New Trade Center Would Bring Over 20,000 Jobs to Miami's Wynwood

The Mana Group’s Special Area Plan, a massive multi-use district that includes 24-story buildings and tallies over 3,400 residential units in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, is poised to bring even more jobs to South Florida. The conglomerate just announced in a press release plans to create the Mana Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC), a 10 million square-foot global trade and business hub that will create an estimated 20,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Aiming to leverage Miami’s connection to Pacific trade routes and the many major companies whose Latin American headquarters are in the city, Mana wants the TCIFC to serve as a hub for foreign firms doing business in the Americas. It’s set to include two million square feet of showrooms, over one million square feet of Class-A office space, 75,000 square feet of retail, a 400-key luxury hotel, and 90,000 square feet of open space. The TCIFC should create a big business boost in the neighborhood mostly known for its art scene and colorful murals.

Zyscovich Architects is designing the TCIFC. Mana plans to break ground on the complex in 2018.

Miami key to China business with LatAm

A Miami company plans to build a trade center that connects China and Latin America.

Mana Group, the largest developer in Miami's Wynwood art district, is proposing a 10 million-square-foot facility called MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC).

Phase 1 of the center will consist of 4.68 million square feet of office space, showrooms, retail stores, hotels and public spaces, where Chinese companies and other companies from 32 countries in Latin America will meet.

The facility has been designed, and Mana group said it is talking to investors and strategic partners. Those from China are their main focus.

"Despite the efficiencies that e-commerce and online trade platforms provide, people still trust in their ability to touch merchandise and do business face to face. We are going to provide that comfort that they want," said Moishe Mana, chairman of Mana Group.

Bilateral trade between China and Latin America grew from $12 billion in 2000 to $300 billion in 2015, and by 2020 it's expected to reach $750 billion, according to Theodore Ward, a partner at Novam Portam, a consulting group working with Mana Group on the project.

China is a large importer of iron, soybeans, copper and oil from Latin American countries. At the same time, China is inserting itself into key infrastructure.

In Ecuador, Chinese money, technology and expertise have built a massive hydroelectric plant that provides 35 percent of the country's energy. Two nuclear power plants in Argentina, a 152-mile-long motorway in Colombia, and a container port in northern Brazil are examples of some other Chinese investments.

"There is still room for further collaboration, consolidation of relationships and follow-through," Ward said.

For example, two-thirds of all Peruvian agriculture companies that exported to China stopped over the past five years.

"This isn't because there's a lack of demand in China for those exports, such as fruits, berries and other high-quality agriculture goods. It's because there needs to be more coordination between exporters and Chinese consumer platforms and regulators," he said.

"Until recently, Latin Americans saw China as important, but not as much as they do now," Mana told China Daily.

"Today they see that China is a vital partner for them. They're much more eager to do business with China. They see opportunity in China, they see the future," he said.

The developer believes that with its geological advantage and cultural background, Miami would make an ideal magnet for Asia and Latin America.

Florida International University (FIU) sees the same kind of opportunity. The university started a Spanish program at Qingdao University in December 2014 to train students who in the future could facilitate trade between China and Latin America.

"Trade between Asia and Latin America remains fragmented, and is being held back by a lack of a platform," says Dr Peng Lu, associate provost for international programs at FIU.

"The world's best location for such a platform is Miami. Miami is Latin America's economic center, like Singapore or Hong Kong in Asia. The TCIFC can establish a partnership with trade and logistic hubs in the Far East," he said.

Miami is expecting a direct flight from China, and a Miami Chinatown is in discussion.

People are confident that Miami will one day become a focal point between China and Latin America, and the city itself will benefit from the job creation and economic impact.

"It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," said Mark Rosenberg, president of FIU, who's heading to China soon to recruit more Chinese students to Miami.

hezijiang@chinadailyusa.com

Vision to Transform Miami's Wynwood into International Hub Moves Forward

Vision to Transform Miami's Wynwood into International Hub Moves Forward - NBC 6 Miami

A new visionary project is moving forward to transform Miami’s vibrant Wynwood neighborhood into an international commerce hub that will bring an estimated 20,000 jobs in South Florida.

Newly released captivating animated renderings paint a bustling image of what is being called the MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center.

"Lots of work has been done in Asia and South America in order in order to make this project possible," says Moishe Mana, chairman of the MANA Group. "We are ready to move forward."

The 10 million sq. foot facility will be topped off with world-class showrooms, prime office space, supporting retail, a 400-key luxury hotel, and restaurants and bars to facilitate trade and business between Asia, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean.

"Our purpose is to take Miami from its historic role as a tourist destination to its next chapter," says Mana.

The state-of-the-art facility will house banks, law firms, advisors and consultants, multinational corporations, small and medium size businesses, and government representatives.

The project will also create an estimated 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in South Florida.

The new renderings, based on designs by award-winning architect Bernard Zyscovich of Zyscovich Architects, offer a modern look to the artsy warehouse district.

The final plan is designed to allow the project to blend with the existing neighborhood with buildings up to 24 stories tall along I-95, stair-stepping down to eight-floor buildings along NW 2nd Avenue.

"Wynwood is where we chose to put this project," says Mana. "It’s where business and culture reside side-by-side, in a symbiotic relationship."

 

A new vision for Wynwood will make your eyes pop

FullSizeRender.jpg

BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI
aviglucci@miamiherald.com

Entrepreneur Moishe Mana has unveiled new eye-popping animated renderings of his massive Wynwood redevelopment as he drums up investment and international interest in his plan for a trade center linking Latin America with China and other parts of Asia.

The conceptual images, by far the most detailed Mana and his architects have issued, depict a dense cluster of irregularly spaced towers that would house offices, showrooms, hotels and a conference facility on the western portion of his extensive Wynwood holdings.

The trade center would occupy the 8.5 acres of Mana’s property stretching west of Northwest Fifth Avenue to Interstate 95. A special zoning and development plan, approved by the Miami Commission in September, allows Mana significantly greater height and density there than what is permitted in the surrounding, low-scale Wynwood warehouse district.

The new renderings, based on designs by Miami’s Zyscovich Architects, also provide a fresh, fuller look at the project’s less-intensive eastern section, a 15-acre expanse facing Wynwood’s main street, Northwest Second Avenue. Mana, who has developed a comprehensive art center in a set of former industrial buildings in Jersey City, New Jersey, has promised a series of cultural and art-focused facilities hugging an elongated public plaza he has dubbed Mana Commons.

Full development of the cultural piece, though, is taking a back seat for now to the trade center concept, though Mana is obligated by the city agreement to build the public space early on.

Mana decided to go all-in on the trade center idea after receiving significant interest from China, said Theodore Ward, a partner in Novam Portam, a consulting group that’s helping the developer work up a strategic vision. The firm is also helping Mana reach out to potential tenants in Asia to test its viability. Mana, who is known for adapting old buildings to new uses but has not built much from scratch, is in addition looking for development partners, Ward said.

As a result of his new commitment, Mana has dropped all plans to include high-rise residential in the Wynwood project, Ward said.

The trade center is designed to capitalize on a growing Asian commercial interest in Latin America by linking up traders, producers, lawyers and investment groups from each continent physically in Miami, a natural connection point, Ward said.

