Luxury Miami Beach Real Estate Archives - The Block Team The Block Team

Posts Tagged ‘Luxury Miami Beach Real Estate’

The Crown Jewel of Ft. Lauderdale

July 19th, 2019

Just Listed! This 15,017sf home sits on one acre and boasts room for a 280ft Yacht and a 12 car garage. This is at great opportunity to live the South Florida Luxury Waterfront Lifestyle as it should be lived!

Luxury Deals Closed by The Block Team

July 16th, 2018

During 2017-18 The Block Team has closed deals in the following Luxury Buildings: Apogee Beach, Hollywood, Akoya, Miami Beach, Fendi Chateau, Surfside, SLS Brickell, St. Regis (2), Bal Harbour, The W South Beach.

Pending transactions on Fisher Island and Portofino Tower.

Miami luxury condo sales surged in July

August 25th, 2017


AUGUST 24, 2017 6:18 PM

Sales of existing luxury condos (priced over $1 million) in Miami-Dade jumped 51.1 percent year-over-year in July, with the number of sales rising from 45 to 68, according to the latest monthly report by the Miami Association of Realtors released Thursday.

“Sellers are becoming more realistic with their prices, especially at the top of the market,” said Christopher Zoller, the 2017 Miami Association of Realtors chairman, in a statement. “The recent run-up of the stock market and the potential for interest rate hikes are also encouraging more buyers to come off the sidelines and purchase Miami real estate.”

But buyers with tighter budgets again faced higher prices, as the county median jumped 12 percent from July 2016, from $299,000 to $335,000. That may explain why sales for single-family homes decreased by 1 percent, from 1,128 to 1,117.

The drop in single-family home sales mirrored the national trend. Existing home sales in the U.S. fell 0.8 percent from June to 4.84 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. Overall sales are still 1.7 percent higher year-over-year.

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Here are the South Florida neighborhoods where home and condo prices are rising — and falling, too

April 20th, 2017

Star architects’ dazzling condos are snagging big bucks. But so are towers by Miami’s best.

March 6th, 2017

The property is spectacular, 300 feet of oceanfront in Sunny Isles Beach. But when luxury condo developer Edgardo Defortuna acquired it, Sunny Isles was awash in deluxe new towers. Defortuna needed something special to outshine the competition.

He needed a star architect.

And so Defortuna found himself one day in Basel, Switzerland, at the studio of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the brainy architects famous for their austere virtuosity and, in Miami, for their singular designs for the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the origami-like parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road. Defortuna was not sure what to expect, but their pitch bowled him over.

The architects presented a scale model of a conceptual design that pushed some inventive notions: They proposed tapering the tower and planting it an angle to the shoreline, so that the building would not block the afternoon sun on the beach. And they wanted to bury all parking underground, a costly and mostly untested idea so close to the shore. Instead of blocking beach views with a garage podium, the architects wanted the lobby to open up directly at ground level to the pool and the sea just beyond, a romantic throwback to the classic Miami Beach hotels of the mid-20th century.

Defortuna thus became one of the first Miami condo developers to turn to that rarefied rank of international architects whose fame sometimes approaches celebrity — but whose fees and high-flying creative impulses inflate construction budgets — to tackle that most prosaic of Miami housing types, the high-rise condo.

Defortuna’s Jade Signature, now under construction, is just one of around a dozen ultra-luxury condo projects in Miami-Dade that bear the imprimatur of a celebrated architect. Other developers have turned to such notables as the late Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Norman Foster and Jean Nouvel, all of them winners of the Pritzker Prize, the profession’s top honor.

But along with the big names come big egos, bigger construction price tags and, sometimes, big headaches, leading some skeptics to wonder: Are the “starchitects” worth their salt? Does architectural fame really help sell an extravagantly priced new condo?
For Defortuna, the gamble has paid off. The 192-unit Jade Signature was markedly more expensive to build than a comparable luxury condo, as much as 20 percent more, he said. That’s mainly because of the underground garage, which cost double what an above-ground structure would have. Other expensive elements include cantilevered balconies and exterior support columns in varying, undulating shapes that define the tower’s architecture, he said.

