30,000 new condos now proposed in South Florida

Peter Zalewski
Peter Zalewski

Developers are now proposing more than 30,000 new condo units east of I-95 in the tri-county region of South Florida.

Fittingly, veteran developer Ugo Colombo, who started the 1993 boom in Greater Downtown Miami with the delivery of his Bristol Tower project on Brickell Avenue, pushed South Florida over the 30,000-unit threshold. The Miami Herald reported Monday that Colombo’s CMC Group, in a joint venture with Russian developer Vladislav Doronin, plans to build a pair of new condo towers on or near South Miami Avenue in the shadow of the $1.05 billion Brickell City Centre mixed-use project.

Colombo’s first tower – dubbed Brickell Flatiron – is slated to stand about 65 stories tall with 552 units on a 1.1-acre site that currently houses the popular nightclub Baru Urbano Cocina & Drinks and an adjoining surface parking lot at 1001 South Miami Avenue. Colombo’s second tower, which has not been designed, would rise two blocks away on a 0.7-acre site at 30 SE Eighth Street, according to the Herald.

With Colombo’s announced plans to build a pair of Greater Downtown Miami residential towers, a super majority of the new condos – nearly 78 percent – proposed for South Florida are now slated to be developed in Miami-Dade County, according to the preconstruction condo projects website CraneSpotters.com (For disclosure purposes, my firm operates the website). Broward County accounts for nearly 13 percent of the South Florida total and Palm Beach County represents about nine percent of the newly proposed condo units for the tri-county region.

When converted from percentages to total numbers, Miami-Dade is now slated to receive 149 new towers with nearly 23,700 units, compared to 41 new towers with less than 3,950 units in Broward and 35 new towers with less than 2,900 units in Palm Beach. It should come as no surprise that Greater Downtown Miami is home to the greatest number of proposed projects, with 53 towers and nearly 15,200 units. The market now accounts for nearly 50 percent of the total number of new units proposed for all of South Florida as of April 21.

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Despite the high concentration of new condo towers and units proposed in Greater Downtown Miami, the current total is still well short of the 84 towers with more than 22,200 units created in the same market during the previous South Florida real estate boom that began in 2003, according to the real estate consultancy CondoVultures.com (For disclosure purposes, my firm operates that website).

As of Dec. 31, 2013, about 400 developer units from the previous boom-and-bust cycle were still unsold in Greater Downtown Miami.

The most notable statistic is the 17 new condo towers with nearly 5,400 units proposed in a 16-block stretch of South Miami Avenue that leads to Brickell City Centre. The South Miami Avenue concentration of proposed units represents one of every three new condo units slated to be developed in Greater Downtown Miami to date, according to CraneSpotters.com.

For comparison, the Greater Downtown Miami neighborhood with the next highest concentration of newly proposed units is the Edgewater area, where developers are proposing 10 new condo towers with 2,900 units.

The unanswered question going forward is whether buyers will have the same appetite for new condos around the planned Brickell City Centre as the developers who are so bullishly proposing to build the concentration of new units.

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 CraneSpotters.com, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.