Downtown Miami’s landmark Courthouse Tower has been sold to New York real estate private equity firm Brickman for $27.5 million. Mika Mattingly of Sterling Equity Realty’s Mika Miami team represented the seller, Courthouse Towers LLC, which is owned and operated by The Donovan Family. RFK Senior Directors Benjamin Mandell and John Ellis represented the buyer.

Located at 44 West Flagler Street in the heart of Downtown Miami, Courthouse Towers was not listed or on the market prior to the sale.

Courthouse Tower Daniel Safarik CTBUHStanding at 26 stories, the 176,292 square-foot mixed-used office and commercial retail space was constructed in 1974. The building is located across the street from the Miami-Dade County Courthouse and other government buildings and is situated between South Miami and SW 1st Avenues on the south side of Flagler Street.

“Brickman’s acquisition of the Courthouse Tower in Miami marks an important milestone and makes a big statement for the future of Downtown, as it highlights the market’s future potential and Brickman’s desire to play an important role in revitalizing the area,” said Mandell. “There are plans to renovate the existing office unit and upgrade the building’s common areas, including the lobby, to better suit their new vision for Downtown Miami.”

This marks the second property purchased by Brickman in Downtown Miami, having also acquired a 141,687 square-foot building at 200 S.E. 1st Street just two weeks ago for $33,850,000. Israeli-born New Yorker Moishe Mana has also been an active investor in Downtown Miami, having acquired $198 million in properties.

The West Flagler area, specified as the area west of South Miami Avenue, has historically been undervalued and overshadowed by the adjacent East Flagler region, which is situated closer to Biscayne Bay. However, a combination of recent developments such as The Langford Hotel and Brightline, an express passenger train service that will connect the major cities of south and central Florida along a 235-mile route, has made the West Flagler area considerably more attractive to investors.

“The West Flagler area, which has underperformed for some time, is a diamond in the rough and has become one of the few remaining add-value sectors left in Miami,” says Mattingly of Mika Miami. “Downtown’s urban core has been evolving under the radar and Brickman’s purchase only validates its progression.”

Some of the factors increasing the appeal to the West Flagler area include its proximity to the burgeoning Miami River area, its low cost in comparison to other U.S. metropolitan areas (ringing in at $200-$500 per square foot), and an array of value-add opportunities (i.e. vertical build).

The City of Miami also recently approved a $13 million renovation of Flagler Street, which will include enhanced pedestrian amenities and large-scale revitalization, according to the DDA. Construction along the west side of the Courthouse, the side facing Courthouse Towers, is already underway.

Image: Daniel Safarik CTBUH