A Look Back at the Hot South Florida Real Estate Market for 2015

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on April 19th, 2016

downtown Miami real estate

The real estate market for 2015 was, to say the least, hot. With a number of record-breaking sales, it does not appear that this trend is going to slow down anytime soon. However, these huge sales were not the only result of this great year. There were a number of design companies that developed a number of impressive renderings for new developments and even created images that illustrated what the region may look like down the road.

A Vision of Downtown Miami in 2030

Thanks to VisualHouse, a rendering of what Downtown Miami would look like in 2030 was created. Assuming that there are not any new projects that will a be proposed and constructed between now and then, this image shows an authentic photo of the existing Miami skyline, along with a computerized version of 11 planned skyscrapers that have been approved, or that are already being built. Several of the buildings that are going to be built include the SkyRise Miami, which is a 1,000-foot tall observation tower, as well as the Ugo Colombo’s Brickell Flatiron. This is similar to the Flatiron Building in New York.

Elysee Residences

During the latest building boom in Miami, there was a new addition to the Edgewater community called Elysee. This is a unique all-glass tower, which is going to reach 57 stories when complete. The project has been headed by the Two Roads Development team, which is also part of the Biscayne Beach project that is currently being built and located just a few blocks away. When the tower is complete in 2018, it will be the tallest in all of Edgewater.

Apeiron Located at the Jockey Club

Spearheaded by the past CEO of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., a development that was designed to help and revitalize the older condo complex found in the area of North Miami, which is referred to currently as Jockey Club. Some of the plans of this new development include dual towers that will have 240 individual residences, as well as 90 hotel rooms. The uneven elevations of these towers will give the impression of four towers, rather than two, even though the glass exteriors have a sharp contrast to the existing 1960s style buildings.

Convention Headquarter Hotel at Miami Beach

In an effort with designers from the John Portman & Associates, the Miami Beach Convention Center began a redevelopment project that will feature a hotel portion that will include 800 individual rooms, a rooftop lounge, as well as a number of beverage and food outlets. However, in order to have the project move forward, it still needs to receive 60 percent of the votes from residents of Miami Beach. The firm has hopes to have the hotel fully constructed by sometime in 2018.

There are a number of projected and in-the-works projects going on in Miami Beach right now. This construction is leading to more and more appeal in regards to new residents and something that is being embraced by the existing residents.

According to Economist, Miami Real Estate Getting Close to Peak

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on April 9th, 2016

Four Seasons Miami for sale

According to a national economist who spoke at the Four Seasons Hotel – www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/Downtown-Miami/Four-Seasons, the majority of Miami’s real estate sectors are currently at, or about to reach their peak levels.

While the majority of other real estate sectors across the nation are positioned to expand, there are a number of local markets that have currently seen quite a bit of growth, including Miami and according to Hugh Kelly a clinical professional and member of the Counselors of Real Estate, it is about time to start playing defense.

Existing data has suggested that there is still some room for the Miami office market to grow, but it also shows that the apartment and hotel sector have reached the peak. Rental and industrial sectors in Miami are getting close to peak levels, as well.

Monetizing Gains in Miami Real Estate

When it comes to ensuring those gains are preserved and monetized, if possible, there are a number of things that must be considered. For example, is it a hold or sell strategy? If acquiring it is important to base a purchase on existing cash flow, rather than future appreciation. Thinking defensively will help a person figure out where they stand in this cycle and ensure that it runs in their favor, rather than reacting to the cycle as it is turning.

However, most trends are favoring Miami in the long-term. For example, Miami is considered to be a 24-hour city, which is a location that tends to be extremely beneficial for real estate investors who are in it for the long term. Also, financial markets are currently going through a volatile period, which will cause an increase in the flow of cash toward the real estate, making it what is considered a “safe haven.”

In many cases, the reasons above are why gateway cities (such as Miami) do so well in regard to foreign capital.

Current Challenges

However, because of increasing capital rates, interest rates and rises in regulations, there has been a deceleration in regards to international capital flows. This is going to result in some marginal deals falling apart across the nation. This results from the capital pool being deep, but not limitless.

