Condo-Like Lifestyle in the Suburbs – Q&A with Terra’s David Martin

Doral Commons is scheduled to open near the end of this year but it’s safe to say that the 140,000 square-foot retail plaza is off to a good start.

Doral Commons appears to be well on its way to open near the end of this year. As previously reported, Terra is putting the finishing touches on the 140,000 square-foot retail plaza. It turned out that  The Courtelis Co., which is in charge of leasing, has been quite busy too.

The property has not only caught the attention of retailers, but it is already 90 percent leased to tenants such as Publix, Citibank, GNC, AT&T Wireless, McDonald’s and TJ Maxx.

We asked Terra President David Martin about the project and how it integrates into the new bloodflow in Doral. Luckily, he had managed to snag a few minutes from his busy schedule.

Q: Could you tell us more details about Doral Commons?

A: Doral Commons is Terra’s newest mixed-use project in Doral, pairing 140,000 square feet of retail anchored by a Publix with 319 single-family homes. Nearby, Terra is also building two residential developments that are now under construction – Modern Doral, a three-subdivision community encompassing a total of 319 single-family contemporary-style homes; and Neovita, a 32-acre luxury townhouse/single-family home community. Terra’s other residential projects in Doral include Doral Cay, Las Ramblas, Vintage Estates and Reserve at Doral – all of which were recently completed.

Q: What was the key to Doral Commons’ success?

A: At Terra, we are always conscious of where and how we develop. We pick our spots carefully and deliver projects that are appropriate for the community and market dynamics. Doral Commons’ contemporary design is changing the landscape in the area, attracting remarkable brands and quickly becoming the neighborhood’s hub.

Q: Terra is most widely known for its residential projects. What turned the company’s interest toward the commercial sector?

A: Terra creates and enhances communities across South Florida through residential and commercial development, both in urban areas and in the suburbs – our diverse $3 billion development portfolio includes luxury high-rises, single family homes, townhouses, retail shopping centers, office space and multifamily apartments.

We focus on finding voids in the market, both in terms of identifying underserved neighborhoods and underdeveloped property types. For example, single family home buyers are looking for more space and want to be close to good schools, libraries, parks, golf-courses etc., synonymous with a suburban lifestyle. What we do differently is we bring luxury amenities more traditionally associated with condo living to the suburbs creating value and developing a growing community. This approach is helping to reshape areas like Doral – as well as Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, Pembroke Pines and Weston.

Q: What does this high development activity in Doral indicate, and how does it affect Miami and the rest of the South Florida real estate market?

A: There is a growing demand for more space at a lower price particularly amongst single family home buyers looking to be closer to high-quality schools, libraries, parks and other amenities that you find in places like Doral and Weston. By developing and reshaping neighborhoods like Coconut Grove, Doral and Weston, we are contributing to the area’s revitalization.

Q: Are there any other commercial projects in the company’s pipeline?

A: Terra is working on Pembroke Pines City Center, a master-planned mixed-use community within the City of Pembroke Pines. More details on the project will become public over the coming months.