In 1935, more than three dozen members of the original Surf Club on 90th Street and Collins Avenue voted to incorporate a one-square-mile stretch between Bal Harbour and Miami Beach. They called it Surfside, an oceanfront enclave that saw a post-World War II boom as a suburban tropical oasis with a beachfront community center that included a library, two pools, meeting rooms, and an auditorium.
Today, Surfside is home to 5,800 residents with Main Street-style retail stores along Harding Avenue between 94th Street and 97th Street. The area offers a mix of national retailers like CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks to local entrepreneurs such as Samy Gicherman Couture and Gray & Sons Jewelers. Surfside also has a diverse array of restaurants rtrr a small town, including Cafe Ragazzi for Italian, Sushi & Tapas for Spanish-Japanese fusion, and Flanigan’s Seafood Bar & Grill for American.
Signs of Change
The three-story building that houses Samy Gicherman, as well as Italian seafood eatery Pescecane Ristorante, at 9553 Harding Avenue, flipped for $5.75 million last September, more than twice the sale price when the property previously changed hands in 2013. In January, New York Community Bank plunked down $18 million for a 25,000-square-foot, two-story building that counts CVS and Starbucks among its tenants. The bank paid four times as much as the $4.1 million that the seller, Surfside Retail LLC, had paid to purchase the property out of foreclosure in 2009.
The two commercial transactions show how much land values in Surfside have appreciated as developers put the finishing touches on ultra-exclusive condo projects like the Surf Club Four Seasons and Fendi Chateau Residences.
And prices continue to climb. In January, a property assemblage totaling nearly an acre at 9040 Collins Avenue hit the market for $27 million, or $626 per square foot for the land. Located across the street from the Surf Club redevelopment site, the property includes four buildings with 45 apartments and a parking lot. It is zoned for up to 108 hotel rooms and 79 residential units.
Collins and Harding avenues are the main arteries in Surfside, funneling commuters to the Broad Causeway to the north and the 79th Street Causeway to the south. Surfside does not have its own public transit services, but six Miami-Dade County bus routes run through the city.
Most expensive residential sale
9390 Bay Drive, a 4,922-square-foot, six-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house sold for $3.5 million in November 2015.
Residential broker’s take
“It is a very special market that is going through a revitalization and offers quite a few amenities. It’s a great alternative to living in Miami Beach,” Michael Fay, managing director of Avison Young.
Demographic changes from 2000 to 2015
Population: 5,800 up .6% from 2010 and up 15% from 2000
Median age: 41.5
Median income: $69,000
Average household net worth: $563,168
Median sales price per square foot: $520, 47% higher compared to the rest of Miami-Dade County
Increase in average rent over the last year: 15% percent to $3,200
Most expensive home on the market
Fendi Chateau penthouse, 7,489 square feet, with four/five bedrooms, seven-and-a-half bathrooms and a 4,100-square-foot rooftop deck with pool and summer kitchen, for $25 million
Least expensive home on the market
Apartment 1007, 9225 Collins Avenue, 450-square foot studio with one bathroom for $240,000
Over the last two years, developers are transforming Surfside’s landscape with some of the most expensive, most luxurious condo projects in south Florida. One of the first new projects near completion is the Surf Club Four Seasons, a redeveloped landmark hotel and condo project by Fort Partners. The developer brought in Richard Meier to design the 80-room hotel, two 12-story residential towers, a private club, two restaurants, four swimming pools, cabanas, a gym, oceanside gardens and a park. The new buildings are being incorporated into the historic Russell Pancoast-designed Surf Club, a private beach club founded in 1930 by Henry Firestone. Surf Club Four Seasons, located at 9011 Collins Avenue, is nearly sold out with more than $900 million sales. Units ranged between $3.4 million to $18 million.
Three blocks north, the Chateau Group is nearing completion of the world’s first Fendi-branded hotel and condo project at 9365 Collins Avenue. Fendi Chateau Residences, where units are going for an average of $1,900 a square foot and a two-story penthouse was listed for $25 million, is now 88 percent sold and is expected open this summer. The developer also owns six other properties on 93rd Street and Collins that the Chateau Group has paid a combined $13 million for since 2013.
Last November, New York City-based JMH Development bought out the 36 unit owners of a 1960’s-era condo building in a $55 million bulk acquisition. The company plans to redevelop the 12-story tower at 8995 Collins Avenue into a luxury boutique condo called Surf House. The development site shares a cul-de-sac with the Surf Club Four Seasons.
In another bulk condo acquisition in Surfside, a joint venture between Israel-based ASRR Capital and Istanbul-based Suzer Group paid a combined $40 million to 41 condo owners and the condo board of a building at 8955 Collins Avenue, which is next door to JMH’s project.