Billionaire commercial developer buys perhaps final piece of Miami property portfolio

·2 min read

Billionaire developer Moishe Mana continues to add to his commercial real estate portfolio of 70 properties in downtown Miami, with his acquisition of the vacant retail property at 118 East Flagler Street.

Mana paid $7.25 million cash for the location of the former Children’s Place clothing store. The 16,000-square-foot building dates to 1930.

He has now spent more than $500 million over eight years to assemble 1.3 million square feet of Flagler Street corridor properties in downtown Miami. His latest land buy is located between two properties that he already owns.

Mana is in the process of getting construction permits for the space that will be one of the final properties he intends to acquire, as part of his planned transformation of Miami’s original Main Street into a technology and innovation district.

“The Flagler District is going to be the best neighborhood in America,” Mana said Thursday in a prepared statement. “I’ve acquired the critical mass needed to pull off a project of this scale. We’re working tirelessly to bring this vision to life while preserving the character and identity of the community.”

Although the developer said this acquisition will be one of his last land deals on Flagler, he declined to say definitively it was his final property purchase. Mana has said he has considered making an offer to buy the former Macy’s building at 22 East Flagler Street that is now home to a Ross store.

As downtown Miami’s biggest property owner and with his vast assemblage of commercial real estate in the neighborhood complete or nearly done, Mana plans on moving in earnest to realize his vision of a vibrant community combining innovation, shopping and restaurants. His top priorities are constructing, designing, delivering and curating what that community will look like. His Nikola Tesla Innovation Hub, in an office tower now under renovation, will be the first completed redevelopment in early 2023.

While his penchant for ambitious downtown Miami redevelopment has not been questioned, some observers wonder how long it will take for many of the empty downtown properties Mana owns to show activity. He remains optimistic about his plan’s success. Through Mana Commons, he wants property tenants to share revenue from the overall venture instead of paying rent. With this approach, he thinks tenants will not be pushed out of downtown as property values increase.

“I don’t know how it has worked out,” Mana told the Miami Herald in April. “I sold some businesses, I mortgaged some stuff. I sold this, I juggled and maneuvered and it worked out.”

Acquiring real estate has become second nature to Mana, an Israeli immigrant who began his business journey in New York as a dishwasher. His first venture on his own was running a moving business.

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