October 11, 2019 – Bridge Investment Group LLC’s (Bridge) subsidiary Bridge Office Fund Manager (Bridge Office) announced today the acquisition of Museum Tower, a 259,666 square-foot Class A office tower located at 150 West Flagler Street in Miami, Florida.
A 29-story Class A office tower in Miami’s fast-growing and reinvigorated Central Business District, Museum Tower is one of the most recognizable structures in the city’s skyline with its striking reflective glass curtain wall and signature twin, ibeam exterior. The building is situated within walking distance of Miami’s critical legal infrastructure, including the Miami-Dade County and U.S. District courthouses, and offers easy access to both Interstate 95 and major public transit systems such as MetroRail, MetroMover and the recently completed, high-speed Virgin Trains USA, formerly BrightLine.
Originally built in 1986, Museum Tower is an emerging setting for tenants striving to win today’s war for talent in Miami’s urban core. More than $3 million of capital has been invested in the building since 2016, including upgrades to HVAC and security systems, an overhauled fire alarm system, roof upgrades, state-of-the-art fitness center complete with towel service and a full elevator modernization currently underway. Bridge plans to invest an additional $4.5 million in amenities and other enhancements at Museum Tower, including restroom upgrades and new common area finishes throughout, addition of a building conference center and lobby, and exterior improvements.
At the property’s front door, a $27 million makeover of the Historic Flagler Street streetscape is underway. The project is bringing an influx of new development to the area, along with an improved pedestrian experience that incorporates a cobblestone street design, high-end street lighting, new bike racks, enhanced crosswalks and wider, curbless sidewalks for café seating shaded by a canopy of trees and awnings.
José Lobón and Christian Lee with CBRE represented the seller in the transaction. The law firm of Kapp Morrison LLP served as the closing attorney.
“The acquisition of Museum Tower brings Bridge Office to the heart of Miami’s new emerging center for arts, culture and technology, with premier access to mass transit, retail, and restaurants. With a Transit Score of 100 and a Walk Score of 96, the location of Museum Tower alone provides office workers with unparalleled amenities from morning until night,” said Kelly Kuykendall, Director of Asset Management for Bridge Investment Group. “Bridge’s proven strategy for creating next-generation workplaces will allow Museum Tower to emerge as a new talent hub that appeals to both start-ups and established legal firms and corporations given the proximity to courthouse and transit with the benefits of an urban location.”
Average asking rates in Miami continue to climb upward as demand outpaces supply. According to a recent report from Newmark Knight Frank, Class A office leasing activity accounted for well over half of all leasing transactions in Miami during the first half of 2019. Miami-Dade County also reported the region’s largest drop in unemployment for Quarter 2 of 2019, down 50 basis points to 3.2 percent.
The city’s population is projected to climb by over half a million people in the next five years.
The latest purchase by Bridge Office marks the company’s seventh transaction in the South Florida market, which comes on the heels of its recent acquisitions of The Offices at Flagler Station and The Offices at Doral Square in Miami-Dade County. In addition to Museum Tower, Bridge also owns Sawgrass Technology Park in Sunrise; BayView Corporate Tower in Fort Lauderdale; Fountain Square in Boca Raton and 5601 Hiatus Road in Tamarac.
Bridge Commercial Real Estate LLC, the operating company for Bridge Office, will oversee all property management and redevelopment work at Museum Tower. Renovations will begin immediately, with completion scheduled for 2020.