Greenberg Traurig Assists with ‘Wish House’ Transaction
MIAMI – Jan. 22, 2021 – After granting nearly 13,000 life-changing wishes for critically-ill children in its 38-year history, Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida is now making its own dream come true. The nonprofit has purchased land in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood and will begin construction later this year on a 30,000 sq. ft. ‘wish house’ whose central purpose is to uplift children and families during the wish discovery process. It will also provide space for volunteer and donor events while housing the organization’s administrative offices.
“With a lot of support from friends, we’ve taken a giant step toward cementing a permanent legacy for the chapter and all those impacted by our mission,” said Shareef Malnik, who chaired the capital campaign that raised more than $20 million for the project. “We envision a magical, creative place that will inspire wish kids, volunteers, staff, donors, and all those whose efforts enable us to change the lives we do.”
The property, which consists of two lots at NW 4th Avenue and NW 6th Street, is 1.62 acres and cost approximately $8 million.
A team of real estate and land development attorneys from the Miami and other Florida offices of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. worked pro bono for more than two years, donating more than 500 hours of legal services to help Make-A-Wish South Florida bring this project to life. Greenberg Traurig handled all the legal work, including negotiating and closing the deal, obtaining financing, negotiating construction documents, and securing approval from the City of Miami to rezone the now vacant land.
“As a member of Make-A-Wish’s Board of Directors for four years, I have witnessed first-hand the tremendous impact that the organization has on the lives of children and that’s why Greenberg Traurig was excited to help Make-A-Wish turn this dream into reality,” said Danielle Gonzalez, a shareholder in the Miami Real Estate Practice of Greenberg Traurig, who led the team of nearly a dozen attorneys who worked on the project, including Miami Land Development and Zoning Co-Chair Iris Escarra. “The Greenberg Traurig and Make-A-Wish partnership represents a true commitment to building a better community and creating a positive impact in the lives of children throughout South Florida.”
Projected to be completed by September, 2022, what will be known as the Finker-Frenkel Wish House will be the first permanent home for the wish-granting organization, which has rented office space in both Hollywood and Davie. It will serve as the headquarters for a territory that includes 22 Florida counties and regional offices in Tampa, Sarasota, Bonita Springs, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Arquitectonica, a global architecture, interior design, and urban planning firm based in Miami, will design the wish house for Make-A-Wish.
Make-A-Wish Southern Florida (www.wish.org/sfla) has granted nearly 13,000 life-changing wishes since 1983 for children who have critical illnesses. It aims to grant a wish for every medically-eligible child in its territory and understands wishes aren’t just nice, they’re necessary for kids and families at some of the most difficult times in their lives. Wish kids most often ‘wish to be’ (something), ‘wish to meet’ (someone), ‘wish to go’ (somewhere), ‘wish to have’ (something), or ‘wish to give’ (to a cause) and the nonprofit organization makes this happen for the child and his/her entire family at no cost or obligation. Follow and engage with Make-A-Wish Southern Florida on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT), has approximately 2200 attorneys in 40 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, diversity, and innovation, and is consistently among the largest firms in the U.S. on the Law360 400 and among the Top 20 on the Am Law Global 100. The firm is net carbon neutral with respect to its office energy usage and Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certified. Web: www.gtlaw.com