The bottom line is, if an investor knows what they are doing and remain awake, knowing when to play defensively and offensively, they will do fine in the US real estate market. Also, there is not much talk of major corrections in the majority of hot real estate markets, except for some places that are extremely overpriced and saturated, such as Manhattan

The fact is, even in hot markets, building 5,000 apartment units that require buyers at $10 million or more will experience a thinner customer base.

Future Outlook

With the foreign currencies dropping steadily, it is believed that Miami may be heading for a price correction. It is only a matter of time before an investor from South America sells their units for under market value. Also, there are quite a few residential units being constructed. This may eventually lead to an oversupply of the market from a residential standpoint.

The Look of Downtown Miami’s Skyline: 14 Years in the Future

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on March 31st, 2016

downtown Miami real estate

There is no question that the real estate market in Miami – (see downtown real estate listings here) is constantly changing. There is no place that this is more evident than the city’s skyline. However, while the skyline itself is pretty impressive currently, changes that are coming in the future will add to this impressive sight, making it look different and better than ever before.

Visualhouse, which is an international design and marketing firm has made a mockup of what they believe the skyline in Miami will look like 14 years in the future. This is based on the development of 11 handpicked projects that have either been approved or are currently being built. These buildings have been placed over the existing buildings to create a futuristic and accurate ideal of what the skyline will look like in the future.

Visualizing the Future

According to the managing director from Visualhouse, Robert Herrick, they work with quite a few developers in the New York and Miami regions. There are quite a few people who go to them when it comes to skyscraper work. This is because as time passes, they are able to create a pretty accurate idea of what the future of the cities is going to look like.

One of the biggest and most prominent projects in all of the Miami area is the 1,000 foot observation tower, which is quite controversial. Being constructed by Jeffrey Berkowitz, this structure would be one of the biggest and tallest towers that was ever built in the Miami area. Currently, this record is held by the 789 foot tower of Four Seasons that was erected back in 2003.

Projects Depicted in the Image

There are 11 planned or in construction projects that are included in this imaging that will impact the Miami skyline in the near future. The ones that have made the cut and that are depicted on the image that has been created can be found here:

• 300 Biscayne
• SkyRise Miami
• Miami World Center
• Villa Magna
• MiamiCentral Station
• Echo Brickell
• One Riverfront
• One Brickell City Center
• The Edge On Brickell
• Brickell Flatiron
• Brickell City Center

downtown Miami new skyline

These are all towers that are being constructed and that will impact the Miami skyline within the next five to 10 years. The image created by the team at Visualhouse takes into account the size and type of architecture to create a quality image that is realistic and accurate based on the actual sizes of the buildings.

This is not a feat that many design firms could accomplish. There are quite a few factors that must be considered when creating this image in order to make it accurate. A solid knowledge of computer graphics is also required.

While the Miami skyline is ever-changing, this unique look into the future is something that many developers find extremely intriguing. Not only does it let them see what is being done now, but also where there is room for more development and more opportunity.

If you’re interested in purchasing a condo in downtown Miami, please contact One Sotheby’s International Realty office at (305) 336-0457.

First US Location of Novikov Set to Open in Downtown Miami

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on March 6th, 2016

Novikov Restaurant Miami

The internationally renowned Italian and Asian restaurant, Novikov Bar & Grill, will be opening its very first storefront in the US in downtown Miami at the Met 1.

The MDM Development Group recently signed an agreement with the representatives of Arkady Novikov, the restaurant entrepreneur, for the ground level location in the condo located at 300 Biscayne boulevard, which is one of the hottest areas in terms of luxe living in all of Miami. See website for downtown Miami real estate here

While the restaurant representatives looked at a number of other cities, as well as venues located in Miami and in Miami Beach, they ultimately made the decision to open the flagship US restaurant in Met Miami. This is a huge move and one that Miami sees the significance of.

