The Real Deal Miami

Developer partners with furniture company to tap Brazilian market

By Alexander Britell | September 22, 2010 06:00PM

An Artefacto-furnished unit

Armed with a strong currency, Brazilian buyers are making their move in the Miami high-end market, and one developer has a novel take on how to draw them to Sunny Isles Beach.

Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Properties, which took ownership of the Trump Towers in Sunny Isles in February, has created an alliance with Brazilian luxury furniture company Artefacto, giving buyers from Brasilia to Sao Paulo the chance to buy their properties in Miami, while choosing furniture at a showroom in Brazil to be installed in their units.

“It definitely helps,” said Dezer, whose Trump Towers in Sunny Isles recently topped $100 million in sales. “You buy an apartment — what’s the next thing you’re going to need? Now they have their apartment magically furnished when they come to Miami.”

The two properties have netted $150 million in the past eight months.

The relationship with Brazil-based Artefacto, whose three locations in the U.S. are all in South Florida, began when Dezer visited the firm’s Aventura location. He then began working with Cristiano Piquet, a well-known Brazilian racing driver-turned real estate broker who founded Piquet Realty.

“We are using all of the Artefacto stores throughout Brazil to capture buyers,” Piquet said. The strategy involves placing kiosks and small models of Trump Towers units within the stores, a strategy Dezer says has already yielded several buyers.

There are now Trump Towers and Trump Grande real estate displays in 27 Artefacto stores across Brazil.

Dezer said the Brazilian market was now “huge.”

“We’re still seeing the same amount of Argentines and Mexicans, but Brazilians are now coming to Miami in droves. Now we have a new market to deal with.”

The Capri development in South Beach is also targeting Brazilian buyers who, Piquet says, are looking at Miami for a number of reasons.

“I would say it’s the best time in history for the Brazilians to buy [here] right now,” Piquet said. “There are very low prices in Miami, and the dollar right now is very weak compared to the Brazilian real.”

According to Piquet, the per-square-foot price for luxury properties in the Miami area is about half of what it is in Brazil, with around $600 to $800 per square foot for an upper-level property in Miami, compared to around $1,000 to $1,500 for a comparable property in a city like Sao Paulo.

“That’s why Brazilians are all excited about Miami — they compare houses they see in Brazil and see waterfront, ocean homes in Miami for half the price,” Piquet said. That’s what’s generating so much excitement.”