Trade between Asian and Latin American interests remains “fragmented” and the Wynwood center would be ideally positioned to cement those relationships, he said. The Asian companies they’re trying to lure do not currently have a presence in South Florida, Ward added.

“What’s needed to do that is a large-scale project like Mana Wynwood,” Ward said. “It’s a huge step. This is the type of project that would really elevate Miami in the eyes of the world. It’s a city that’s seen primarily as a tourist destination, though that’s not fair, as we know.”

Mana’s vision for Wynwood, which has shifted significantly as he has honed it, has been controversial because of its scale and intensity. Some neighborhood property owners and residents worry Mana’s project could overwhelm the old warehouse district’s ongoing transformation into an artsy entertainment, working and living area.

Mana’s team was enmeshed in prolonged and sometimes publicly contentious negotiations with the Wynwood Business Improvement District, a quasi-independent city agency that represents the neighborhood’s property owners, before winning approval for a special area plan under the city’s Miami 21 zoning code. The final plan is meant to ensure that the massive project meshes with the surrounding streets by pushing the higher intensity towards I-95 and away from the center of the neighborhood.

Albert Garcia, the BID’s co-chair, said he expects Mana’s plans to continue to evolve, but that his latest concept appears to fit within the confines of the agreed-upon blueprint.

“We’re obviously committed to responsible development, not only on his piece but throughout the entire district,” Garcia said. “We would obviously expect and assume everything he agreed to is what will end up happening there.

“There are still a lot of questions about when that project will begin and what it will be. Our concerns remains that it has to be done in a balanced way that’s sensitive to the history of Wynwood.”

Mana Wynwood Could Become Huge Latin American-Asian Financial Center

Miami New Times - April 11, 2017

Miami residents were already skeptical about mega-developer Moishe Mana's plans to pave over a huge portion of Wynwood and build a gleaming micro-city in its place. Mana, who splits his time between Manhattan and the Magic City, is the largest single landowner in Wynwood. For years, he's been fighting to turn his holdings into a gigantic,"arts-based" village complete with luxury shops and 24-story residential towers. But longtime Wynwood patrons have warned that the project would irrevocably change the low-lying warehouse neighborhood into another playground for the ultrarich.

Those complaints came before Mana started comparing himself to Florida pioneer Henry Flagler, and before he unveiled his full, huge plan for the neighborhood. Mana revealed last week that his micro-city will include space for corporations, banks, law firms, government agencies, millions of square feet of office space, and a new luxury hotel. And the whole project will be pitched at Chinese and Asian investors.

The project is a massive step up from the already gigantic plans Mana had for Miami's hippest neighborhood. Last week, Mana's company announced via press release that it's building an entire "Americas-Asia Trade Center and International Financial Center" at his MANA Wynwood property, which Miamians otherwise know as a hip music venue that hosts the music festival III Points. The project is openly advertised in order to court wealthy Chinese investors to the area.

Per the Mana company, the project is split into both a "trade center" and "international financial center." The trade center will contain up to two million square feet of showroom space, one million square feet of office space, 75,000 square feet of retail area, 90,000 square feet of "open space" — and a 400-room hotel. The financial center, meanwhile, will include another million square feet of office space for those corporations and banks. Mana claims the project will create 20,000 jobs.

"The IFC will provide major corporates from across Asia, Latin America, and the world with a dedicated hub from which to conduct business and more efficiently expand trade and investment between Asia and the Americas," the release says.

Last year, city officials gave Mana the ability to build multiple 24-story towers on his property. Mana's "special-area plan" encompasses 24 acres and more than 10 million square feet.

The company says it's looking to turn Wynwood into the capital of trade between Latin America and Asia.

"This is a legacy project,” Mana said in a press release. “I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of Henry Flagler and be instrumental in positioning Miami for the 21st century.” (Flagler, of course, created the Florida East Coast Railway, which opened the door for mass migration into Florida, and mass ecological destruction thereafter.)

The project is pitched directly at rich capital owners from emerging markets in China, India, and South Korea. The press release says that trade between Latin American nations already tops $500 billion per year, and is set to jump to $750 billion by 2020. But the company claims trade between the two continents is "fragmented" and does not have a spiritual "hub" where the two groups can do business.

Enter Mana's financial center.

Dr. Peng Lu, the vice-provost for international programs at Florida International University, sings the project's praises in the company's announcement, claiming that the gigantic development will help bridge a gap between the two continents.

"Trade between Asia and Latin America remains fragmented, and is being held back by a lack of a widely recognized platform which can reduce trade friction, uncertainty and logistic and financial costs, and increase market indicators and symmetry of information to all players,” Lu said. "The world’s best location for such a platform is Miami. This is because Miami functions for Latin America the way Singapore or Hong Kong does for Southeast Asia."

None of the company's documentation addresses the fact that Miami already is a world financial hub — just not the exact bridge between Chinese and Latin American investors that Mana is pitching here.

Mana's goals for the project have always been, to some degree, at odds with the existing vibe in Wynwood. He's also been questioned over his business tactics several times in the past year: City officials have already accused Mana once of using "bait-and-switch" tactics to skirt paying local development fees for his earlier Wynwood pitch, and a separate contractor sued Mana last year for using what they called "Donald Trump tactics" to avoid paying them for work.

Regardless, it appears III Points will have to find a new home once the project is complete.

Miami, puente comercial entre Asia y Latinoamérica

El Nuevo Herald - April 5, 2017

Como sabrán el presidente Chino Xi Jinping nos visita en la Florida. Aprovechando su reunión con el principal de la Casa Blanca, en su residencia de Mar-a Lago, nuestro gran inversionista, Moishe Mana, que dicho sea de paso, no es para nada devoto de Donald Trump, aprovechó esta ocasión, para anunciar que creará un Centro de Inversiones América-Asia, que se espera genere en nuestra zona unos 20,000 puestos de trabajo.

“Nuestro propósito es cambiar la perspectiva que se tiene de Miami, de una ciudad que históricamente se ha percibido como de un lugar de turismo y hacer la transición a su nuevo capítulo como un centro global de inversión y comercio que sirva a todas las industrias y mercadee en base interactiva” dijo Mana. “Este proyecto es un legado. Quiero continuar la labor que en su día comenzó Henry Flagler y ayudar a posicionar a Miami en el siglo XXI.”

El centro, que aparentemente abarcará en su totalidad 10 millones de pies cuadrados cuando estén todas las fases construidas, estará localizado en el nuevo barrio miamense de Wynwood. Servirá, según su creador, para establecer comercio entre Asia, Latinoamérica, Norteamérica y el Caribe.

Este pasado otoño, pude hablar con Mana cuando visitaba China como parte de un tour que lo llevó también al resto de Asia y Oriente Medio, en busca de grandes inversiones para Miami. Mana nativo de Israel, hizo su fortuna principalmente en Nueva York y Nueva Jersey. Llegó a Miami en el 2010 y se prendó de esta ciudad y de su potencial. Desde entonces, se ha dedicado a comprar tierras a diestra y siniestra convirtiéndose también, por voluntad propia, en embajador comercial.

Sin embargo, no vacila un instante en dar críticas constructivas. En ese viaje me recalcó, que por muchos condominios que construyamos, Miami no se convertirá en una gran metrópolis hasta que pueda atraer a grandes compañías internacionales que creen trabajos de envergadura e inviten a retener y atraer a los dinámicos jóvenes del milenio, que ahora no vienen y los que tenemos se nos van.

