The Real Deal Miami

Key Biscayne — not Miami Beach — home to highest grossing new condo project

This is the final of a two-part series exploring developer condo sales this cycle

March 02, 2016 09:45AM
By Peter Zalewski

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Oceana Key Biscayne and Peter Zalewski

Oceana Key Biscayne and Peter Zalewski

The world-famous party city of Miami Beach may have the most expensive new condo tower on a price-per-square-foot basis, but the family-oriented village of Key Biscayne is currently home to the highest grossing preconstruction project of this current South Florida real estate cycle that began in 2011.

The recently completed Oceana Key Biscayne — the sister project of the even higher priced 28-story Oceana Bal Harbour tower with 240 units currently under construction — has generated nearly $580 million in recorded transactions in selling 148 units out of a total of 154 units in this project as of Jan. 31, according to an analysis of Miami-Dade Clerk of the Court records.

Developed on an oceanfront site located across the Rickenbacker Causeway from Greater Downtown Miami, the Oceana Key Biscayne project has sold units at an average price of more than $1,380 per square foot, according to government records.

The Oceana Key Biscayne project has generated nearly $160 million more in sales than the second best grossing project, the 47-story Mansions at Acqualina tower in the barrier island city of Sunny Isles Beach in Northeast Miami-Dade County.

The Mansions at Aqualina has sold 72 units out of a total of 86 units in the project for $420 million for an average of $1,266 per square foot, according to government records.

Faena House — the most expensive new South Florida condo tower based on an average sales price of $3,130 per square foot — ranksas the third highest grossing project located east of I-95 in the tri-county region of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach of this cycle.

The Faena House project has sold 38 units out of a total of 44 units in the 18-story Miami Beach condo tower for more than $377 million, according to government records.

In somewhat of a surprise, the Echo Aventura project on the mainland in Northeast Miami-Dade County is the fourth highest grossing new condo development of this cycle.

Echo Aventura  — composed of a pair of 12-story buildings — has sold 156 units out of a total of 190 units for more than $283 million, despite achieving an average price per square foot of $701 per square foot, according to government records.

In the No. 5 slot in the rankings is the 44-story Regalia condo tower in Sunny Isles Beach based on gross sales of more than $281 million. The Regalia has sold 35 units out of a total of 39 units at an average price of $1,610 per square foot, according to government records.

The final rankings of the highest grossing new condo projects of this cycle could change once all of the announced units are eventually constructed.

A project that is poised to ascend in the rankings if things continue at this pace is the 1 Hotel & Homes — a completely renovated condo conversion in Miami Beach — based on gross sales of nearly $230 million, despite selling less than half of the 239 units in the oceanfront project, according to government records.

The 1 Hotel & Homes condo project — where transaction prices have averaged nearly $1,735 per square foot — is the sixth highest grossing project of this South Florida cycle.

The new condo towers that round out the top 10 rankings of the highest grossing projects included three buildings in Greater Downtown Miami.

The Nine At Mary Brickell Village condo tower ranks seventh based on more than $211 million in sales at an average price of more than $500 per square foot. Buyers have purchased 388 units out of a total of 390 units in the 35-story tower built on top of a Publix Super Market in the Brickell Avenue Area.

The 43-story Icon Bay condo tower in the Biscayne Boulevard Corridor area ranks eighth based on gross sales of more than $195 million. The Icon Bay has sold all 299 units in the Edgewater neighborhood project at an average price of nearly $545 per square foot, according to government records.

The 46-story BrickellHouse project ranks 10th in South Florida based on gross sales of nearly $171 million. All 374 units in the BrickellHouse project — which has garnered negative publicity involving its automated parking system — have been sold at an average price of nearly $505 per square foot, according to government records.

The only other new condo building in the top 10 rankings of the highest grossing projects is the 25-story North Tower of the twin-tower Marina Palms Yacht Club in North Miami Beach. (For disclosure, my firm has previously provided consulting work for this project.)

Buyers have purchased 207 units out of a total of 234 units in the North Tower for more than $194 million for an average price of less than $485 per square foot, according to government records.

The South Tower of the Marina Palms Yacht Club project is currently under construction.

Overall, developers have begun to record deed transactions for 57 new condo towers with more than 4,300 units located on sites east of I-95 in the tri-county South Florida region, according to the preconstruction condo projects website CraneSpotters.com. (For disclosure, my firm operates the website.)

As of Jan. 31, buyers have purchased more than 3,830 new units — nearly 89 percent of the total number of condos completed during this cycle — for nearly $4.7 billion at an average price of $804 per square foot east of I-95 in South Florida, according to a CraneSpotters.com analysis of government records.

Currently, an additional 133 new condo buildings with more than 13,730 units are under construction in coastal South Florida.

More than 225 new condo buildings with nearly 32,000 units are currently in the planning or presale phase of development in South Florida, according to the data.

The unanswered question going forward is whether the current rankings of the highest grossing new South Florida condo projects of this real estate cycle will make the final list as construction progresses on a wave of larger towers with more units that are currently in the pipeline.   

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.

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