The Plaza Coral Gables has impressively revitalized Coral Gables business district. Managing Director of Agave Holdings, LLC, Jose Antonio Perez Helguera, and his partner Carlos Beckmann are responsible for creating a historic landmark for the City Beautiful.
Agave Holdings, LLC, was incorporated in 2009 by Perez Helguera when he moved from Mexico City to the U.S. Perez Helguera leads the overall asset management of the company’s portfolio and oversees day-to-day activities of the company’s U.S. and Mexican assets. Carlos Beckmann, engineer, joined Agave in 2016 and has led a variety of large construction and development projects, including in The Mexico City General Hospital, Corporativo Jose Cuervo in Santa Fe, Mexico City, the Atlantic Resort and Casino in the Bahamas, The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in Saint Kitts, and others.
Exclusive Q & A with: Jose Antonio Perez Helguera
What was the company’s vision for the Plaza Coral Gables?
Agave Holdings sought to create a mixed-use property where residents will gather to live, work, and play. The name for The Plaza Coral Gables was inspired by the European and Latin American concept of a “Plaza,” which is a public place for people to gather for various reasons.
The final built program includes a 242-room Loews Hotel with generous event and meeting spaces for business and social events, 455,000 square feet of class “A” offices spread across a North and South Tower, 163,000 square feet of accessible street-level shopping and dining, 174 residential apartments and a parking garage of 2,000 spaces. The Plaza was intended to deliver an integrated experience to transform the way we all come together.
Do you feel the project aligns well with George Merrick’s vision of Coral Gables?
Certainly so, The Plaza Coral Gables is the realization of George Merrick’s “unfinished symphony,” The Crafts Section, envisioned almost one hundred years ago. The large-scale development of a Spanish village within Coral Gables was twice thwarted, George Merrick’s original project by the great depression, and Ralph Sanchez’s reincarnation by the great financial crisis of the aughts.
The project is anchored at street level by the original 1920s Arts and Planning Building, where George Merrick and Phineas Paiste worked, a grand one-acre public Plaza intentionally designed to welcome residents, visitors, and tenants into a serene yet dynamic urban oasis that maintains the architectural conceit of a Mediterranean village in the tropics that the community of Coral Gables holds dear.
What positive impact will this project have on the City Beautiful?
The Plaza Coral Gables is designed to bring people together in an inclusive setting. We invested heavily in the art, architecture, and landscaping required to provide different users of the project the opportunity to gather in different capacities, whether they are friends out for a meal together, colleagues relaxing after a long day, or families taking a break from their errands and enjoying each other’s company.
What are some of the special features that set it apart from other local projects?
The main feature of The Plaza Coral Gables that sets it apart from other local projects is the overall high quality. Throughout over 10 years of development, every aspect of The Plaza Coral Gables was designed to beautify the city while also providing various functional services that give back to the community. Other local projects are lacking in the all-in-one aspect of The Plaza. The brand-new Loew’s Hotel caters to business communities, tourists, and social events, while residences at The Reserve provide tenants with a luxurious lifestyle, where all necessities are steps away. Further, over 12 new restaurants and entertainment will be opening in The Plaza, bringing cuisines from all over the world to Coral Gables.
Aside from The Plaza, what are some of the most outstanding projects by Agave Holdings, LLC to date?
Located in the Coral Gables Business District, 396 Alhambra is a prestigious mixed-use office and retail development. In addition to the functionality and beautiful architecture, 396 Alhambra has recently become home to the Headquarters for the 2026 World Cup.
Do you have any future projects for Miami in the pipeline?
As of now, Agave Holdings is set to modernize the amenities, lobby, and outside landscape of First Citizens Bank Tower, a commercial class A condominium tower. Located at 2601 South Bayshore Drive in the heart of Coconut Grove, this project is set to cost around $15 million and will benefit the residents, businesses, and the community as a whole.
How did you get started in the real estate development business?
My career in real estate development started in Mexico City in 1996 as an attorney, buying, entitling land, and developing and leasing commercial buildings for the Beckmann Family and other institutional clients. In 2009, I moved to Miami to open and oversee the Beckmann’s properties and started the commercial real estate business in the United States. Since then, Agave Holdings has acquired, developed, and managed more than four million square feet in commercial properties in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Miami, and continues to grow within these markets and beyond.
The Plaza Coral Gables
Elevates Historic Miami Neighborhood
With New Dining, Shopping, Business, Lodging, and Entertainment
The Plaza Coral Gables, the largest mixed-use development in the heart of Coral Gables is an urban oasis bringing luxury and art to the City Beautiful. Located at Ponce de Leon Boulevard across from Ponce Park, this extensive development project spans three city blocks.
Agave Ponce, LLC is the company behind the 2.25 million-square-foot development with offices, retail stores, restaurants, and residences, in addition to the world-class Loews Hotel.
CallisonRTKL created the architectural design of the development, a LEED-ND certified project.
- Two Class A office towers, totaling 455,008 square feet
- 161,000 square feet of retail space connecting the office towers and the hotel through a two-level paseo with top shopping and dining establishments
- A 2,200-space technology-infused parking garage, providing ample parking
- Management and activation of the project’s extensive shared common areas, including open green space, interactive amenities, and art in public places
The Reserve at The Plaza, which offers 135 luxurious apartment units, and the Galiano Residences, which include 39 low-rise residential townhomes.
Loews Hotel, a 4.5 rated, 242-key luxury hotel within The Plaza Coral Gables, is separately managed and offers meeting space for business and social events.
The Plaza features an exciting list of dining and entertainment options, including the following:
- Fogo de Chao
- Su Japanese
- Strech Lab
- Joe & the Juice
- Solid Core
- CVI.CHE 105
- San Lorenzo Gelateria
- Cantina Leon
- 1000 North
- Silver Mirror
- Sweet Paris
- Lash Lounge
- Iconik Koffee
- Corner Boy
- Raymond James
- Red Crane
- Cherry Bekaert
- WE Family
The Art: Aside from various dining and entertainment choices, The Plaza Coral Gables is also home to several exceptional public art exhibits. Among the prominent pieces on display is Jean-Michel Othoniel’s Coral Fountains, an enigmatic fountain sculpture composed of mirrored beads in twisted, symmetrical forms; Tony Cragg’s Mean Average, a deep brown construction of materials merged into abstract, unconventional shapes; and Michele Oka Doner’s Monumental Ritual Bench, a functional bronze bench and radial ring that intertwines with surrounding nature.