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Prestigious Miami Property Sees Founder’s Return

Amidst the financial crisis of the late 1980s and the corporate takeover of Key Pharmaceuticals (then led by Dr. Phillip Frost, inventor of the Nicotine patch) by pharmaceutical behemoth Schering-Plough, the company’s headquarters at 4400 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami was vacated.

The Key Pharmaceutical’s HQ featured an award-winning design by HOK, formerly Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, a renowned international architectural firm.

“At the time the vacancy rate in Miami was around 70 percent, and the area of Miami was in desperate need of a boost,” Will Kadish said.

Lawrence Kadish, who bought the office headquarters from Schering-Plough during their corporate liquidation, was determined not to subdivide the building with smaller tenants because he felt that it would compromise the integrity of the building and the intent of its headquarter design. 

“I recall trying everything including a consolidation of Miami City Offices,” Will Kadish said. “While my father was out of the country, the City even voted to do so, but my father withdrew that idea from further consideration by the City. I remember in a speech telling concerned local residents and business people at a packed and televised Chamber of Commerce meeting that we would move in a different direction with all efforts focused on having a corporation make a statement about the area by locating its corporate headquarters here.”

The property was largely set aside for rent-free temporary uses by Lawrence Kadish-affiliated charities, including the newly formed University of Miami Community Alliance Against Aids and the Biscayne Boulevard Chamber of Commerce chaired by William Kadish.

Will Kadish recalls how he was frustrated by the lack of tenancy and wanted to sign up smaller tenants. The unwavering vision of Lawrence Kadish, however, led to the eventual return of Key Pharmaceutical founder Dr. Phillip Frost. “Since the acquisition by Schering-Plough, Dr. Frost had grown to become an internationally acclaimed pharmaceutical icon who is also one of Miami’s most treasured residents,” Will Kadish said. “Suffice to say, it was our pleasure to make a smart deal for his return.”

Related Article: Sun-Sentinel

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Keeping the Sherwin-Williams distribution center in Effingham, Illinois, was a top priority for city and state economic development officials. Will Kadish was central to the negotiations that achieved their goal.

Contact Will Kadish, Executive Director of Commercial Real Estate Development and Disposition for Lawrence Kadish Real Estate, a New York-based firm.