Has Hotel Investment Reached Its Peak?

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on November 24th, 2014

Diplomat Hotel Hollywood Florida

Hotel investment in South Florida has reached fever pitch. For some time now, it’s been one of the most sought after additions to a portfolio, as well as one of the most lucrative investments out there. However, things might be changing. There are signs that the sector has not only hit its peak, but begun the backward slide. The recent sale of the Diplomat hotel in Hollywood, Florida, might be the stop sign that potential investors need to heed.

The Scale of the Sale

In terms of price, the Diplomat’s price and accompanying expenditures were very, very impressive. The property was sold for $460 million to Thayer Lodging Group. In addition to that, the company spent another significant chunk of change on land around the hotel, as well as a golf course – to the tune of $75.5 million. Then there’s the additional investment of $100 million the company is planning to make improvements to the property and guestrooms. All told, the purchase will actually cost Thayer $635.5 million, making it one of the most expensive ever seen in South Florida.

The End of It All?

Experts are saying that despite the unprecedented scale of the sale, this might be a sign of the end. One reason for this is that the number of available hotel properties has dropped significantly through purchases and other transactions. There are very few properties out there that could match the Diplomat in cost per room anyway. That doesn’t mean that the entire hotel industry in Florida is on the brink. Just that South Florida might not be the ideal market for comparable investments or purchases. There are a number of similar properties farther north, though.

How the Diplomat Will Play Out

There’s a lot of interest in the upgrades and additional value that Thayer will add to the Diplomat with the expected $100 million. In terms of features, the Diplomat certainly wasn’t lacking in the first place, which means that the investor has their work cut out for them in terms of adding value to the property. One change that’s already been announced is the rebranding of the hotel. Currently, the Diplomat is part of the Westin family of properties. However, Thayer has announced that the Westin moniker will be dropped in favor of the new Diplomat Resort & Spa, and it will become part of Hilton’s Curio portfolio.

That move worries some experts in the area. Curio has only been around for a few years, and lacks the name recognition of Westin, or even other Hilton brands. Thayer could be “shooting themselves in the foot” with the rebranding efforts, although only time will tell which side of the argument potential guests fall on. With that being said, most travelers rely on branding to tell them what to expect from a property. A hotel with an unknown name, regardless of the power behind that name, stands to lose out to properties with better recognition.

Intimate and Exclusive Living at Positano Beach

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on December 12th, 2013

Positano Beach Hollywood Florida

Not everyone wants to live in a condo with hundreds of units and a tower that touches the clouds. Positano Beach is just the place for those looking for something a little bit more intimate and exclusive. This 7-story building only offers 17 units, assuring you do not have to put up with hundreds of people jockeying to enjoy the amenities offered. You can relax and enjoy your home along with the other residents who have chosen comfortable living over the massive buildings others are looking for.

Choose the Condo Right for You

At Positano Beach, it is truly possible for you to have a spacious and luxurious condo that suits your lifestyle. Each of the condos ranges from 3,200 square feet to 3,700 square feet. Wrap-around terraces provide you with the ability to fully enjoy life in an oceanfront property. Set up a table and lounge chairs on the terrace for comfortable relaxation and to take in the sights and sound of the ocean.

You can also feel safe inside of your condo with the hurricane windows that are also energy efficient. Tinting in the windows helps to reduce the amount of heat getting into your home, which is always a welcome feature in a Florida home. Every convenience you would expect from a luxury condo is what you will find when you are living at Positano Beach.
Even the kitchen is customizable. Choose from different countertops, moldings, backsplashes, paint, stone flooring and more. Since the site is still in pre-construction, you can truly have the kind of home you have been dreaming of while still enjoying all the convenience of living in a condo.

Beautiful bathrooms and closet build outs are possible through Positano Beach. Rather than settling for the appliances, bathrooms and kitchens that other developers will make you accept, you can truly make your home your own as it is being built. All units will be finished upon completion of the building.

