Married couple Yakov and Cheryl Cohen propose an 11-story mixed-use project with offices, retail and apartments in the Ojus neighborhood.
The Cohens want to build the Aventura Office Center with 120,000 square feet of offices; 4,400 square feet of commercial space; and 12 apartments at 18802 and 18820 West Dixie Highway, according to Yakov Cohen and an application submitted to Miami-Dade County late last month. The 1.3-acre site is in an unincorporated area near Aventura and a Brightline station.
Designed by Arquitectonica, the project would have floor-to-ceiling windows in a gray and white palette. The apartments would be on two levels on the west portion of the building.
The Cohens, through an affiliate, bought the vacant development site for $7.5 million in 2022, records show. They already have approval for an eight-story project on the site, but are seeking to increase the height after recently approved Ojus district regulations now allow for up to 15-story buildings.
The Cohens’ bet on offices comes at a dubious time for the asset class. Although South Florida generally has remained immune to office woes plaguing other markets, the tri-county region still is feeling the pain of the remote work shift and increased sublease availability.
But Yakov Cohen is confident he will successfully lease up his project. A local tech tenant already has pre-leased some of the office space and a “very well-known” restaurant also has pre-leased some of the commercial space, he said. Cohen declined to name the tenants.
Construction is expected to start mid-year, and the project is slated to be completed late next year, he said.
Also in Ojus, Cohen is partnering with Shimon Bouskila on a 20-story, 330-unit apartment building with 10,000 square feet of retail and 200 storage units at 2655-2660 Northeast 189th Street. The project recently scored approval and construction is expected to start early next year, Cohen said.
Ojus has caught other developers’ eyes, partly due to the neighborhood’s proximity to the Brightline station. Lumer Real Estate and Goldberg Companies plan a 700-unit apartment complex with two eight-story buildings at the northeast corner of Northeast 186th Street and Northeast 23rd Court. Also, preschool developer and operator Raphael Ammar plans an 18-story project with 210 apartments, 99,600 square feet of offices and 17,600 square feet of retail on the ground floor at 2600 and 2630 Northeast 203rd Street.