Shahab Karmely, Edgardo Defortuna team up on bulk condo buy at Brickell City Centre

Fortune Development Sales will relist the 81 units for sale

Shahab Karmely, Edgardo Defortuna and Kieran Bowers with Reach and Rise (Getty)
Shahab Karmely, Edgardo Defortuna and Kieran Bowers with Reach and Rise (Getty)

UPDATED, May 24, 1:45 p.m.: Swire Properties sold the remaining condos at Brickell City Centre in Miami, allowing the developer to move forward with new projects in the area, The Real Deal has learned.

A partnership between Shahab Karmely’s KAR Properties and Edgardo Defortuna’s Fortune International Group acquired the 81 units at Reach and Rise for an undisclosed amount, with plans to relist them with Fortune Development Sales. The units represent about 10 percent of the units at the two condo towers, combined.

The deal, which closed on Thursday, included some penthouse units, according to Defortuna.

A team led by Ackman-Ziff brokers Marc Sznajderman and Dylan Comras represented the buyer in arranging acquisition financing for the purchase. City National Bank is the lender, according to a source.

Swire launched sales of Reach and Rise, both 390-unit, 43-story condo towers at 68 Southeast Sixth Street and 88 Southwest Seventh Street, in 2014. The buildings were completed about two years later.

Craig Studnicky’s ISG World represented Swire in the bulk condo sale. ISG took over remaining sales at Reach and Rise about three years ago from Walter Defortuna’s Fortune International Realty and One Sotheby’s International Realty.

The sale “frees up international resources to focus 100 percent on our next project,” said Kieran Bowers, president of Swire Properties. The Hong Kong developer is working on designs for five sites near Brickell City Centre. Swire has not yet finalized which will move forward first.

The developers involved in the deal declined to provide the dollar figure for the 81 units, with Karmely acknowledging that “there’s always a discount when you buy in bulk.” The sale has not yet hit records.

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Fifteen of the units are leased to tenants. Rents for similar units in Brickell are now at about $3.50 per square foot, Bowers said, pointing to a rise in demand for luxury rentals.

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The huge migration of out-of-state buyers has benefitted developers throughout South Florida. “Today the inventory favors the owner, and the demand is a lot more than the supply,” Defortuna said.

Karmely said the pandemic reinforced “fundamental changes” to the Florida market, with buyers choosing the Sunshine State due to tax policies, lifestyle and politics.

Karmely’s KAR Properties had hit the pause button on plans for a major luxury condo development nearby on the Miami River called One River Point, designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. Sales and construction of the three-phase project are expected to relaunch in the fall, Karmely said.

“I like the position within Brickell City Centre,” he said. “I like the synergy it has with our sites across the river.”

Defortuna said the deal provided a “quicker exit” for Swire and a profitable deal for Fortune and KAR.

“We feel very strongly that existing inventory in today’s market is very, very attractive,” Defortuna added.