New York, recently announced plans for a second office project in the city’s South of Fifth neighborhood.

In December, Sumaida + Khurana and its partners landed a $47.3 million construction loan for Fifth Miami Beach, its first boutique office building in South Beach that broke ground last year.

Published on April 16, 2024 on

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