Moving to Miami

Novikov has settled on the former Chop House location and has plans to gut the interior and provide a complete redesign of the space, which totals 8,500 square feet. There is no word, as of yet, if the design will be the same as what is found in other locations around the world. Because of a confidentiality agreement in place, the actual terms of the lease have not been disclosed. Set to open in the early part of 2017, this location will join the others around the world. This includes sites in Dubai, London, and Moscow.

There will be a dining room with 250 seats, as well as a private dining area and bar. In Metropolitan Miami, this restaurant is joining other well-known locations, including Whole Foods that originally opened in 2015, as well as DP Moderne, which is located in the Marriott Marquis Miami. Still in the works to open is the Silverspot Cinema, in addition to five more restaurants, all of which are in lease negotiations currently.

Developing the New Eatery

The owner of the project, MDM Development Group, has been extremely selective in regard to tenants. While they don’t have to be all expensive restaurants, they have to feature the right level of design. Due to what and who Novikov is on an international basis, the acquisition of the restaurant for the development was an important addition to the area.

Currently, Metropolitan Miami is made up of Met 1, which is a 40-story, 447 unit luxury tower; Met 2, the Wells Fargo Center which is a 47 floor and 752,000 square feet office tower that is adjoined to the 41 story Hotel Beaux Arts Miami and JW Marriott marquis Miami; and the Met 3, which includes the parking garage, luxury condo tower from Zom, which is still being constructed and the Whole Foods. The final phase of this project, Met Square, is still under-development. This will house a theater, residences, retail outlets, as well as four restaurants.

Thanks to the addition of Novikov Bar & Grill, Miami is quickly becoming more and more of an international hub. This planned addition to the Magic City is going to feature both Italian and Asian components, which it is known for, as well as a lounge in the middle.

South Florida Real Estate Trends: What to Watch for in 2016

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on February 2nd, 2016

Miami real estate for sale

In virtually all industries, January is the time to look into the future and make a prediction regarding what the next 12 months has in store. This allows businesses and industry leaders to take the right steps so they can capitalize on the trends that are anticipated.

If you are interested in the South Florida real estate market (view website here), then the trends to watch for in 2016 that are highlighted here.

The Rental Market will Start to Stall

After the 2007 crash of the condo market in South Florida, one of the main benefits that residents saw was cheap rental rates. This was the result of easy financing and overbuilding. At that point in time, owners of new construction were converting condos and slashing lease prices to help and attract tenants, which would generate more revenue. When the units were inhabited, the economy began to stabilize.

This also resulted in landlords increasing prices at an aggressive pace to get back some of the money that was lost. The higher rental rates that are now seen in South Florida have resulted in quite a bit of new construction in 2015 and this is a trend that is going to continue for, at least, the next three years. With more rental units available, it will likely mean lower costs for rent in the near future unless the economy in South Florida adds an industry that will result in higher paying jobs.

Increase in Real Estate Commissions

Due to the supply of resale and preconstruction condos in Miami being high, developers are at a point where they need and want to sell the planned and existing units. The last element that most are willing to revise is the price. Watch for commissions in the real estate market to increase in 2016 thanks to an early attempt to sell the units prior to having to reduce prices.

Cancellation of Proposed Projects

Since the current real estate cycle started in 2011, the plans for almost 20 new condo towers in South Florida, which hold over 2,800 units have been changed. These are projects that were revised for a number of different reasons, which range from the changing market conditions to the developers being able to flip the land to get a big return.

Chances are there are going to be more proposed projects that will pivot if they do not meet the pre-sale requirements.

Financing for Mortgages is Increasing

The current real estate cycle in South Florida has mainly benefited because of the cash investors that are coming in from out of town and buying up the property with the intention of renting them out to the local residents who are unable to purchase due to financial limitations.

The main question that needs to be answered is whether or not 2016 is going to be a time of transition to a period of slower growth for the real estate market in South Florida.

December saw Impressive Home Price Growth for Miami & South Florida Real Estate

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on January 28th, 2016

Miami real estate for sale

While the residential real estate market in South Florida is experiencing a slight battle with the global economic crisis, this has not put a damper on housing prices in the region. These prices are steadily appreciating and there is no end in sight for this upward trend.

