Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, is looking for fans of coffee and reading in downtown Miami.
Kaplan is planning to open a Newsstand Cafe by Books & Books on the ground floor of the Wachovia Financial Center.
Kaplan is one of several tenants moving into a space next to the building’s recently renovated plaza.
The 800-square-foot shop will include an outdoor seating area and is scheduled to open Feb. 15.
Kaplan has teamed with Allen Susser, owner of Seafood Grill in Aventura, for the Wachovia outpost.
Earlier this month, they opened a coffee shop inside Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Art.
The management of the 27-year-old Wachovia Financial Center recently completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the retail space and plaza, and spent nearly six months analyzing the kind of tenant mix that would energize it, said Cushman & Wakefield broker Greg Masin, who is handling the leasing of the retail space and courted Kaplan’s bookstore.
The office tower now has nearly 16,000 square feet of retail space around the plaza, compared with 9,000 feet before its redesign. About 60 percent of the space is leased to the bookstore, a salon and an undisclosed restaurant, Masin said. The retail expansion was possible because Wells Fargo, parent of Wachovia, moved from space on the ground floor to a nearby office tower.
“In getting the space back, we created a more efficient retail environment,” Masin said.
The 1.25-million-square-foot Wachovia Financial Center is pushing to modernize its facilities to keep up with an evolving downtown. The area has seen hundreds of new residents move into condos built during the housing boom.
The building’s management has also shuttered the Miami City Club, a members-only restaurant. The City Club’s 15,552 square feet on the 55th floor was taken over by Optima Ventures as part of a lease expansion.
The building is 85 percent occupied, said property manager Don Cartwright with Cushman & Wakefield.
Signature tenant Wachovia has six years left in a 130,000-square-foot lease, he said.