Miami World Center Tower

Miami is no stranger to large-scale development. There are plenty of examples already built and under construction, including the Birkell City Centre. However, there’s something even larger looming on the horizon – the Miami Worldcenter. The project recently cleared its second to last challenge before it officially becomes a reality and construction can begin.

The Hurdles

There have been several challenges facing the project since it first entered the consideration phase. Some of those challenges have stemmed from outspoken objection by residents of Miami. However, the city’s commissioners voted unanimously to approve changes to zoning laws in the city, as well as an agreement that lets the Worldcenter project move forward. Critics of the project cite problems like closing streets and allowing LED billboards on media towers. Others cited the economic devastation that would come to businesses located in areas that were open only to foot traffic.

The Project

For those not sure what the Worldcenter actually entails, it’s an exciting prospect – a transformative project, according to the developers. It would encompass 17 acres of Miami real estate, and it would house almost 1,200 condos, as well as a 600,000 square foot convention center, and a hotel with 1,800 guestrooms. There would also be a shopping mall measuring almost 800,000 square feet. Anchors for the mall have already been selected, and include the likes of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. In terms of location, the project would run from North Miami Avenue and Northeast Second Avenue to Northeast Sixth Street and 11th Street.

Points in Favor

While there has been vocal dissent concerning the Worldcenter project, there are many points in its favor. One of those would be the enormous revenues such a project would generate for the city. Another benefit would be the revitalization of an area that has long been in decay and decline, as well as the creation of an additional 18,000 jobs for the city’s residents. In addition, the project would also create more than 25 bars and nightclubs in an area where such facilities are largely absent, rundown or going out of business due to lack of patrons.

A Sign of the Times

As mentioned, the Worldcenter project is far from the only large-scale development in Miami. The Brickell City Centre project is another massive undertaking that’s sparked both praise and criticism. There are numerous others as well. All are signs of the changing times – Miami is reinventing itself as an international destination for travelers of all economic classes, from the rich and powerful to family vacationers to those looking for an exciting city to call home.

It’s also in line with the city’s exploding real estate scene. The area recovered quickly from the real estate meltdown and has seen year after year of growth since 2011. It’s quite the boom, as can be seen from the number of condo developments (Sunny Isles Beach alone has seen 15 luxury condo developments (CLICK HERE TO VIEW) kick off in the last decade).


Miami home for sale

Different areas of the country are famous for being home to certain types of people. Actors and producers live in Hollywood and throughout Los Angeles. Authors and book moguls live in New York. Florida has its own claim to fame – more CEOs live in the southernmost state than any other area of the country. Of course, not all Florida cities have a high concentration of corporate commanders in chief.

Why Come to Florida?

What’s behind the exodus of CEOs to the sunny shores of Florida? It’s more than the beach and the state’s burgeoning economy. It’s also one of the friendliest states in the country to those with CEO-type incomes, thanks to its lack of individual income tax. There are numerous other attractions to Florida, as well. That’s particularly true of South Florida.

SoFla and particularly Miami has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, and both business and residential real estate are booming. A significant influx of foreign investors, foreign condo buyers and new residents from other US states have made South Florida a fast growing market. Some examples of this growth include the recently approved Miami Worldcenter and the SkyRise tower, as well as Brickell City Centre, which is already under construction. New luxury condos in South Beach, Miami, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles and other areas also cater to CEOs’ tastes for fine living. CLICK HERE TO VIEW AVAILABLE PROPERTIES FOR SALE

A Look at the Cities

Several of Florida’s cities made the list of top areas for CEOs, including:
• North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota – The tri-city area boasts a 1.20% concentration of CEOs within its combined borders.
• Sebastian – Vero Beach – Sebastian might not be your first thought when imagining places in Florida where CEOs would call home, but between it and its southern neighbor, Vero Beach, there’s a 1.37% concentration of business movers and shakers.
• Naples – Marco Island – Naples might be more along the lines of what most would expect for a CEO-heavy area. Between Naples and Marco Island, there’s a 1.28% concentration of CEOs.
• Cape Coral – Fort Myers – You’ll find that the Cape Coral and Fort Meyers area boasts a 1.27% concentration of America’s business moguls.
• Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach – You’ll find a concentration of 1.20% of CEOs in this area of Florida.
Of course, while Florida might boast the highest concentration of chief executive officers in the country, there are quite a few other areas giving it a run for its money. Other popular areas for CEOs to settle include:
• Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, Connecticut
• Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, California
• Barnstable town, Massachusetts
• San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, California
• Boulder, Colorado

Still, it’s clear from the list above that Florida remains the leader here, and its business-friendly environment and rapidly growing economy promise to keep it in first place for a long time to come. Not only do these factors encourage CEOs to relocate to the state, but the lack of personal income tax makes it more likely for homegrown CEOs to found and operate thriving businesses.


