Pair of new condo towers proposed for Coral Gables

Miami /
Feb.February 02, 2016 05:15 PM

As Miami-Dade County’s condo market shows signs of slowing due in part to a stronger dollar, an out-of-state developer envisions a pair of new condo towers with more than 550 units combined as a key component for a proposed $160 million mixed-use project in Coral Gables.

The latest condo project proposed for the Coral Gables area — a wealthy suburb of local residents and foreign investors — is the Gables Station complex slated to be developed on a 4.3-acre site located on the north side of the 200 block of South Dixie Highway near the upscale Shops At Merrick Park retail center, according to city of Coral Gables records.

“The applicant is proposing a mixed-use residential/hotel/retail project, which will be composed of three towers with a maximum height of 155 feet with about 168 hotel units totaling 111,583 square feet, 554 luxury condominium residences and 87,900 square feet of retail space,” according to the cover letter included with the developer’s application to the city of Coral Gables.

To build the project as proposed, the prospective developer — a “contract purchaser” based in Minnesota called NP International USA LLC with Charles D. Nolan and Brent Reynolds — is seeking a number of revisions to current land-use and zoning regulations, according to government records.

Currently, the owner of record of the proposed development site is a Coconut Grove-based corporation called Gables Station LLC with Jeffrey L. Berkowitz that had previously announced plans to build a retail-and-parking facility with 330,000 square feet after acquiring the land in 2005, according to government records.

With this newest project, the Coral Gables area now has 17 new condo buildings with nearly 1,400 units announced in South Florida since this current cycle began in 2011, according to the preconstruction condo projects website CraneSpotters.com as of Monday. (For disclosure, my firm operates the website.)

The total number of new Coral Gables units for this cycle would have been even higher if not for earlier decisions by unrelated developers to revise the original plans of the proposed Collection Residences project with 126 units and the Antilla Coral Gables project with 32 units.  

To date, developers have revised plans to build nearly 20 new condo buildings with nearly 2,900 units since 2011. Most of the units in question were to be developed in Miami-Dade, according to the data.

Overall, South Florida developers have already completed 57 new condo buildings with more than 4,300 units in the coastal tri-county South Florida region of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. An additional 129 new condo buildings with more than 12,900 units are currently under construction in South Florida.

A combined 233 new condo buildings with nearly 33,000 units — about 66 percent of the total tri-county pipeline — are currently in the planning or presale phase of development in South Florida.

In the Coral Gables market, no new condo buildings have been completed to date during this cycle.

A trio of new condo buildings with a combined 265 units are currently under construction in the Coral Gables market as of Monday.

An additional 14 new condo buildings — including the newly announced Gables Station project — with more than 1,120 units are currently in the planning and presale phase of development in Coral Gables, according to the data.  

The combination of announced units that are in the planning or presale phase of development represent more than 80 percent of the total number of condos in the pipeline for the Coral Gables market during this cycle.

The Coral Gables market ranks as South Florida’s ninth most active preconstruction condo market based on announced units.

On the resale front, buyers acquired 275 condo units last year for an average of nearly 23 transactions monthly, according to data from the Southeast Florida MLXchange.

Based on the 2015 resale statistics, the Coral Gables condo resale market currently has about 6.7 months of supply of units available for purchase.  

A balanced market is considered to have about six months of resale supply available for purchase. More months of condo resale supply suggests a buyer’s market, and less months indicates a seller’s market.

While the supply of condo units is encouraging, the average resale transaction price per square foot in Coral Gables was unchanged at $320 in 2015, just as it was in the previous year of 2014, according to the data.

Currently, the average asking price for a condo resale unit available for purchase is $431 per square foot, according to the data.

The unanswered question going forward is whether the new condo development plans for the Gables Station site will be realized 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 CraneSpotters.com, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.


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