Sales have exceeded even his immodest target of $1,300 a square foot and, with just 12 units left, are averaging $1,500 per square foot even as the market slows down, he said.

“If you ask me, would I do it again? I would do it again in a second,” Defortuna said of hiring star-quality architects. “It’s hard to put a dollar value to what they bring. This experience has been very rewarding. I am 100 percent sure people are going to love living there.

“And that’s eventually what it’s all about. This is not a monument, this is a place you will be living in.”

$3,974 The price per square foot that units in the first star architect condo to open for occupancy in this cycle, Foster + Partner’s beachfront Faena House in mid-Miami Beach, sold for, according to recorded sales figures compiled by
But it’s also a commercial enterprise, and in a hyper-competitive luxury market, star architects, and the high-concept design flourishes they bring to a project, can provide an edge that draws wealthy buyers and puts a project over.

Interviews with developers like Defortuna and a review of recorded and reported sales in the current cycle suggest that edge is real, with some qualifications. The figures suggest a clear price premium for condo projects now in sales that were designed by renown architects over much — but by no means all — of their more-conventional high-end competition.

Units in the first star architect condo to open for occupancy in this cycle, Foster + Partner’s beachfront Faena House in mid-Miami Beach, sold for a mind-boggling $3,974 a square foot, according to recorded sales figures compiled by

That far outstrips the already-lavish $1,009 per square foot attained more recently at Terra Group’s Grove at Grand Bay in Coconut Grove by young Danish superstar Bjarke Ingels, or the even more bountiful average of around $1,500 per square foot reported by Jade Signature and Hadid’s One Thousand Museum in downtown Miami.

Those latter figures easily outdo CraneSpotters’ average new condo sales east of Interstate 95, at $896 per square foot. They also outpace the prices garnered by competitors such as Echo Aventura, designed by the well-known if perhaps not star-level architect Carlos Ott, which sold for $699 a square foot, or the Reach and Rise towers at Brickell CityCentre, designed by Miami-based luminaries Arquitectonica, which sold for $699 and $735 a square foot, respectively.

But the Pritzker laureates hardly have the high end all to themselves.

In fact, luxury condo projects by some solid, even stellar locally based architects like Arquitectonica or unhyped Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership often match, and even exceed, the prices commanded by most of the star-architect condos, the review shows. Some of those top prices seem determined in large part by that old real-estate saw — location, location. And some have seen boosts by association with classic brands with a strong international following, such as Ritz-Carlton.

It turns out that the selection of an architect is only one element in a complex formula that determines sales success for a luxury condo.

Look no farther than Château Group-Defortuna’s Ritz-Carlton residential project in Sunny Isles, on the same beachfront as Jade Signature. Designed by Arquitectonica — an international behemoth that is globally renowned, but unlike most star architects, routinely designs mid-market projects as well — the tower is commanding close to $1,600 per square foot, though the units are smaller than those at Jade Signature, Defortuna said.

Defortuna attributes its appeal to “Ritz-Carlton junkies” who appreciate the brand’s attention to detail, as well as a dazzling design by Arquitectonica’s principal, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, who beat two other firms in a competition for the job.

“There is a perfect architect for every project, if you know what you need,” Defortuna said. “Bernardo really hit it out of the park. Some luxury buyers will be drawn to the architecture and the name, and others recognize the beauty of the buildings, or just like the brand. We’ve tried to cover the entire spectrum.”

Other new Arquitectonica designs are also top performers, the CraneSpotters list shows: Units at Regalia, in Sunny Isles Beach, sold for $1,616 a square foot; at Oceana Bal Harbour at $1,849 a square foot; and at Fendi Château, also in Sunny Isles, at $1,676 a square foot.

Equally or even more-stellar results came from smaller, boutique projects in Miami Beach’s hotter-than-hot South of Fifth neighborhood, in part because of their cozy exclusivity. Terra Group’s Glass, designed by prominent Miami architect Rene Gonzalez, sold out its 10 units at $2,302 a square foot. Nearby, Aria Development’s 321 Ocean, by Mexican star architect Enrique Norten, with just 21 units, has sold at $1,721 a square foot.

