Marquis Miami condo offers test drives

May.May 09, 2011 03:56 PM
Marquis Miami

With foreign buyers snapping up downtown Miami condos, it’s left many new owners with a predicament — just what to do with an empty condominium while they spend the rest of their year in Sao Paolo, Caracas or Toronto.

The quandary led one the Marquis Miami to devise a strategy that would give current owners a way to derive income from their empty units, and give would-be purchasers a chance to take an extended test drive.

Now, Marquis, which is located on Biscayne Boulevard across from the American Airlines Arena, is offering an extended stay program for visits of 30 days or more. The condo units are managed by the Tempo Hotel, which is located in the building.

“More and more you talk to people and they say they’re second homebuyers,” said Wendy Pine, sales director at Marquis, which is a development of Africa-Israel. “They’re only going to be using their residence for three to four months at a time.”

The Marquis is not a condo-hotel, however, but rather a condominium with a hotel component.

Franck Dossa, a broker with CondHotel Real Estate in Miami, said the typical condo buyer in a hotel is looking for the convenience of having a room that is looked-after and always ready.

“There is a market in Miami for extended stay,” Dossa said. “In downtown [Miami] and Brickell we have a lot of requests for people who want to stay for one month or two months, and I think this is the market [Marquis] is trying to target.”

In the first few weeks of the program, five current Marquis owners have signed on, according to Pine, with two more that should be finalized this week.

“We’ve seen a huge influx in Europeans and South Americans. Obviously the Brazilians have been purchasing here in Miami for quite some time, and we feel this is going to be a great opportunity to offset their bottom line.”

Marquis has also been of interest to a number of Israeli buyers who have entered the South Florida market in the last several years.

Marquis is not alone, however, in catering to a seasonal Latin American market.

Alan Ojeda, CEO of Rilea Group, which developed the 1450 Brickell apartment tower, told The Real Deal in March that his building was offering extended stay for largely Latin American businessmen.

On the reverse side, Pine said, the extended stay program is a way of expanding the small 70-room operation at Tempo by effectively creating more hotel rooms.   

At this stage, however, it’s not clear what the program will mean for the 306-unit Marquis.

“[The Marquis program] is brand new, so I don’t know how the market is going to react. There are people who are looking for these types of extended stay rentals, but will they pay enough to give the owners a chance to make a profit? I’m not sure.”

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