Basking in the spotlight: South Florida developers capitalize on Art Basel Miami Beach

Real estate, art and celebrities merged at dozens of events and unveilings last week

South Florida Developers Capitalize on Art Basel Miami Beach
From left: Michael Shvo, Daniel Boulud, Kamila Alexander and Oren Alexander

Developers and brokers dressed up their blank canvases to capture the attention of the who’s who of entertainment, real estate and hospitality during Miami Art Week. 

Among them were developer Michael Shvo, Italian restaurateur Enrico Buonocore, architect Peter Marino and Rosewood Hotel Group President Radha Arora, who held a pair of private dinners for the planned Raleigh project, unveiling plans for the beach club. 

Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Shvo, Seren Shvo, Dee Hilfiger

The soirées were among many that combined real estate, art and celebrity during art week, which typically draws more than 1 million visitors to the region. Art Basel, Design Miami, Art Miami and other art fairs anchor the week’s festivities. 

Shvo and his partners held the events to preview the beach club that Buonocore’s Langosteria will operate at the 3-acre oceanfront development in Miami Beach. Attendees included clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger, chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud, Israeli actress Rona-Lee Shimon, supermodel Karolína Kurková, art collector Jane Holzer, and brokers Oren and Tal Alexander of Official, who are handling sales and marketing of the condos. Oren Alexander posted on Instagram that the Raleigh secured more than $200 million in presales last week. 

At one of the dinners, Shvo and Buonocore were spotted riding a Lalanne’s sheep sculpture, which surrounded a long white dining table on the Raleigh pavilion. 

Shvo plans to gut-renovate the historic Raleigh, Richmond and South Seas hotels at 1775 Collins Avenue and build a new condo tower on the site. Shvo said at The Real Deal’s South Florida event in November that buyers are spending $12,000 per square foot — more than double the current record — on units at the Raleigh. 

Developers and brokers will typically host their own parties, networking events and unveil out-of-the-box marketing efforts during Miami Art Week to catch the attention of current and potential clients. Many also unveil new projects or partnerships. 

Douglas Elliman agent Devin Kay and Corcoran Group’s Eloy Carmenate, Mick Duchon and Julian Johnston brought attention to their $29.5 million listing of the waterfront lot at 5840 North Bay Road. 

Kay posted a video of an inflatable house popping up on the property as a yacht drives by in the bay. What appeared to be a bounce house is not real, but generated by artificial intelligence. Domingo Creative LLC and Landro WRLD created the video, which has gone viral. 

“We were trying to think of a fun and interesting way to get exposure. There’s only so much you can do with vacant land,” Kay said. “We saw an ad that this company did for a luxury handbag company. We thought it would be pretty interesting if we did something like that for the lot.” 

The property comes with plans designed by the architecture firm Olson Kundig.

Developer Craig Robins, a collector who has woven artwork and uncommon design into the transformation of the Miami Design District, announced on Instagram this past weekend that he and his partners are working with British architect David Chipperfield on plans for what he is calling the West End of the neighborhood. 

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Robins’ Miami Design District Associates teamed up with Qatari firm Constellation Hotels Holding, developer Nadim Ashi’s Fort Partners and New York-based private equity firm Raycliff Capital to acquire an assemblage of more than 2.5 acres last year. They plan a five-star boutique hotel, condos and luxury retail for the site. It would likely mark Chipperfield’s first project in Miami. He was tapped to design a previous undeveloped version of the Shore Club project when it was owned by HFZ Capital Group.  

Fewer brokerages sponsored art fairs this year, though the industry still had a presence. Sotheby’s International Realty was a show partner of Art Basel Miami Beach, giving the firm a booth within the Collectors Lounge on the second floor of the Miami Beach Convention Center. The brokerage, a subsidiary of Anywhere Real Estate, showcased artist illustrations of properties its agents and affiliates are marketing around the world. 

Douglas Elliman broker Michael Lorber, son of Elliman Chairman and CEO Howard Lorber, was spotted walking the art fair and also inside the Collectors Lounge. Elliman held the sponsorship for nearly a decade prior, before Sotheby’s snapped it up this year. 

At Untitled, an art fair held in Miami Beach, Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, who is relocating to Miami after buying adjacent homes in Indian Creek, looked at art alongside his fiancée Lauren Sanchez. 

The parties were grand — and difficult to get into. 

Developer Wayne Boich and his wife Cynthia hosted a star-studded party at their waterfront mansion on North Bay Road, where attendees included Tom Brady, Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Lindsey Vonn and her boyfriend Diego Osorio, according to published reports. Though it wasn’t a real estate event, Miami real estate brought them together. All except for Dicaprio have purchased homes in the area in recent years. 

Casa Tua founders Mikey and Leticia Grendene hosted a party with their New York development partner Jamie Reuben of the Reuben Brothers at their Miami Beach restaurant and private club. Attendees included Starwood Capital Group founder and billionaire Barry Sternlicht, nightlife mogul and restaurateur David Grutman, and Major Food Group partner Jeff Zalaznick, according to Page Six

“It’s very difficult to get the attention of buyers when there’s so many events,” said Kay, the co-listing agent on the North Bay Road lot. 

As a marketing ploy, the AI-generated video succeeded in grabbing attention. 

It had been viewed nearly 130,000 times with a total of 28 hours of playtime as of Monday morning. And it had been re-watched nearly 8,600 times. 

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