Adam Neumann buys retail business in Fort Lauderdale

Billionaire and former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Getty Images, Tricera Capital/Merrimac Ventures, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann has purchased a commercial building in Fort Lauderdale, adding to his vast holdings in South Florida, The Real Deal has learned.

An entity related to Neumann paid $17 million for the retail component of Society Las Olas, an approximately 16,500 square foot space at 301 Southwest First Avenue, sources said. Tricera Capital by Scott Sherman and Ben Mandell; and Merrimac Ventures, run by the Motwani family, sold the retail and restaurant space. The deal was closed on Friday.

The two companies only paid $3.8 million for the property in 2020. At the time, more than half of the space was vacant. It is now fully leased, according to a statement.

Douglas Mandel and Tyler Kuhlman of Marcus & Millichap represented Tricera and Merrimac. The Polsinelli law firm was also involved.

The mixed-use development includes 639 apartments that Neumann would own or buy, according to the Wall Street Journal. The rental tower is part of the Society brand of Property Markets Group. PMG developed Las Olas Riverwalk after acquiring majority ownership from Dev Motwani-led Merrimac in 2017. Merrimac retained the retail business and introduced Tricera three years later.

Mandell, co-founder and chief executive of Tricera, said in a statement that the team leased the four-unit retail space “at a particularly difficult time during the pandemic.”

Thompson Hospitality’s Matchbox restaurant and Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co. lease the space, along with Pura Vida and the Asbury Ale House gastropub.

Merrimac also owns the adjacent property. The company operates the Wharf Fort Lauderdale and Rivertail, along with Breakwater Hospitality Group.

Neumann-related companies have acquired controlling interests in more than 4,000 apartments across the United States, valued at more than $1 billion, clustered primarily in the Sun Belt region. The former WeWork CEO rented a house in Miami Beach last year and paid $44 million for residential land in Bal Harbor last summer.

Neumann received a $245 million stock allotment in early 2021, $200 million in cash and the refinancing of a $432 million loan, all as part of his exit program from WeWork.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Neumann was under contract to buy the Caoba apartment tower in downtown Miami, valued at around $200 million, and that he owns the Yard 8 apartment building. in Midtown Miami.

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