Real estate meets philanthropy at upcoming charity galas

$1.2M One River Point condo will be auctioned at a gala Saturday benefiting BrazilFoundation

Jan.January 22, 2016 01:30 PM

Several real estate companies are set to showcase their preconstruction condo projects at charitable fundraising events as South Florida’s winter season of black-tie galas gets under way.

This weekend, for example, New York-based KAR Properties will auction a two-bedroom condo at its planned One River Point development in Miami and donate part of the proceeds to BrazilFoundation, an organization that provides health care, education and other services in impoverished Brazilian communities.

The two-bedroom condo at One River Point development in Miami will be sold Saturday in a live auction at a black-tie fundraising gala for BrazilFoundation on at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Brickell Key.

Shahab Karmely, founder and CEO of KAR Properties, told The Real Deal his company got involved with BrazilFoundation about a year ago and decided to donate proceeds from the condo auction and to sponsor the fundraising event itself, called the BrazilFoundation V Gala Miami, “even if it’s not going to translate into sales from Brazil right now.”

He said condo buyers from Brazil have dwindled in number as the country’s economic growth has sputtered and its lack of social mobility has worsened: “If you have friends, the time to help them is when they’re down … Brazil’s going through a tough time right now.”

The One River Point condo to be auctioned is priced at $1.2 million and designed with 1,769 square feet of living space, including a 450-square-foot terrace, plus 10-foot ceilings and sliding glass walls. Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, One River Point is a two-tower condominium planned at 24 Southwest 4th Street along the Miami River. Construction is expected to start in fall of this year.

CMC Group is sponsoring a different type of auction that will showcase its planned Brickell Flatiron development in Miami to benefit the community service organization Switchboard of Miami. Construction of Brickell Flatiron is expected to start early this year.

The 64-story Brickell Flatiron condo project is the sponsor of the annual “Singles for Switchboard Bachelor Auction” to be held February 12 at the Conrad Miami hotel. Auction proceeds from the “sale” of 25 bachelors will go to Switchboard of Miami, a downtown call center that takes more than 200,000 calls a year and provides crisis intervention and suicide-prevention counseling.

Vanessa Grout, president of CMC Real Estate, the sales and marketing division of CMC Group, said sponsorship of the Switchboard of Miami fundraiser reflects CMC’s view that “philanthropy is important to the success of the community.”

Elsewhere around town, the sales center for Astor Companies’ planned Merrick Manor condominium in Coral Gables will be one of the stops on an annual tour of private kitchens in Coral Gables that raises money for the Coral Gables Community Foundation and its Culinary Arts Fund. The fund supports the culinary arts program at Coral Gables Senior High School.

Local restaurants will prepare food in private kitchens at Merrick Manor’s sales center and nine other residential stops on the seventh annual self-guided “Coral Gables Tour of Kitchens” event on February 6.

“I think it’s a good thing for our company to be doing,” said Henry Torres, president of the Astor Companies, praising the work that the Coral Gables Community Foundation does. “They help the elderly, the disabled. They put on cultural events for some of the kids … There are a lot of people in this town going through rough times. We just don’t see them.”

Torres said construction of Merrick Manor will start this summer and finish in early 2018.

Unlike Merrick Manor and other preconstruction condo developments on the charity gala circuit, Palazzo Del Sol on Fisher Island is almost in move-in condition.

Heinrich von Hanau, developer of Fisher Island Holdings LLC, said the construction phase is complete, and he expects to close all contracts to purchase Palazzo Del Sol condos by March 10 as final inspections for a certificate of occupancy proceed. “We’re not sold out. We just started to go to contracts in November, so we are a little bit above the 60 percent mark,” von Hanau said told TRD.

Palazzo Del Sol is the real estate sponsor for a gala on March 12 to raise money for Fisher Island Day School. A $10,000 donation in the name of Palazzo del Sol will compose part of the fundraising on behalf of the private elementary school to help cover the cost of scholarships, teacher salaries, technology, enhanced curricula, and programs in arts and athletics.

Von Hanau said about half of the kids who attend the private school, kindergarten through the fifth grade, are “off-island” students come from the Miami Beach community off Fisher Island, some with scholarships to cover tuition.

Fisher Island is widely perceived as a place with “an older population, but it’s not really true,” said Von Hanau, who has a daughter enrolled at Fisher Island Day School. “We have a lot of young families that are moving here from the northern United States, from the West Coast or other parts of the world. And the school is very much an attractive part to them.”


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