Then there’s the newest wrinkle in Miami’s luxury condo market: Branding projects with famous names from the worlds of fashion, product and automobile design, such as Fendi, Missoni and Armani. The interiors of the Missoni Baia tower, in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, will incorporate the Italian house’s colorfully patterned designs and furniture. At the Armani/Casa tower in Sunny Isles Beach, every fixture has been designed by the firm, “down to the faucets and the bathtubs,” said Carlos Rosso, president of developer Related Group’s condo division.

Dezer Development’s Porsche Design Tower, by Sieger Suarez, features innovative elevators that lift your car into your living space, and units there have sold for an average $1,658 a square foot, according to CraneSpotters — never mind that the critics have not exactly swooned over its architecture., an architecture website, called the Porsche tower the most significant new tower in Miami after Hadid’s One-Thousand Museum because of its “Dezervators.” But it also called its architecture “chunky” and “disappointingly nondescript,” especially in comparison to Hadid’s “stunning” design.

But that goes to show that in the Miami market the architecture and the architect’s name are less significant than other factors, said Peter Zaleswki, president of Condo Vultures, which compiles the CraneSpotters list.

“A condo is a condo,” Zalewski said. “It’s concrete, rebar and air space. The only thing that really differentiates them is view, amenities and maintenance fee. Buyers want functionality.”

Local developers began turning to big architectural names at the beginning of the cycle in 2011, when they needed a lure to persuade buyers to put down 50 percent deposits, a tactic designed to avoid another speculative bubble, he said.

“The only way you could get someone to put 50 percent down was to offer something distinct and unique, and to try to build up this idea that an architect would add value, like a Picasso or a Jackson Pollock,” Zalewski said.


That name-brand architecture has been a particularly strong selling point with European buyers, though not so much with American or South American customers, said Manuel Grosskopf, principal of Chateau Group, which has relied on Arquitectonica and Miami architect Kobi Karp for its three local projects.

But Zalewski wagers that once units in star-architect condos are resold, the price premium will begin to vanish, since they’re traded largely as commodities based on market value.

In fact, Related’s Rosso points out, units in one of the luxury projects the firm built in the previous cycle, Apogee in the South of Fifth neighborhood, designed by Sieger Suarez, routinely re-sell for three times what One-Thousand Museum is getting. The website puts the average current asking price in the building at $3,478 per square foot.

“What does that mean in relation to the architect? Nothing,” Rosso said, stressing that the building’s design is first-rate. “It means in that location, it commands a lot. It’s all in the timing and the quality and what you ask the architect to do. It’s not always the name of the architect” that commands top dollar.

Related, Miami’s dominant condo developer, turns to Arquitectonica so often that the firm is virtually the house designer. It has used star architects in only a handful of instances, when partners wanted it.

Luxury condo developer Edgardo Defortuna

To win over Giorgio Armani to design the interiors for a Sunny Isles tower, Rosso said, Related had to enlist veteran star Cesar Pelli, also designer of the Arsht Center. And Terra Group, Related’s partner in Park Grove, chose Koolhaas’s OMA to design the three-tower condo in Coconut Grove after running a public competition featuring a handful of the profession’s biggest names.

Those high-level architects, Rosso said, constantly push the conceptual envelope.

“It’s a very interesting clash,” he said with a laugh. “We want them to surprise us with something that is new. Then we have to bring them back to reality.”

A tour of the first two Park Grove towers now under construction demonstrates how architects of the caliber of OMA can bring something superlative in conception and execution to a project. Inspired by the surrounding Grove, the design of the tower and its flowing podium takes on sinous organic shapes in concrete that flow in and out of lobbies and common spaces. One dramatic gesture: a sunken amphitheater on the amenity deck that doubles as a light well for a vast lobby. Rosso says OMA insisted on the amphitheater.

“They were sort of adamant. But this is what makes this space magical. These are museum-quality spaces,” Rosso said, adding that the deck and common spaces “cost a fortune.”

