Garden-style apartments are planned for Terra's new development in Florida.
Courtesy Terra Garden-style apartments are planned for Terra's new development in Florida.

Miami-based Terra, in partnership with New Valley, recently announced the purchase of 70 acres in northwest Miami-Dade County, where they intend to build 1,369 apartments. The site, which used to be zoned as industrial, is about 20 miles northwest of downtown Miami and was purchased from Prologis for $52 million. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020.

Brian Smith, managing director for JLL in South Florida, represented Prologis in the transaction. The purchase was made possible with a $43 million loan from Synovus. Additional financing came from Jason Shapiro and Sean Harrington, managing directors of Aztec Group. Getting the land fully entitled for residential development was the catalyst for getting the deal done.

“Given the population growth underway in Northwest Miami-Dade, this parcel’s highest and best use became residential development, which led to the site’s eventual rezoning from industrial to multifamily," says Smith. "Terra is one of a handful of development firms in South Florida that understands both the residential and industrial sectors, putting the firm in position to acquire the site and deliver a project that will meet the need for market-rate housing.”

The news comes at a time when South Florida is struggling with a housing shortage. “Solving South Florida’s market-rate housing crunch means identifying opportunities for urban infill development as well as land in suburban areas that can be rezoned to accommodate new inventory,” explains Terra president David Martin.

“In this case, we are going to convert a vacant site initially earmarked for industrial development into a residential community that will create much-needed apartment housing minutes away from some of South Florida’s largest employers. And we’re doing it in a sustainable, resilient way by building within the Urban Development Boundary and on high-lying ground.”

The site is located just south of the planned American Dream retail and entertainment complex and a short drive from several large employers, including Boeing, Royal Caribbean International, Preferred Freezer Services, and The Home Depot.

The development will include a series of garden-style apartment buildings within three master-planned subdivisions. Each subdivision will be centered around a communal clubhouse with pools, resident amenities, and fitness centers, while a network of green spaces will create outdoor recreation areas. Terra has enlisted Pascual, Perez, Kiliddjian & Associates to create the development’s master plan and design its buildings.