TRD insider interview: Jeffrey Soffer on his firm’s Miami projects

Jeffrey Soffer, one of Miami’s biggest developers and co-chairman of Turnberry Associates, spent time with The Real Deal’s South Florida managing editor Ina Cordle to talk about his upcoming projects in Miami like the Turnberry Ocean Club and weigh in on global factors affecting local real estate.

Arguably Soffer’s biggest project at the moment is his joint venture with Richard LeFrak, SoLē Mia Miami, a massive $4 billion mixed-use development that’s being built out of a former landfill. The project broke ground in June, and Soffer said it could take between 15 to 20 years to complete.

He also hinted at a future project in Aventura, where Turnberry Associates owns a piece of land that’s being eyed for a “non-residential” development.

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The billionaire developer also talked about sales activity at the Turnberry Ocean Club, and how a strengthening dollar has affected his pool of buyers. He said Brazilians, whose country recently has been hit hard economically, made up a big portion of the project’s foreign buyers.

“The foreign buyer market comes in and out of South Florida,” he said. “The dollar being [strong has] definitely hurt sales, hurt South Florida in general.”

The interview took place at TRD South Florida’s Forum & Showcase on Oct. 15 at the Moore Building in Miami’s Design District. More than 4,000 real estate professionals packed the building to check out South Florida’s newest projects, and to catch TRD’s three panels: key players talked about their role in building Miami’s hottest neighborhoods, New York power brokers revealed their love for Miami, and top developers forecast the city’s future real estate market. — Sean Stewart-Muniz