The stars’ schemes are often sensational: Ingel’s twin twisting towers next door at Grove at Grand Bay. Hadid’s alien-like exoskeleton at One-Thousand Museum. Jean Nouvel’s jungle-in-a-lagoon design for a boutique mid-rise condo on Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach.

The costs, developers say, can be daunting.

At One-Thousand Museum, the swooping exterior superstructure that Hadid designed required contractors to devise an innovative construction approach and cost twice what a conventional structure would have, said co-developer Louis Birdman. But the development team figured they needed someone like Hadid, who had not built in Miami previously, to make the most of their site opposite Museum Park. They got all they bargained for: a helipad at the top, and a glassed-in swimming pool and spa suspended near the tower’s top.

To make up for the additional cost, the developers opted for a few very large units, just 83 in a 62-story tower, that would command premium prices in spite of the downtown location. The smallest unit is 4,600 square feet and, because the exoskeleton eliminates the need for interior columns, feels even bigger.

“There really is no competition for that project,” Birdman said. “We didn’t want to be one of 10 very similar projects.”

Given the high costs, the high sales values don’t translate into profit margins significantly larger than they otherwise would have been, Birdman noted. But there were other advantages — for instance, in marketing and speed of sales, he said.

Because Hadid, as the world’s only superstar architect, had an especially devoted following, her name proved magical, Birdman said. There was free publicity in the form of news reports around the world. Buyers came from countries where the developers had not even thought to market the project, like Norway, Finland and Turkey, he said.

“They were attracted to the project because of Zaha. That’s what brought them in the door,” Birdman said. “It’s hard to put a value on what that added. ”

There are even more star-quality projects about to break ground. Terra Group has hired its third celebrated architect, Pritzker winner Renzo Piano, for a beachfront condo in North Beach. Work is about to start on New York-based JDS Development Group’s Monad Terrace, by the Frenchman Nouvel, along West Avenue.

JDS principal Simon Koster said his team chose Nouvel because the site seemed to demand the qualities the architect is known for — the transparency of his designs, the way he plays with natural light, and his ability to fuse nature and an urban setting. That level of design, he said, appeals to the discerning clientele they’re aiming for, even if the buyers don’t necessarily know Nouvel from Koolhaas or Frank Lloyd Wright.

“It’s not about a nicer bathroom or a nicer kitchen,” Koster said. “It’s about being a whole lot more thoughtful about the experience. It’s all about the views back over the bay to downtown, and across South Beach to the ocean. Water, reflections and light — there’s not that many architects around the world who have his level of execution in bringing all those factors together. We wanted someone who would absolutely nail it.”

But is the starchitect blush starting to wear off? Zalewski and other observers think it might be, noting the turn to fashion designers with even bigger worldwide followings than those of star architects.

When Related and Dezer brought in Pelli to work on their Armani/Casa condo collaboration, there was little doubt who the headliner would be.

In the project’s own website, Pelli, the architect of the twin Petronas Towers in Malaysia, until a decade ago the tallest in the world, takes second billing. His name is right under Armani’s, in small print.

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2017 is a good year to buy luxury real estate in South Florida, experts say

February 27th, 2017

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It’s a good year to snatch up some luxury real estate.

According to ONE Sotheby’s International Realty’s year-end report, 2017 will be a buyers market thanks to an abundance of luxury options available. Sellers are expected to reduce their prices, particularly in the $1 million to $5 million range.

That is thanks in part to the end of the election season and an increase in consumer confidence, said Anthony Graziano, senior managing director for Integra Realty Resources — Miami/Palm Beach, which produced the report.

“I think a lot of people delayed purchasing decisions, waiting to see what was going to happen in the economy and the election and everything else,” Graziano said.

Anthony Graziano, senior managing director for Integra Realty Resources —Miami/Palm Beach, which produced the report.

In 2016, Miami-Dade County had 36 percent more single-family homes available in the $1 to $5 million range than in 2012, according to the report. The number of single-family homes in that range was up nearly 25 percent in 2015 over 2012, while prices were lower by 3.5 percent.