The prices for Miami and South Florida homes grew by 8.1 percent year over year in November. This data was gathered from a report published by S&P/Case Shiller.

In Palm Beach County, the median price for pre-existing single-family homes hit $305,000, which was an 11 percent increase from the previous year, even more than the average of 8.1 percent. However, there were several other areas that saw this kind of growth, as well. Broward County had a median home price that was also $305,000, which represents a seven percent increase from the prior year. This was the first time that either of these county’s crossed the threshold of $300,000 since over the summer.

Faster Growth in SoFla

This means that the tri-county area saw a faster pace of price growth than almost all of the remainder of the United States. In fact, the only areas that were ahead of South Florida were Dallas, Texas at 9.4 percent, Seattle, Washington at 9.7 percent, Denver, Colorado at 10.9 percent, San Francisco at 11 percent and Portland, Oregon at 11.1 percent.

It is not the entire economy that is suffering. In fact, the consumer portion, which includes automobile sales and housing, was actually quite strong in the previous year. In fact, this improved economy has provided homebuyers with the confidence necessary to actually enter into the market; however, there are some who have been less than overjoyed with the options available, specifically in the range of $150,000 to $400,000 homes. Thanks to strong sales in the past few years, a large number of listings have been depleted all throughout the region. The current owners are still unable or unwilling to test the market, with some not understanding what they could actually get for their home currently.

Economic Struggles in Miami

However, other parts of the economy are not doing quite as well. For example, businesses in the energy and oil sectors have begun to suffer from the significant drop in oil costs over the past 18 months. The strong buying power of the U.S. dollar is also resulting in slower exports. Unfortunately, the housing market is not big enough to help and offset these weak areas.

In December, the national housing market also saw a number of similar gains. In fact, prices increased by 5.3 percent year over year, which accelerated quite a bit from the 5.1 percent jump seen in October.

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Sky Club Slated for Curation by Hotelier Adrian Zecha

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on January 26th, 2016

Miami real estate

Adrian Zecha, a prominent Indonesian hotelier, will be the curator of an exclusive Miami members-only club that he himself designed. The club is being integrated into the construction of two ultra-luxurious condominium buildings on the Miami River, impressive 60-story towers called One River Point that are being developed by KAR Properties.

Luxury Club: Extreme Edition

The club promises to be over the top, calling to mind the days of the Bath Club and the Miami Club, representing a modernized take on hotspots like Caribou in Aspen and London’s Soho House. One caveat though – if you’re afraid of heights, this probably won’t be the place for you. The three-story Sky Club will be perched inside a glass sky bridge between the two condo towers, housing 35,000 sq. ft. of pure luxury.

Among the indulgences planned for the Sky Club:

• Two indoor/outdoor restaurants
• Cigar lounge
• Craft cocktail bar
• Wine cellar with tasting room
• Library
• Media Room
• 10,000 sq. ft. terrace and garden
• Chef’s kitchen

As for the condos themselves, One River Point will feature 350 units that run between a paltry $850,000 and $12 million, with penthouses costing even more. Residents of the condos will be have the choice to become automatic members of the Sky Club, and outside applicants will also have a chance at membership.

The Developers and a New Miami Vibe

Zecha and KAR Properties seem to be the perfect match for this project. Zecha, founder of the upscale luxury resort chain Amanresorts International, is credited with being a major player in the boutique hotel craze. KAR, owned by Shahab Karmely, has extensive property holdings in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States, but One River Point marks the company’s first South Florida project.

The choice of site for the condos and club may seem like a curious one, but it’s all part of a shift in South Florida from beach luxury living, to urban extravagance. The Sky Club represents a conceptual return to Miami’s lively past, when such exclusive clubs were havens for the elite to rub shoulders and party heavily. The developers see this as an updated, full-service facility that can offer members the extravagant, intimate feel of clubs past, along with functional amenities like a business center.

