In addition to the changes at Mayfair, the Grove will soon see an influx of real estate development. Terra Group has demolished the Grand Bay Hotel to build a luxury high-rise condo complex; the company also recently purchased the Coconut Grove Bank site with plans for a similar project. Pointe Group Advisors expects to break ground this year on the first phase of a six-block mixed-use project that will eventually include apartments, offices and retail shops. For Sapient, the Mayfair deal ends a two-year search for office space large enough for its existing 400 employees, who currently are divided between two buildings in Miami Beach, and leaves room for growth. Previously, Sapient Nitro planned to move to the old Omni International Mall in downtown Miami but had to scrap that deal after Genting purchased the property and announced plans to turn it into a casino. (Casinos have failed to win the approval required from the Florida Legislature.)
Sapient then looked for space in Coconut Grove, Miami Beach and the Design District; its leaders said they were amazed at how difficult it was to find contiguous space as large as 80,000 square feet that met their requirements.
“The real estate just didn’t exist to accommodate us,” Legorburu said. “It was really surprising.”
To make the deal in the Grove a reality, Sapient received financial incentives from the state of Florida, Legorburu said. A total of $6 million is being spent on the build-out, the company said.
“We just want to make sure our space is cooler than Crispin’s,” Legorburu said. “We have to do something crazy. It’s definitely going to be a showplace.”