When Related Group decided to collaborate with prominent designer Karim Rashid on the colorful MyBrickell condo building, CEO Jorge Perez got emphatic support from one of his most discerning critics.
“I brought my 10-year-old son to see all of our buildings and he said this is our coolest job,” Perez told The Real Deal during Thursday night’s rooftop party celebrating the completion of the Brickell area’s first new condo project completed since last decade’s real estate collapse.
“I like to see things through the eyes of a child,” he said. “If you are between 25 and 45 and like new, cool, hip things, you should come to live here.”
Closings at the 192-unit building at 30 Southeast Sixth Street began earlier this month. To date, about 45 unit sales have closed, according to Related. The rest are under contract.
Perez, Rashid and others stayed positive despite steady rain during what should be the first of many grand opening parties for Miami condo towers this cycle. More than 45 buildings totaling nearly 13,600 units are currently proposed in Greater Downtown Miami, according to Condo Vultures.
While looking at the busy Brickell City Centre construction site from MyBrickell’s gym, which was converted into a bar for Thursday’s party, Perez reflected on the importance of getting off to a fast start in the latest development rush.
Related began construction of the 27-story building, designed by Arquitectonica, in early 2012. At the time, only four other South Florida condo projects had started construction since the crash.
“The early buyers and builders are benefitting from the upswing,” he said. “They were able to buy land and pay for construction at such cheaper costs. The people who bought units back then were the luckiest in the market.”
MyBrickell represents the first collaboration between Related and New York-based Rashid, who has roots in product and industrial design but is currently involved in real estate projects in 10 countries. In what has since become a common marketing strategy for South Florida developments, Related positioned Rashid as the face of the project.
Rashid told The Real Deal he considers himself a “democratic” designer who specializes in delivering high-end product within a tight budget.
The designer said his inspiration for MyBrickell came from Miami’s “spirit of growth” and contemporary viewpoint.
“People here live in the moment,” Rashid said. “It’s not about nostalgia.”
Tonight, the company shifts focus from the completed MyBrickell to one of its next developments: Paraiso Bay in Edgewater. Popular DJ David Guetta, who is an early buyer at the 600 Northeast 31st Street project, is expected to appear during a VIP event at the Paraiso construction site.
“We still have so much to do,” Perez said. “We have to put ourselves in key locations.”