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Lincoln Road Property Prices Soar

Lindsey Z. Parker & James W. Shindell

Lincoln Road property values are soaring to new heights with tenant rents and property prices at record highs. Dating back to the 1920s, Lincoln Road has seen its share of transitional decades, but experts say this time it’s noticeably different:

“[i]n the realm of commercial real estate, Lincoln Road has taken its place among the most regaled ‘high streets’ of the world.”

With Lincoln Road’s star so clearly on the rise, investors and owners are capitalizing on the opportunity. The most recent, and likely most celebrated to date, was the sale of Terranova Corp. and Acadia Realty Trust’s joint venture six-building portfolio for $342 million—nearly 200% above its sales price just three years beforehand. “This transaction highlights the rapid evolution of the pedestrian mall, which has drastically transformed itself since the recession.”

Adam Lustig, a partner at Bilzin Sumberg, has been involved in some of the recent real estate deals and has the beat on the numbers: prices have gone from $2,000 per square foot to over $4,000 and rents have doubled in the past three to five years from $150 per square foot to $300 per square foot. These figures put Lincoln Road on par with New York’s Madison Avenue  which many believe will drive tourism to the area and lead to greater economic benefits for South Florida as a whole.

Says founder and chairman of Miami Beach-based Terranova Corp. Stephen Bittel,

“[Lincoln Road] is squarely in the sights of every major exciting retail operator around the world, and the demand for locations on Lincoln Road has never been higher.”

Bittel does note that there will be one great challenge for this illustrious street: “How do you grow a world-class High Street, in a manner that captures the essence of the local community and gives it the retail energy of the international stars, and do it in a way that serves the local community and visitors from around the world?” This speaks to questions and concerns that residents have raised about losing the uniqueness and character of Miami Beach.

A Property Owners Association was formed to combat some of these concerns, and one of their first initiatives was to hire Miami-based landscape architect Raymond Jungles to design a landscaping plan. Jungles has extensive experience in Miami Beach, having designed the New World Symphony Rooftop Garden, Miami Beach Botanical Garden and the pedestrian garden at 1111 Lincoln Road. Jungles’ plan will add mature trees and low plantings to create more open sight lines and greater visibility from one side of the street to the other.

Local charm and authenticity to place are important for Lincoln Road’s continued success, and while development presents its challenges, Miami Beach and its champions are optimistic for a dazzling future.

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