Competing visions fuel boom in South Florida

Miami /
May.May 10, 2013 10:00 AM

Competing visions for South Florida are fueling a building boom here, with starchitect skyscrapers rising over Biscayne Bay and ritzy hotels and name-brand condos crowding into the ocean-side suburbs north of Miami Beach.

Cash-paying, mainly overseas buyers putting half down as a security are helping to finance various urban experiments across South Florida, with some developers selling the sophistication of a bustling city while others promise exclusivity and space.

Carlos Rosso, head of Related Group’s condo division, is among those who herald the urbanization of Miami through the growth of Brickell, the financial corridor connected to edgy Wynwood and downtown by the Metro Mover, the city’s rarely used, free elevated train. Related has nine projects in the pipeline, including the Philippe Starck-designed SLS Brickell, the haute hotel brand’s first residential development, with 450 units, and the 42-story Millecento, designed by Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott.

Rosso thinks South Florida’s new landlords and tenants want the sense of independence and exposure of living in a city like his hometown, Buenos Aires.

“The tendency toward a European style of city is growing. People say, ‘hey, I don’t care about the view; I want the action,’” Rosso said.

Terra Group’s expensive glass-paneled construction Glass in South Beach, designed by Miami architect Rene Gonzalez, and the Porsche Design building in Sunny Isles Beach, a slick luxury condo tower where every appliance is chosen by Porsche’s German design team, express a contrary impulse.

Each Glass unit owner will have a private floor (or three) and a 360-degree view of the Atlantic, the bay and South Beach’s neon-lit Art Deco buildings.

One owner, a Brazilian investor who asked not to be named, described it as a “sanctuary.”

“It’s two different worlds — you can face the ocean and feel the tranquility of the sea, and if you feel lonely, you can walk the other direction and feel the warmth and excitement of the city. The perspective is like you’re flying,” he said.

The Porsche Design’s luxury innovation is a smart car elevator that delivers drivers unseen into their apartments, further protected by obsidian glass, that range in price from $4.5 million to $25 million.

“There’s nothing like it,” said Gil Dezer, the Porsche tower’s developer. “It’s a really over-the-top scenario, but at those prices, it has to be.”

Rosso of Related credits foreign clients with infusing South Florida with their urbane customs and culture. In exchange, the region, and the U.S. more broadly, offers safety and a growing economy, he said.

“The Latin influence has been good for it. It feels like the home they’d like to have,” Rosso said.

Whether the influx of cash for developments molds South Florida into miniatures of buyers’ home cities or creates something entirely new may be determined by whose vision adheres faster.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(The Real Deal illustration with Getty Images)
As Hurricane Ian approaches, builders secure Florida sites
As Hurricane Ian approaches, builders secure Florida sites
From left: AMLI Residential’s Gregory Mutz; Terra’s David Martin; Grand Peaks Properties’ Luke Simpson; Related’s Jorge Perez; and Grand Peaks Properties' Nick Simpson (Getty Images, AMLI, Terra, Grand Peaks Properties, Related, Corwil Architects, Arquitectonica)
Development bonanza: Four Miami projects nab approval
Development bonanza: Four Miami projects nab approval
From left: Isaac Toledano, Teddy Sagi, Jorge Pérez and Michael Masanoff with a rendering of Transit Village (Related, LinkedIn, Rendering via Arquitectonica)
Pérez and Sagi’s Transit Village in WPB advances
Pérez and Sagi’s Transit Village in WPB advances
From left: Jorge and Jon Paul Perez, Larry Krueger, Isaac Toledano and Teddy Sagi with 6 Fisher Island Drive (Getty, Google Maps, Wanxiang America, YizhakToledano.org)
Related Group, partners close on $123M Fisher Island site acquisition
Related Group, partners close on $123M Fisher Island site acquisition
Manor Broken Sound at 5400 Broken Sound Boulevard in Boca Raton, with Rockpoint’s Bill Walton, Related Group's Jon Paul Pérez and Jorge Pérez and Lincoln Property Company CEO Tim Byrne (Cushman & Wakefield, Rockpoint, Related Group, Wikipedia, Lincoln Property Group)
Lincoln Property pays $194M for newly built Boca apartments
Lincoln Property pays $194M for newly built Boca apartments
(Getty)
Here are the resi projects planned for downtown Miami
Here are the resi projects planned for downtown Miami
Yizhak Toledano and a rendering of the project at 2261 Northeast 164th Street in Miami beach (Cohen Freedman, YizhakToledano.org)
BH Group: Big investments, big partners and big mystery
BH Group: Big investments, big partners and big mystery
Reid J. Boren, James W. Harpel, Taylor Collins, and Brad Meltzer (Two Roads Development)
Two Roads hires Plaza Construction’s Brad Meltzer
Two Roads hires Plaza Construction’s Brad Meltzer
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...