WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann bought a retail property in Fort Lauderdale, adding to his expansive South Florida holdings, The Real Deal has learned.
An entity tied to Neumann paid $17 million for the retail component of Society Las Olas, a roughly 16,500-square-foot space at 301 Southwest First Avenue, according to sources. Scott Sherman and Ben Mandell’s Tricera Capital; and Merrimac Ventures, led by the Motwani family, sold the retail and restaurant space. The deal closed on Friday.
The two firms paid just $3.8 million for the property in 2020. At the time, more than half of the space was vacant. It’s now fully leased, according to a release.
Marcus & Millichap’s Douglas Mandel represented Tricera and Merrimac. The law firm Polsinelli was also involved.
The mixed-use development includes 639 apartments that Neumann reportedly owns or is buying, according to the Wall Street Journal. The rental tower is part of Property Markets Group’s Society brand. PMG developed Las Olas Riverwalk after acquiring the majority of the property from Merrimac, led by Dev Motwani, in 2017. Merrimac held onto the retail and brought on Tricera three years later.
Mandell, Tricera’s co-founder and managing principal, said in a statement that the team leased up the four-unit retail space “during a particularly challenging point of the pandemic.”
Thompson Hospitality’s Matchbox Restaurant, and Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co. lease the space, along with Pura Vida and the gastropub Asbury Ale House.
Merrimac also owns the adjacent property. The firm operates the Wharf Fort Lauderdale, and Rivertail, with Breakwater Hospitality Group.
Companies tied to Neumann have acquired majority stakes in more than 4,000 apartments across the U.S., valued at over $1 billion, clustered mostly in the Sun Belt region. The former WeWork CEO rented a home in Miami Beach last year and paid $44 million for residential land in Bal Harbour last summer.
Neumann received a $245 million stock award in early 2021, $200 million in cash and the refinancing of a $432 million loan, all as part of his exit package from WeWork.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that Neumann was in contract to buy the Caoba apartment tower in downtown Miami, valued at about $200 million, and that he owns the Yard 8 apartment building in Midtown Miami.