Shopping center, new townhomes underway at major intersection

By Richard Yager….

Pablo I. Cejas is pictured at the Market Square project in Kendall.

Infill development often sought but rarely seen within the county’s Urban Development Boundary is well underway at one of Kendall’s major intersections — SW 117th Avenue and 104th Street.

The Market Square Shopping Center commercial project and an adjacent townhome community will represent development of more than $50 million when completed by the Cejas family interests, designed to serve the immediate neighborhood.

Zoned for mixed use on a 14-acre vacant tract, the side-by-side projects occupy the last major undeveloped cor-ner site along SW 104th Street between S. Dixie Highway (US 1) and The Hammocks in West Kendall.

Sited on a seven-acre parcel just west of Miami-Dade College’s Kendall campus, Market Square includes a Walgreens and Publix supermarket plus 17 additional retail outlets in two free-standing buildings and a 3,808 square-foot outparcel.

Walgreens opened doors on a 14,500- square-foot site earlier this year, and a new Publix is completing exterior construction with a November opening targeted on an adjoining 28,800-square-foot parcel. Entries off SW 104th Street and SW 117th Avenue lead to a total 337 parking spaces.

Approximately 80 percent of more than 22,000 square feet in three retail buildings has been pre-leased with projected openings of a Chase Bank, Haircuttery, Menchie’s (frozen yogurt) and Metro PCS due for fall of 2012.

Adjoining the Market Square development is an approximate seven-acre site zoned for 88 townhomes tentatively designated as “Marbella Townhomes,” wrapping around the commercial buildings in an L-shaped configuration. A gated community entry off SW 117th Avenue will provide access to the three- and four-bedroom homes (3 and 3.5 baths) built along a single roadway.

Infrastructure for both residential and commercial projects (water, sewer, paving and drainage) is completed with townhome construction currently slated to begin in the first quarter of 2012 and completion by the end of the same year.

The townhomes may be sold or leased, a decision that will be made prior to construction start, said Pablo I. Cejas, 41, director and vice president of PLC Investments Inc., development entity for the two projects.

“The shopping center was designed and built as a lifestyle neighborhood center meant to be a convenience for surrounding residents through creation of a pleasant shopping experience in an aesthetically pleasing environment,” he noted.

Commercial buildings were constructed in strict accordance with the county building code, including impact glass on all storefronts to stand up well in major storms, Cejas pointed out.

“The shopping center’s design also contains sections of covered and uncovered walkways, as well as a master landscape design far in excess of what is required by code,” he said.

“This is important to our family because we are members of the Greater Miami community, and I’ve lived for many years in Kendall, growing up in Kendale Lakes,” added Cejas, active in the acquisition, management and construction of his family’s real estate portfolio for the last 15 years.

Paul Cejas, father to Pablo, has been a real estate investor in Miami for more than 30 years, helping to guide real estate interests that focus mainly on commercial and residential income-producing properties.

Ambassador to Belgium for three years by appointment of President Bill Clinton, the elder Cejas also served the community as a member of Miami-Dade School Board.

Major Cejas developments include a 250,000-square-foot retail/office renovation at 421 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; a 36,000-square-foot office building renovation at 2151 LeJeune Rd., Coral Gables; Lincoln East Garage, 490 parking spaces and 17,000-square-foot retail, Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, as well as ownership and management of multiple apartment complexes in the Kendall submarket area.

“Ground-up development is only undertaken by our family on selected unique situations, such as the [Kendall] property,” Pablo Cejas said.

“The intention is that Market Square will be a trophy asset, a source of pride and usefulness for the surrounding neighborhood,” he emphasized.

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