Current media coverage and upcoming developments hand-picked from the industry.

Surf, Sun and Shopping: CRE Executive Stephen Bittel on the Strength of the Pedestrian Mall in South Florida

EntrepreneursBreak, by Ethan – November 17th, 2022  

With gorgeous beaches of fine white sand and turquoise blue waters, dotted with palm trees and temperatures that rarely dip below 70 degrees, it is obvious what draws people to live and play in South Florida. Nobody can deny the siren song of a city that sees sunny days for over two-thirds of the year, but the weather does more than just create perfect beach days. It has also helped Lincoln Road flourish as one of the few remaining original pedestrian malls in the United States.

According to Stephen Bittel, an investor with over three decades of experience in commercial real estate, the most-visited destination in Florida is the beach. Calling it the “starting magic,” he explained that with Lincoln Road’s location only a few blocks from the ocean it is ideally located as a spot for retail and dining after a day at the beach. Bittel’s company Terranova Corporation has owned property on the street since 2011 when it closed on a landmark three-building deal to the tune of $52 million. By 2014 his firm had purchased six properties in total on Lincoln Road at the cost of $191 million, and later completed one of the largest deals in South Florida history when it sold them for $342 million, and again reinvesting.

Terranova’s investment in Lincoln Road properties was part of a larger pivot on the part of Stephen Bittel, whose previous strategy for the business involved a heavy focus on the suburban properties that had spurred the development of pedestrian malls in the first place. In post-World War II America people began migrating to the suburbs at record rates, and by the 1960s and 1970s enclosed shopping centers began appearing en masse in these areas, further driving customers away from the downtown shopping malls that had proliferated in earlier years.


Coral Gables’ JohnMartin’s Reopens On Miracle Mile


Coral Gables’ JohnMartin’s, one of South Florida’s longest-running restaurants, has reopened its doors after shuttering nearly three years ago. Continuing the legacy of the original founders John Clarke and Martin Lynch, who opened the bar on Miami’s Miracle Mile in 1989, the revamped JohnMartin’s opens with updates inspired by the unique melting pot of Miami. Redesigned by design firm Bigtime Design Studios, the two-story, 7,000 square-foot venue pays homage to the original JohnMartin’s. It reopens under the leadership of industry veterans Emi Guerra and Alex Mantecon of Breakwater Hospitality Group, the minds behind Miami entertainment staple The Wharf, and Erick Passo, owner of Downtown’s Black Market Miami.

“It is a great privilege to be able to reopen JohnMartin’s and carry on the legacy with the blessing of the original founders John Clarke and Martin Lynch,” said Emi Guerra, co-founder of Breakwater Hospitality Group in a statement. “The significance of this beloved watering hole and gathering place cannot be overstated. It brought life to Miracle Mile at a time when there was none there and became a go-to spot in the community.”


Pay It Forward: “My Goal Is To Be A Culture Curator”

ALM, by Tasha Norman – October 25, 2022

“My advice to get a foothold in the industry is to take any available position that will get you in the door,” says Mindy Mcilroy, president of Terranova Corp.

Mindy Mcilroy, Terranova Corp,. Miami Beach, FL Mindy McIlroy began her career as an executive assistant in 1997 at Terranova Corp., and is now the company’s president. In this role, McIlroy oversees all the day-to-day operations for the company’s diverse retail portfolio. She has additionally led the company’s strategy through its foray into mixed-use and High Street retail, where Terranova Corp. has a leading position as the largest single retail property owner on Lincoln Rd. in Miami Beach and Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.

Job Title: President

Area of expertise or focus:  Commercial Property Leasing, Marketing & Management

What is the best piece of advice you have received that has helped you succeed in your industry and what advice do you have specifically for the next generation? The best piece of advice I have received over the years that has helped me succeed in my industry is to find a mentor in your chosen field. Throughout my career, I have been blessed with three unique and knowledgeable mentors; each has had a large impact on me and played a role in shaping who I am in this industry. It is important to listen and learn all you can from your mentor, as well as taking the opportunity to soak up the knowledge all the members of your team have to offer to better you and your career.