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Coral Gables is getting another co-working space — and it’s not another WeWork

The ground floor of 299 Alhambra Circle is set to be converted into co-working space.
The ground floor of 299 Alhambra Circle is set to be converted into co-working space. BGI Capital

Coral Gables is getting its second major co-working space, showing the concept remains in-demand even as giant WeWork struggles to find its footing.

Miami-based Location Ventures announced this week it had secured a $12 million loan to convert the ground floor of 299 Alhambra Circle, just east of LeJeune Road, into a co-working space to be known as FORUM. Location Ventures already owns the five-story, 52,719-square-foot property.

Brickell-based BGI Capital, comprising managing partners Robert M. Barthelmess and Kenneth A. Baboun, structured the financing for the transaction; the loan was brokered by Jason Shapiro, Managing Director of Aztec Group, Inc., for Location Ventures, an affiliate of the borrower. The bridge loan has a 24-month term.

In an interview, Shapiro said Location Ventures believes the space’s centralized location and limited scale will make the project successful. WeWork recently expanded its Coral Gables footprint to more than 90,000 square feet at neighboring properties 2222 Ponce De Leon Boulevard and 255 Giralda Avenue.

If successful, Shapiro said, Location Ventures would convert the entire Class-B property into co-working space.

A recent report from realty research group CBRE showed the Miami area with the third-largest penetration of co-working space in the nation, and the largest for Class-A penetration.

FORUM’s is set to open in the first quarter of 2020.

Rob Wile covers business, tech, and the economy in South Florida. He is a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and Columbia University. He grew up in Chicago.
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