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Tower featured in 'Miami Vice' for sale

The iconic Miami Tower, I.M. Pei’s neon wedding cake of a building in downtown Miami, is for sale and could fetch as much as $120 million.

You might better recognize the soaring 47-story tower as the building prominently featured each week in the opening of 1980s TV show “Miami Vice” and, more recently, in countless sporting event shots that show panoramic views of the city.

And it is attracting attention in investment circles.

“It’s a super well known, high-visibility trophy office building that is going to attract investors that look for rare iconic investment opportunities,” said Hermen Rodriguez, managing director of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, which is marketing the property.

He said the likely buyers are institutions, many of which have been on the buying sidelines since the economy nosedived, and foreign investors. Bids are due next month.

Current owner Wealth Capital Investments paid $85 million in 2003, when the real estate market was picking up pricing steam, but the property is well position even in today’s bargain-buying environment to trade for far more, Rodriguez said. That’s because office rents are higher today than they were in 2003 and the building is a Miami trophy, he said.

Despite the overabundance of office space, caused by relocations to new buildings and vacancies related to the economic downturn, the building is still attractive to prospective tenants because of its location in downtown Miami and its high profile regular TV appearances on a variety of shows and cityscape shots. That kind of exposure makes the signage opportunity unique and highly desirable, Rodriguez said.

At 77 percent leased, the building has its leasing challenges. Its longtime anchor and former namesake, Bank of America, left the building.

But last year, leasing broker Fairchild Partners was able to sign UBS Financial Services to a five-year renewal for 34,500 square feet in a deal valued at more than $7 million.

The 600,000-square-foot building, at 100 S.E. Second St., was built in 1987 and soon became notorious because of the opulence of the offices of David Paul, the former chairman of CenTrust Savings Bank. CenTrust was the first to have signage on the building. Paul was sentenced to 11 years in prison after facing several charges, including tax fraud and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he used the bank to finance an extravagant lifestyle that included a corporate jet and a multimillion-dollar art collection. CenTrust failed in the early 1990s.

Tom Capocefalo, managing partner at Studley, agreed that institutional buyers would line up to snag this high-profile trophy, which would be viewed as a core asset in Miami’s central business district. He said it could fetch a strong price from a buyer with a long-term hold strategy.



Read more: Tower featured in 'Miami Vice' for sale - South Florida Business Journal
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