Convenient Location to Everything

Positano Beach is right in the heart of Hollywood Beach, making everything else easily accessible. Positano Beach is just steps from North Ocean Drive and the Boardwalk. You can take advantage of being in close proximity to all the fine dining restaurants you want to enjoy for a night on the town. If you like watching horseracing, Gulfstream Park is close by. If you are thinking about enjoying a round of golf with friends, you have your choice of championship courses within a short drive from your front door. Also close to your location is Las Olas Boulevard, Bal Harbor, Aventura Mall and a variety of other shopping opportunities.

Priced between $1.4 million and $1.9 million, Positano Beach is a steal. Getting in on preconstruction allows you to select the unit that best suits your needs and customize it to look exactly the way you want it to. You are about to learn what a truly exclusive condo in Florida is all about. Call today for a private tour or to reserve your unit (305) 336-0457

Live on the Beach with Apogee Beach Hollywood Florida

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on August 28th, 2013

Hollywood Florida Condos For Sale

Apogee Beach Hollywood Florida

The Apogee Beach Hollywood Florida

is the newest five-star oceanfront condo with the exclusive nature. Only 49 luxury residences are available in this high-end construction building. The design of the building is from famous Carlos Ott, responsible for such amazing buildings as Jade Ocean and Jade Beach in Sunny Isles Beach Miami, Shanghai Theater in China, and Burj As Arab in Dubai. The new residence project is sure to be on the same level as these architectural marvels with all of the extras and amenities provided to every resident. The all-glass building is as breathtaking from land as it is from the ocean.

Hollywood Beach, Florida is a Great Location!

Apogee Beach is located close to everything. Take advantage of everything on Ocean Drive as well as shopping and restaurants just across the bridge. Whether driving or walking, there is plenty to do close by. You are also close to the industrial centers to make the commute quick and easy. In addition to everything you can do away from the building, it is hard to imagine wanting to go anywhere other than the beach that fronts the condos. Just step out and start enjoying beach living with a modern twist.

Residential Features

There are several residences to choose from with square footage ranging from 1665 square feet to over 4800 square feet. Residences are priced by the square foot and depend largely on the type of view your condo offers. When you arrive at Apogee Beach, your vehicle will be parked for you by the valet service. As soon as you walk into the lobby, you will feel at home with an attended lobby at all hours. Just step to the elevators to access your condo with smart technology controlled by the wireless smart screen tablet.

You are able to relax on your private balcony or enjoy the view from inside with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors. All glass is tinted to help keep your residence cool in the heat of summer. The tall ceilings (9’ – 12’) provide ample room for decorating and walk-in closets make it easy to store all of your things. The gourmet kitchens have all the latest innovations, including marble countertops, and the bathrooms are designed to envelop you in comfort with European style pulls and luxurious counters. Relax in the extra-wide soaking tub or take a seat at the full-size vanity mirror while getting ready for the day or after a long day at the beach. It is all available at Apogee Beach Hollywood Florida.

Renting or Buying

Choice is a word you will become familiar with at Apogee Beach condo. This goes beyond the choices you can make in décor. It also applies to how you choose to live. Rental spaces are available along with residences for sale. If you choose to buy, you will only be required to place a $10,000 deposit to secure the unit while still in pre-construction. Choose from 2, 3 and 4 bedroom residences and start enjoying the more than 240 linear feet of pristine beach offered by the building.

The Priciest Condos in Hollandale and Hollywood Florida

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 28th, 2012

South Beach Condos For Sale

South Beach Miami Condos For Sale

The new Hallandale Condos and Hollywood Florida Condos

have reputations as luxury real estate markets and, they more than live up to that reputation. The prices of some condominiums reflect this market more than others do and, to illustrate that, here are the 10 highest prices for condominium resales that went through between April 2012 and June 2012.

According to data, the priciest condominiums were as follows. With the exception of 2 units, denoted by asterisks, they were all located in the Hollywood Beach area. The other sales were both in the Hallandale Beach area. The sales are listed from least to most expensive.