Les tengo que señalar, para que tomen perspectiva, que Mana lleva invertidos unos $200 millones en bienes raíces en Miami, esto es más o menos un 30% de lo que ha invertido en su totalidad el grupo de capitalistas neoyorkinos, que últimamente han hecho grandes compras de propiedades en nuestra ciudad con un total aproximado de $586.5 millones, la mayoría concentradas alrededor del downtown. Obviamente ven un futuro halagador para nuestra ciudad.

“El comercio entre Asia y América Latina se encuentra fragmentado y está obstaculizado por falta de una plataforma” dijo Peng Lu, profesor asociado de la Universidad Internacional de la Florida. “El mejor sitio para establecer esa plataforma es Miami. Miami es el centro económico de América Latina como Singapur o Hong Kong lo son en Asia.”

La primera fase del proyeto de Mana abarcará 8.5 acres y consistirá en 4.68 millones de pies cuadrados de espacio de oficinas de clase A, salas de exposición, tiendas al por menor, hoteles y espacios públicos dedicados a conectar las Américas y Asia.

 

Mana Wynwood to break ground on Americas-Asia trade center in 2018

The Real Deal - April 5, 2017

Developer Moishe Mana revealed that he’s moving forward with the Mana Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center, a massive trade hub set to break ground by mid-2018. 

The trade center will have more than 10 million square feet and is aimed at facilitating trade between China and Asia, Latin America, North America and the Caribbean, according to a press release. Phase one will have 4.68 million square feet of Class A office space, showrooms, retail, hotels and public space spread across 8.5 acres, and is part of Mana’s big plan for Wynwood.

Mana’s Special Area Plan spans more than 40 acres in the artsy neighborhood. Overall, Mana Wynwood encompasses 51,146 square feet of civic space, 3,487 residential units, 8,483 parking spaces, and a 2.5-acre privately owned park dubbed “Mana Commons.”

The trade center is expected to house importers and exporters, logistics companies, and trade and export agencies, and would be located along I-95, according to its website. The developer estimates that it could create about 20,000 indirect and direct jobs in South Florida. Miami’s trade industry already includes organizations like World Trade Center Miami.

The Miami City Commission approved the SAP in September. The Wynwood Business Improvement District and Mana agreed to split the developer’s 25-acre project into two phases. His trade-oriented towers along Northwest Fifth Avenue can only be built after receiving building permits for a large portion of the culture- and education-centric eastern half on Northwest Second Avenue, which includes the Mana Commons. – Katherine Kallergis

Mana Reveals Plans For Americas-Asia Trade Center In Wynwood

The Next Miami - April 5, 2016

Most of the Mana Wynwood property will be transformed into an Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC), according to new details revealed by the developer.

The first phase of the project will include 4.68 million square feet of space on 8.5 acres, including:

  • 1 million square feet of “Class A” office space
  • 75,000 square feet of retail/restaurants
  • 400-room hotel
  • 90,000 square feet of open space with parks, gardens and walkways

The goal is to make Miami a global business hub, with the focus on trade with Asia. Manufacturers, importers, and exporters would use the space to display and transact.

Mana hopes to break ground sometime in 2018, according to the SFBJ.

Miami Development News: Mana Wynwood’s Americas-Asia Trade Center to create 20,000 jobs

Curbed Miami - April 5, 2016

Miami’s mega-development scene continues to roar.

Within Mana Group’s enormous Special Area Plan in Wynwood that has been in the works for years is the introduction of the MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC), according to a press release.

Encompassing over 10 million square feet, TCIFC would serve as the hub for all trade and business between Asia, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. It is expected to create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in South Florida.

TCIFC includes up to 2 million square feet of showrooms, over 1 million square feet of Class-A office space, 75,000 square feet of retail, a 400-key luxury hotel, and 90,000 square feet of open space.

It’s “a legacy project,” according to Mana Group Chairman Moishe Mana, and was designed by Zyscovich Architects.

"It has been six years since we started incubating this vision from the great assemblage job of this massive valuable property, all the way through achieving the SAP approval,” he said. "Lots of work has been done in Asia and South America in order in order to make this project possible. We are ready to move forward.

“Our purpose is to take Miami from it’s historic role as a tourist destination to it’s next chapter. Our goal is to make Miami a global trading business hub servicing all industries and trades on an interactive basis."

Check out the following rendering video, which surfaced on The Next Miami.

Moishe Mana reveals plan for Americas-Asia trade center in Wynwood

South Florida Business Journal - April 5, 2017

Moishe Mana’s Mana Group has unveiled the centerpiece of his massive mixed-use project in Miami’s Wynwood district: a center that would facilitate commerce with Latin America and Asia.

In 2016, the city approved a special area plan for Mana Wywnood, covering nearly 24 acres, with about 10 million square feet permitted at the former warehouse site. The property extends from Northwest 22nd Street to Northwest 24th Street between Interstate 95 and Northwest 2nd Avenue. Buildings could be as tall as 24 stories near the interstate.

The Mana Wynwood project aims to become a campus for business innovation, technology and… more

Mana said he’s moving forward on the Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC) to encompass the majority of his project. Its aim would be to facilitate trade and business between China/Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. Mana wants to attract international companies to his project.

Mana said he hopes to create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs through the project.

Over the years, multiple developers have discussed creating an Asia or China trade center in South Florida, yet none has built such a facility. Mana hopes to break ground sometime in 2018.

"Lots of work has been done in Asia and South America in order to make this project possible. We are ready to move forward,” Mana said. “Our purpose is to take Miami from it’s historic role as a tourist destination to it’s next chapter. Our goal is to make Miami a global trading business hub servicing all industries and trades on an interactive basis."

The first phase of the TCIFC would total 4.68 million square feet on 8.5 acres. That would break down to 2 million square feet of showrooms, 1 million square feet of “Class A” office space, 75,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, a 400-room hotel, and 90,000 square feet of open space with parks, gardens and walkways. The showrooms would be utilized by importers, exporters, manufacturers and other groups to display their goods and make transactions.

“Trade between Asia and Latin America remains fragmented, and is being held back by a lack of a widely-recognized platform which can reduce trade friction, uncertainty and logistic and financial costs, and increase market indicators and symmetry of information to all players,” said Peng Lu, associate provost for international programs at Florida International University. "The world’s best location for such as a platform is Miami. This is because Miami functions for Latin America the way Singapore or Hong Kong does for Southeast Asia. The TCIFC can establish a partnership with those trade and logistic hubs in the Far East, following on the efforts of FIU's Spanish language program in Qingdao.”

Mana will also build an arts facility for FIU at Mana Wynwood after donating $10 million to the university.

Bernard Zyscovich of Zyscovich Architects designed the TCIFC. Theodore Ward, founding partner of Novam Portam, is managing the Miami Wynwood project.

Knight Foundation, FIU, Creative Class Group team up to expand innovation research

Miami Herald - April 4, 2017

As South Florida leaders work to develop a tech and startup ecosystem, they find that hard numbers are tough to come by. Startups come and go, current tech employment can be difficult to quantify and angel investors are plentiful but not always active. So how do you see what you have, measure progress and chart the way forward?

