The Real Deal Miami

Real estate pros hope World Cup frenzy will boost sales

Real estate and soccer merge with watch parties, competitions and art installations
By Amanda Rabines | June 22, 2018 12:43PM

With the World Cup in full swing, developers and brokers are capitalizing on the 2018 FIFA frenzy to try to boost the visibility of their South Florida luxury projects.

Brokers at Paramount Miami Worldcenter’s sales center are watching the games on a massive 760-square-foot video display screen. “It’s a good way to bring people to work early,” said Daniel Kodsi, developer of Paramount Miami Worldcenter.

Soccer and its international following played a large part in the design of the project, he said. The 60-story tower, part of the massive Miami Worldcenter project near downtown Miami, is the only condominium with its own soccer field, according to a spokesperson. It will be built on the building’s 9th floor amenity deck.

The soccer field “was a huge promotion for sales,” Kodsi said, adding that professional soccer players have bought units at the project because of it. “Everyone loves soccer. It’s a very popular sport around the world and we cater to an international audience.”

A spokesperson confirmed that at least six professional soccer players have bought units in the tower, including players in the Turkish, Colombian and Cameroon national teams. Kodsi said only about 12 percent of its buyer pool is from the United States. The project is more than 70 percent sold with $400 million in sales. The day before the World Cup, Paramount Miami WorldCenter hosted a kick-off event with more than 150 brokers.

Real estate developer Edgardo Defortuna decided to watch the games up-close – in Moscow.

The president and CEO of Fortune International Group is on a trip with his family and is rooting for the Argentine and Peruvian national teams. On the stands, he sported an Argentine national team scarf while holding the flag of his home country with his sons.

According to Defortuna, a deal can be made anywhere in world and that could mean in a stadium hosting a high-profile international soccer game. “I’ve been spending time with very wealthy clients or potential clients. In addition to being a lot of fun, it’s great networking,” Defortuna said.

Vlad Doronin’s Missoni Baia luxury condo tower project is also getting into the action.

To motivate its Fortune sales team, the developer promised a four-day trip to Moscow, along with two tickets to a World Cup match, for whomever generated the most sales from March to June. Doronin’s OKO Group broke ground on the 249-unit tower in October.

The project is cheering on World Cup soccer professional Miguel Borja, who recently purchased a unit at the building. Borja is representing his home country of Colombia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He plays forward for the Brazilian club Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras and was crowned South America’s “Footballer of the Year” in 2016.

In Brickell, the Gazit Horizons-owned building at 90 Southwest Eighth Street now features a 10,000-square-foot mural Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior.

The giant mural will be on display through July 15, which marks the end of this year’s World Cup championship. Miami was one of three cities in the United States to feature a giant public art mural by artist Brandan Odums. Other murals feature Egyptian star Mohamed Salah in New York City’s Times Square and French standout Paul Pogba in New Orleans. The murals are part of Bleacher Report’s #LargerThanLife campaign.

Gazit Horizons is the U.S. arm of Tel Aviv-based Gazit-Globe Ltd. It paid $29.45 million for the development site, near Brickell City Centre, last year.

Last Thursday, Canarias at Downtown Doral threw a kickoff event to commemorate the World Cup, while at the same time showing six of its luxury model homes to potential buyers.

Armando Codina’s and Jim Carr’s CC Homes is planning to build 423 single-family homes and 52 townhomes in Doral. The project is adjacent to Codina Partners’ massive Downtown Doral mixed-use development with condo towers, retail and restaurants, a Publix supermarket, a school and more.

Ritz-Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles Beach is also hosting viewing parties for brokers, together with the nearby planned Residences by Armani/Casa project.

A joint venture between Fortune International Group and the Château Group is developing the 52-story, 212-unit Ritz-Carlton Residences tower at 15701 Collins Avenue. On Thursday, the project hosted two back-to-back games at its sales gallery.

Dezer Development, the Related Group and Rockpoint Group are developing Residences by Armani/Casa, the country’s first Armani/Casa-branded building. The planned 56-story, 308-unit tower is under construction at 18975 Collins Avenue.

Both projects are slated to be completed in mid-2019.