Miami real estate

Real estate loans in South Florida have traditionally been large – they have to be to accommodate the price of property in Miami-Dade and the surrounding counties. However, those loans are getting larger. The biggest banks in SoFla are now routinely offering real estate loans 10% larger than previous financing packages, marking another year of significant growth for SoFla.

A Look at the Growth

In 2014, the 15 largest banks in South Florida managed to expand their real estate loan portfolios by over 10%, the FDIC reports. This growth wasn’t relegated to Miami-Dade County alone. Broward and Palm Beach counties also saw significant growth. Most of the growth occurred in increased loan volume through acquisitions. However, there’s also organic growth occurring in the market. It’s not all about acquisitions. New residents and new businesses are steadily streaming into South Florida. In total, the loan expansion included construction and land development packages, as well as multifamily, residential and commercial mortgage loans. (Click here to research Miami real estate)

The Largest Increases

While the 10%+ increase was across all 15 of SoFla’s biggest banks, not all financial institutions saw the same growth. The single largest increase came from Florida Community Bank, based in Weston, FL. FCB experienced a 55% jump in loan amounts, going from $1.6 billion in 2013 to $2.4 billion in 2014. Part of that growth stemmed from FCB’s $596 million acquisition of Great Florida Bank of Coral Gables.

Another high performer was Stonegate Bank out of Fort Lauderdale, which saw a 54.5% increase in real estate loans (rising past the $1 billion mark from just over half a million the year before). SBoFL acquired Florida Shores Bancorp, as well as that company’s subsidiaries to add $555 million.

Capital Bank, based in the city of Miami but also serving Tennessee, as well as North and South Carolina, also added to its success. It purchased $46 million in residential mortgages to create a 5-year total of $4.7 billion.

Where the Rejuvenation Starts

The growth in loans has been significant, just short of staggering. There are several attributable factors here, but one of the major ones is the creation of the Brickell City Centre (Click here to view the project), which BankUnited’s Florida president said was one of the hotspots in the area fueling his bank’s growth and success. Others point to the approval of the creation of Miami Worldcenter, as well as Miami SkyRise and other high-profile developments in town.

However, it’s not all about new projects. There’s also less leverage out there, which banks have cited as creating a healthier financial market in the first place. “Florida is back,” stated BankUnited’s Florida president, Thomas Cornish. A quick look at the various industries served by the 15 largest banks in SoFla certainly seems to hold up that assertion, with residential mortgages increasing by almost 12%, commercial real estate loans growing by 12.3% and multifamily loans growing by 6.7%.

All in all, 2014 has been a banner year for Florida’s banks, but also for homebuyers, construction companies and businesses of all types.


Brickell City Center Condos

Cinemex is a celebrated company founded in Mexico. It’s long eyed potential locations in the US, but until now, it has not opened any cinemas north of the border. Today, all that changes as Cinemex and Brickell City Centre jointly announced that the firm would open its first US location in the mixed-use project located right in Miami.

About the Development

The new development will consist of almost 36,000 square feet of dine-in cinema. The property is expected to open in 2016, and Cinemex will partner with Chef Mikel Alonso (the name behind Biko), and Mica Rousseau of Mexico City mixology fame. Within the 36,000 square feet will be 11 viewing rooms and a total of 622 seats. The design and construction work for the project will be handled by Miami’s own Loguer Design.

About Cinemex

Cinemex is the world’s sixth largest cinema chain. The company’s focus here is to “bring the success of Cinemex to downtown Miami,” according to one of the firm’s VPs. Brickell City Centre makes the ideal setting for this type of establishment, and its interesting combination of film and food. Cinemex joins a growing number of businesses that have agreed to anchor the $1.1 billion Brickell City Centre project, including Saks Fifth Avenue.

Far from the Only Project

The Brickell City Centre project might be one of the most visible in the city of Miami, but it’s far from the only one. There are numerous others, including the proposed Worldcenter, which would occupy 17 acres of downtown Miami real estate and create an estimated 18,000 jobs. The development would contain a massive shopping mall, a huge convention center, a hotel with almost 2,000 rooms, and a new luxury condo development in addition to numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants and more.

What It Means for Investors

Miami’s real estate is red hot at the moment, and most of south Florida is actually in the midst of a real estate boom, unlike many other areas of the country. The addition of Cinemex to the Brickell City Centre is just another feather in Miami’s cap, and another reason that real estate values continue to rise. As the city reinvents itself into one of the world’s top destinations for vacationers and hopeful residents of all types, those values will continue to increase. This benefits areas beyond just Miami downtown area, including South Beach, Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles and many others as well.