Raphael Viñoly, known by the coy, trendy term “starchitect”, is the mastermind behind the design of the condo buildings, adding to the allure and exclusivity of the entire project. One River Point will sit on the north bank of the Miami River, west of the Miami Avenue Bridge. Construction is slated to begin late 2016 and wrap up about two years later.

KAR isn’t alone in its quest to attract buyers using ultra-premium urban luxury living. Other developers are riding the wave, including Jules Trump (no relation to Donald) who has announced plans for a 45,000 sq. ft. entertainment compound called Circus Maximus. The complex will be located at the Estates at Acqualina, Sunny Isles.

Graduate College, Get a Condo

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on December 30th, 2015

Paramount Miami Worldcenter

Few children receive a college graduation gift as extravagant as Shahab Namin, whose father Bruce Namin, an architect and president of Namin construction, has already secured for him – an apartment in the prestigious Paramount Miami Worldcenter.

The luxurious present is in anticipation of Shahab’s future graduation in pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University. Shahab’s sister also received a condo from their father while attending medical school. Says Namin of the purchase, “I believed it was a good investment, I liked the design and the building.” According to The Real Deal, a magazine focused on South Florida real estate news, Namin commented “They said it will be ready by 2019, and this is my graduation gift for him.”

A Unique Marketing Tactic

Sheri Pasqual, president of New York’s Strategy Media Services, a real estate advertising agency that works with national media, says that this strategy of targeting parents such as Bruce Namin has been working well in cities like Chapel Hill and Boston. Luxury developers are banking on the same tactic paying off in South Florida – specifically when it comes to affluent parents of foreign students.

Pasqual points out that many colleges now cater to a large international student base. Boston University is one such school, and Pasqual handled the campaign for that location, as well as one in Chapel Hill. Paramount Miami Worldcenter is one of Pasqual’s 11 South Florida projects. She also represents Lennar International. She told The Real Deal that “Miami is absolutely one of those markets” and considering the huge Chinese student population at University of Miami, she thinks the area represents a “huge opportunity”.

Foreign Students by the Numbers

In 2013 the University of Miami hosted Miami-Dade’s largest percentage of international students, who accounted for a whopping 15% of the student population. Florida International University also weighed in with significant numbers, at 4.8% of their population being international students.

Chinese students represented the highest percentage of foreign students at both FIU and UM. The CEO and president of Paramount’s listing agent, OneWorld Properties – Peggy Fucci – says that part of their strategy is finding “angles of what Paramount has to offer”. In addition to developer marketing materials produced specifically in Chinese, OneWorld also plans to use a national Chinese holiday known as “Golden Week” (which takes place in early October) to market to the foreign population.

PMW focuses their marketing efforts on others besides the Chinese as well. They recently held an event with Northern Trust, a wealth management firm that has many clients with college-age kids. Considering Paramount’s average listing price sits at $1.1 million, this multi-faceted marketing makes sense.

A Spreading Trend

Shoma Group President Masoud Shojaee is developing a luxury multi-use project near UM’s main campus. When marketing to foreigners, Shojaee highlights the fact that The Collection Residences meet two of their needs – a luxury home, and a school for their kids.

Shojaee is not alone. The Melo Group markets its Oak Plaza Tower to medical students in the Health District. Melo and other developers emphasize that while these projects aren’t initiated specifically with college students in mind, the fact is – according to Fucci – “If you come from a family that can afford to buy a $1.5 million condo, I don’t think it’s a typical rowdy college student. It’s a different level of sophistication.”

Matthew Whitman Lazenby Answers Bal Harbour Expansion Questions

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on December 25th, 2015

Bal Harbour Real Estate

The Real Deal recently had the opportunity to ask Whitman Family Development CEO Matthew Whitman Lazenby some questions about the firm’s attempts to facilitate a $400 million expansion and renovation of the Bal Harbour Shops. In order to accomplish the project, the Bal Harbour Village Council would have to put a land swap proposal on the ballot. Otherwise the expansion will not happen.

