Dacar Management scooped up 119 acres outside the Urban Development Boundary in western Miami-Dade County.
The Dania Beach-based company bought the property on the southwest corner of Southwest 72nd Street and Southwest 167th Avenue for $22 million, according to a deed. Seller HL Mills Family is managed by Cathy Mills, state corporate records show.
Dacar’s plans for the site are unclear. It did not immediately return a request for comment.
Building outside the UDB has long been a controversial issue, often pitting the real estate community against environmental preservation proponents.
The boundary is an invisible line that wraps east and west of built-out Miami-Dade, as a way to protect wetlands and agricultural communities, and help restore the Everglades and Biscayne national parks. In the past, developers have run into difficulty moving the line, as it requires county and state approval, including Miami-Dade commission approval by at least nine of 13 votes.
The site Dacar purchased was previously part of a roughly 800-acre tract proposed for UDB expansion, according to a 2019 filing to the county by HL Mills Family. The proposal has since been withdrawn, Miami-Dade records show.
Dacar’s purchase also comes as another development plan outside the UDB in southeast Miami-Dade has stalled. Stephen Blumenthal, principal of Coral Gables–based Coral Rock Development, and Jose Hevia, president of Miami-based Aligned Real Estate Holdings, want to build a 9.2 million-square-foot industrial complex on 800 acres. The land runs from the Florida Turnpike south to Southwest 268th Street and between Southwest 122nd and 107th avenues.
After a lengthy discussion, the Miami-Dade County Commission on Thursday postponed voting on the item until June 1.
The last time the UDB was moved was in 2013.
Dacar’s purchase may signal that large swaths of developable land are quickly drying up, as South Florida real estate continues to boom. The industrial market has been especially squeezed from high demand, accelerated because of e-commerce growth, amid a lack of buildable sites.
Multifamily real estate has prospered from an influx of South Florida transplants and residents priced out of homebuying because of skyrocketing prices. Developers have responded with an onslaught of planned projects, but all have been within the UDB, as apartment construction requires less land.
Among recent proposals, Altman Companies wants to build a 306-unit apartment project with a shopping center near Homestead on the southeast corner of Southwest 112th Avenue and Southwest 248th Street.
Dacar owns retail centers mostly in South Florida, but also in Orlando and the Treasure Coast, as well as development sites in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, according to its website. Alberto Micha-Buzali is Dacar’s president, his LinkedIn shows.
This month, Dacar scored an $81 million construction loan for a 244-unit apartment project with retail in Hialeah at 3685 West 85th Path.