· Beach Club I Hallandale 3-bedroom unit for $900,000*
· Diplomat Residences 3-bedroom for $950,000
· Beach Club II Hallandale 3-bedroom for $955,000*
· Villas of Positano 2-bedroom for $1,000,000
· Ocean Palms 3-bedroom for $1,025,000
· Diplomat Ocean Residences 2-bedroom for $1,060,000
· Diplomat Oceanfront Residences 3-bedroom for $1,383,000
· Trump Hollywood 3-bedroom for $1,800,000
· Diplomat Oceanfront Residences 3-bedroom for $1,800,000
· Villas of Positano 3-bedroom for $2,035,000

The prices of these condominiums has actually gone down on the average compared to what they were originally listed for, but the prices are obviously still well into the luxury range and make them interesting to investors.

Despite the impressive prices for these properties, they were all offered at a discount compared to their original asking prices. The #1 spot, in fact, at Villas of Position came at an 18% discount compared to the original asking price. Even at the luxury end of the real estate spectrum—the most luxury end—it is still a buyer’s market in many regards.

Sales in the areas listed and for south Florida on the whole remain steady. While there is some nervousness in the market overall, the real estate market does seem to be well on its way to a recovery. In addition to these pricey condominiums, there have been quite a few investors making their ways back into Florida’s real estate market and they have been eager to acquire properties. A combination of international factors and low interest rates has contributed to this.

Luxury Properties in South Florida

Many of south Florida’s more desirable properties are luxury condominiums and this hasn’t been lost on investors. There are numerous projects in the works at present and, though some may have written off the south Florida real estate market only some years ago, it’s become an attractive place to invest—and live—again.

All of these prices came with discounts, which is important if you’re looking for a new home and you want to make sure you get a good deal. Even at this level of luxury, there is room to negotiate prices and prices may actually be reduced on their own compared to the original offer. If you’re in the market for luxury property, remember that the price you see advertised may well be subject to change with a bit of negotiation or with a bit more time on the market and that can make even very expensive condominiums attractive buys, indeed.

The Miami 2012 Luxury Market Analysis

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on June 15th, 2012

Miami Condos For Sale

South Beach Condos For Sale

The luxury market in South Florida is exploding, with record-breaking residential listings as high as $125 million for the recently-listed former Versace mansion. But with prices that look like those of 2006, some are warning that Miami’s high-end market might be forming another bubble, CNBC reported. It is the type of speculative, largely foreign buyer in South Florida that worries experts. If Europe’s economy collapses, or if global markets fall back into a recession or even slow, the market for Miami’s pricey real estate could collapse overnight. “This is flight to safety for these buyers, an investment decision,” said Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants. “The question is, how long and how far will it go? Does this create a bubble at the very high end in these specific markets?”

In the meantime, the new condo transactions at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences as well as Mansions at Acqualina are off to a great start. About 170 units have been closed at St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences totaling more than $623 million in the first seven month of sales! In addition, deposits for about 80 units were collected at Mansions at Acqualina in the first 5 weeks of the sales center being open.

Buyers are purchasing these super-luxury, ultra-exclusive properties at an average $1,500 sq.ft. and paying on average between $1,2M to $13.5M dollars. This is a sure sign of Miami real estate exploding once again with prices breaking all previous records. The properties are up by 20 percent just this year, which even breaks the peak of 2006 year.
“Miami is hot and it’s not just the weather!” said Jack Levin, chairman of the Miami Association of Realtors.

Consider the stats: The lion’s share of Miami’s high-end real estate is now bought by foreigners. In 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors, Florida accounted for more than a quarter of the $82 billion in sales to international buyers.

The average price paid by those buyers was $400,000, against an overall U.S. average of $212,000. Sixty-two percent of international purchases were all cash, a percentage that has been increasing since 2007.

Real-estate economists and brokers say most of the foreigner investors are rich families from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Russia. These families are growing increasingly nervous about threats to their wealth from economies and governments back home and are looking for a safe place to store their cash.

Miami is an ideal location, offering all the safety of the United States with the fun and mildly exotic feel of southern Florida.

