Silver linings in Miami

The city is awash with new luxury listings, creating opportunities for New York buyers

Nov.November 08, 2016 01:00 PM

For a couple of days in early October, it looked as if Hurricane Matthew, a powerful category five storm that devasted Haiti, causing over 1,000 deaths, would do damage in Miami, but the storm ended up passing far enough offshore to spare Florida.

For many reasons, it’s fortunate that the hurricane didn’t strike Miami. A direct hit from Matthew could have proved devastating in particular to Miami Beach, located on a barrier island and susceptible to rising sea levels. In fact the rate of sea-level rise in South Florida has tripled in the last decade, according to a study from the University of Miami. Miami Beach officials are being proactive — NPR reported this spring that major thoroughfares are being rebuilt, and new storm sewers and pumps are being installed.

Before Matthew, there was the Zika virus, which causes neurological disorders in unborn children, dominating the headlines. In August, the Centers for Disease Control advised pregnant women and their partners to consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County. Health officials responded with repeated aerial insecticide spraying.

But even without global warming concerns and Zika, it seems that Miami is having a hard time gaining traction, especially the real estate market there. The strong dollar, brokers said, is discouraging mainstay buyers from South America and Russia.

As sales slow, luxury inventory is piling up. At the iconic Faena House, which shattered records with the $60 million sale of its penthouse, about 20 percent of the units are lingering on the market, and the same goes for many of Miami’s brand new luxury buildings.

The geopolitical climate has been a factor in the Miami market as well. Asked if she was seeing any buyers from Russia, Lana Bell, an agent at One Sotheby’s Realty, said, “Forget about it.”

“Buildings finished one, two and three
years ago still have unsold units and are competing
with new projects in the pipeline.”
—Kevin Crego of Douglas Elliman

She said she saw a pause in activity as buyers of all backgrounds awaited the outcome of the election season. “Everyone is waiting,” she said.

While it can be uncomfortable to talk about a silver lining behind the grim news, the situation in Miami actually translates into opportunities for the New York luxury real estate buyer. As Kevin Crego of Douglas Elliman explained, Miami is awash in condos for sale. “Buildings finished one, two and three years ago still have unsold units and are competing with new projects in the pipeline.”

There’s “absolutely” an opportunity for New York City buyers to score deals on pricing and more flexibility with down payments, he said.

According to second quarter data from appraisal firm Miller Samuel, there were 3,103 luxury condo listings in Miami Beach and the Barrier Islands, an increase of almost 13 percent over the year-ago quarter.

Crego said there are too few buyers for homes priced at $4 million and up. As a result, he said, developers of new luxury condos are being “quietly flexible” with their pricing. He said, “Some developers are now asking for down payments that are spread out, instead of the more recent 50 percent down payment required we have seen in the past.”

It’s good news for New York-area buyers who come to Miami with a detailed checklist.

“My New York buyers want everything,” said Senada Adzem, a broker with Douglas Elliman. “They want to be on the beach, they want unique design with a big-name architect and unique amenities.”

An amenity that is drawing attention in New York City is also alluring to buyers in Miami — a private restaurant. (New buildings like 432 Park Avenue, 425 Park Avenue, 100 East 53rd and 1095 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan will offer private restaurants or residents-only dining rooms).

Adzem said her clients appreciate Turnberry Ocean Club’s private dining areas, which are not open to the public. Other amenities that New Yorkers request are private clubs and child care.

Even artwork is a draw. Adzem said that New Yorkers are seeking out homes at Oceana in Bal Harbor, a pre-development building expected to open in January. The luxury condo tower will have 240 homes priced $3 million to $30 million and has been garnering attention for two larger-than-life artworks commissioned by artist Jeff Koons for the outdoor breezeway.

Read on for look at Miami condominiums on the market in recently constructed buildings and buildings being completed in the new year. They were sourced from Zillow, and from brokers. For the New York buyer who wants it all, it looks like now is the time to score a deal.

6901 Collins Avenue, PH, Miami Beach: $25,000,000
6 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, 7,945 square feet, built 2017
The penthouse at L’Atelier has been on the market at $25 million since just before last Christmas. It has a jaw-dropping seven terraces and a private glass elevator to a rooftop featuring a 40-foot infinity pool. The interiors are by contemporary furniture guru Holly Hunt. It also comes with a private six-car garage.

