Tuesday, November 05, 2013
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Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Miami Heart Institute site is slated to become Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach
The site of the shuttered Miami Heart Institute could hardly have a more different future: It's slated to become The Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach.

The developer who is building an upscale condominium complex at the site tapped Ritz-Carlton to run the premises, which will have 126 residences, including 111 units in a 9-story condominium building and 15 single-family homes.

Lionheart Capital, a Miami Beach real estate investment and development firm, signed a 30-year licensing and management agreement with the prestigious hotel brand to operate the project planned for 4701 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach.

"This will provide 5-star-hotel-style service in a fully residential community with no transient guests,'' said Ophir Sternberg, CEO of Lionheart Capital, which has backing from a New York private equity firm.

The deal is the second between Lionheart and the luxury hotel brand; Lionheart also developed The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singer Island, Palm Beach, which is 90-percent sold out. Maintenance fees for units will be about $1 per square foot per month, or about $3,000 on a 3,000-square-foot unit, which Sternberg said is "in line'' with other luxury projects in Miami. Amenities will include, among other things, a 24-hour concierge, a spa and a restaurant managed by Ritz-Carlton, a private screening room, and a pool deck with waterfalls and cabanas.


Lionheart purchased the nine-acre site in February 2012 for $20 million.

Demolition of the former hospital is under way. Lionheart said it plans to keep just enough of the old structure to take advantage of the height and density, which would be virtually impossible to obtain on new construction in the single-family neighborhood.

"Views are protected on all four sides, because it's all single-family homes or water,'' Sternberg said.

Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni came up with a contemporary design with mostly glass exteriors to take advantage of the waterfront views. Residences will have 12-foot ceilings, large terraces with summer kitchens and plunge pools in most units.

Prices will start at about $2 million and go to about $25 million for penthouses, which will span some 10,000 square feet. The single-family homes will be in the range of 4,000 to 6,000 square feet and most will have private boat docks on Surprise Lake, which opens to the Intracoastal Waterway and Biscayne Bay.


Premier Sales Group was retained to handle pre-construction sales; the same firm is handling the Ritz-Carlton Residences project on Singer Island.

The developer is building a waterfront sales center on the site and hopes to open within 30 days. "We're trying to be open for Art Basel,'' Sternberg said.

"We think we'll get a fair share of overseas buyers, but a big buyer base will be local Miami Beach residents looking to upgrade or stay in that neighborhood,'' Sternberg said. "A lot of condominiums in Miami Beach are on Collins Avenue, which is very transient and hard to raise a family. Here, you are in a very family-oriented neighborhood. That's why we think it will appeal to a lot of locals.'' The developer plans to require 40-percent deposits from buyers. That will include 10 percent of the purchase price at contract signing and 30 percent phased in during construction.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Miami condo developer Ugo Colombo and Morabito Properties have launched sales at Beach House 8, a luxury, eight-unit condo project designed by Arquitectonica and slated for an oceanfront site at 3651 Collins Avenue.

Prices start at $6.6 million at Beach House 8, according to BuzzBuzzHome, and joins 20 other condo projects proposed for Miami Beach as developers test the strength of South Florida’s pre-construction condo revival, fueled by mainly foreign, cash-rich buyers.

Together, the projects would add more than 1,000 units to the string of barrier and man-made islands that make up one of South Florida’s most densely populated areas, as The Real Deal previously reported.

The design features open-plan residences, a garden waterfall and other touches of “understated elegance and contemporary informality,” according to a listing by One Sotheby’s.

The duplex penthouse boasts 6,000 square feet, a master guest suite and a landscaped private plunge pool. [BuzzBuzzHome]Emily Schmall

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Bath Club on Collins Avenue is perhaps one of the best representations of classic Miami Beach condos.  Since the 1920s this building has continually been one of the favorites and its status as one of the benchmarks was further solidified after receiving an extensive renovation in 2005.  Today, it's a mix of classicism and modernism rolled into an impressive building by the ocean.  With amenities that some newer buildings have yet to match, we think you'll like the unit we'll be discussing today.

Tha Bath Club's unit 1601 is actually a double, flow through unit with four bedrooms and five bathrooms.  It has over 4,600 square feet of living area and includes high end features like double door entry, two expansive terraces with great views of the barrier island and the Atlantic, stainless steel kitchen appliances, floor to ceiling windows and much more.  Although Bath Club is known for its classic appeal, you'll be dazzled by the modern perks found within this condo.

To learn more about unit 1601 and the Bath Club or other great Miami Beach real estate for sale, please click here.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Portofino Tower is the tallest of the many Miami Beach condos in the barrier island and it also has a highly opportune location near the southernmost end of the South Beach area.  As a result, the vistas from this soaring building are unmatched in the city if you choose a residence on one of the upper floors.  In this case, we'll be exploring one of its penthouses.

