Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Landmark Renovation Spurs Leasing Activity


With the $1.5-million renovation of the ground floor of the landmark Bank of America Tower completed, five leases totaling 14,758 sf have been signed. With the new leases, the ground floor of the office building at International Place went from being 10% to 76% leased, bringing the building’s total occupancy to 94%.

Danet Linares, vice president of leasing and marketing for the Bank of America Tower, tells that building owners Blue Capital USA began renovating the ground floor in January 2005. The 47-story, 600,959-sf building was constructed in 1987 and sits on top of a 10-story parking garage owned by the City of Miami. On top of the parking garage is an 11th floor Sky Lobby and Terrace.

The ground floor contains 21,000 sf of retail space, its own Metro Rail Station and connections to the Miami Convention and Hyatt Regency Miami. Prior to renovations, the ground only had a single tenant--bakery Au Bon Pain--and was only 10% occupied. “When you walked into the building from the ground floor, it was totally disconnected. In the middle of the lobby was a glass wall that separated the retail space from the entrance of the building,” Linares explains. “Our whole intent was to brighten it up and open it up.”
Leases signed after renovations to the landmark office building at International Place include U.S. Century Bank, 7,000 sf ; H&R Block, 1,600 sf; law firm Marder Gonzalez & Goetz, 2,950 sf; hair salon the Salone 1,350 sf; Au Bon Pain, 1,858 sf

Starbucks is also expected to sign a lease in the coming months. There is currently 5,139 sf of ground-floor space available. Linares says the renovations are the first phase in the project. The second phase, which will start next year, will include improvements to the building’s exterior, such as a new monument and landscaping.

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