DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT

Prime downtown Miami retail site on the block for $5 million

 

mbrannigan@MiamiHerald.com

The Foot Locker site on Flagler Street — once the home of F.W. Woolworth — has been listed for sale for $5 million as the redevelopment of Miami’s central business district shows signs of momentum.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for someone to come in and redevelop,” said Ryan Shaw, a senior associate with Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, who represents the sellers, Foot Locker and its minority partner, in the listing.

Under Miami’s zoning, the site, which includes a 32,838-square-foot, two-story, 1934-vintage building and spans about 0.4 acres of land on the key downtown street, could be redeveloped into a high-rise, Shaw said.

The listing comes as several other properties in the vicinity have changed hands recently. The Foot Locker site, at 38 East Flagler Street, is just east of the Macy’s at 22 East Flagler, a site that was acquired this year by New York-based Aetna Realty Group. Flagler Station, an old-style urban mall to the east of Foot Locker, was sold about a year ago by Sergio Rok, a major downtown landowner, Shaw said.

Shaw said the owners’ decision to put the Foot Locker property on the market on Nov. 26 was unrelated to Macy’s long-expected announcement last week that it plans to open new Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores as anchors in the Miami Worldcenter project in the Park West district west of Biscayne Boulevard across from AmericanAirlines Arena.

While a Macy’s spokesman said “no decision” has been made on the future of the Flagler Street store, where Macy’s has a lease until 2018, local business leaders say the eventual shuttering of that old store seems inevitable.

Downtown redevelopment advocates were sanguine about the old Foot Locker site hitting the block. “In the long run, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing,” said Jerome Hollo, a board member of the Downtown Development Authority and vice president of Florida East Coast Realty.

After years of depressed commercial activity on Flagler Street, “every week we’re hearing of someone else coming in,” said Jose Goyanes, a DDA board member and owner of several downtown businesses, including Tre Italian Bistro on Flagler. He predicted the Foot Locker site would draw keen interest. Flagler has “the best foot traffic in South Florida,” he said.

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