The Real Deal Miami

Fifth new condo tower proposed in North Bay Village

19-story mixed-use project planned at former gas station site on island

September 30, 2014 12:00PM
By Peter Zalewski

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North Bay Village (inset: Peter Zalewski)

North Bay Village (inset: Peter Zalewski)

South Florida’s latest preconstruction condo boom has spread to North Bay Village, where a fifth new tower has been proposed for the island community located in the middle of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County.

A North Miami Beach developer has proposed constructing a 19-story tower – dubbed the Residential Tower at North Bay Village – with 43 units on a 0.6-acre waterfront site of a former gas station and auto repair business in the 1700 block of the Kennedy Causeway, according to North Bay Village records.

The proposed mixed-use tower – to be developed two properties west of the Best Western On The Bay Inn & Marina featuring the newly reopened Shuckers Waterfront Grill – is slated to feature 40 two-bedroom condos and a trio of three-bedroom condos featuring views of Biscayne Bay and a ground-floor restaurant.

The developer, a Florida corporation managed by Jose N. Saal, purchased the property for more than $2.1 million in March 2013. Based on the proposed condo tower, the land was acquired for about $78 per square foot, or nearly $49,200 per residential unit.

Prior to this newly announced project, developers had already announced four new condo towers with more than 500 units, including the planned Aquavista Select Condominiums to be located next door at 1755 Kennedy Causeway, in North Bay Village, according to the preconstruction condo projects website CraneSpotters.com.

(For disclosure purposes, my firm operates the site.)

North Bay Village ranks as the No. 11 most active preconstruction condo market out of a pool of 26 markets east of I-95 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Overall, North Bay Village represents about 1.5 percent of the nearly 38,400 condo units announced in South Florida east of I-95.

North Bay Village was created by “dredging and bulk heading” a pair of islands in 1940. Before the initiative, the “only dry land” in what was to become North Bay Village was a five-acre island called Broadcast Key, according to the city’s website.

Nearly 70 years since incorporation in 1945, North Bay Village has less than 7,500 residents with a median household income of more than $51,100, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

North Bay Village is viewed by many investors as a cheaper alternative to the trendier, oceanfront city of Miami Beach.

It should come as no surprise that the median value of an owner-occupied home in North Bay Village is $199,200, compared to $333,000 in Miami Beach.

On the condo front, more than 180 units are currently available for resale in North Bay Village at an average asking price of less than $285 per square foot as of Monday, according to data from the Southeast Florida MLXchange.

In the first eight months of 2014, buyers acquired less than 150 resale condos – about 18 per month – at an average price of $224 per square foot.

By comparison, nearly 1,800 condos are on the resale market in Miami Beach at an average asking price of $739 per square foot as of Monday.

In the period between January and August of this year, buyers acquired nearly 1,700 condo resales – about 209 units monthly – in Miami Beach at an average price of $512 per square foot.

The unanswered question going forward is whether developers in North Bay Village’s increasingly competitive condo market will be able to attract enough preconstruction buyers at prices high enough to construct all of the towers proposed to date for this island community.

Peter Zalewski is real estate columnist for The Real Deal who founded Condo Vultures LLC, a consultancy and publishing company, as well as Condo Vultures Realty LLC and CVR Realty brokerages and the Condo Ratings Agency, an analytics firm. The Condo Ratings Agency operates CraneSpotters.com, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.

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