“Most of that product tends to be on the waterfront, and as a result, the waterfront pricing took a hit because there is more inventory,” Graziano said.

Miami-Dade prices for non-waterfront properties, both single-family homes and condos, rose in 2016 by 9 percent, he said.

This year, the majority of Miami-Dade single-home sales are expected to be in the under-$1 million market, the report said, forcing sellers for higher-priced homes to bring down their prices.
How to Buy a Home Now in South Florida
Brickell, downtown Miami, Edgewater and Midtown continue to lead the market, with almost 60 percent of all new units being delivered in 2017 and 2018, the report said. After 2018, Sotheby’s predicts a shift in new units to Miami Beach, Sunny Isles and Hollywood Beach, followed by a smaller number of boutique units in South Beach, Miami Beach and Surfside.

Also incentivizing buyers this year is the specter of higher interest rates, which are expected to increase twice in 2017.

“If interest rates are continuing to go up and the market senses that, that’s going to bring people up from the sidelines to buy at this price and lock in my interest rate for five to six years,” Graziano said.

In the condo sector, a slowdown of buyers from Latin America is expected to continue, while domestic buyers and those from Canada and Europe are expected to increase.

“Remarkably, the Miami brand continues to sell worldwide, and long-term trends indicate no reversal in Miami’s fortune as the dominant gateway city along with NYC and San Francisco,” the report said.

Still, the overall condo market is expected to remain choppy. The loss of Latin American buyers will drop waterfront condo prices by another 5 to 8 percent. Non-waterfront condos are expected to drop their prices by 3 percent, making it a good time to buy a resale condo in Miami

But new units are projected to maintain or increase prices.

In Broward County, the single-family-home market is expected to continue its growth from 2016. Broward homes, in large part because of their value, are priced 30 to 50 percent less expensive than comparable homes in Miami-Dade, the report said.

The condo market will benefit from an influx in domestic retirees that will snatch up properties in Broward, instead of Miami-Dade, because the dollar stretches farther, Graziano said.

“People make housing choices and say, ‘You know what? I’m going to go here,’ ” Graziano said. “They don’t have to move to Miami. For them, this is their retirement home, so more people are looking at Broward as an alternative.”

A positive economy — Florida was one of four states in 2016 with 3 percent employment gains — is likely to drive the region to a successful 2017, the report predicts.

“I personally think 2017 is going to be a better overall year [than 2016]” Graziano said.

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Miami Beach commission rejects reducing size of new homes

January 15th, 2016

Revised amendment does impose front and side setbacks to increase green space
January 13, 2016 04:30PM
By James Teeple

After months of heated debate, the Miami Beach Commission rejected an ordinance on Wednesday that would have limited the lot coverage and unit size of new single-family homes being built in Miami Beach. At a commission hearing packed with supporters and opponents of the measure, commissioners voted against reducing maximum lot coverage from 30 percent to 25 percent, and reducing the maximum unit size on a lot from 50 percent to 45 percent. If the measure had passed, anyone trying to build a 5,000-square-foot-home on a 10,000-square-foot lot would have had to reduce the house’s size by 500 square feet. Commissioners agreed with opponents of the ordinance who argued that not enough time had elapsed since the city last reduced lot and unit size in 2014. Commissioner Michael Grieco said of the 4,059 single-family homes in Miami Beach only 220 were between 45 to 50 percent unit size and most of those he said were built before 1942. While they rejected the proposed ordinance the commissioners did approve an amended ordinance that had earlier passed the city’s planning board that imposes front setbacks of 30 feet for new two-story homes as well as 10-foot setbacks between any new home built and its neighbor. Commissioner Joy Malakoff the sponsor of the original ordinance told The Real Deal she was pleased the amended ordinance passed. “As homes are built higher, the greater setbacks, 30 feet for example, instead of 20 feet in front, will allow for a gradual adjusted grade going up to the homes, and because it’s more gradual, it won’t be running off into the neighbors, whose homes may be lower,” she said. But preservationists like Daniel Ciraldo of the Miami Design Preservation League said stripping out limitations on unit size and lot coverage from the ordinance means more architecturally significant homes on Miami Beach will be lost. He said that more than 100 homes had been approved for demolition since 2014 when the most recent ordinance was passed limiting home size. Both sides used the issue of sea level rise to argue their case. Preservationists argued that reducing lot coverage and unit size would help preserve more green space needed for flood control and cut back on new homes towering over their neighbors. However opponents of the ordinance like Ralph Choeff, who has designed many new homes on Miami Beach in recent years, said that new FEMA flood control requirements could make many old Miami Beach homes uninsurable in the years to come, and putting more restrictions on lot coverage and unit size was an “infringement on people’s property rights.” – See more at:

