South Florida is the unofficial epicenter of condos bearing luxury brands

Foreign buyers of South Florida condos may be more familiar with such brands as Porsche and Armani than a building's developer or its address.

Aston Martin Residences rendering
Aston Martin Residences rendering

Real estate developers put luxury brands on their buildings in other metropolitan areas, but nowhere is the practice more fashionable than in South Florida, where five branded condominiums are expected to open by 2021.

The large international segment of the condo market in South Florida is one reason why developers there are forming partnerships with luxury brands for automobiles and apparel.

Branding is especially important to international buyers in the Miami area, who often are more familiar with a condo project’s brand than its developer or its address, according to Jon Paul Perez, vice president of Related Group, the leading condo developer in South Florida.

The Miami Association of Realtors reported that foreign nationals bought 15,400 residences in Miami last year, a 41.3 percent increase from 10,900 residences in 2016.

The developer of a branded condominium usually pays the brand two percent to five percent of the proceeds when the sale of each condo unit is closed, according to Edgardo Defortuna, president and CEO of Fortune International Group.

Porsche Design Tower on Sunny Isles Beach is one of the best-known branded condominium developments in South Florida. The 60-story building has gained notoriety because of its automobile elevator, which shuttles condo owners and their vehicles between the street and parking spaces outside their condos.

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Germany-based automaker Porsche entered a partnership with Dezer Development to put its brand on Porsche Design Tower. Of the building’s 132 condos, 126 have been sold since sales began in 2012, said Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development.

British automaker Aston Martin and Argentina-based developer G&G Business Development entered a branding agreement for a 66-story condominium in downtown Miami called Aston Martin Residences, which is scheduled to open in 2021.

Other developers in South Florida are using fashion brands to attract buyers to such condo developments as Fendi Château Residences, a 12-story, 58-unit building in Surfside that opened in 2016.

Missoni Baia, a 57-story, 229-unit condominium scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020, is a project that developer OKO Group branded with the name of the Missoni fashion house.

Under construction in Sunny Isles Beach is a 56-story condo development called Residences by Armani/Casa. More than 75 percent of the units have been sold, and construction of the high-rise is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2019.

One of the buyers of units at Residences by Armani/Casa is Robert Thorne, chief executive officer and founder of The Wellness Habitat Co. of Miami. Thorne, who owns some Armani suits, told Mansion Global that he has confidence in his purchase of a $1.4 million condo at the development “just knowing that the brand is behind it.” [Mansion Global] – Mike Seemuth