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RCA MIAMI Presents “What’s New in Coral Gables”; Highlights Major Progress and Strength of the Commercial Real Estate Market

Ed Redlich, 2014 RCA MIAMI President
Ed Redlich, 2014 RCA MIAMI President

The REALTORS® Commercial Alliance of the Miami Association of Realtors(RCA MIAMI) and Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust recently presented “What’s New in Coral Gables,” an event highlighting the recent and future transformation of the City of Coral Gables. A panel of experts addressed improvements, new developments, and the current state of the office and retail sectors in the Coral Gables commercial real estate market.

Speakers included Coral Gables Commissioner Frank Quesada, Glenn H Pratt of Bellin & Pratt Architects, LLC; Scott Sime of Sime Realty and RCA MIAMI President-Elect Barbara Tria of Kerdyk Real Estate.

Tria emphasized Coral Gables’ reputation as a top retail market in South Florida that continues to thrive and expand. “Coral Gables has its roots as a retail destination,” said Tria. “Today’s changing marketplace has resulted in a new mix of dynamic restaurants and retailers in our trade area that creates a desirable retail shopping experience, building on the legacy of the past.”

The Gables already offers the community diverse retail experiences, including:

  • Downtown urban streetscape of the Central Business District with an eclectic mix of dynamic retailers, restaurants, arts and culture
  • Village at Merrick Park, a 700,000-square foot regional mall anchored by Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus

In addition, the Coral Gables Trolley, a free air conditioned trolley system, provides consumers easy access to all the City Beautiful has to offer.

“From the magnificent urban projects to the minimal residential detail, the Board of Architects has continued an established tradition of aesthetic review as conceived by the founders of the City of Coral Gables,” said Pratt. “It is a pleasure to share some history and insight with this Board that so diligently tries to preserve that character we know as ‘The City Beautiful’.”

There is new significant retail development on the horizon for Coral Gables. Improvements to Miracle Mile and the 100 block of Giralda Avenue coupled with strong sales and leasing activity are expected to be future drivers of growth.

“The ‘What’s New in Coral Gables’ event was a great opportunity to share some of the exciting projects that are being proposed for the City,” said Quesada. “The city continues to be a prime location for development and investment. We have a stable economy, convenient access to global markets, a high quality of life, unique architecture—and we are surrounded by natural beauty.”

New projects, all of which have either announced retail components or are expected to incorporate them, include:

  • The redevelopment of the Publix site on LeJeune Road by Stiles
  • Agave Holding’s plans for a mixed use development on the seven acres formerly known as Old Spanish Village
  • The planned RFP for the re-development of the City-owned parking garages on Andalusia Avenue
  • The Shoma Homes/CMC Group development on Aurora Avenue @ Bird Road
  • The planned Gables Station project planned by Berkowitz Development

Tria emphasized the retail market in Coral Gables remains strong. “With a vacancy factor running at about 4 percent and the recent increase in residential development, including more than 1,000 luxury rental units being delivered to the trade area from 2013 to 2014 alone, demand for locations from national tenants is strong, making it difficult to accommodate the square foot requirements of these significant national retailers.”

The office sector is also performing robustly in Coral Gables. “The Coral Gables office market continues to strengthen with vacancy rates decreasing and rental rates on the rise, said Sime. “The current political leadership in Coral Gables has increased the public amenities and infrastructure while simultaneously increasing the City’s reserve account; truly a remarkable accomplishment.”

Other topics that were discussed by the speakers included: an extended bike path, major improvements in streetscaping, transfer development right and building incentives.

About the MIAMI Association of REALTORS
The MIAMI Association of REALTORS was chartered by the National Association of Realtors in 1920 and is celebrating 94 years of service to Realtors, the buying and selling public, and the communities in South Florida. Comprised of five organizations, the Residential Association, the Realtors Commercial Alliance, the Broward County Board of Governors, the YPN Council and the award-winning International Council, it represents more than 30,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of real estate sales, marketing, and brokerage. It is the largest local Realtor association in the U.S., and has official partnerships with 120 international organizations worldwide. MIAMI’s official website is

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