Missoni Baia breaks ground amid condo slowdown

Developer Vlad Doronin funding construction with equity, expects to close on $100M construction loan soon

Wearing a bright blue sequined outfit, a man on a jet pack approached Missoni Baia’s sales center from the bay to pick up a woman playing the saxophone, and they both soared back into the air, kicking off the groundbreaking of the luxury condo tower planned for Edgewater.

Unconventional groundbreaking performance ? ? at @missoni_baia on Thursday. (?: @kkallergis)

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Developed by Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin’s OKO Group, the 57-story, 249-unit tower is the first of OKO’s projects in Miami and the first branded residences from the Italian fashion and design house Missoni.

Construction is beginning, despite the condo slowdown.

“I think it’s good, not many people right now are developing,” Doronin told The Real Deal. He plans to invest $700 million in Edgewater — which he chose for its proximity to Miami’s Wynwood, Design District and South Beach — and $1 billion overall in Miami.

Doronin said OKO Group and its partner Cain International are currently funding construction with equity. He said he is in talks with multiple lenders and plans to close on about $100 million in financing in the next few months.

Set to rise 649 feet, the tower was designed by New York-based Asymptote Architecture, led by Hani Rashid and Lise Ann Couture, a firm known for such projects as the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel that straddles a Formula 1 racetrack and the upcoming Hermitage Modern Contemporary Museum in Moscow.

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For Missoni Baia, Rashid said he was inspired by the art and sculpture of Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Fred Sandback, and wanted the architecture to reflect that Miami is growing up from a “rambunctious teenager” to a young adult. “Being from New York, has allowed us to put a different lens on it,” he told TRD. “It’s a fascinating place, Miami, and we want to frame that.”

Interiors will be designed by New York-based Paris Farino, incorporating Missoni’s colorful furnishings from its Missoni Home collection. Materials will include wood and stone, white lacquer and marble, Forino told TRD.

Rosita Missoni, the co-founder of Missoni told TRD she had been approached to collaborate on residential projects before, but agreed to the Missoni Baia due to the developer, architect, location and Miami’s international reach.

The tower’s units will range from one to five bedrooms, and from 776 square feet to 3,788 square feet. Prices start at $500,000 and average in the $700s per square foot. Fortune International Group is handling sales.

Amenities will include a flow-through deck with cabanas, five swimming pools, an elevated tennis court, fitness center and spa. And as an added benefit, residents will have access to the members-only Grand Bay Club in Key Biscayne, with 600 feet of oceanfront and a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse.

OKO launched sales for Missoni Baia in the spring of 2016. The developer replaced Cervera Real Estate as its exclusive sales and marketing firm with Fortune in March. Edgardo Defortuna, Fortune’s president and CEO, said sales have picked up since the development team repriced and sized units on the lower floors. He and Doronin declined to provide a sales figure, but he said his team has sold 28 units in the last three months.

One buyer pool that has been impacted is the Russian market due to deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia. But buyers from the U.K., Italy, France and Turkey have purchased units in the building. “We’re targeting the right market,” Defortuna said.