In other words, Miami’s boom is not a broad-based market recovery driven by local families needing a home. It’s being fueled by a tiny top slice of super-rich overseas buyer looking for the latest hot investment.

As of the end first quarter in 2012, buyers had purchased nearly 45,000 condos in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach areas. They’ve spent over $22 billion dollars. Currently the developers are proposing at least 32 new condo projects with nearly 6,300 units in each of the tri counties Miami-Date, Broward and Palm Beach.

As of June 2012, nearly 1,300 luxury condos priced at $1 million or more are available for resale in the South Florida market where buyers are purchasing an average of about 75 units monthly between January and May of this year, according to the data.

All Roads Lead To Florida – A Magnet For Global Buyers

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on April 7th, 2012

Miami Real Estate For Sale

Sunny Isles Beach Condos

A thousand years ago it was said that “all roads lead to Rome”. Today, there are real estate buyers from Rome as well as hundreds of other cities around the world are all buying Miami real estate as well as properties in South Florida.

During the most recent 2012 Real Estate and Economic Forecast Conference in Orlando, John Tuccillo, chief economist of Florida realtors, had said “I think we’ll see a steady and stable stream of international sales this year”. The residential demand is up again this year from buyers from Canada, Latin America, Europe and other parts of the world. Lower prices and favorable exchange rates have promoted purchases in Florida.

International buyers are ideal clients. They buy higher priced properties and most of the transactions are all cash, according to studies done in 2011 – Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida, prepared by National Association of Realtors. In fact, 77% of sales professionals reported that they had worked with an international customer in the preceding 12 months, up from 65% in 2010.

“This number may even be lower than the true number, because many foreign buyers do not use their foreign address” said Lana Bell, owner and founder of Sunny Realty. Many foreign buyers have already established residences in Miami and are looking to upgrade. In addition, many companies are relocating to Florida, including job-creating multinational companies, which is another positive factor for Miami’s international market.

According to 2011 survey, Canada is Florida’s top international market, accounting approximately 39% (up from 36%). In contrast, United Kingdom accounts for 7%, German buyers – 5%. The biggest jumps occurred in Latin America, where Brazil’s share of International market rose to 8% and Venezuela’s to 7% (both had been 3% in 2010).

Overall, foreign buyers were likely to purchase in a resort area or in a central city, like Miami. In Miami, Brazil and Russia are leading sources of international buyers, especially for condominium purchases in areas like Sunny Isles Beach, Miami Beach, Hollywood, Hallandale, Aventura and Bal Harbour. In areas like Key Biscayne, we see buyers from Argentina, Peru and Europe.

“Our agency serving buyers from South Africa, Australia, UK, Norway, France, Brazil, Russia, Canada and Latin America”, says Lana Bell, founder and owner of Sunny Realty. “About 85% of our transactions involved a foreign buyer” said Lana. From luxury Miami homes to stunning Sunny Isles Beach condos the real estate in Miami offers more than anywhere else in the world.

Two words sum up Florida’s appeal for international buyers: vacation and value. With its beaches, golf, tennis, shopping, boating and cultural and tourist attractions, Florida has been a global vacation destination for four decades now. Today, Florida also offers excellent value for international buyers compared with vacation destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

The 2011 survey found that 41% of foreign buyers purchased a property as a vacation home, 23% intended to rent it, 25% planned a dual use and 6% bought it for a retirement home. While many foreign buyers prefer easy to maintain condos, others buy single family homes and some purchase multiple properties in the same location. “We attract international buyers in many different ways”, says Lana Bell of Sunny Realty. “I speak Russian, but my agents speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, so there is never a language barrier between us”.

We can expect a continued pattern of strong activity in the international sector, led by demand from Latin America as well as other emerging markets, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR (National Association of Realtors). Follow the trends in foreign currencies, because exchange rates are definitely a driver for international buyers, and Florida continues to be seen as a desirable place to buy.