To that end, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on Wednesday has invested $1.2 million into the Miami Urban Future Initiative, a joint project of Florida International University’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts and the Creative Class Group. The Miami Urban Future Initiative aims to fill an existing research gap on economic, entrepreneurial, creative and technological assets in the region spanning Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Matt Haggman, the Knight Foundation’s Miami program director who is spearheading efforts to build an entrepreneurship hub, said the Miami Urban Future Initiative will provide community leaders with the information they need to “help craft a strategic direction for the city that stirs new ideas, illuminates challenges and opportunities and helps leaders avoid decisions based on outdated assumptions.” Over the past four years, Knight has committed more than $25 million into about 200 entrepreneurship organizations or projects in South Florida.

The initiative combines the capabilities of FIU CARTA, led by Dean Brian Schriner, and the Creative Class Group, founded by urbanist and author Richard Florida. It will leverage existing FIU researchers and experts, as well as business leaders, economic development practitioners and other experts across the region to discuss the challenges facing Miami and strategies to tackle them.

The Miami Urban Future Initiative will expand up ongoing research about Miami’s economy and the makeup of Miami’s “Creative Class” that is already being conducted by FIU and the Creative Class Group, Florida said. It will also host a fellows program to bring the best and brightest urban thinkers, practitioners and researchers to Miami.

“Miami finds itself at a critical inflection point,” Florida said. “Our city builders and leaders need a road map to grow our economy.”

The initiative will be housed at FIU CARTA’s planned facility in Mana Wynwood in order to be closer to the heart of the ecosystem and an executive director will be hired, Florida said. The initiative is seeking matching support to complement Knight Foundation funding. For more information, visit: http://carta.fiu.edu/creativecity/miami-urban-future-initiative/

“Partnering with Knight Foundation and the Creative Class Group to deliver the work of the Miami Urban Future Initiative is our way of helping to accelerate Miami’s ongoing transformation and create solutions to the challenges facing our region,” FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg said in the announcement.

 

MANA Group Moves Forward on MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia TCIFC to Create 20,000 Jobs in South Florida

Yahoo Finance - April 4, 2017

On the occasion of President Xi’s visit to South Florida, the MANA Group is proud to announce that it is moving forward on the MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC), that will create an estimated 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in South Florida. A facility of over 10 million square feet, the TCIFC will be the premier hub to facilitate trade and business between China/Asia, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. The 8.5-acre Phase 1 of the TCIFC will consist of 4.68 million square feet (SF) of Class-A office space, showrooms, retail, hotels, and public space dedicated to connecting the Americas and Asia.

“Our purpose is to take Miami from its historic role as a tourist destination to its next chapter, as a global trading business hub servicing all industries and trades on an interactive basis,” says Moishe Mana, Chairman of MANA Group. "This is a legacy project. I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of Henry Flagler and be instrumental in positioning Miami for the 21st century.”

“Trade between Asia and Latin America remains fragmented, and is being held back by lack of a platform,” says Dr. Peng Lu, Associate Provost for International Programs at Florida International University. "The world’s best location for such as a platform is Miami. Miami is Latin America’s economic center, like Singapore or Hong Kong in Asia. The TCIFC can establish a partnership with trade and logistic hubs in the Far East.”

"The TCIFC represents the next stage in Miami’s role as the cultural and economic capital of the Americas; the hub for the relationship between Asia and the Americas,” says Theodore Ward, Partner at Novam Portam in charge of the MANA Wynwood project. "It is a natural Western Hemisphere complement for China’s One Belt One Road Initiative."

For further information, please see our full press release.

www.americasasiatcifc.com

About MANA GROUP

MANA Group is a diversified conglomeration of businesses controlled by the visionary entrepreneur, Moishe Mana. Holdings include logistics, fine art & document storage, entertainment, arts, fashion, technology, and real estate. The company’s real estate holdings across the United States amount to approximately 15 million SF on more than 80 acres of urban land.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170404006514/en/

MANA GROUP MOVES FORWARD ON MANA WYNWOOD AMERICAS-ASIA TRADE CENTER & INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTER (TCIFC) TO CREATE 20,000 JOBS IN SOUTH FLORIDA

On the occasion of President Xi’s visit to South Florida, the MANA Group is proud to announce that it is moving forward on the MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC), that will create estimated 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in South Florida. A facility of over 10 million square feet, the TCIFC will be the premier hub designed to facilitate all trade and business between China/Asia, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. The TCIFC will provide a home for all current and future regional headquarters for foreign firms doing business in the Americas. The TCIFC will have showrooms to serve manufacturers and industrial companies; Class-A office space for e-commerce and digital businesses, as well as banking, legal, governmental, and service providers; and retail and hospitality catering to the TCIFC and Wynwood communities. 

"It has been six years since we started incubating this vision from the great assemblage job of this massive valuable property, all the way through achieving the SAP approval,” says Moishe Mana, Chairman of MANA Group. "Lots of work has been done in Asia and South America in order in order to make this project possible. We are ready to move forward.”

“Our purpose is to take Miami from it’s historic role as a tourist destination to it’s next chapter,” says Mana. "Our goal is to make Miami a global trading business hub servicing all industries and trades on an interactive basis."

"This is a legacy project,” says Mana. “I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of Henry Flagler and be instrumental in positioning Miami for the 21st century.”

Miami is the de facto capital of Latin America, located strategically at the approaches to the Panama Canal, which connects it to the Pacific trade routes. Miami is also a desired destination for Americans. Over 55 million passengers travel through Miami International Airport, which is the number one air gateway to Latin America; PortMiami is Latin America’s biggest neo-Panamax shipping hub; and 90% of internet traffic for Latin America passes through the Miami area’s seven fiber-optic submarine cables. Miami is the Latin America headquarters for over 600 multinational corporations. Miami has also benefited from the growth of its regional economy. That growth has propelled the urban core to expand and encompass new neighborhoods, such as Wynwood, one of the most vibrant and influential urban arts scenes in the world.

“Wynwood is where we chose to put this project,” says Mana. “It’s where business and culture reside side-by-side, in a symbiotic relationship."

Catalyst for Americas-Asia Relationship

Growing from a negligible flow two decades ago, trade between Asia and Latin America has boomed as a result of the growth of the economies and middle class consumers in both regions. Annual trade totals $500 billion, and is expected to grow to $750 billion by 2020. China is the main driver of this growth, but increasingly other countries in Asia — such as India or Korea — are taking a greater role. But the bilateral relationship remains fragmented.

“Trade between Asia and Latin America remains fragmented, and is being held back by a lack of a widely-recognized platform which can reduce trade friction, uncertainty and logistic and financial costs, and increase market indicators and symmetry of information to all players,” says Dr. Peng Lu, Associate Provost for International Programs at Florida International University (FIU). "The world’s best location for such as a platform is Miami. This is because Miami functions for Latin America the way Singapore or Hong Kong does for Southeast Asia. The TCIFC can establish a partnership with those trade and logistic hubs in the Far East, following on the efforts of FIU's Spanish language program in Qingdao. Currently we are also talking with Qingdao University for an annual Conference and Expo for Sino-Latino Trade in Miami or Qingdao in 2018.”

"Miami is uniquely positioned to lift the relationship between Asia and the Americas to the next level,” says Theodore Ward, Founding Partner of Novam Portam, and in charge of the MANA Wynwood project. "The MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center represents the next stage in Miami’s role as the cultural and economic capital of the Americas, and can be the hub for the relationship between Asia and the Americas. It is a natural complement in the Western Hemisphere for China’s One Belt One Road Initiative."

The MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC)

The MANA Wynwood Americas-Asia Trade Center & International Financial Center (TCIFC) Phase 1 will consist of 4.68 million square feet (SF) on 8.5 acres of Class-A office space, showrooms, retail, hotels, and public space dedicated to driving trade and investment between the Americas and Asia. The TCIFC will help address trans-border issues by centralizing operations in Miami. The TCIFC will provide the critical infrastructure that the banks, corporations, government institutions and advisors require. It will contain up to 2 million SF of showrooms; over 1 million SF of Class-A office space; 75,000 SF of supporting retail; a 400-Key luxury hotel; and 90,000 SF of open space.

Award-winning architect Bernard Zyscovich of Zyscovich Architects has designed the TCIFC.

The Trade Center portion of the TCIFC will house up to 2 million SF of showrooms. This state-of-the-art facility will be home to the companies and service providers driving the bilateral trade relationship between the Americas and Asia, including: importers; exporters; producers; logistics companies; trade & export promotion agencies; and government representatives. The Trade Center will address issues impacting these companies and their clients.

The International Financial Center (IFC) portion of the TCIFC will house over 1 million SF of Class-A office space. A truly unique world-class facility, the IFC will provide a home to: corporations; banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs); law firms; government agencies and consulates; and services-providers. The IFC will provide major corporates from across Asia, Latin America and the world with a dedicated hub from which to conduct business and more efficiently expand trade and investment between Asia and the Americas.

For more information, visit: www.americasasiatcifc.com

The MANA Wynwood Special Area Plan (SAP)

The TCIFC will be the cornerstone of the broader MANA Wynwood Special Area Plan (SAP). The SAP has entitlements for more than ten million square feet (10,000,000 sqf) — including the TCIFC — on almost 24 acres of land. Zoned as one contiguous multi-use district between NW 22nd Street and facing NW 24th Street, the SAP will allow for buildings up to 24 stories tall on an eight-story platform along I-95, stair-stepping down to eight-floor buildings along NW 2nd Avenue to blend in with the existing neighborhood.

About MANA GROUP

MANA Group is a diversified conglomeration of businesses controlled by the visionary entrepreneur, Moishe Mana. Mr. Mana’s holdings include logistics, fine art & document storage, entertainment, arts, fashion, technology, and real estate. As the Chairman of MANA Group, Mr. Mana is a committed to using his company as a catalyst for change in neighborhoods across the United States. The company’s real estate holdings across the United States amount to approximately 15 million SF on more than 80 acres of urban land. 

MANA Group pursues projects that foster creative culture, not only of the arts, but also of innovative businesses that push the evolution of society. The current projects under development transcend markets & industries, and have proven to impact the communities in which they are located. Whether it’s creating a space that functions as a hub for the arts across disciplines, or rehabbing neighborhoods into creative communities for mixed use purposes, Mr. Mana’s vision for the development of emerging locations is unparalleled.

 

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Theodore Ward
Partner
Novam Portam
trw@novamportam.com
+1 347 755-1174

www.americasasiatcifc.com

$10 million gift from Moishe Mana to fund new arts home for FIU

Miami Herald - December 2, 2016

Florida International University’s arts program will have a home in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood starting next year, funded by a donation worth $10 million from developer Moishe Mana. The program will be known as FIU CARTA (College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts) @ Mana Wynwood.

The gift is a $2.5 million donation and the in-kind use of 15,000 square feet of studio and lab space for architecture, design, art and communications students within Mana Wynwood, a 30-acre mixed-use development.

FIU CARTA @ Mana Wynwood will aim to attract visiting artists and designers from around the globe. It will offer FIU students and the community a variety of teaching opportunities, exhibitions, lectures, charrettes and master classes, as well as creative and research activities.

Mana’s donation will support programming, professional staff, student travel and scholarships, the university said this week. The gift will also fund two-year fellowships for Mana Innovation Fellows to work as artists-in-residence at Mana Wynwood.

“Not only do our students benefit from this exceptional opportunity to be immersed in Wynwood, but the local community will also be enriched by the innovation and creativity that emerges as a direct result of this historic partnership,” said CARTA Dean Brian Schriner.

The program will occupy temporary space at 2217 NW Fifth Ave. in Mana Wynwood beginning next June, with occupancy and classes starting as soon as fall semester 2017. The college will occupy a custom-built 15,000-square-foot space on the new Mana Wynwood campus upon full construction of the site in three to five years.

“We see this investment as the start of a mutually beneficial collaboration that will bring in more partners from around the world,” Mana said. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that Miami and the Wynwood Arts District remain globally relevant in the contemporary world of artistic and creative visionaries.”

In 2015, CARTA opened the Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) on Lincoln Road, a creative space for students and the community with design, gallery and performance space and the CARTA Innovation Lab. CARTA also recently announced it will be starting an incubator for arts-related businesses and ideas.

 

College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts partners with Mana Contemporary

FIU News - November 30, 2016

FIU creative endeavors will soon have a new home on the east side of town with FIU CARTA @ Mana Wynwood.

The partnership is made possible through a charitable contribution of $2.5 million dollars from Mana Contemporary and the in-kind use of 15,000 square feet of studio and lab space for architecture, design, art, and communication students within Mana Wynwood, a 30-acre development located in the popular Wynwood neighborhood. The total impact value of the gift is more than $10 million.

“We are excited to be working with Moishe Mana, who has shown incredible vision and entrepreneurship in Miami and around the world,” FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg said. “He is allowing us to present our College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) students with invaluable experience and exposure to unparalleled international design and creativity.”

With this new partnership, CARTA and Mana Contemporary aim to attract visiting artists and designers from around the globe. In addition, it will offer FIU students and the community a variety of teaching opportunities, exhibitions, lectures, charrettes, and master classes, as well as creative and research activities. Mana’s gift will also fund two-year fellowships for Mana Innovation Fellows to work as artists-in-residence at Mana Wynwood. Programming, professional staff, student travel, and scholarships will also be supported by this gift.

“Our main focus is to nurture Miami’s cultural scene through quality and innovation,” said Mana. “Our vision is to become Miami’s hub for the arts and culture, and to continue to bring international recognition to the city and the Wynwood Arts District. We see this investment as the start of a mutually beneficial collaboration that will bring in more partners from around the world. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that Miami and the Wynwood Arts District remain globally relevant in the contemporary world of artistic and creative visionaries.”

“FIU CARTA @ Mana Wynwood is a win-win for CARTA and Mana Contemporary,” said CARTA Dean Brian Schriner. “Not only do our students benefit from this exceptional opportunity to be immersed in Wynwood, but the local community will also be enriched by the innovation and creativity that emerges as a direct result of this historic partnership.”

This Billionaire Started Out as a Man With a Van

Bloomberg - October 5, 2016

Moishe Mana arrived in New York from Israel in the 1980s and turned his “man with a van” delivery gig into one of the city’s great moving and storage companies. Trucks bearing the Moishe’s Moving name rumbled everywhere on Manhattan streets.

