The Real Deal New York

First post-bust condo development sells out; Downtown land prices spike as supply dwindles ... and more

Real estate news briefs from South Florida
By Eric Kalis | June 01, 2014 07:00AM
Oceana Bal Harbour

Oceana Bal Harbour

First post-bust condo development sells out

The first condo project completed in Miami’s financial district since last decade’s real estate collapse has sold out just four months after construction ended.

Related Group sold all 192 units at the colorful MyBrickell building. The Jorge Perez-led company collaborated with prominent New York-based interior designer Karim Rashid on the project. Related began construction of the 27-story building in early 2012.

“Builders are benefitting from the upswing,” Perez told The Real Deal during a recent event marking MyBrickell’s completion. “[Some] were able to buy land and pay for construction at much cheaper costs.”

Downtown land prices spike as supply drops

With vacant land in the downtown Miami area at a premium, investors are making aggressive offers for the few available sites.

Some property owners are on the verge of banking huge returns on their investments. Real estate firm CBRE received nine-figure offers for two such sites in the first month of marketing them.

Bids approached $200 million for 18 acres that Miami developer Alex Vadia wants to sell in the city’s Midtown neighborhood, which is located between Wynwood and the Design District. Vadia’s Midtown Opportunities spent about $57 million assembling 22 acres in Midtown three years ago.

CBRE also has two offers exceeding $100 million for 300 East, a waterfront property adjacent to downtown’s EPIC Hotel & Residences. More than 90 groups expressed interest in the 1.25-acre parcel, which is owned by EPIC developers Ugo Colombo and Diego Lowenstein.

Both sites have zoning that allows for large-scale development.

On the buying side, Russian oligarch Oleg Baybakov spent more than $37 million for land in the Edgewater neighborhood north of downtown over the last three months. Baybakov is also assembling property in the city’s financial district.

Lender confidence up

Construction lenders are showing increasing faith in South Florida’s latest condo development boom.

Eduardo Costantini’s Consultatio received a whopping $332 million construction mortgage for the luxury Oceana Bal Harbour condo project. An HSBC-led group of lenders gave the Argentine developer the loan for the 240-unit all-glass tower. Consultatio is building Oceana on the former site of the Bal Harbour Beach Club.

Consultatio is reportedly pursuing additional projects in Miami and New York. It is close to finishing its first U.S. project, Oceana Key Biscayne.

Other recent construction financing transactions include a $39 million mortgage from Florida Community Bank for Melo Group’s Bay House condo tower in Edgewater, and a $19 million loan from BCI Miami for condo Le Parc at Brickell, being built by ALTA Developers and Strategic Properties Group.