The South Florida branch of one of the country’s most well-known nonprofits is making moves in Miami.
Make-A-Wish Southern Florida recently purchased land in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood to construct the 30,000 square-foot Finker-Frenkel Wish House, which will serve as a place 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 for the organization, which has granted nearly 13,000 wishes for critically ill children over 38 years.
“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 1.62 acre-property of two lots at Northwest Fourth Avenue and Northwest Sixth Street cost around $8 million. The purchase was possible thanks in part to real estate and land development attorneys from several offices of Greenberg Traurig, P.A., who worked more than 500 hours of pro bono legal services. 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.”
The project (rendering pictured above) is expected to be completed by September 2022 and will be designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica. It will serve as the headquarters from which Make-A-Wish Southern Florida will continue to grant wishes to children in 22 Florida counties. The organization also has regional offices in Tampa, Sarasota, Bonita Springs, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.