If the brokers who grace this edition’s cover seem familiar to you, that is no accident. The Alexander brothers, Douglas Elliman agents to the rich and fabulous, are well-versed in personal branding, showing off their jet-setting lifestyle with Instagram posts from Carnival in Rio to snowboarding in Aspen. The team has been working the publicity circuit, touting some record-breaking deals — the $50 million sale of an Indian Creek Island mansion, and the $238 million sale of a 220 Central Park South penthouse to billionaire Ken Griffin that they say they brokered — “they say” being the operative phrase. As South Florida associate editor Katherine Kallergis and national reporter E.B. Solomont discovered in our cover story (page 36), the two masters of self-promotion have occasionally been bitten by their pursuit of media attention.
Perhaps a spiritual twin to the brothers is Home BancShares’ Johnny Allison, the colorfully outspoken founder of the Arkansas community bank, who has about as much gumption as the brothers, but with a different kind of flair. The bank is one to watch, as it’s been ramping up its lending activity in South Florida — issuing $219 million in local commercial real estate loans in 2018 alone — at a time when most traditional banks are beginning to balk. Reporter Keith Larsen digs into the bank’s history and its exposure in the market (page 40).
Our readers love a good ranking, and we delivered with our list of the busiest construction firms in Miami (page 46). Top firms like (spoiler alert) Coastal Construction and Tishman, which partnered on Miami Worldcenter, say they’re optimistic about their prospects for the year ahead. And our top-brokers ranking (page 44) for the first time ranks agents who ruled the condo resales market, in addition to ranking brokers who sold the highest volume of single-family homes.
Other highlights in the issue include managing editor Ina Cordle’s look at the growing popularity of luxury home auctions (page 12) and her sit-down with developer Carlos Melo (page 58), who’s overseen the construction of 4,896 units in the region and has plenty more in the pipeline. But one of my favorite pieces has to be Kallergis’ interview with Fort Partners’ Louise Sunshine (page 14), who when she wasn’t pitching the appeal of the Four Seasons properties she represents spilled all the dirt on her recent adventures in online dating.
Enjoy the issue!