GFI buys land for second phase of Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach

GFI launched sales of 15 Piero Lissoni-designed homes with Douglas Elliman

Ophir Sternberg with the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach and the land for the villas (Lionheart Capital)
Ophir Sternberg with the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach and the land for the villas (Lionheart Capital)

UPDATED, Jan. 21, 6:10 p.m.: Lionheart Capital sold land for the second phase of the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, to a New York development firm in an off-market deal, The Real Deal has learned.

Lionheart planned to build and sell 15 single-family homes on the land, and sell them for a combined $90 million, or roughly $6 million each. GFI, led by Chairman and CEO Allen Gross, will now develop the homes, which Lionheart refers to as “villas,” and launch sales with Douglas Elliman, according to a press release.

Lionheart CEO Ophir Sternberg declined to provide a sales price for the 3.4 acres. Sternberg said “this was a good opportunity, so we decided to sell,” and that the property was never on the market.

GFI broke ground and launched sales on the two-story villas, according to a release from the firm. Prices start at about $3.4 million, and the villas will range from 3,263 square feet to 4,643 square feet, with three to five bedrooms.

Lionheart and its partner Elliott Management completed the Ritz-Carlton Residences, at 4701 North Meridian Avenue in mid-Miami Beach, in 2019 after construction delays. It now has less than 20 percent of the 111 condos remaining for sale.

The villas will be managed as part of the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach and designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni along with Choeff Levy Fischman. One villa has been completed.

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Over the last month, Lionheart has secured 11 contracts totaling more than $50 million, three of which have closed, a spokesperson previously said. That includes the $15 million all-cash sale of one of its penthouses to an unnamed hedge funder from Chicago, who plans to relocate with his family.

The development, built on a 7.5-acre lakefront property, features gardens, pools and 36 private boat slips. Shared amenities include an art studio, a rooftop pool deck with private cabanas and a restaurant, a waterfront bar and social room, pet grooming facilities, indoor and outdoor yoga studios, a meditation garden and car wash facilities.

Eight of the villas will be waterfront villas and have private boat dockage.

Waterfront single-family home sales have boomed throughout the pandemic, which brokers and developers attribute to an increase in out-of-state buyers, especially from high-tax states in the Northeast, West Coast and Midwest. That has started to spill over into the high-end condo market, with larger units in more private buildings selling faster.

In the fourth quarter of last year, residential sales grew by 52 percent, year-over-year, to 1,176 closings in Miami Beach and the barrier islands, according to Douglas Elliman.