Today, the 59-year-old Mana has little to do with the business that helped make him a billionaire. The man who claims to have once faced down Mob boss John Gotti Jr. would rather talk about art, specifically the abandoned warehouses and dilapidated properties in run-down parts of New York, New Jersey and Chicago that he snapped up to convert into urban arts and cultural meccas.

Now the Israeli immigrant wants to do the same in Miami, but on a far more ambitious scale. He’s become the single biggest landholder in Miami’s Wynwood section, a gentrifying area north of downtown. Here, he’s proposing a massive, high-rise development of residential and office space to lure technology companies and international trade businesses -- built around museums, art spaces and dance studios.

Mana insists his focus on cultural attractions distinguishes him from a typical developer, a term he rejects with almost as much scorn as he reserves for a certain better-known builder, Donald Trump.

“I don’t take a building and just do condos,” he says in a thick Israeli accent. “I bought 45 buildings in two years in Miami because I build lifestyles around neighborhoods. My business model is a bit different.”

Art Collection

To that end, he says he will experiment in Wynwood with solving the problem of artists getting priced out of neighborhoods where real estate is booming: they would pay rent for micro apartments with their work. That happens to fit his endgame of accumulating an art collection that one day is more valuable than his land.

Mana’s fortune is valued at $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the first time he appears on a global wealth ranking. And most of it today is in real estate.

Often seen wearing dark sunglasses and T-shirts or collared shirts with a couple buttons undone, Mana drives a Mercedes sedan, which is not saying much in America’s luxury car capital. He doesn’t indulge in all the excesses his wealth could afford him, his friends say.

“He could, but he never would, own a private jet," says Eugene Lemay, his longtime business partner.

Brooklyn Building

Mana came to America on a one-way ticket in his mid-20s. Living in a derelict building in Brooklyn, he took a job with an Israeli renovations contractor, and soon bartered to use his van for night deliveries.

He started out delivering towels to gay saunas and eventually turned the gig into Moishe’s Moving. His non-union prices undercut the trade union monopoly, and his moving business made him a millionaire in just a few years.

Mana also founded a document management company, GRM, which is now more like a tech company with imaging and digital storage serving 15 U.S. cities, a business that the Bloomberg index values at more than $200 million.

Milk Studios

But real estate was in his blood; he was, after all, the son of real estate brokers. He bought a building in New York’s then-neglected Meatpacking District in 1998, and set up Milk Studios for fashion photography.

Mana’s transition to the art world started when clients sought his help storing their collections. The idea evolved into Mana Contemporary, a 1 million-square-foot cultural center in an old tobacco warehouse in the former industrial backwater of Jersey City. It includes art studios, exhibition spaces and art storage.

Mana is already a major player in downtown Miami, having spent about $300 million purchasing properties. “He bought by the pound, not the ounce,” said Lyle Chariff, president of Chariff Realty Group in Miami.

He’s taken a similarly aggressive approach in Wynwood, where since 2009 he’s acquired more than 40 acres of land. He recently received approval to build 9 million square feet with buildings as high as 24 stories, the previous limit was 12.

Cultural Institutions

Some residents early on objected to the scale of the development, coming at a time when gentrification was already well under way in Wynwood, driving a handful of art galleries to less-hyped Little Haiti nearby. “Gentrification is bad for a community when identity and culture starts to get washed clean," said Books Bischof, a partner at Primary art gallery.

Mana’s company eventually satisfied critics by agreeing to lure institutions involved in dance, painting, photography and other art before building high-rises. Gentrification is “absolutely natural,” he said, “if anything, it really enhances the neighborhood.”

He’s already pledged to offer artists affordable living arrangements and work spaces that would be shared with techies and medical professionals. At the same time, he has a vision of creating a hub of trading-related businesses to sustain the neighborhood and wean it off its reliance on tourism -- which was hit by the recent Zika scare.

"You can build so many restaurants and coffee shops and galleries, but if you don’t have business next to you, it’s not going to hold," he said.

Art, Politics

Miami has afforded Mana with an unusual opportunity to mix art and politics. The Israeli immigrant despises Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rants, offering to give $2 million to charity if Trump would disclose his tax returns. When that didn’t work, he had another idea.

He asked the anarchist art collective Indecline to install an unflattering naked statue of Trump. The piece, titled "The Emperor Has No Balls," was later stolen and recovered but it had no head or legs either. Mana restored it.

That experience pales compared to what he said he endured building his moving business, like people shooting out windows of his offices and trucks. One day, he said, he received a call from a man identifying himself as John Gotti, the now-deceased Mafia boss, who was unhappy with his use of non-union labor.

“I had no idea who he was," Mana said, with characteristic chutzpah. "I said you can kill me but there will be many others behind me too."

Massive project in Wynwood reaches agreement with neighborhood BID

South Florida Business Journal - September 8, 2016

The Mana Wynwood project, one of the largest developments in Miami at 9.72 million square feet of residential, commercial and cultural amenities, has reached a compromise agreement with the neighborhood association.

New York developer Moishe Mana has been seeking the support of the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) before taking his plan to the city commission, which is scheduled to consider it on Thursday. He hopes to make the project a hub for creative office space, trade, education, the arts and younger residents.

The Mana Wynwood project aims to become a campus for business innovation, technology and creative industries.

The Mana Wynwood project aims to become a campus for business innovation, technology and… more

In recent weeks, the two sides have been in disagreement about the timing of the various phases of the project and the financial considerations. The Wynwood BID previously said Mana Wynwood would contribute $10 million to it for neighborhood improvements, but the developer recently committed $7 million of that money to Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency at the behest of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon.

Located on 23.5 acres at Northwest 22nd Street to Northwest 24th Street between Interstate 95 and Northwest 2nd Avenue, Mana Wynwood is not in Overtown but is directly north of a part of the neighborhood that has experienced economic struggles. Meanwhile, Wynwood has been revitalized into an arts district with new restaurants, retailers and many residential projects in the works.

The neighborhood was recently rezoned to allow for more residential development, buildings as tall as 12 stories and the ability to reduce parking requirements by paying into the BID’s parking fund.

Mana Wynwood would have buildings as tall as 24 stories on the west side near Interstate 95.

On Wednesday, the Wynwood BID and its board of local property owners endorsed a plan to divide Mana Wynwood into two zones. The western zone would have high-rise buildings and the eastern zone would follow the same zoning rules as the rest of Wynwood. The dividing street between the zones is Northwest 5th Avenue.

If the larger eastern zone fell under the same zoning rules as the rest of Wynwood, it would result in Mana making a greater financial contribution to the BID over time.

At the same meeting, the Wynwood BID rejected the special area plan (SAP) that Mana Wynwood submitted to the city in its current form. The BID wants its changes incorporated into the development agreement before the city vote.

“The alternative plan that we presented today further underscores our steadfast commitment to reach a consensus with Mr. Mana,” said Albert Garcia, vice chairman of the Wynwood BID. “We expect Mr. Mana will honor his previous commitments to the Wynwood NRD Public Benefits Trust Fund and the Southeast Overtown / Park West CRA.”

Mana Wynwood representatives said its plan would have $45 million in public benefits, including the financial contributions to the Overtown CRAs and the BID, nearly 2.5 acres of public open space, a new city fire station, a public transit stop, upgrades to roads, walkways, the sewer system and power lines. It also pledged to create a fashion and arts program with the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA to train students and to meet specific local hiring goals.

