From the bones of a Denny’s, the Verzasca Group has built out a lavish sales center for its upcoming Aurora condo project in Sunny Isles Beach.
The development firm recently hosted a ground opening for the sales gallery at 17550 Collins Avenue that was attended by about 200 high-end brokers and their clients.
John Warsing, Aurora’s director of sales, told The Real Deal that the gallery’s opening was a big step for the boutique 61-unit development.
The center has a host of features meant to seduce potential buyers: a large flat screen for presentations, a full-scale model unit, plus samples of amenities like the children’s playroom and the fitness center’s interactive wall for residents who want to “bike through Brazil or run through Rio,” Warsing said.
Verzasca built the gallery out of a Denny’s restaurant that came along with its $10.5 million development site acquisition for Aurora early last year.
Warsing said the building had 8,000 square feet of interior space that the developer completely transformed with a more than $1 million makeover. Its beige walls and diner-style booths were replaced with floor-to-ceiling glass and chic interior finishes curated by Antrobus + Ramirez — the same design firm that’s working on the Aurora.
As for market woes, Warsing said that Aurora’s location on Sunny Isles’ bayfront half — the first to be built west of Collins Avenue in roughly a decade — help boost its visibility. Plus, he said, the relatively small size of the project means it will be easier to sell out.
Condos at the building range from $880,000 to $1.6 million, averaging about $680 per square foot. They come in two- and three-bedroom configurations that measure between 1,385 square feet and 2,150 square feet. Only one of its three penthouses is still up for grabs at $1.9 million and 2,329 square feet.
So far, sales for Aurora stand at about 35 percent. But the recent grand opening helped drum up more business, Warsing said, with a handful of buyers now in talks to reserve units.
“In the next three to six months, we expect to have a very good reaction,” he said. “Between 2013 and 2014, we got used to that rapid pacing. The market has slowed. But the big thing for us is location.” And if all goes according to plan, Verzasca will tear down the sales center this fall and break ground on its 19-story tower in February.
Verzasca certainly isn’t the only developer banking on that visibility west of Collins Avenue. Gil Dezer recently revealed to TRD that he’s signed a contract to buy a huge chunk of bayfront land from Publix in Sunny Isles, which he plans on combining with his current holdings next door.