Jules Trump on Sunny Isles and the future of luxury in Miami

October 5th, 2015


South African-born developer Jules Trump, whose parents owned a clothing store in Johannesburg, has helped transform Sunny Isles Beach from a strip of run-down motels into some of the most expensive real estate in South Florida.

Trump came to the U.S. in the 1970s, where he first settled in New York City and became involved in a number of businesses including real estate with his brother Eddie. That’s when the weather in Miami caught his eye.

His first local project was an 80-acre luxury residential development on Williams Island in Aventura that the Trumps — no relation to the Donald — began building in 1980.

Next they turned their attention to Sunny Isles, where they built a 51-story luxury hotel and condo project called the Acqualina Resort & Spa. That was followed by the Mansions at Acqualina next door where a 47th-floor penthouse listed for $50 million boasts a cantilevered, glass-walled pool that juts out over the building’s edge.

Now Trump has unveiled his latest project: the Estates at Acqualina.

Scheduled for completion in 2019, the 264 ultra-luxury homes at the Estates range from $3.9 million to $40 million.

In order to compete at the top end of the market, which Trump calls “recession-proof,” he’s offering a three-story amenity complex dubbed the “Circus Maximus.” It will include a bowling alley, a Formula One Simulator, indoor ice skating and a surfing simulator.

Trump answered questions from the Miami Herald via email. His responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Q. You’ve built two major luxury projects in Sunny Isles and are soon to break ground on a third. What is unique about the Estates at Acqualina, especially as it relates to amenities?

A. What is unique about the Estates is the nexus of unparalleled amenities.

At the Estates, we are creating a 5.6-acre gated amenity experience in a private park-like setting directly on the ocean that is only open to our homeowners, with amenities for all ages. Our intention is to create a community where successful business owners, families with kids, or empty-nesters can enjoy an array of amenities not found elsewhere in South Florida. Where multiple generations — grandparents and parents — can relax, work, or play with total privacy and security with their kids and grandkids. They include indoor ice skating, bowling, a Formula One simulator, a Flow-Rider (which is a pool with a perpetual surfing wave), various relaxation pools and swimming pools with waterslides, soccer, basketball, bocce, an outdoor pool table, a kids arcade, a live Wall Street trader’s club room with real-time information on global markets, a signature world-class restaurant that we will be announcing soon, a quarter-mile walking and jogging path, and a 13,000 square-foot fitness center & spa, exclusively manicured with our five-star attention to detail, not to mention direct access to the Acqualina Resort & Spa next door.

We are investing tens of millions of dollars and going above and beyond what can’t be found elsewhere, and we’re doing all of this for only 264 families. I think that this is the epitome of unique.

What is further unique about the condominiums is the fact that we offer a wide array of homes We have various sized residences — each so spacious that we call them Estates — all the way to grand penthouses and even a few single-family estate homes with walk-outs directly onto the ocean.

Q. As foreign currencies plummet, Miami’s luxury real estate market has started to cool down. Are you worried that you’re launching a new project at the wrong point in the current cycle?

A. Launching any project, particularly one as monumental as the Estates, demands constant attention to what is happening in our ever-changing world. We spend a great deal of time and resources seeing what our customers want and talking to them about their needs.

For us, the best metric is what we see in demand for our niche product. Despite our not having a sales office (we are building a $10 million sales office for the Estates), a scale model, or even a final brochure, the initial sales of the Estates have been extremely successful by any measure.

