Related bets on new Brickell condo complex

Jorge Perez-led company plans phased One Brickell development

Dec.December 17, 2013 12:00 PM

Peter Zalewski

Billionaire Jorge Perez and his Related Group – South Florida’s most prolific high-rise residential developer – are betting that history will not repeat itself at the northern tip of Brickell Avenue on the south bank of the Miami River in Greater Downtown Miami.

About four years after relinquishing more than 870 new ICON Brickell condo units to its lender, Related is taking another shot at building an iconic three-tower complex on Brickell Avenue at the Miami River’s southern edge.

In Related’s first attempt with the ICON Brickell complex, which featured a pair of 57-story condo towers and a 50-story condo and condo-hotel tower with a combined 1,800 units, the company developed the entire 495 Brickell Avenue project simultaneously. The newly announced project – dubbed One Brickell – will be a lesson in diversification and phased development when the entire complex is eventually constructed over the course of several years across the street at 444 Brickell Ave.

Plans call for the proposed One Brickell complex to feature a trio of towers standing 80, 70 and 55 stories tall on the west side of Brickell Avenue and a “five-star” hotel with 200 rooms, convention and meeting space, 200,000 square feet of office space, street level retail space, three restaurants, “luxury” boat dockage and 1,200 condo units, according to a corporate statement detailing the project.

“Our vision will meet the robust demand for additional residential, hospitality and entertainment facilities in the area,” Perez said in a written statement.

If anyone understands the area’s market conditions, it is clearly Perez and Related.

Since 2003, Related has developed – or is currently building – at least eight condo towers with more than 3,600 units in a five block stretch of Brickell Avenue between the Miami River and Ninth Street in Greater Downtown Miami, according to the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Miami™.

Besides ICON Brickell, Related developed the twin-tower 500 Brickell condo project with 630 units and the two-tower Plaza On Brickell with 1,000 units during the last South Florida condo boom.

Related is weeks away from completing the new 28-story MyBrickell condo tower with 192 units that is located immediately west of the 500 Brickell project.

The MyBrickell project is notable as it represents Related’s first new condo tower to be developed in Greater Downtown Miami since handing over one million square feet of ICON Brickell sellable space to its lender in the spring of 2010.

Going forward, the unanswered question is whether Greater Downtown Miami will be ready in time for another three-tower Brickell Avenue complex in a market where more than 40 new condo buildings are already proposed.

Peter Zalewski is real estate columnist for The Real Deal who founded Condo Vultures LLC, a consultancy and publishing company, as well as Condo Vultures Realty LLC and CVR Realty brokerages and the Condo Ratings Agency, an analytics firm. The Condo Ratings Agency operates, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.

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