“Our purpose in Miami is to build a cultural and business infrastructure rich in fashion, art and entertainment,” Moishe Mana said in a statement. “The continued support of the Wynwood BID allows us to move closer to realizing a historic opportunity to grow the arts and enhance the cultural and business diversity that Miami needs.”

Mana Wynwood would have 3,482 residential units, 51,146 square feet of civic space, 168,287 square feet of open space and 8,483 parking spaces. The balance of the space would be "Flex Space," a category that could include office, showrooms, media and technology, manufacturing-enabled retail, art galleries, warehouses, exhibition, museums and conference space. The developer said 10 percent of the units would be for affordable and workforce housing.

The first component would be a 243,982-square-foot mixed-use building that would be leased to Luxury Brand Partners.

"With the help of policymakers and local businesses we have put together an ambitious plan that expands arts and business opportunities in Wynwood, as well as opportunities for neighboring communities like Overtown who have a storied history of arts and deep cultural significance to South Florida,” said architect Bernard Zyscovich, who works for Mana on the project.

Deal to solve Wynwood mega-project tiff: Split baby in two

Miami Herald - September 7, 2016

Eager to salve a split that threatened political support for his massive Wynwood redevelopment, entrepreneur Moishe Mana agreed on Wednesday to a put his plan through an unexpected and “radical” last-minute surgery proposed by a group of fellow neighborhood property owners.

Whether the new plan flies or not, though, won’t be decided until the Miami Commission meets Thursday afternoon for what was to be the second and final vote on the Mana Wynwood special area plan, which contemplates a staggering 10 million square feet of commercial, residential and cultural development in the core of the burgeoning hipster mecca.

The new proposal would split Mana’s project in two, allowing the developer to move forward with a plan for an international trade center that’s attracted investment interest on one piece, while putting off the balance of the blueprint for a brief period to shape it in a way that ensures it meshes with the low-scale neighborhood around it instead of overwhelming it.

The plan would also sidestep a contentious battle over $10 million that Mana had pledged to contribute to a city fund designed to ameliorate the impact on new development in Wynwood. That promise was part of a wide-ranging agreement that Mana made in March with the Wynwood Business Improvement District, a semi-autonomous public agency that represents local property owners, to win their support for his project.

But the BID balked when the developer later agreed to divert all but $2.5 million of the promised money to the Overtown community redevelopment agency after meeting privately with Miami Comissioner Keon Hardemon, who represents both the impoverished, mostly black neighborhood as well as a portion of Wynwood. That shift, which came after the commission approved the plan on an initial vote, prompted angry accusations from BID leaders that Mana had breached their agreement, though the developer’s representatives say it was Hardemon’s decision to divert the money, not theirs.

On Wednesday, the BID’s board of directors voted 4-0 in a public meeting to rescind their support of Mana’s original concept. But they immediately also unanimously endorsed an alternative proposal outlined by developer and BID board member David Polinsky.

That last-minute proposal, which Mana’s representatives also endorsed, would “bifurcate” Mana’s original 25-acre plan. The first piece, a west zone consisting of nine acres, mostly on three blocks along Interstate 95, would go directly to a commission vote Thursday with the BID’s explicit support.

That piece would be developed along the lines of Mana’s original plan. Special zoning rules would allow Mana to erect a clutch of towers of up to 24 stories on that piece, double the maximum permitted by a zoning plan enacted last year to protect Wynwood’s low-scale character. The towers would house a hotel, offices and exhibition spaces as part of an international trade center focused on Asia and Latin America, and Mana representatives say he needs to move quickly to seize on serious investment interest in the idea.

But on the second piece, the larger eastern zone that directly abuts the heart of Wynwood, instead of creating its own special-area zoning rules, the BID’s alternate plan would instead have new construction adhere to the existing Neighborhood Revitalization District rules enacted last year — something some BID members have wanted. The BID said it would collaborate with Mana on altering NRD zoning rules as needed to accommodate Mana’s concept of a creative zone of cultural and educational buildings surrounding an extensive public plaza dubbed Mana Commons.

The new agreement carries advantages and potential pitfalls for all sides, both parties noted.

It gives Mana much of what he had been seeking, including sundering a “phasing” plan that would have permitted the developer to build his lucrative towers only after completing substantial portions of the eastern zone — meaning there’s a risk the public plaza and less-profitable cultural buildings might not happen soon, if ever.

Any “bonus” fees Mana pays for the right to build taller in that zone would be split as Hardemon wanted, with about $7.5 million going to the Overtown CRA, the BID board agreed.

But the new plan also puts the 15 or so acres in the eastern zone back under the NRD zoning rules —meaning the BID wins not just potentially a more-compatible scale and look of new construction, but also that Mana would be required to pay substantial impact fees into the Wynwood public benefits trust fund on anything he builds there. His original plan would have exempted him from paying the fees.

That could mean a significant windfall for the Wynwood fund — which is designed to pay for street and sidewalk improvements, public spaces, parking garages and affordable housing — exceeding the pledged $10 million, said Polinsky and BID vice-chairman Albert Garcia.

“It’s an opportunity to have the applicant play by the same rules as the rest of the district and protect the integrity of the NRD,” Garcia said. “And Wynwood could conceivably benefit even more.”

Mana submits plans for 49-story apartment tower in downtown Miami

The Real Deal - July 13, 2016

Mana Wynwood has submitted plans for a 49-story, 328-unit apartment tower in downtown Miami, the first for developer Moishe Mana in downtown Miami. 

Mana and Zyscovich Architects submitted their plans for 200 North Miami Avenue to Miami’s Urban Development Review Board for its July 25 meeting. Mana has spent more than $200 million acquiring land and buildings in downtown Miami, in addition to what he’s amassed in Wynwood.

The 322,355-square-foot apartment tower would rise on a 14,325-square-foot plot of land in the Flagler Street neighborhood of downtown Miami. It would include 23,295 square feet of residential amenities, a 6,550-square-foot lobby and a leasing office – and no parking, according to the proposal.

Last year, Mana filed suit against the Miami Parking Authority after the city agency agreed to lease the garage land next door to another developer, Grand Station. Mana wanted to combine both sites for his own development, which would include a bigger expansion the existing parking garage.

Micro units, which Mana previously hinted at, would take up about a third of the 328 apartments, architect Bernard Zyscovich told The Real Deal. They would be located on the lower levels, with higher end units on the upper levels.

Amenities at 200 North Miami Avenue will include an infinity pool and pool deck, shared social spaces and possibly conventional amenities like a gym, Bernard Zyscovich told TRD. “We’re looking very much at the idea of trying to have a very intensely filled out technology [oriented] building,” he said. Think very fast Wi-Fi and TVs that stream services like Netflix.

Dylan Finger, managing director of Mana Wynwood, previously told TRD that micro units would attract young professionals, millennials and creative workers, who would otherwise be out-priced.

“In Miami, we have these nice condo buildings that are beautiful. But they’re not affordable; they’re out of reach,” he told TRD last summer. Either Miami’s young professionals “have to share an apartment or live in Kendall or live at home or live far away from the urban core.”

Zyscovich said there is no set start date for the project yet.

In June, Mana took out close to $10 million in financing out of a bigger $100 million loan for properties he owns in downtown Miami, this project site not included. Centennial Bank is the lender for that loan. Mana could not be reached for more information on what that would be used for.

