Melo Group completes second new Edgewater condo tower this cycle

Bay House and Peter Zalewski
Bay House and Peter Zalewski

A second new condo tower has been completed in the Edgewater neighborhood of Greater Downtown Miami by the same developer that started this current South Florida preconstruction boom in April 2011.

The Melo Group — which constructed the 23 Biscayne Bay condo tower with 18 floors and 96 units in 2012 — has issued a press release through its marketing firm announcing the completion of its newest project — the 165-unit Bay House — on a site in the 600 block of Northeast 27 Street just east of Biscayne Boulevard.

“The 38-story tower has received its temporary certificate of occupancy and is quickly moving forward with unit closings — more than 30 percent of the building’s units have already closed over the last couple weeks,” according to an emailed statement to The Real Deal from spokeswoman Allie Schwartz Grant.

To date, none of the deeds for the reported transactions are available for online review with the Miami-Dade Clerk of the Court. As a result, transaction price information is not available at the time of the writing of this column.

Additionally, no condo units in the Bay House project are currently on the resale market as of May 26, according to the Southeast Florida MLXchange.

What is known about the Bay House condo tower’s pricing is that the project is “comprised entirely” of three-bedroom units that range in size from “about” 1,581 square feet to 1,720 square feet. Penthouse prices “range” from $2 million per unit “and up,” according to the statement.

For disclosure, my firm has provided consulting serves to the Melo Group on the overall condo market but not on this particular project.

The Edgewater neighborhood is one of the most active areas in Greater Downtown Miami for new condo projects given the amount of developable land available in an area that stretches from the Julia Tuttle Causeway south to Northeast 17th Terrace, and Biscayne Bay west to Biscayne Boulevard.

Currently, 14 new condo towers with more than 3,400 units have been announced or completed in the Edgewater neighborhood since 2011, according to the preconstruction condo projects website (For disclosure, my firm operates the website.)

A review of the preconstruction projects in the Edgewater area of Greater Downtown Miami shows that two towers with more than 260 units have been completed this cycle. An additional six towers with 1,460 units are currently under construction. The other six towers with nearly 1,700 units are currently in the planning or presale phase.

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Overall, developers have announced plans to develop 71 new condo towers with nearly 19,850 units in Greater Downtown Miami, which stretches from the Julia Tuttle Causeway south to the Rickenbacker Causeway, and Biscayne Bay west to I-95.

For its part, Edgewater accounts for 17 percent of the total number of new condo units announced for Greater Downtown Miami of this growth phase.

The Bay House is one of three new condo towers — plus a series of rental projects — announced by the Melo Group during this cycle.

The next condo tower for Melo is slated to be the 51-story Aria On The Bay project with 647 units to be developed in the 1700 block of North Bayshore Drive across from Margaret Pace Park. Site work is currently underway on the Aria On The Bay project but an official groundbreaking ceremony has not yet been held.

On the resale front, more than 375 condo units in the Edgewater area are available for purchase at an average asking price of nearly $445 per square foot as of May 26, according to the Southeast Florida MLXchange.

In the first four months of 2015, buyers acquired nearly 120 condo units in the Edgewater area at an average price of more than $370 per square foot.

The latest average price in the Edgewater neighborhood reflects a 121 percent increase from the bottom of the last South Florida real estate cycle in 2009 when the average condo resale transaction price was less than $170 per square foot in the period of January through April, according to the data.

Back in 2006 at the peak of the last cycle, the average condo transaction price was $345 per square foot for the first four months of the year.

The unanswered question going forward is whether the fast-moving Melo Group will be decide to build any more new condo towers in the Edgewater area of Greater Downtown Miami during this current South Florida real estate cycle.

Peter Zalewski is a 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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