Four months after spending $38.5 million for a nearly one-acre development site in Miami Beach, a partnership led by China City Construction is proposing a new 18-story condo tower on the vacant, oceanfront land.
The timing of the proposed tower is notable, as the Chinese economy is reportedly slowing while speculation is accelerating that the U.S. economy could be headed into recession later this year.
A Brickell Avenue-based entity called CCCC Miami Beach LLC is scheduled to formally unveil its development plans for the proposed 42-unit condo tower in the 6700 block of Collins Avenue to the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board on March 8, according to city of Miami Beach government records.
Prior to the land purchase by CCCC Miami Beach in October 2015, a 16-story condo tower with 13 units called the Bath Club Estates was planned by developer R. Donahue Peebles — who “bought out” a company that purchased the property for $4.6 million in 2010 — for the rectangular-shaped site in the North Beach neighborhood, according to government records.
It is worth noting, a partnership that includes the China City Construction paid nearly $75 million in December 2014 for a development site that is comprised of an entire block on the west side of South Miami Avenue in the Brickell Avenue Area of Greater Downtown Miami.
Despite widespread speculation about the development group’s plans to build a pair of high-rise towers on the Brickell Avenue Area site, no renderings for the estimated $875 million mixed-use project, composed of a combination of condo, hotel, office and retail space, have yet been released.
With this newly proposed project, developers have now announced 51 new condo buildings with more than 2,030 units in the barrier island city of Miami Beach during this current South Florida real estate cycle began in 2011, according to the preconstruction condo projects website CraneSpotters.com. (For disclosure, my firm operates the website.)
To date, 13 new condo buildings with more than 385 units have already been constructed in Miami Beach. An additional 17 new condo buildings with 515 units are currently under construction.
An additional 21 new condo buildings — including the CCCC Miami Beach project — with more than 1,125 units are currently in the planning or presale phase of development, according to the data.
The Miami Beach area of the barrier island ranks as the seventh most active market based on new condo units announced during this cycle.
Overall, developers have already constructed 57 new condo buildings with more than 4,300 units east of I-95 in the tri-county South Florida region of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach as of Tuesday, according to CraneSpotters.com.
An additional 129 new condo buildings with more than 12,900 units are currently under construction in coastal South Florida.
A combined 230 new condo buildings — including the CCCC Miami Beach project — with nearly 32,850 units are currently in the planning or presale phase of development in South Florida, according to the data.
Based on the statistics, more than 34 percent of the nearly 50,100 new condo units announced during this cycle are under construction or have already been completed. The remaining 66 percent of the South Florida preconstruction condo pipeline is in the planning or presale phase of development.
For the developers who are attempting to sell preconstruction condos in oceanfront buildings in Miami Beach, competition is increasingly coming from the resale market where more than 900 units are currently available for purchase as of Monday, according to data from the Southeast Florida MLXchange.
In 2015, buyers purchased an average of 55 condo units monthly in oceanfront buildings in Miami Beach.
Based on the last year’s resales velocity, Miami Beach currently has more than 16 months of supply available for purchase, according to the data.
A balanced market is considered to have about six months of supply of units available for purchase. More units suggests a buyer’s market, and less units indicates a seller’s market.
The unanswered question going forward is whether the proposed Miami Beach condo project will prove to be the first of many new South Florida developments for the China City Construction-led partnership.
Peter Zalewski is a 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.