New ownership boosts CocoWalk’s retail mix with an art gallery, boutiques and a surf shop ahead of redevelopment.
Three months after acquiring CocoWalk, a 198,000-square-foot lifestyle center in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, the ownership team led by Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT), Grass River Property and The Comras Company has completed leases with five pop-up stores and Chase Bank.
CocoWalk’s newest slate of retailers includes two longtime Coconut Grove businesses relocating from the Engle building across the street, Catch A Wave surf shop and Via Art Gallery. The center is also adding a trio of upscale men’s and women’s boutiques: Edite Mode, GCK International and Vicky Victoria, whose owner operates a sister store along Main Highway nearby. A brand new 3,000-square-foot Chase Bank branch will also open on the center’s ground floor along Grand Avenue.
Catch A Wave, Edite Mode, Via Gallery and Vicky Victoria are now open for business; GCK International currently has an online presence and will open its CocoWalk store within the next 30 days. The Chase branch, now under construction, will open in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Comras Company, part of CocoWalk’s new ownership team, negotiated the five pop-up leases on behalf of ownership.
“More so than most Miami neighborhoods, Coconut Grove enjoys a strong identity as being walkable, accessible and appealing to locals and visitors, with CocoWalk positioned as the village’s retail anchor,” explains Michael Comras, president of The Comras Company. “Anytime we can generate additional consumer foot traffic and help longtime Grove businesses remain in the neighborhood, as we’ve done by adding Catch A Wave and Via Gallery, we’re making progress toward our vision of a redeveloped CocoWalk that’s home to contemporary fashion brands, vibrant cafés and lifestyle tenants that draw locals.”
Since purchasing CocoWalk for $87.5 million in May 2015, the joint venture has been actively listening to Coconut Grove businesses and residents with the goal of incorporating community feedback into the joint venture’s long-term plans for the property.
“The three months we’ve spent engaging our neighbors have been incredibly insightful,” says Chris Weilminster, executive vice president for real estate and leasing at Federal Realty. “The Grove benefits from a strong urban infrastructure, but we see a disconnect between the area’s affluent residential base and the retail mix at CocoWalk. Our new pop-up stores, which benefit from local operators and loyal customer bases, are an initial step in the right direction. Long-term, we plan to add new local, regional and national tenants while creating more connectivity with surrounding streets. Everything is on the table so long as it adds value for our tenants and the neighborhood.”
Situated at the prominent intersection of Main Highway, McFarlane Road and Grand Avenue, CocoWalk is located minutes away from Miami’s Brickell, Downtown, Coral Gables and Key Biscayne neighborhoods. Coconut Grove benefits from some of the strongest year-round income demographics in South Florida, a fast-growing daytime population with over one million square feet of office space within walking distance, five existing and three planned hotels, proximity to a number of prominent schools, and one of Miami’s best-performing residential markets.
Constructed in 1990, the property sits on approximately three acres and is located just two miles from the University of Miami. CocoWalk’s overall trade area is uniquely affluent and dense with over 153,000 people and average household incomes of $110,000. One of Miami’s first settlements, Coconut Grove is now enjoying a commercial and residential resurgence marked by the arrival of technology and media companies, the rise of luxury condominiums, and the debut of trendy shops and cafes.
About Federal Realty
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply. Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities. Federal Realty’s 90 properties include over 2,600 tenants, in approximately 21 million square feet, and 1500 residential units.
Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 48 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit www.FederalRealty.com.
About The Comras Company
The Comras Company of Florida, Inc. is a leading retail leasing, investment and development company. The firm specializes in urban markets and provides services that include landlord and tenant representation, strategic planning, site identification, market analysis, lease negotiation, portfolio review, site acquisition and disposition. The Company was founded by Michael Comras in 1992 and has since grown to sixteen employees with seven brokers dedicated to retail leasing and sales. In addition to brokerage services, Mr. Comras has developed and owns a portfolio of street oriented retail assets in Miami’s top markets. The ability to understand the development process, from due diligence through acquisition and subsequent development, allows the Company to evaluate sites as an owner/developer, which enhances the Company's ability to service its clients. A sampling of these assets include flagship locations for Apple, Gap, Nike, Forever 21, BCBG, Sephora, and 24 Hour Fitness in locations along Miami Beach's historic Lincoln Road, Collins Avenue's "Fashion District", Coconut Grove, Wynwood, and Miami's Design District, www.ComrasCompany.com
About Grass River Property
Grass River Property is a Coconut Grove, Florida-based real estate investment and development firm with investments across various asset classes, including residential, hotel, retail and office. Since inception, the firm has targeted investments in urban properties served by existing transportation infrastructure for high value-add residential as well as commercial and mixed-use developments stressing walkability, transit access and sustainability in increasingly dense urban settings. Grass River’s principals, Justin Kennedy, Tobin Cobb, George Spillis, Peter LaPointe, Chris Cobb and Tom Roth have decades of experience working with some of the nation’s largest real estate and financial firms, including LNR Property, Flagler, Hines, Bayview Financial, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Learn more at www.GrassRiverProperty.com
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