The Real Deal Miami

Closings underway at Bjarke Ingels-designed Grove at Grand Bay

Buyers at the 98-unit project include Fortune 100 CEOs, attorneys and doctors

August 10, 2016 08:45AM
By Katherine Kallergis

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Grove at Grand Bay, David Martin and Bjarke Ingels

Grove at Grand Bay, David Martin and Bjarke Ingels

Grove at Grand Bay will soon start recording closings, marking the first new condo tower for Coconut Grove in more than a decade and the first in the United States for Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels.

Grove at Grand Bay

Grove at Grand Bay

Terra Group completed the 98-unit, twin 20-story development at 2675 and 2669 South Bayshore Drive, developer David Martin told The Real Deal. It’s sold out with the exception of a penthouse currently asking $28 million.

Martin bought the 3-acre property, once the site of the five-star, 238-key Grand Bay Hotel, in 2011 for $24 million out of foreclosure. “This was a thriving hotel in the ’80s and ’90s,” he told TRD.

And he’s been active in the Grove, acquiring land, renovating an apartment building, and purchasing a parking garage. Martin is also planning to build his house in the neighborhood.

Cervera Real Estate is handling sales for Grove at Grand Bay, which launched in 2012. Martin said that about half of buyers are domestic, including empty-nesters looking to leave their homes in the Grove, Coral Gables and Pinecrest. The remaining 50 percent are international buyers relocating to South Florida.

Among them are Fortune 100 CEOs, doctors, attorneys and entrepreneurs, Martin said. The building has its temporary certificate of occupancy with closings set for this week. Interior build-outs should be completed within three months, and move-ins expected for the next four to six months, he said.

Units range from 1,300 square feet to the 10,000-square-foot, full-floor penthouse. Prices ranged from about $1 million to $14 million, excluding the penthouse. The glass towers are also conducive to art in a project that includes about $1.2 million of artwork in common spaces, he said.

Ingels designed the twisting towers along with architect John Nichols of Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates. “Bjarke maybe did 100 study models of the building,” Martin said about the design. Raymond Jungles handled the landscaping, which includes roughly 500 trees and more than 15,000 plants. Amenities will include rooftop pools, a spa and gym, a pet spa and a bicycle space for every resident. The project is aiming for LEED Gold certification.

“At the end of the day, the market we focus on is looking for more convenience, more efficiency and more services,” he said.

Martin, who has written guest columns in local and national publications about his projects and the neighborhood overall, said he was challenged by shifting the attention from areas like Miami Beach and downtown Miami to Coconut Grove. He also said he didn’t want to “dilute” the neighborhood or “change its soul.”

But Coconut Grove has come into the spotlight as of late with a focus on commercial activity. The demand for office space outpaces the supply, Martin said, and the restaurant and retail scene is also changing: the Shops at CocoWalk sold to Federal Realty and local partners; and Panther Coffee, Kit and Ace, and Harry’s Pizzeria are all new tenants to Coconut Grove.

In terms of new development, the eastern side of the neighborhood has high barriers to entry, Martin said. Restrictive zoning and limited land availability make it hard to develop.

Grove at Grand Bay could generate about $10 million a year in incremental tax value, and will activate the Bayshore Drive neighborhood, where buildings range in age from 10 to 30 years, Martin said.

Terra is also partnering with the Related Group on Park Grove, a nearby three-tower development that’s in the works.