Brickell City Center Condos for sale

Real estate projects go up all of the time in Miami, but few have the same level of public interest and investor interest that Brickell City Centre has. The tower has just about everything going for it, from location to a range of prices suitable for different buyers. Now that the units are finally going on sale, they are selling briskly.

What Do They Cost?

One of the questions on the mind of every interested buyer is just how much he or she will have to pay for a unit. Fortunately, the units and prices at the tower run the gamut, and they should appeal to people of different means and budgets. While the prices for the units vary, the one-bedrooms tend to fall into the $580K to $700K range. While the larger, two-bedroom units will sell for between $700K and $1 million. (Click here to view currently available units at Brickell City Centre for sale)

The tower does have a number of larger units available as well. The larger units, which typically will have between four and five bedrooms, have prices hovering around $2.15 million to $2.7 million. Prospective buyers with larger bank accounts will want to keep in mind that the tower will also have penthouse options. These large units will cost between $3 million and $8 million.

Location will factor into the price of the units greatly. While all of the units will have views, the ones higher up tend to have the better views. The higher the unit is in the tower the higher the price will be.

Construction Going Well

The presale phase of these condominiums is well underway, and they have been selling very quickly, which is making all those involved with the project quite happy. In fact, recent data shows that they have currently already sold about half of the available units in the tower.

The construction phase is going well too, and they believe that the first residential units to open up for actual occupancy should occur in the latter part of 2015, or at the latest by January of 2016.

Buyers Have Plenty of Options

Those who are looking into buying these units, and those who already bought a unit, will find that they have a range of options on what they can do with the property. While many owners will want to use the unit as their primary residence thanks to the location and the quality of the features and amenities in the unit and building, others may choose to use them only as a vacation home. Still others might want to buy the property as an investment and actually rent it out to out of town vacationers. The great location and the thriving neighborhood make this a perfect building for just about anything.

As mentioned, these units are moving very quickly, and those who have been on the fence about getting a property in the South Florida area will want to act fast if this was a building they were considering. Fortunately, even if these do sell out, more great units in other towers in the area are just around the corner.


Baltus Condo Miami

There is busy, and then there is busy like the Related Group gets busy! In the span of a three-hour period in late July, 2014, the developer did something that other companies could only dream of doing. They began construction on three new condos in Miami. At the same time, they entered the presale phase for yet another high-rise in downtown Miami. If that weren’t enough, consider that this was just a week after they nearly finished work on two other towers in the area. These other towers, ICON Bay, a 43-story tower with 299 units and Baltus House, a 15-story complex with 167 units, are already extremely popular in the area.

The New Projects

Related Group held their groundbreaking ceremony in Brickell Heights to celebrate starting construction on a pair of towers in the area. One of the towers will have 46 stories, while the other will be slightly larger at 49 stories. Combined, they will have 696 units. The towers will be going up on the 800 block of South Miami Ave, along the west side of the avenue. They held their groundbreaking at 10AM on July 31.

Just an hour later, they hosted another groundbreaking ceremony. This new tower is the Paraiso Bay, and it will be 53 stories high and have 368 units. The tower will go up along the north side of Northeast 31st Street in the 600 block. It is important to note that this tower is just the first in what the Related Group hopes will be at least four in the Paraiso family of towers. They want to develop other towers between Northeast 31st and 32nd street, and they hope to have close to 1,400 units between all of these different towers. While these are not in the groundbreaking phase yet, it’s a good way to get an idea of what Related Group plans to do and how rest is certainly not on their schedule.

Approximately an hour after the Paraiso Bay groundbreaking, they will start their presale phase for another of the towers in Paraiso. Paraiso Bayviews will have 44 stories and 388 units. The actual build phase of this project will likely begin sometime in early 2015.

Always Busy

This type of activity is nothing new for the Related Group. They have always been very active when it comes to building new properties in the area. Right now, they have plans for a large number of new towers – at least 34 – between themselves and their partners. This will account for nearly 8,400 units. Already, they are responsible for around 24% of the units in the South Florida area. Take a moment to consider exactly how many units this is already and how many they will be adding in the coming years.

One thing is certain. The Related Group is one that is never satisfied to simply rest on their laurels, and they continually look for new opportunities. However, to remain successful, the company needs to continue doing well on all of their presales to hit their targets.


preconstruction condos miami

Many Canadians and Europeans love flying south for the winter and staying in those beautiful, warm locales that their home country simply can’t offer. While some are content simply taking a vacation and renting properties, a growing number are actually looking to buy. The interest rates are still quite low, and it does make more sense to buy a home, or a vacation home, right now. However, those who want to buy a property in Miami Florida should know a few things before they start making their purchase.

