Muse condo tower starts signing contracts with buyers

Planned Sunny Isles Beach project moves closer to construction

Jun.June 17, 2014 12:00 PM

Another new Sunny Isles Beach condo tower took a significant step toward being developed in the barrier island city in Northeast Miami-Dade County.

Earlier this month, the planned 47-story, 68-unit Muse condo tower slated to be developed on an oceanfront site in the 17100 block of Collins Avenue began converting refundable buyer reservations starting at $100,000 into nonrefundable presale contracts, with purchase prices totaling in the millions of dollars.

The conversion from reservations, which were first signed back in March, into presale purchase contracts with 50 percent deposits is a critical step in a new project’s evolution. During this process, developers quickly determine the total number of committed purchasers and find out who changed their minds after initially deciding to buy in a particular tower.

With more than half of the planned units reserved in the Muse condo tower, a high rate of buyer conversions from reservations to contracts would propel the project’s development team – New York City’s Property Markets Group with Kevin Maloney and Aventura-based S2 Development with J. Claudio Stivelman – toward launching construction by the end of the year.
(For disclosure purposes, my firm had provided some market consulting services for Stivelman’s previous firm, Shefaor Development.)

A groundbreaking in December 2014 would put the Carlos Ott-designed Muse condo tower on track for completion in early 2017.

To bolster the marketing efforts for the Muse, which is asking for an average price of $1,650 per square foot, the development team is preparing for the July opening of a new sales center to be located in a shopping center across the street from the project.

Competition is intensifying in Sunny Isles, where the Muse is one of 14 new towers with more than 1,800 units proposed, planned, under construction or recently completed during the latest South Florida condo construction boom, according to the preconstruction condo projects website (For disclosure purposes, my firm operates the website.)

As of Monday, one project – the 43-story, 39-unit Regalia tower – has been completed and six more towers with nearly 725 units, including Jade Signature, Mansions at Acqualina and Porsche Design Tower, are under construction in Sunny Isles.

Another three towers – including Muse – with nearly 400 units are planned with clearance to build, and four towers with more than 650 units are seeking approval to build in Sunny Isles.

Overall, Sunny Isles has the fourth largest number of new units announced of any markets east of I-95 in the tri-county area of South Florida. The announced unit count represents about 5.4 percent of the more than 33,400 new condo units slated to be developed in the region during this preconstruction boom.

The unanswered question going forward is whether the developers of the planned Muse condo tower will generate enough sales momentum from the reservation conversion process to stimulate a round of new purchase contracts during what is typically the slow summer season.

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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