Chairman & Founder
Stephen Bittel, founder and chairman of Terranova Corporation, is a leader in the U.S. real estate industry and a pillar in his native Miami community. With extensive family roots running deep within the southern coastal city, he has dedicated his...
Mindy McIlroy, who began her career as an executive assistant in 1997 at Terranova, is the company’s president. In this role, she oversees all the day-to-day operations for the company’s diverse retail portfolio. Additionally, Mindy has led the company’s strategy...
Ari Bittel, Terranova’s Managing Director, joined the firm in 2020, bringing significant experience in acquisition, financing, and asset management. Ari focuses on building and overseeing the investment management activities as well as working on the firm’s corporate development and strategy....
WHO WE ARE
As an opportunistic alternative investment firm with a core focus on U.S. real estate, Terranova Corporation has an investment portfolio valued at nearly $1 billion and a long-standing commitment of building better communities. While the company has built a vast national platform, it has remained dedicated to its local roots as the largest property owner on Miami’s iconic high streets, Miracle Mile and Lincoln Road. Terranova is distinguished as a national leader making a powerful impact on the commercial real estate industry it serves and on the community it calls “home.”
WHERE WE CAME FROM
Established in 1980 by Stephen Bittel with the operation of a single commercial property for a local partnership, Terranova grown to become a national thought-leader, having received countless awards and accolades for its history of significant achievements and positive impact.
Some noteworthy anecdotes and trivia on the company’s history, which illustrate its culture and spirit: Mr. Bittel named the company after seeing the word “Terranova,” which is Latin for “new land,” in a section on foreign words in the back of a dictionary. The company’s first logo was created by a University of Miami art student, and its first investment was in the purchase of one small, unanchored strip shopping center. This became a cornerstone of Terranova Corporation and Mr. Bittel’s business model for its first 20 years of business, as the team purchased and leased shopping centers in emerging suburban markets. Focusing on supermarket-anchored centers enabled the team to forge partnerships with some of Florida’s largest chains. When residents began moving back into more urban areas such as Miami Beach, Mr. Bittel and the company shifted their strategy to begin purchasing urban retail that was part of a walkable downtown core.
In what is noted as one of South Florida’s largest property sales and an example of the masterstrokes that have driven the company’s success, Mr. Bittel purchased Terranova’s first set of properties on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road for $52 million at $850 per square foot — a deal which many criticized as having a price per foot they called “staggering.” Notably, Mr. Bittel later sold these and other properties together for a more “staggering” number: $342 million. This deal on Lincoln Road – the world-famous pedestrian thoroughfare showcasing fashion, food, and culture to tourists and locals – solidified Terranova Corporation’s position as a leader which today owns and operates nearly $1 billion in assets.
In addition to Lincoln Road, over the years Terranova acquired the lion’s share of properties on the coveted Miracle Mile, downtown Coral Gables’ historic four-block, pedestrian-friendly retail corridor in Miami’s densest downtown district.
Along the way, Terranova has cultivated and maintained relationships with key institutional partners for more than $5 billion worth of commercial projects, representing some of the world’s strongest companies, including: Morgan Stanley; BlackRock; Principal Financial Group; Prudential; AEW; Lincoln National Life; Bank of America; JPMorgan Chase; GE Capital; GE Investments; Bank of New York; JP Morgan Chase; GE Capital; TA Realty; Chase Manhattan Bank; New York Life; and Travelers Insurance.
WHERE WE ARE GOING
As an opportunistic alternative investment firm, the company will continue to leverage the powerful industry relationships, network and platform it has built over the years.
With a primary focus on U.S. real estate, and while retaining its position as the largest property owner on Lincoln Road and Miracle Mile, the company will remain true to the model that has driven its success: focusing exclusively on identifying and seizing opportunities that bring value to its stakeholders and community.
Looking ahead, the company will continue to pursue local, national and international opportunities beyond real estate, including such dynamic industries as life sciences, technology, healthcare, petroleum and agriculture.