Israeli-born developer marks milestone after buying 3 Miami buildings

Moishe Mana grew up poor in Tel Aviv but owns 1.3 million square feet of properties in downtown Miami.

A view of downtown Miami. (photo credit:  Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports)
A view of downtown Miami.
(photo credit: Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports)

Israel-born billionaire developer Moishe Mana on Thursday acquired three more properties in downtown Miami in the Flagler District, pushing his real estate holdings there over 1 million square feet.

Mana bought the buildings at 100 N. Miami Avenue, 173 N.E. 1st Street, and 124 N.E. 2nd Avenue for $25.4 million, giving him over 60 properties.

Earlier this year, a $32 million city and county public works project was launched to beautify Flagler Street from Biscayne Boulevard to the Dade County Courthouse.

Mana, a law-school dropout and the second of five children born to Iraqi-born immigrants, is thought to be the largest private landowner in Miami. His Mana Properties’ real estate division has begun construction on several sites downtown, including the Nikola Tesla Innovation Hub, a 13-floor 136,000-square-foot office complex for technology companies at 155 S. Miami Ave. and Southeast 2nd Street.

Downtown Miami has for years suffered from degradation and neglect, blighted by empty storefronts and vacant office buildings. The pandemic compounded the decline, as 72 out of 134 businesses fronting Flagler closed. The area continues to struggle with reduced foot traffic as the number of downtown workers has diminished in the pandemic.

The downtown skyline of Miami, Florida November 5, 2015 (credit: REUTERS/JOE SKIPPER)The downtown skyline of Miami, Florida November 5, 2015 (credit: REUTERS/JOE SKIPPER)

“The Flagler District is on its way to becoming the best neighborhood in America,” said Mana, who grew up poor in Tel Aviv but owns 1.3 million square feet of properties in downtown Miami, in a statement.

“We are turning the downtown core into Miami’s economic engine. What the people of Miami really need are jobs — high-paying, long-term, wealth-creating jobs, so those that built Miami into a global destination can benefit from its prosperity.”