For future of Wynwood, look to Jersey City. Yes. Jersey City.

Miami Herald - June 22, 2016

JERSEY CITY, N.J. Moving-company and arts mogul Moishe Mana’s grand but hazy vision for his extensive holdings in Miami’s mushrooming Wynwood district, which calls for a mini-city built around “culture,” starts to solidfy once you see his sprawling Mana Contemporary art center in this once-forsaken industrial town.

Mana spent millions to turn a complex of century-old brick warehouse and factory buildings into a bright, bustling campus that caters to the full ecology of the visual arts in an all-inclusive way that’s not been tried before. There are artists’ studios, a foundry, vast exhibition spaces, state-of-the-art storage and galleries for private collectors, offices and archives for major art foundations, even an art school, all combined with crating, framing, restoration and shipping services.

The twist: This is no vanity project. It’s a money-maker.

The Israeli-born, New York-based entrepreneur hopes to replicate the Mana Contemporary concept on 24 acres of mostly vacant land he owns in Wynwood as part of a broader, and controversial, plan that’s up for its first review and vote Thursday at the Miami City Commission. Mana wants the land substantially upzoned so he can also build offices and workshops for tech companies, a trade center focused on Latin America, hotels and high-rise condos or apartments affordable to artists and the young creative types now flocking to Wynwood for work and play.

As in Jersey City, the idea is to develop a close-knit, collaborative creative community by offering integrated services and facilities, and using some of the revenue from rents and fees to support exhibitions and other public programs, Mana’s collaborators say. One key element is significant participation of artists, said Eugene Lemay, who is often described as Mana’s right-hand man.

“Most developers are interested in bringing in artists to increase value, and then the artists can’t afford it. We’re a different kind of developer,” said Lemay, who manages Mana’s web of businesses and is himself a respected artist. “We are going to build a city, but it’s built around culture. It’s not just the real estate.”

WE ARE GOING TO BUILD A CITY, BUT IT’S BUILT AROUND CULTURE. IT’S NOT JUST THE REAL ESTATE.
Eugene Lemay

But, Lemay adds: “It has to be profitable and a sustainable business.”

Despite misgivings from Mana Wynwood’s neighbors that its size would overwhelm the low-rise warehouse district, the plan was endorsed by the board of the local Business Improvement District, a city-chartered agency that’s championed controlled development to preserve the area’s modest scale, enhance its walkability and foster development of housing, so far the key missing piece in turning Wynwood into a true neighborhood.

Mana and his planner, Bernard Zyscovich, reshaped the project to better weave it into the surrounding blocks, and BID leaders said they were excited by their plans to bring in major national and international arts groups to Wynwood.

Among those who have agreed to participate in Mana’s Wynwood project, his organization said this week:

▪ An expansion of the school run by New York’s International Center of Photography, which recently moved its extensive photo archives to Mana’s Jersey City facility, where it also opened an exhibition gallery.

▪ Exhibition space for the Ayn Foundation, which has supported the creation and exhibition of large-scale works by big-name artists such as Dan Flavin and Andy Warhol, and is sponsoring a long-term exhibition by Austrian artist Arnulf Rainer at Mana Contemporary.

▪ Renown contemporary ballet choreographer Karole Armitage’s Armitage Gone! Dance company, which is based at Mana’s Jersey City complex, where visitors can watch dancers rehearse through a glass wall. In Wynwood, visitors will view the staging of works from initial choreography to final dress rehearsals.

▪ Florida International University plans to move its arts and broadcasting programs to Mana Wynwood and establish an art, design and architecture institute there in partnership with the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, the present-day successor to the famed Modernist arts and crafts school that profoundly influenced 20th Century design and architecture.

▪ The Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, which operates exhibition space and studios for emerging artists at Mana’s Jersey City facility, has already launched an artist residency program in collaboration with Mana in Wynwood, offering six free studio spaces at one of his buildings, a former apartment house.

Mana is also in “serious discussions” with prominent Miami architects to establish a museum similar to one in the Jersey City complex that houses more than 400 models of designs by famed architect Richard Meier, said Shai Baitel, Mana Contemporary’s senior vice president.

Baitel said Mana’s approach to Wynwood has changed “dramatically” since he bought property before and during the economic crash to now focus primarily on programming and “content,” rather than a straight real-estate deal designed for maximum profit. Part of the goal: To build on the momentum of the annual Art Basel Miami Beach extravaganza beyond the one week it’s held, and to retain young Miami artists and “creatives” who now decamp for New York and L.A. in search of support, work and opportunities.

“We want those people to stay. Wynwood has become the place for them,” Baitel said. “So what is the contribution that will make it more exciting, more contributing to the community? We’re thinking in terms of the next generation. He definitely seems himself as one of those people who can make a difference in a community.”

Mana, a law-school dropout from Tel Aviv, moved to New York in the 1980s and, after working a series of odd jobs, got a van and began offering his services as a mover. That single van was the unlikely foundation of what became a moving-and-storage empire extending into storage of documents, art and wine. The acquisition of commercial properties for storage then launched him into development.

WE’RE LOOKING FOR ARTISTS WHO WANT TO EXPERIMENT, TO TRY SOMETHING NEW, AND WE HOOK THEM UP. IT’S REALLY INSPIRING.
Eileen Kaminsky

He was an early investor in Manhattan’s now uber-fashionable Meatpacking District in the 1980s, when it was a gritty landscape of plants taken over at night by street prostitutes and extreme-sex clubs. Mana helped set up Milk Studios in a rehabbed industrial building across from what’s now the wildly popular Chelsea Market, and though he sold that property he still retains a partnership in the fashion and photo facility, Baitel said.

Mana’s search for warehousing facilities took him to Jersey City, a decaying industrial town now undergoing a revival that sits a 15-minute ride on the PATH train from lower Manhattan. The seed for what in 2011 became Mana Contemporary was planted when he and Lemay began investigating the fine-arts storage business. They discovered that thousands of collections were hidden away in storage, rarely seeing the light of day, and hit on a novel strategy: Offer collectors not just storage but also galleries to show their art, and curators to help them mount cohesive exhibitions.

Aside from the main building — a former tobacco warehouse and plant that was later turned into a storage facility before Mana fully rehabbed it — Mana Contemporary now comprises six other buildings and about 25 acres, with more than two million square feet of space. That includes an expansive, high-ceilinged industrial building converted into Meier-designed exhibition space Mana’s people say is the largest in the country; 150 spacious artist studios; Gary Lichtenstein Edition’s high-end silkscreening studio; and hundreds of private collections and arts institutions. It’s all overseen by a core staff of about 100 people.

Artnet News in 2015 pronounced the facility “stunning,” though it’s not yet well known in the broader art world. Exhibitions drawn from its collections — including two shows Mana installed in his Wynwood warehouses for Art Basel last December — have received glowing reviews.

Mana is now planning an expansion that will add more studios, on-site micro-apartments for artists, and performance space.

“It’s unbelievable, and it’s getting better and better,” said Eileen Kaminsky, whose foundation brings in about 45 emerging and mid-career artists from all around the world to work at Mana Contemporary every year on a stipend, making available to them the full panoply of services and opportunities for collaborations the place offers.

“We’re looking for artists who want to experiment, to try something new, and we hook them up,” she said. “It’s really inspiring.”