3315 Collins Avenue, Ph, Miami Beach: $55,000,000
5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 8,273 square feet, built 2015
There’s a very big asterisk next to the pricetag for this top-floor penthouse suite at the Faena House. That’s because it is on the market with a smaller unit below it, priced at $18 million. Billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffen bought the two homes last year for $60 million but never combined the units into the 12,500-square-foot duplex he had planned. The penthouse at the Foster + Partners-designed building has a rooftop pool deck with a 71-foot infinity edge pool, Jacuzzi and outdoor kitchen.

321 Ocean Drive, Ph 90, Miami Beach: $47,500,000
4 bedrooms, 6 baths, 6,807 square feet, built 2015
Six months after buying a new $20 million penthouse in this Enrique Norten-designed boutique building in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood and putting in $6 million in custom upgrades, the owners, financier Boris Jordan and his philanthropist wife, Elizabeth Jordan, put it on the market, attempting to flip it for $53 million. The duplex has staff quarters and a private roofdeck with an outdoor kitchen and 36-foot infinity pool. It comes fully furnished.

1451 Brickell Avenue, PH 1, Miami: $41,800,000
4 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, 10,100 square feet, built 2017
Not everyone needs to be in South Beach. Brickell, a chic urban neighborhood across Biscayne Bay, is drawing buyers attracted to new luxury buildings designed by starchitects like Zaha Hadid and Philippe Starck. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the Pérez Art Museum Miami are here, and two new malls are nearing completion, as is the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. This penthouse on top of Echo Brickell occupies two floors and offers views of the bay, the Atlantic Ocean and downtown Miami. Architect Carlos Ott will confer with the owner to design the residence’s interior.

7002 Fisher Island Drive, PH2, Fisher Island: $38,500,000
7 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, 9,715 square feet, built 2016
Palazzo del Sol, by architecture firm Kobi Karp, highlights a new trend in Miami toward larger luxury residences, typically with fewer homes per floor and direct private elevator entry, as well as the expected luxury finishes. Residents have access to private island dining, golf, tennis, spa, marina and a private beach through Fisher Island’s club, located in a 1935 Vanderbilt mansion, which was upgraded in a $66 million renovation. This home has two terraces totalling 8,595 square feet with a private rooftop pool, Jacuzzi, pergola and summer kitchen.

19575 Collins Avenue, #3-4, Sunny Isles Beach: $35,000,000
7 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, 9,715 square feet, built 2016
This is one of three unsold homes at the Regalia, a 46-story, 39-unit ultra-luxury residential building. This particular duplex unit is called the Beach House and features a sun deck, summer kitchen, wraparound terrace and a glass-faced pool. The entrance opens to a double-height great room with a cantilevered staircase. Golden Beach and Haulover Park, a 99-acre municipal park, are close to the development.

18555 Collins Avenue, #5601, Sunny Isles Beach: $32,500,000
5 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, 20,000 square feet, built 2016
Astonishingly, this four-level penthouse in the Porsche Design Tower has room to show off an exotic car collection of 11 cars on the 56th floor. Cars are carried up the building via a lift called the Dezervator, no doubt in honor of the developer, car aficionado Gil Dezer, to a 3,000-square-foot car gallery with city and ocean views that is attached to the residence.

17475 Collins Ave, PH 3201, Sunny Isles Beach: $25,000,000
4 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 3 half-baths, 9,050 square feet, built 2015
Chateau Beach’s duplex penthouse, on the 32nd and 33rd floor, has over 4,500 square feet of wraparound terrace, with a private pool and ocean views. Other features include a private elevator, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, gourmet appliances and concierge service.

9349 Collins Avenue, PH02, Surfside: $25,000,000
4 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, 7,489 square feet, built 2016
Buyers here at the newly completed Fendi Château Residences would be in good company: Buyers include New York investor Irving Langer, private equity investor Thompson Dean and Spanish architect Octavio Mestre. The Arquitectonica-designed beachfront development has a rooftop pool deck and summer kitchens, as well as restaurant and bar, fitness center and spa, kids’ club, theater, private dining room and Shabbat elevators.

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