The project would involve Whitman funding a new entrance, canopy, and exterior walls, as well as landscaping and wider sidewalks. Some retailers would be expanded, with a couple of new additions as well, such as Barneys New York. According to Lazenby, Neiman Marcus would get a boost from 90,000 sq. ft. to 140,000, and Saks Fifth Avenue would move to another spot on the property, increasing its space from 130,000 sq. ft. to 180,000. The old Saks would become Barneys. In total, the shops would go from 450,000 sq. ft. to 700,000.

The Church

When asked about the Church by the Sea, which has a long and not always amicable history with Whitman, Lazenby said that the Church has “become a fantastic partner” and that they are flexible in their willingness to move to a different location in the Village.

In addition, Whitman has included plans for green space in their renderings for the expansion project. Even though it is hard to come by in tiny Bal Harbour, Lazenby pointed out that the Village (see website here) is in need of community space, and if the land swap is successful the company will help facilitate the development of such space.

Why Expand?

Lazenby also addressed the question of the motivation for expansion. He explained that the trend in the luxury retail industry is moving toward larger and larger physical spaces. A store that is housed in a 2000 sq. ft. space soon wants to be in 4000 sq. ft. or larger. Whitman is focusing its plans on reallocating space to allow existing stores in Bal Harbour Shops to expand, rather than considering a huge influx of new retailers.

About 30 additional stores would be leased out. Whitman wants to retain an intimate, exclusive shopping experience rather than renovate themselves into being just another mall. There is a balance that must be reached between giving residents access to the right stores for their needs and wants, and not going overboard.

TRL also touched on Whitman’s cohorts in the development of Brickell City Centre in Miami, Simon Property Group and Swire Properties. Lazenby indicated that the demand in the area was evident, and that Whitman’s experience as a retail developer gives them an edge in the luxury market.

Paramount Miami Worldcenter Getting Closer to Completion

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 21st, 2015

Miami real estate for sale

One of the most anticipated upcoming condominium towers, the 60-story Paramount Miami Worldcenter, which will be attached to Miami Worldcenter, is getting closer to completion…slowly but surely. They recently announced that they are starting to convert their reservations to contracts, which should be great news for buyers who can’t wait to get into the new property.

What Does the Building Offer?

The units in the building have been selling quite well, and they’ve already sold about 40% of the 512 units in the building. They are currently mailing out the contracts to buyers. Many of the buyers are actually from other countries, including those in Latin America. A number of Russians have also purchased units in the building. The developer of the building believes that they will have a very good conversion. In addition, a large number of buyers (about 13%) are from China.

In the past couple of years, the number of sales to buyers in Latin America has been dropping because they’ve had dips in the economy in many countries. However, China has stepped up significantly when it comes to buying real estate in the Miami area, including at this building. There’s actually another reason that the sales to Chinese buyers have been so high. The developers have actively been marketing to the wealthy Chinese audience, going as far as to bring in Feng Shui consultants to help ensure the units would appeal to a Chinese buyer.

They had a sales model that was typical for many properties in recent years. They required a 50% deposit to hold the unit for them. The buyers put down about 10% at various stages of the development until they’ve reached 50%. The size of the units in the building varies from around 1,180 square feet to about 2,300 square feet. The price averages to be about $700 per square foot.

How Long Before It Is Finished?

They haven’t actually broken ground at the site, 950 Northeast 2nd Avenue yet, but they are getting nearer now that they have their demolition permits. This was actually what was holding up the building. Work on the site will actually start very soon, and they believe that they will be able to get the entire building finished in about three years, give or take. While three years might seem like a long time, other projects sit in limbo for far longer. Most of the buyers already have homes in the area, while others are still in their native countries. While everyone is excited to get into the building, they know that quality and luxury takes time. They are willing to wait to ensure the property is perfect and meets their expectations.

Since they’ve already sold about 40% of the units in the building, they still have plenty of time to sell other properties at Paramount Miami in the coming years. Given the hype and popularity of this upcoming property, you can be sure that the units will be selling briskly.