When Miami was bracing for Hurricane Irma last September, Gil Dezer offered the city’s superrich a very different kind of shelter: a refuge for their supercars.
Dezer offered to house some of the city’s elite collection of Maseratis, Ferraris and Lamborghinis in his Porsche Design Tower, which has a patented car elevator.
“It’s really the safest place for billionaires to hold their toys when this kind of thing happens,” Dezer said at the time. His building is part of a trend in Miami to combine a love for high-end cars and high-end real estate, with several developers seeing auto-themed towers as a way to reel in wealthy buyers.
The trend here kicked off in 2015, according to Quartz, when Pininfarina—the Italian firm that has designed for the likes of Ferrari and Maserati—was tapped by developers to bring a “sports-car-friendly” feel to the 42-story 1100 Millecento in Brickell. Pininfarina created Ferrari-red elevator lobbies and hung large supercar photos in the building’s public spaces.
The latest such building to rev up the skyline is the Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way in Downtown. The developer, German Coto’s G&G Business Developments, opted to go with more understated homages to James Bond’s preferred supercar, using materials like carbon fibre in lieu of wood and adding leather to the units’ door handles. Pads start at $700,000 and go all the way up to $50 million.
Reflecting iconic brands in pricy residences is not an idea unique to Miami. Developers in Dubai just completed a 59-floor Rolex Tower, which borrows from the legendary watch brand, and you can even find branded towers in New York, like the Baccarat hotel, inspired by the French fine crystal label.
Dezer told Quartz that he’s working on a set of branded condos “with Giorgio Armani and his team,” referring to Residences by Armani/Casa, which opened its sales gallery in 2016. He added that branded buildings—even automobile-branded buildings like Miami’s—have are a potentially winning formula in major cities worldwide.
“Armani would love to do something in New York,” he said, “If they would give him the opportunity.” [Quartz] — Keith Larsen