Being a broker of Sunny Realty and providing one of the most used resource for Miami real estate (http://www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/) I’m often asked: “how’s (Miami) real estate these day?”. Unfortunately I can’t just answer this question simply – “good” or “great” or “better”. When I start to explain that Miami basically has the best and worst real estate in the country, people think I’ve gone nuts and trying to sell them a story. However, here is The New York Post recent article By ANDY WANG.
Summer was hardly a vacation for those in the business of selling Miami condos.
“I didnt go to St. Tropez because of this”, says developer Gil Dezer, whose Sunny Isles Beach condo projects include the 384-unit Trump Royale and the three-building, 813-unit Trump Towers.
Dezer reports that he sold more than $100 million in Trump units during June, July and August ($50 million alone in August, including a $29 million, 34-unit bulk deal). He has closed more than $1 billion in Trump condos overall and has only about 75 units left.
Recent Trump Towers Condos sales
have been priced at about $525 per square foot. Thats significantly less than the $1,000-per-square-foot contracts buyers walked away from in 2009 after the financial crisis hit, but Dezer, whos paid off the construction loans for all four buildings, seems satisfied. (Donald Trump participated in a ceremonial Trump Royale condo mortgage-burning ritual, lighting the document on fire himself, in January.) The downturn made the job challenging, Dezer says. Every day was a battle. But when youre winning, its fun.
Winning could also be used to describe the situation at Icon Brickell. That nearly 1,800-unit downtown colossus, built by the Related Group with designs by Philippe Starck, seemed to be in peril not long ago, and two of its three towers were deeded back to its lenders in May 2010. But Icon Brickell Condos now nearly sold out, with more than 1,500 units closing for a total of more than $700 million. When you factor in units in contract, only about 30 condos remain.
I think the market has consumed the inventory in a much more rapid way than I and probably everybody thought, says Related Group chairman and CEO Jorge Perez, who adds that most buyers have been foreign. The Latin American economy has been strong.
The forecast was that we would sell all the units in three years at an average price of $350 per square foot, says Edgardo Defortuna, president of Fortune International Realty, which started selling Icon Brickell apartments in June 2010.
Less than a year and half later, Fortune is almost done and seeing prices at about $400 per square foot.
Demand has been so strong that Perez is now building another downtown development. The 192-unit MyBrickell is a couple years away from completion, but Relateds received over 60 reservations for condos before officially launching sales. Unlike Icon Brickell, MyBrickell isnt on the water, and Perez is passing on the cheaper construction costs and the deal we got on the land to offer units, with interiors by Karim Rashid, for about $300 per square foot.
Defortuna, meanwhile, is now selling downtowns Paramount Bay, a 346-unit building resurrected out of foreclosure by owners iStar Residential and ST Residential. Musician Lenny Kravitzs Kravitz Design firm is working on the building, where prices are about $400 per square foot.
with significantly pricier properties, is seeing lots of action, too. The summer was uncharacteristically busy, says Lana Bell, president of Sunny Realty, which has an office in South Beach and Sunny Isles Beach. We certainly didnt take a vacation.
According to Sunny Realty latest Miami market report, South Beach condos sold for an average of $515 per square foot during the third quarter. But this factors in distressed properties, including units bought out of foreclosure.
At the markets top end, the W South Beach Hotel & Residences has closed about $260 million in condos at an average of $1,700-plus per square foot, developer David Edelstein says. The W South Beach sold more than $50 million during the summer. One penthouse went for $7.7 million, north of $3,000 per square foot, Edelstein says.
As with much of Miami, foreign buyers have been key at the W. (Douglas Elliman translated its market report into Spanish and Portuguese to spur international interest.) From May through September, about 65 percent of Edelsteins purchasers were foreign, and about half of those were from Brazil.
The allure of the W has helped nearby condo buildings lure in buyers, including those from New York.
Fashion designer Irina Shabayeva, who won season six of Project Runway, owns a one-bedroom with a balcony at the 52-unit Boulan South Beach development just south of the W, but on the other side of Collins Avenue.
I like the Boulan because it was so new, really fresh and modern, says Shabayeva, who primarily lives in the East Village. And its across the street from the beach and the W.
Shabayeva says she enjoys the New Yorker-friendly amenities at the W, which include a Warren Tricomi salon and a Mr. Chow restaurant. And Edelstein says that the Dutch, an outpost of Andrew Carmellinis SoHo restaurant, will open in the W by Thanksgiving.
Boulan, which has sold 22 condos and has one-bedrooms on the market for upward of $600 per square foot, is busy filling its own retail spaces, as well. An art gallery should open in time for Decembers Art Basel festival. A Mexican/Asian fusion restaurant and a nightclub are also in the works.
Neighborhoods all over Miami are getting big residential and retail makeovers. The 56-acre Midtown Miami developments second phase, which will start next year, will include a boutique hotel, a movie theater and 100,000 square feet of retail.
Well definitely have a fashion component, says developer Jack Cayre.
And the nearby Design District is getting a Louis Vuitton store.
There was probably a point in time here someone said, Whats Chelsea? or Whats Meatpacking? and eventually, they became a place because New York was ready to have another place, says Greg Masin, senior director at commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. When we look at the Design District and at Midtown, what we see is the evolution of the next place in Miami.
Plus, the downtown Metropolitan Miami developments third phase will include rental apartments and a Whole Foods Market. Plans for downtowns eight-block Miami Worldcenter site include residences, restaurants and retailers. And the Genting Group, an Asian casino operator, has unveiled plans for its $3.8 billion Resorts World Miami mixed-use complex. But the scope of the latter two projects will depend on approval for casino gaming, something thats the object of much speculation and uncertainty all over Miami.
Dezer says he has been talking to major Las Vegas casino operators about land he owns in Sunny Isles (13/ acres on the beach and 6/ acres directly across the street that hits the intracoastal waterway) that could accommodate a gaming resort with more than 2,000 rooms and 3 million square feet.
They’re both good real estate, Masin says of the Genting and Dezer sites. If they both had a casino, theyd both be successful.
Whatever happens, Dezer has options.
We originally bought [the land] to build condos, he says. We could build five condo buildings.
That idea would have seemed ridiculous in 2009, but now its more plausible.
In terms of quality inventory, oceanfront, he says, you can make a strong argument that you need to start building now.
Originally published by ANDY WANG.
(c) 2011 The New York Post. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.