What’s the Market Like Now?

Just a couple of years ago, the real estate market was in trouble and crashing fast. It was a terrible time for all real estate owners, but, as time showed later, a great time to buy. However, not many could afford, or wanted to buy a property in a crashing market. Times have changed to exactly the opposite. Now, everyone wants to buy and regret that they didn’t buy when the market was at it’s lowest. Don’t feel bad, not many could do this from a physiological point of view. It takes guts and cold mind to buy properties in an unstable market. However, those who have done it got rewarded royally.

Today, the rates are still very low and buyers should take advantage of that, because no one knows just how long these low rates will last, and as the economy recovers, the price of homes is starting to go up along with it. After all, the price of homes generally relates to what the market can bear and tolerate. What does this mean for buyers? It means that buying sooner rather than later is likely to be a very good idea.

Florida has always been popular with the snowbirds from the northern reaches of the United States as well as Canada, and that will not change. In fact, it’s likely that more and more people will start considering buying in Florida because of the quality properties. This means that all current pre-construction condos in Miami (view here pre-construction condos Miami) could be gone sooner than potential buyers might imagine. Look at 2013 as an example of how popular Florida is. During the last year, Canadians have been buying warm climate properties in droves. California accounted for about 8% of the purchases, followed by Arizona with 24%. Florida accounted for 39%.

What Do Canadians Need to Know When Buying?

When a Canadian wants to buy a home in the U.S., the process is a bit more complicated. Therefore, it is important to work with a real estate agent, as well as a mortgage broker, insurance agent and an attorney who understands those complexities and have experience with foreign citizens. You will also need to get in touch with a tax attorney as well, who can help you to understand how the Canadian and U.S. tax laws will affect you and your purchase.

Some Canadians purchase their homes with cash, and may be better off working with RBC Banks. Again, you have to make sure that you are working with banks that have experience in foreign home purchases. Otherwise, you could run into more complications down the line.

Today, Miami pre-construction condos offer luxury, location and care-free lifestyle for vacationers as well as permanent residents. Just make sure that you align yourself with the right team to make buying the home as easy as possible for you. Also, remember that you want to start buying now, so you have the choice of the best properties!

Our team consists of highly specialized professionals including top-producing realtor Lana Bell, at attorney who specializes in foreign buyers, professional mortgage brokers and more. Call One Sotheby’s International Realty office to speak with one of our realtors, or call Lana today – (305) 336-0457.


SLS Brickell Miami

It can be difficult to understand the real estate market and the various fluctuations it goes through, even for those who are in the business. One of the interesting trends that realtors have seen in the area of Brickell lately is a sudden growth in demand for properties. While this is certainly welcome news, the desire for properties in the area grew quickly, and with the demand came higher prices for properties. The increased prices and demand are certainly huge changes from the recession that rocked the area a few years ago.

Price Fluctuations

Just a few years ago, no one was looking to buy in the area, simply because no one could afford to buy, thanks to the recession. The entire real estate industry was in a shambles, and it hit Miami and the Brickell area quite hard. Today, investors from the United States and from many other parts of the world are scooping up properties in Brickell almost as fast as they can find them. Naturally, the increase in demand pushes those prices higher and higher. (view all Brickell condos here)

Even though the prices are already as high, or higher, than their pre-recession counterparts were in some instances, many feel that the high prices will not last forever. They will likely hit their peak soon and will not go up from there, simply because the market, even the luxury market, will not bear it. The market is strong right now, and there are a number of foreign cash buyers, which help to keep it strong.

Though the newer units are selling quickly, experts also feel that there is quite a bit to explore and enjoy in the realm of resale units. Condominium owners who already have their unit and who are looking to sell – perhaps to buy a new property – can do quite well right now. Since the demand for units is on the upswing again, and the prices are going up, it means that those sellers who have exceptional units in buildings already up could see a nice advantage.

Buying Now With Resale Properties

One of the problems that some buyers have with buying presale units is the fact that it could take a year or more before they are actually able to move into or rent out their unit in those new construction towers. While the properties are certainly nice, many buyers are impatient. They want to move to the Brickell area right now. They also know that the area is popular, which makes renting fast and easy most of the time. The best way to do that is to start looking into the current properties for sale.

Buyers certainly have a larger number of options when it comes to what they choose to buy in the Brickell area, but they need to realize that right now the buys come at a premium. The prices are high, but they will likely be peaking soon. Now is a good time to look into what Brickell offers in terms of new and resale units. For more information please click here to view all Miami downtown condos for sale.


