Wynwood may be getting an eco-friendly hotel at the site of the Art by God store

Art by God, the museum store specializing in furnishings and jewelry made from natural artifacts, is proceeding with negotiations for the sale of its Wynwood location. Fittingly, the site is set to become an earth-friendly hotel.

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The 21,155 square-foot store, located at 60 NE 27th St., is part of a four-parcel assemblage totaling more than 56,000 square feet and currently priced at $15.6 million. The acquisition includes three other lots at 26 NE 27 St., 25 NE 26 St. and 61 NE 26 St.

The buyer is the Miami-based Lucky Shepherd, a multi-company firm founded in 2016 that specializes in holistic wellness in technology, real estate and design.

The new owners plan to raze the existing property and build a 150-key eco-friendly lodging, with 48 residential units, a farm-to-table restaurant, a speakeasy and a rooftop pool and bar. Touzet Studio is the architect on the project. Gensler will handle the interior design. Construction is expected to begin in late 2021 and last 24-30 months.

Gene Harris, who founded Art By God Inc. in 1982, paid $350,000 for the 1.29 acre assemblage in 1997. He opened the Wynwood store on the property in 2014. The Harris family is still deciding whether to open a store at another location or go entirely online.

Andy Charry of Metro 1 (formerly of APEX Capital Realty), represented the seller. Arden Karson, managing principal of Karson & Co., together with Mika Mattingly and Cecilia Estevez with Colliers International Florida’s Urban Core Division, represented the buyer.

“Just like 2020, this transaction has been very challenging,” Charry said. “I’m grateful to everyone who is helping to push this deal to the finish line. The buyers are getting a phenomenal site.”

A COVID delay

The property, which was sold off-market, has been under contract since November 2019.

The hospitality industry has been banking on Wynwood as a lucrative hotel location to capitalize on its flood of annual visitors (more than four million in 2019, according to the Wynwood Business Improvement District).

The San Francisco-based Sonder is currently developing a 72-room hotel at 111 NE 26th St., just one block from the Wynwood Walls. The international firm Quadrum Global is developing a nine-story, 217-room hotel at a three-parcel assemblage it bought for $8.5 million at 2217 NW Miami Court.

The New York-based Domio leased an entire 175-unit building developed by The Related Group and Block Capital Group, originally intended as apartments, and is operating it as a hotel at 51 NW 26th St.

An earlier version of this story that relied on inaccurate information provided to the Miami Herald by APEX Capital Realty was incorrect. The story has been updated to reflect that the closing is expected to happen in 2021.

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