Hollywood Beach and Hallandale Beach Getting More Buyers

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on March 18th, 2012

Hollywood Florida Condos For Sale

Apogee Beach Hollywood Florida

There are some interesting trends developing in the condominium markets in and around Miami. For example, there has been a surge in growth throughout the entire “preconstruction” markets of Miami and Brickell. There has also been news of increases in the average purchase prices – with the figure hitting over $1 million in early 2012. There is also a lot of talk about the shrinking pool of available properties, with somewhere in the area of fourteen percent or less of the “boom” era condominiums remaining available.

When you roll all of these facts into the additional issue of increasing interest from international buyers, you can see that there is certainly a pending or developing shortage of homes for sale in Miami area. This is one of the primary reasons that a sudden amount of interest has developed just over the county lines in the areas of Hollywood and Hallandale Beach.

It is a bit amusing to long-time real estate professionals in the area because there has been a historic difficulty in getting buyers to consider the “next county”, but with the shrinking market, the anticipation of rising prices, and the competition for any available properties, this “thinking outside of the box” has begun in earnest.

Today, it is possible to find many different projects under construction in places such as Broward County, which was once not viewed as the same general region as Miami. In fact, a recent “New York Post” article pointed out that Related ISG is in the midst of developing its Apogee Beach Condo project in the Hollywood Florida area, and that most of the units had already sold.

The bulk of buyers for these units tend to be international buyers, particularly South American citizens who want a home in the region and who are recognizing the fabulous deals currently available. There is still interest from Canadian buyers as well as retirees from the United States, but the demographics point to an entirely new generation or group of buyers showing interest in the area.

As long as the prices remain measured and controlled, which is something that builders have learned is the key to their ongoing success in the current financial conditions, the buyers should continue to pour in. The comparisons are hard to ignore when you see that many Latin and South American properties of similar quality and size are selling at $1,000 per square foot, while the same homes are coming in at an average of $400 in the Hallandale and Hollywood Florida real estate areas.

South Florida Is In Construction Phase Once Again

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on February 11th, 2012

Miami real estate

Hallandale preconstruction condo

The latest report from Miami Herald (http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/08/2631956/construction-spending-finally.html) indicates that the construction spending in South Florida rose for the fourth month in a row in Broward County in November 2011, joining Miami-Dade County as areas with sustained growth in the real estate sector. “We’re seeing a lot of custom-home building,” said Bernie Navarro, head of the Latin Builders Association. “You see it in Key Biscayne and Coral Gables and Pinecrest. Those places had fallen to zero. Now they’re back on.” While construction employment is falling, the losses are more narrow than previously. “It’s going better than I expected six months ago,” said David Denslow, an economist at the University of Florida. “Remember, six months ago we were worried about a double dip. Now all of the evidence is pointing the other way.”

The Hollywood and Hallandale Condo resales

jumped in 2011 as well. Buyers purchased an average of 140 condominium units per month in the Hollywood and Hallandale Beach areas showing an increase in 2011 of nearly 20 units per month from 2010. This is due to the influx of investors chasing discounted condo resales that can be leased out to tenants who are willing to pay higher rents.

Latest report indicate that office vacancy in Miami-Dade County was at 19.1% at the end of 2011, according to data from CBRE Group’s Florida Market Perspective 2011. There was a total of 44.1 million rentable square feet in the county, and 8.4 million vacant. Last year saw net absorption of 64,238, with 359,630 square feet under construction, with the average asking lease rate in the county at $30.32. “The Miami office market has gained strength during 2011 with tenant activity picking up,” said Carter Hopkins, first vice president at CBRE. “The market should continue to strengthen in 2012.”

In addition to single family homes in Miami

the pre-construction condo sector is also on the rise. Fueled by steady pre-sales at the nearby Apogee Beach Hollywood condo, Jorge Perez of the Related Group is planning a new 31-story tower with condo and hotel units fronting the Intracoastal Waterway in the Hollywood nad Hallandale Beach coastal market of Southeast Broward County.

Despite the unsold inventory, the Related Group broke ground on the 23-story Apogee Beach condo tower on the sand just north of Hallandale Beach Boulevard in December 2011. As of Jan. 30, 2012, buyers have committed to purchase 41 out of 49 units in Apogee Beach project, according to company marketing material.