The two story PH-1 penthouse in Portofino Tower boasts four bedrooms, five bathrooms and over 5600 square feet of living area.  Just like the building itself, the interior is completely modern.  Step outside to the balcony and you'll notice a truly captivating vista of Biscayne Bay and private Fisher Island.  Stainless steel appliances, floor to ceiling windows, a large dining area plus easy access to the beach are some of the additional features.

To learn more about the Portofino Tower condo penthouse or other great Miami Beach real estate, please click here.

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Monday, March 05, 2012


Real Estate

Foreign Buyers Heat Up Miami's Condo Market

By on March 01, 2012

Sporting an olive blazer and a hard hat that’s too big for his head, Martin Melo proudly looks up at his almost-finished condo tower. Brandishing a roll of blueprints, the 33-year-old Argentine developer declares, “This is Miami. We are 10 minutes from the airport, 10 minutes from South Beach. We found—some would say we ‘stole’—good land.” Melo says he acquired the 28,000-square-foot waterfront parcel in late 2010 for $1.4 million. A bit more than a year later his family-owned company, Grupo Melo, is about to complete the 18-story building, marketed as 23 Biscayne Bay. It’s sold out. “Now,” says a breathless Melo, “is the time for people who know how to win!”

In 2008 and 2009, with prices and the economy tanking, Miami’s new high-rises ended up with so many condos in foreclosure—and unoccupied—that a fishing boat captain said the city looked like a luxury war zone. Today the canyons of downtown, South Beach, and route A1A are hot again as international buyers rush to acquire pied-à-terre in what has long been considered the gateway to Latin America. Across the city, home sales jumped by a record 46 percent last year, the Miami Association of Realtors reports. And median monthly rents are up by 30 percent from 2009, to $1.97 per square foot, according to Condo Vultures, a Miami real estate consulting firm.

The Melos: Martin, Jose Luis, and CarlosPhotograph by John Loomis for Bloomberg Businessweek
The Melos: Martin, Jose Luis, and Carlos


Last summer, Melo’s 23 Biscayne Bay made local headlines when it raised Miami’s first condo construction crane in nearly three years. For their launch party the Melos skipped bubble-era excesses such as flame jugglers and stone-crab claws, opting instead for a more subdued evening of light appetizers and a gentle sales pitch. The event drew 50 people, almost all of them South Americans. Within weeks, says Melo, more than 70 percent of the yet-to-be-built tower’s 96 units were under contract to individuals who put down half the $250,000-plus price in cash. In August the Melos broke ground on 23 Biscayne, with move-in scheduled for this July.

At least two dozen condo projects have been announced in the past 10 months, says Peter Zalewski, a principal at Condo Vultures. The 27-floor Bellini on Williams Island is taking orders for its 70 condos, each with elevators that open directly into the unit. The 65-floor, 1,000-unit Resorts World Miami, featuring a lagoon, casino, shopping mall, and six towers, is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2014. The Mansions at Acqualina, by local developer Jules Trump (no relation to the Donald), will have 79 villas with ocean views and a 16,000-square-foot, $50 million Palazzo di Oro penthouse. Trump says the project registered $200 million in sales in its first month.


Latin Americans, Europeans, and Asians, who Zalewski says represent as much as 80 percent of new buyers in the area, are willing to plunk down deposits of more than three-quarters of the price. At Trump Hollywood, another superluxury complex (by the Donald, not the Jules, and the Related Group), 58 percent of buyers are South Americans, 22 percent Canadians, and 7 percent Russians. Apogee Beach, a new Related Group condo 20 miles north of the city, presold 87 percent of its units to Argentines, Venezuelans, and Mexicans—and only 5 percent to Americans, the developer says. “When we saw that foreigners were again buying condos here, we rapidly adapted,” says Jorge Pérez, Related’s chief executive officer.

Zalewski predicts that Miami’s downtown condo market will reach full occupancy early next year, compared with 8 percent vacancy now—even as 4,500 new condos become available across South Florida. “The speculator seeking riches has always been the common thread in South Florida’s boom-bust cycles,” he says. “The only change today is the extent of foreign investors with strong currencies flooding in.”


The booming economies in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru are driving the sales. Argentines and Venezuelans, worried about political turmoil and government overreach, are also helping boost the market. The Melos spent much of their wealth developing Miami condos in 2002 just as Argentina’s economy was collapsing. Now, Melo says, Venezuelans tell him they are increasingly worried that ailing ruler Hugo Chávez will make it harder for property owners to evict delinquent tenants. “Latin Americans don’t trust their banks or governments,” Melo says. “Of course, they can hold cash or gold and get robbed. If you buy a place in Miami and rent it out, it’s like a safe.”


The bottom line: After three fallow years, Miami’s condo market is bouncing back, with foreigners accounting for more than 80 percent of sales.

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