Mana saves McArthur

After submitting a winning bid in bankruptcy court, investor Moishe Mana has closed on the $16.5 million sale of two McArthur dairy sites, including prime property in Little Haiti.

The McArthur Dairy plant in Little Haiti

Mana plans to build and expand the McArthur brand to have both dairy and non-dairy milk products, saving the company from total liquidation, a press release said.

Dean Foods acquired McArthur four decades ago, but demand for milk products has fallen in recent years in the U.S. and Dean lost a key contract supplying Walmart. J. Neville McArthur founded McArthur Dairy in 1929.

Those living in urban South Florida may not realize it, but the state has 125,000 dairy cows that produce about 300 million gallons of milk a year, according to Florida Dairy Farmers. Okeechobee County on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee is one of the state’s two biggest dairy farming counties.

If Mana can’t find profits with the dairy business, he will still have valuable real estate holdings.

The McArthur plant at 6821 NE Second Avenue consists of 158,657 square feet of buildings and 13 acres of land zoned D-2. Little Haiti, Little River and Allapattah have turned into the next hot neighborhoods as developers and investors search for the next Wynwood.

Commercial/industrial space is somewhat constrained in Little Haiti, which is another reason Mana’s land should rise in value. There’s basically only a four-block wide strip between Northeast Second Avenue and the Florida East Coast Railway.

Mana also picked up a 9,280-square-foot distribution center on a 78,400-square-foot lot in Fort Myers.

Mika Mattingly

The real estate team on the deal was Colliers International broker Mika Mattingly and Blanca Commercial Real Estate broker Cary Cohen, who joined forces to represent both the buyer and seller in the transaction.

“This was a challenging transaction since we had less than three weeks for the due diligence while coordinating with nearly 30 parties in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown,” Mattingly said in a press release. “Tours of the property had to be taken with extra caution, especially due to the fact that these are active dairy plants and distribution centers.”

“This unprecedented transaction could not have come to fruition without our hard work and the professionalism of Moishe Mana’s team,” Cohen said. “Not only is this a phenomenal real estate transaction, but we were able to save South Florida’s dairy industry. Mana saved McArthur!”

Mana, who currently owns 1.3 million square feet of buildings in downtown Miami and over 40 acres in Wynwood, coincidentally acquired the former McArthur Dairy site on NE 7th Ave. west of Wynwood in 2015 for $8.5 million.


Kevin Gale
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