The path to development for the proposed Beachwalk tower – a few blocks west of the Apogee Beach project – is shaping up to be a bit more complicated initially. The proposed Beachwalk tower – which would stand 305-feet high with 84 residential units and 432 hotel rooms. Beachwalk is the 22nd project to be proposed east of Interstate 95 in South Florida. If they are all built, the projects would add nearly 4,400 units into a market that had 4,200 developer units unsold at the end of last year.

A Related affiliate bought the Beachwalk development site, home to Manero’s Steakhouse for five decades, for more than $2.9 million from TD Bank in May 2011. The Beachwalk project is slated to cost $60 million to construct and have a market value of $80 million at completion.

Related is also planning to start construction in two weeks on its MyBrickell condominium in Miami. To date, about 80 percent of the 192 units are under contract, with buyers paying a 20 percent deposit, the company said. It would be the first new condominium project to break ground in downtown Miami in several years.

Developers seeking to launch new condo projects are focusing particularly on the high-end market, which continues to dominate because of the ability of its prospective buyer pool to pay cash for units. The 70-unit Bellini Williams Island – a high-end condominium in Aventura’s William Island recently broken ground.

Miami Condo Sales Are Up And Miami Real Estate Is On The Rise Once Again

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on October 29th, 2011

Miami real estate for sale

 Miami Beach Condos For Sale

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.

South Beach real estate

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.

Defortuna has sold out the 256-unit Jade Beach condo building in Sunny Isles Beach and has just three apartments left (for about $700 per square foot) at its 252-unit Jade Ocean sister property.

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.

Miami Housing Market Strengthening For Waterfront Lots

By Sunny Isles Real Estate Expert on September 7th, 2011

Miami waterfront properties For Sale

Miami water front homes for sale

Location, location, location is always the truth in real estate. While numerous areas of the Miami real estate market offer a variety of single family homes for individual buyers and investors, the properties that continue to remain the most attractive to buyers are those with waterfront views or direct waterfront access.

Available oceanfront, bayfront and Intracoastal lots between South Beach and Fort Lauderdale are growing in popularity among individual investors and developers. Vacant lots as well as homes ripe for teardown and reconstruction are both drawing the attention of local and international buyers. One of the most recent sales along this prominent coastline includes a two acre lot offering 200 feet of waterfront footage within the Miami Beach community which sold for $15 million. Miami waterfront properties are limited, and therefore always in demand. In addition to single family residences, Miami condos are also in demand along the coastal fronts.

South Beach real estate

has been on the rise in regards to luxury waterfront condo sales. There are many popular condos currently available for sale at great prices. Here is a short list of most popular newer construction buildings which are in demand on South Beach: Apogee Miami, both Continuum and Continuum II, <a href="http://www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com/South-Beach/Il-Villagio, Icon, Murano to name just a few.

“While the inventory has dropped in recent months, a variety of luxury condominiums still remain available along the desirable Miami coastline, including both new developer construction and prime resales,” said Lana Bell of Sunny Realty.

Of the 5,000 condos recently built in the Fort Lauderdale area, only 70 still remain unsold from the original developers. In the Hollywood and Hallandale beach areas, there are also just a handful of the available developer condo units still available for purchase.

What does this mean? Much of the available inventory has changed hands, from the developers to individual investors and buyers. This capital exchange has freed up funds developers need to begin new projects in the surrounding area. While developer properties have been selling strongly, new developments aren’t expected to pop up quickly. In fact, there is only one project currently slated to begin construction in the area. This project – Apogee Beach, is being developed by Jorge Perez and scheduled to break ground in early 2012.

While the future of new developments are unsure, Miami real estate experts suggest most of the developer attention will be focused on oceanfront or ocean view properties as opposed to downtown opportunities due to the consistent demand for these locations. After the recent market turmoil, many developers are sitting back, waiting to assess what their next move or next project will be.

Regardless of new developments in the area, which will certainly come, single family properties and condos are still in high demand along the Miami coastline, which is certain to remain strong over the coming years.