Most of our buyers are American, who are unaffected by the change in currency, and we are still getting a significant amount of buyers from markets all over the world.

Q. Much of your work in Miami has been focused on Sunny Isles Beach. What are the characteristics of buyers who choose Sunny Isles over South Beach or Brickell?

A. Our buyers are attracted to Sunny Isles Beach because they like the fact that it is safe and not congested, yet easily accessible to all of the destinations South Florida has to offer.

Sunny Isles Beach offers great beaches and a calm sophistication that distinguish it from other places like South Beach and Brickell. Our customers spend time on our beach, compare it to other locations on the same coast, and find that this is where they want to invest not just their capital, but also their family’s precious time, which they value most.

Q. As a beachfront developer, are you concerned about sea-level rise? What measures do you take during design and construction to protect your properties against sea-level rise?

A. We spend a great deal of time, energy and resources working with our architect, design and construction teams to build the best buildings for these specific sites. Our teams research and employ the latest technologies and designs so that we can stay ahead of the unforeseen.

We build above sea level, we have installed flood barriers on all ground level openings, use natural dunes in the landscape design, and have many wells located near the emergency generators to pump out water if necessary. We spare no expense when it comes to our design, which is something our customers have come to expect from Acqualina-branded properties.

Q. As the beach gets more and more built up, what do you think are the next hot spots for development in South Florida?

A. I think you have to look at specific customer bases and products to answer that question. As our market is the ultra-luxury, high-end market, we do not see possibilities other than on the beach, as this is where the luxury customer wants to be.

The beach is almost totally built out which will undoubtedly cause prices for this segment of the market in the Miami area to continue to escalate as fewer and fewer opportunities remain for new condominium development directly on the ocean.

That is one reason we are so excited about the Estates. With its completion, there will be over 1,100 continuous feet of the Acqualina experience on one of the most pristine beaches in the world. Reproducing this elsewhere is virtually impossible.

Q. What does Miami need to do to make sure it keeps growing as a luxury capital of the world?

A. We have to invest in better infrastructure and explore public-private initiatives for grand projects. We need to make sure our infrastructure is up to par with growth. There needs to be a mass transit system in place to handle the growth.

We also need to continue to invest and attract capital and tourism for the arts, fashion and cultural events that have made Miami such a special place in the last ten plus years. We need to attract new businesses for growing industries — technology, healthcare, finance — with incentives such as tax credits, which in turn create jobs and provide a thriving community of young, creative professionals in the area.

The global consumers of the luxury experience will continue to view Miami as a top destination to invest their time and wealth, but at the same time, we have to continue to create the right environment for the next generation of luxury consumers to want to live here and invest their energy into the community.

Over the longer term, we are huge believers in further investment in education and opening opportunities for learning for youth. We, as a family, have demonstrated this commitment for the last 20 years with the I Have a Dream Foundation helping inner city kids achieve higher education. We think this will create more opportunities for our local community to live closer to the urban and coastal areas, particularly the young professionals who are so vital to a sustainable greater Miami.

We’ve seen Miami make great strides in the four decades that we’ve been investing and living in South Florida, and we are extremely excited about where the city is heading.

Nicholas Nehamas: 305-376-3745, @NickNehamas
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In $10 million home sales, Miami Beach a leader

April 22nd, 2015

Written by Susan Danseyar on April 22, 2015
Miami Beach is in impressive company among the nation’s top cities for luxury home sales, third highest for sales of $10 million and over.

Miami and the Beach have high rankings in The Previews Luxury Market Report for 2015, released by Coldwell Banker on Tuesday, which lists the top 20 US cities’ property listings and sales in three price points: beginning at $1 million, $5 million and over and $10 million.

In 2014, Miami had 967 closed sales for properties $1 million and over, ninth on the list just behind San Diego (976 sales) and above cities including Santa Barbara (673 sales), Newport Beach (611 sales) and Honolulu (591 sales). Miami Beach, number 14 in this category, had 704 sales.

For properties $5 million and over, Miami Beach was fourth with 89 sales compared to New York City (182 sales) at the top of the list and and above San Francisco (64 sales) and Malibu (48 sales).

