Israeli developers zero in on Fort Lauderdale

Rendering of Flagler 626
Rendering of Flagler 626

A group of Israeli developers is planning a new condo project in Flagler Village, catering to young professionals in the increasingly hot Fort Lauderdale neighborhood.

Flagler 626, a planned 12-story tower at 626 Northeast First Avenue, will have 97 units including three townhomes at an average price of $350 per square foot, developer Uri Redler told The Real Deal.

BRYL Development LLC, a group composed of Doron Broman, Simon Langbret and Redler, is still seeking city approval for the project, designed by Stewart Robin of Nest Plan. Units will range from studios to one- and two-bedrooms, with 671 square feet to 1,580 square feet.

Rendering of project's pool deck

Rendering of project’s pool deck

The exterior of the building will have a graffiti wall, painted by artists chosen through a local competition. Interiors will be designed by Natasha Broman, Redler said.

Amenities will include a pocket park, pool, gym and party room, as well as a charging station for electric cars, bike racks and moped parking. The project is also expected to have 105 parking spaces, he said.

Property records show the developers purchased the condo site’s three lots totalling 27,000 square feet for $725,000 in 2014. One of the properties had an old “crack house” that has since been torn down, Redler said.

“The neighborhood is changing so nicely, but it’s not there yet,” he said. “But it’s definitely getting there.”

Redler said Flagler 626 is expected to launch sales by the end of the year and break ground in five months, Redler said.

The group has varied backgrounds in real estate. Redler, whose family owns a lighting company in Tel Aviv, moved to Miami from Israel four years ago and began buying properties with partners in Broward, which they renovated, repositioned and flipped for an average 30 percent profit. Langbret, a real estate investor in Israel, sold numerous condos at Canvas in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District to Israeli buyers. Doron Broman has a financial background and operated an investment fund in Israel.

Flagler Village is often compared to Wynwood, an artsy neighborhood that has quickly transformed to one of Miami’s hottest markets. In Flagler Village, Redler said that most residential buildings, new and planned, are rentals.

Morgan Group, a Texas-based multifamily developer, has multiple projects in Flagler Village. More recently, it sold the Edge at Flagler Village for $114 million, or about $345,000 per apartment. The Miami-based Related Group developed and sold the Manor at Flagler Village for $149 million in 2015.

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The uptick in commercial activity marks another sign of developers looking to cash in on the neighborhood’s hip reputation. Jaime Sturgis, sales director of Metro 1’s Broward office, said at a TRD panel last month that there are 42 projects coming online in Flagler Village.

Crucial to that growth is alternative forms of transportation: All Aboard Florida is set to launch its Brightline line next year, with trains running in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. Fort Lauderdale is also considering a proposal for the Wave street car, a commuter service similar to the in-ground trolleys of San Francisco.

Only a handful of condominium towers are in the works. Last year, a development group led by Itay Avital proposed plans for a 217-unit condominium called URBN at Flagler Village on the 400 block of Third Avenue, across the street from Strada 315, a 117-unit condo building completed during the last cycle.

Rendering of 544 Moderno townhomes

Rendering of 544 Moderno townhomes

Besides the Flagler Village condo tower, several of the team’s principals are also building a small-scale townhome project in the nearby neighborhood of Victoria Park.

YRB Developments LLC, which includes Redler, Rafael Baron and Natasha Broman, just broke ground on two two-story townhomes dubbed 544 Moderno on a 6,667-square-foot lot at 544 Northeast 14th Street.

The contemporary-styled townhomes are designed to feel like a loft with 11-foot ceilings, full-height windows and a custom “floating staircase.” They will also boast finishes like stainless steel appliances, exposed concrete floors and a two-car garage.

Redler said the team, which also owns BBDF Realty, is about to launch sales and has hired Douglas Elliman to co-list the two townhomes, with prices of $855,000 and $879,000. With three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and 2,600 square feet, the lower of the two asking prices breaks down to $329 per square foot.

County records show the group paid $330,000 for the development site in 2014, which equates to $49 per square foot of land.  

“Townhomes are very strong in Fort Lauderdale,” Redler said.

The target demographic for these, as with the condo tower, is young professionals looking to buy a home in an up-and-coming neighborhood.

And depending on how sales go for the first two townhomes, Redler said, the team is also looking to develop another pair in Victoria Park sometime in the near future.

Redler said he’s not worried about a slowdown in condo sales. He said that market shifts in Miami tend to hit Broward at a delayed pace. “[Prices] are going up slow but they’re going down slow as well,” he told TRD.

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