Brickell new condos

Recently, a company called Watson Investigations purchased a small restaurant building located at 842 Southeast First Ave for the price of $7 million. Interestingly, the property is near the site of a 34,000 square-foot building that the company also recently bought, although they purchased that building through bankruptcy court in July of last year. The current business occupant of the restaurant they recently bought is Chicken Kitchen, a popular local eatery.

Ambassa Holdings sold the 8,000 square-foot property to Watson for the $7 million price tag, which was far higher than what they paid for it just ten years ago. When Ambassa originally bought the property, they paid $1.9 million for it. This most recent transaction closed on the 30th of April and the county recorded it on May 2. Watson has ties to CMC Group, run by Ugo Colombo. While much of this is speculation right now, many feel that Vladimir Doronin and Ugo will be using the land that they bought to eventually develop and start building another condominium tower.

Can the Area Sustain a New Tower?

One of the questions that some people will ultimately have if they do reveal plans for a new tower is whether the South Florida area can really sustain another one right now. Already, the area is rife with these towers, and more go up each year. One would be forgiven to think that it might be reaching the saturation point. However, it’s important to look beyond that and to look at the actual numbers.

People go gaga over Brickell condos (click here to view all Brickell condos for sale), as well as the other nearby areas that offer close proximity to the beach and everything else that Miami has to offer (click here to view all Miami Beach condos for sale). People are always looking for properties here, and more than just U.S. buyers have an interest. Many foreign buyers, including those from Canada, China, and Russia all love the idea of having a property in the area. Consider also that just because people own a unit at one of the towers, it does not mean they live there year round. Some use the properties as a vacation spot. Others choose to use the property for investment, and they rent it out to vacationers during the peak months.

Given the popularity of the area, it is quite likely that the area will certainly be able to handle more towers. There does not appear to be a slowdown in interest at all. The crash of 2007 still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many, but times are different today, and people are actively watching for similar situations to arise so they can sound an alert. The chance of the same thing happening again is slim.

If they do go ahead and start planning another tower, you can also be sure that it will not be approved or go under construct for a number of years. There is no reason to start worrying that there are too many towers in South Florida. Instead, embrace it and start looking for your own condo.


SLS Brickell Miami

Preconstruction condominium complexes generally tend to have quite a bit of hype surrounding them. Sometimes all of that hype is worth it and sometimes it isn’t. Once you start looking at SLS Brickell Miami though, you can immediately see that this place is offering something special, something that really epitomizes luxury. It becomes easy to see why it is one of the most sought after and beloved preconstruction properties in the Miami area.

What Makes It Special?

The 57-story building (CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLS BRICKELL) will rise majestically into the sky and feature both hotel rooms and private residences. It will have 133 hotel rooms as well as 450 private residences. Best of all, there will be just eleven units on each floor. This gives owners more privacy, and it allows them to know their immediate neighbors since there are so few of them on a floor. Even though the doors will not open until 2017, people are salivating over the thought of living here.

The building will house more than 10,000 square feet of space for restaurants, lounges, and pool bars. What has many excited about this is the fact that Chef Jose Andres is designing them. The building will feature designs from Philippe Starck, designer of Icon South Beach and Icon Brickell as well. This will provide the building with those gorgeous European interiors and unbelievable art for which Starck is known.

The condo amenities will help to set this place apart as well. Let’s look at some of the services and amenities slated for the building. It will offer butler services, “while you are away” services, concierge services, Wi-Fi throughout the property, a staff on hand around the clock, valet, security, and in-room dining services for residences and suites. They will offer shipping and packaging services, currency conversion, housekeeping on demand, shopping and delivery, dry cleaning and laundry, pet services, courier service, and even personal IT support.

The Residences

While the building is special, people love what the residences promise, as well. Naturally, you will have some wonderful views of the Biscayne Bay as well as the Miami skyline. The residences come fully furnished and feature a nice semi-private elevator that makes use of biometrics for added security. The units are spacious and have ceilings that are either nine or ten feet high depending on the unit. They have large walk-in closets, and rain showers and spa tubs in the master bathrooms. The terraces are quite large and provide easy access to the living spaces and the bedrooms. Some of the units will also have a grilling area on the terrace.

They will offer home automation systems, two self-parking spaces for most of the units, and your choice of preselected cabinet finishes and stone countertops. Everything about the unit and the building screams luxury. The more people learn about the property the more excited they become. SLS Brickell Miami might be just the property that you’ve been looking for as well. Consider making this your new home when it opens in 2017.


Content published by Lana Bell

Content published by Lana Bell