Lincoln Road's transformation from bohemian strip to a sunny urban outpost for suburban mall chain stores continues. The nonprofit ArtCenter South Florida has sold their outpost at 800 Lincoln Road to developers for a tidy $88 million.
ArtCenter first moved on to Lincoln Road in 1984 when it was the shame of South Beach. It was an unmissable fixture of the strip as it transformed from a place full of homeless folks and odd characters that most visitors avoided into the tourist destination it is today. The center provide studios for its artists-in-residences that are open for the public to visits.
The sale does not mean that the institution will totally leave Lincoln Road. It will still operate its location down the block at 938 Lincoln Road, though the 800 Lincoln location was its most visible spot.
That particularly building originally opened in 1938 as a Burdines Department Store, and though the buyers have not yet announced plans for its future, it seems likely that it may return to its retail roots.
The buyers are South Beach TriStar 800, which is a joint venture of TriStar Capital and RFR Holdings.
"We are pleased to have been successful in the highly competitive process of acquiring what we believe to be the most important retail corner in the state of Florida," TriStar's David Edelstein told South Florida Business Journal. "Both TriStar and RFR have a long history of owning, developing, and restoring buildings in South Beach, especially on Lincoln Road. The historical significance of this particular building, which originally opened as a Burdines flagship department store in 1938, was a major consideration in our purchase as we look toward the future of Miami Beach's retail scene."
Lincoln Road indeed has become one of the hottest retail locations in the entire country, with sky-rocketing rents to match.
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The closing of the ArtCenter building comes less than a year after the sale of the building that included Van Dyke Cafe, one of the first restaurants to have reopened on the pedestrian mall after its desolate days in the '80s.
Though, Lincoln Road's art credentials aren't totally drained. In an odd move, Wynwood Gallerist David Castillo, who represents some of Miami's best known talents, recently moved to the East end of the strip.