There were 26 sales in Miami Beach for properties $10 million and over, behind Beverly Hills (35 sales) and New York (56 sales). Miami Beach, third on the list, had more sales in this category than Los Angeles (26), Malibu (14) and San Francisco (7).

North Miami Beach, in zip code 33169, had the third highest number of active home listings for $1 million and over (460), behind New York’s zip code 10022 (465) and Park City’s zip code 84060 (611). Miami Beach’s zip code 33139 was fifth in this category with 355 listings.

For properties $5 million and over, Miami Beach’s zip code 33139 had 115 compared with 143 in Park City’s 84060, top of the list, and above Vail’s 81657 (69) and Beverly Hills’ 90210 (68).

In the highest category of $10 million and over, Miami Beach in zip code 33139 was ninth on the list (44 listings) compared with New York’s zip code 10023 at 84, top of the list, and Malibu’s zip code 90265 at 26, bottom of the list.

According to the report, the demographics are changing in the luxury housing market. “Many wealthy homebuyers have historically looked to leisure-rich spots like Hawaii, Florida and Arizona for second homes, or waited until they were finished working to make a move,” the report states.”That’s changing, with recent trends suggesting that younger homebuyers are not waiting until they retire to put down roots in places where they would love to live.”

Technology and ease of travel are rapidly transforming the workplace for wealthy professionals, the report states, creating flexibility in terms of work locations and the ability to choose where they want to live. “Millennials have come of age in this kind of environment and are accustomed to the idea of striking a work-life balance that meets their personal needs. As they achieve more wealth, their live-anywhere attitudes are likely to become more of a force in luxury real estate.”

According to the Previews Luxury Institute millionaire survey, 73% of those under 35 say that they expect to buy a home in the next 12 months, compared to 49% of 35- to 44-year-olds and 26% of 45- to 64-year-olds. Just 11% of millionaires 65 and over say that they’re planning a purchase.

The report cites homebuyer surveys and the accounts of local realtors, stating they confirm ultra high-net worth individuals are highly mobile and flocking in growing numbers to areas once pegged as resort or second-home markets, as advances in technology, transportation and communication enable a “live anywhere” working-age population.

Florida, the report states, has a favorable tax environment that’s attracting live-anywhere high net-worth homebuyers, particularly those coming from the Northeast.

“The taxes on inheritance and estates are very high in some states, like New Jersey,” said Clark Toole, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Florida. “Florida is one of the most attractive places to live from a tax perspective, so we get quite a few people who decide to live here for at least six months and a day each year. People are saying ‘I want this money to go to my kids instead of to pay taxes.’”

Single-family home sales on the rise: report

March 24th, 2015

Home sales increased by 14 percent year-over-year in February
March 23, 2015 03:30PM
By Katherine Kallergis

Residential sales are up, according to a report released today by the Miami Association of Realtors.

Single-family home sales increased the most year-over-year in February — by 14.2 percent.
Existing condo sales rose 1.4 percent, bringing the combined increase in residential sales to 2,174 in February, compared to 2,036 sales during the same period in 2014.
“Seller confidence and buyer demand in the Miami real estate market is leading to more active listings and higher sale prices,” Christopher Zoller, residential president of the Miami Association of Realtors, said in a statement.
The percentage of cash sales increased from January to February but decreased year-over-year in February, according to the report. In Miami-Dade, 58.8 percent of closed sales in February were all-cash, compared to 57.2 percent in January and 62.5 percent in February of last year. The Miami Association of Realtors cited the lack of Federal Housing Administration loans for condo buildings as the reason for the year-over-year decrease.
Despite that, the percentage of all-cash sales in Miami is more than double the national average. Short sales continued to decline, with distressed sales representing 35 percent of all residential sales in South Florida in February, compared to 36 percent in February 2014.
The number of active listings also increased by 9 percent year-over-year, according to the report. There is currently a five-and-a-half-month supply of single-family homes and a nearly nine-month supply of condo inventory, up from seven-and-a-half months in February 2014. A balanced market is in the six- to nine-month supply of inventory.