if you have driven by the Brickell CityCentre lately, you will see that the hotel, East, is in construction overdrive! What a great choice for an anchor restaurant and for all of the Brickell Area!!
Swire Properties President Stephen Owens told a forum last week that ‘there’s no question’ that sales of condos at Brickell City Centre have slowed down.
Owens told the audience that the market is ‘at half the pace’ compared to last year. He blamed it on more discerning buyers, and said that it was a sign of a healthy market. His comments were reported by The Real Deal.
As of March, 17% of units at Swire’s Brickell City Centre RISE condo tower has been sold. That compares to nearly 80% sold at REACH, which launched sales earlier.
Dezer Development president Gil Dezer echoed Owens’ sentiments last week, saying that ‘there’s the same number of buyers’ as before, but more projects. He also said that it was now a healthier market, and that it wasn’t ‘normal or stable’ when units were selling out as fast as they were last year.
Arquitectonica-designed tower planned at 700 Brickell
The Arquitectonica-designed high-rise would serve as the entrance to the Brickell CityCentre project currently under construction on both sides of Miami Avenue, immediately west of the 700 Brickell site.
The tower, to be called One Brickell CityCentre, will include retail, Class A offices, condominium units, and a hotel with a restaurant and lounge, according to a statement released Friday. The plan also envisions grand plazas and retail shops connected to Brickell City Centre.
Upon its completion in 2015, Brickell CityCentre will comprise a luxury shopping center, two residential towers, the EAST Miami hotel by Swire Hotels, serviced apartments, a wellness center and Class A offices.
Swire Properties intends to work with the city of Miami to have One Brickell CityCentre approved as an extension of the existing Special Area Plan. The site is currently home to Northern Trust Bank, which had an interest in the sale of the property.
“In creating the vision for One Brickell City Centre, we are mindful of the legacy of the sellers of 700 Brickell Avenue, heirs of the pioneer Brickell family and Northern Trust Bank, a great corporate citizen,” Swire Properties President Stephen Owens said in a statement. “Our goal is to develop a structure that will be artful in its mix of uses and will advance Brickell Avenue’s stature as Miami’s premier destination.”
“One Brickell CityCentre is a tower that, by its design and dramatic contours, creates views above the current Miami skyline,” Arquitectonica principal Bernardo Fort-Brescia said in a statement. “With sightlines that stretch from land to sea, the building’s glow will act as a welcoming lantern for downtown Miami and a portal to Brickell from all approaches.”
Owens told the Business Journal in August that Swire may hold off on developing the siteuntil after the Brickell CityCentre project is complete.
Oscar Pedro Musibay Miami Business Daily
As expected, Brickell CityCentre, already ginormous at about five city blocks in size, has purchased 700 Brickell Avenue, an unnamed source told the South Florida Business Journal. CitiCentre bought:
(1) a sizable chunk of prime Brickell Avenue property to expand the already mega megadevelopment…
(2) a Brickell Avenue address, and most importantly…
(c) a giant new front door with the aforementioned Brickell Avenue address.
They paid a pretty penny for it too, beating out Related Group and Fortune International who were also bidding for it, to the tune of $65 million.
And which property did they buy?
The site was marketed on behalf of Northern Trust and the Brickell family trust, which share control of the site, according to sources who asked not to be named. And was most recently the home of Miami Today.
October 1, 2012
By: Scott Blake
Investment visas pump millions into MiamiBy Scott Blake The US governments Immigrant Investor Program — known as “green card via the red carpet” — is pumping millions of dollars into South Florida business ventures from wealthy foreign nationals willing to invest big money to secure a place in the US. Those familiar with the EB-5 visa program say it has helped create some innovative projects in South Florida, including the University of Miamis Life Science & Technology Park in Miami. And more projects — chosen for their potential for economic development and job creation — are in the works. “Theyre not just buying a green card,” said Maralyn Leaf, a Miami attorney specializing in immigration law who has worked with EB-5 investors and business ventures. “This is a government program that brings in employment and doesnt use a penny of taxpayer money.” The nationwide program provides permanent US residency for foreign nationals who invest $1 million — or at least $500,000 in “targeted employment areas” — in new businesses. EB-5 was designed to help the economy through job creation and capital investment. The money from each investor is tied to creating or preserving at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers. The program has spawned more than 20 so-called regional centers in Florida, including several in Greater Miami that have generated seed money for everything from new hotels and restaurants to bio-science and research startups. The regional centers promote economic growth by garnering immigrant investors for new commercial enterprises. Foreign nationals also can bypass the centers and invest in standalone businesses. Even local government wants to get into the action. Miami officials are seeking federal approval to create an EB-5 regional center at City Hall. Perhaps Greater Miamis most successful regional center was a venture called Birchleaf Miami 31, which generated $20 million from 40 immigrant investors for development of the Life Science & Technology Park. The office and lab complex was designed to house medical research, biotech and science firms. “Its a very good example of how the program can work,” said Ms. Leaf, who worked on the Birchleaf venture. With Birchleaf, money from investors went to Wexford Science & Technology, the parks developer, in the form of a loan. “These are millionaires and sophisticated businesspeople,” she said about the Birchleaf investors, adding that some have started their own businesses here since receiving visas through the program. In addition, Ms. Leaf and Luciana Fischer, also a Miami attorney, are forming an EB-5 venture named Leaf Fischer Investment Group to garner immigrant investors for the development of a resort on Key Largo. She said about a dozen foreign nationals are interested in investing in the proposal, called Fishermans Cove, which would include a marina, restaurant, retail shops and spa. The Birchleaf project went without hitches, but that doesnt mean theres no financial risk for EB-5 investors. “This is an enormously complex program,” Ms. Leaf said. “A lot of due diligence should be done, first by the regional centers and then by investors.”To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.
South Florida Business Journal by Oscar Pedro Musibay, Reporter
A rendition of the interior for the 42-story, 382-unit 1100 Millecento Residences,which is planned for a site at 1100 S. Miami Ave.
- Oscar Pedro Musibay
- Reporter – South Florida Business Journal
If The Related Group builds its second new condominium in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, 1100 Millecento Residences will add 382 units to the market. That would be nearly double the size of the 192-unit MyBrickell, another condo it will begin building in the same neighborhood in the coming days.
The 42-story 1100 Millecento Residences is planned for a site at 1100 S. Miami Ave.
The architecture is inspired by internationally known architect Carlos Ott, who designed the Jade Beach, Jade Ocean and Artech buildings.
The interiors are being done by Italian design firm Pininfarina , which has worked with international brands includingFerrari . This marks the first time the brand has applied its designs to a residential building, Related said.
No vacancy in Miami’s condo canyon
The latest report card on downtown Miami’s condo market shows almost all of the units built during the housing boom are full. That’s thanks to renters, who would be priced out if not for all of the cash purchase deals.
BY DOUGLAS HANKS
Miami’s infamous condo canyon is almost full, thanks largely to a steady flow of cash from Latin America.
The latest survey of downtown high-rises built during the housing boom shows more than 90 percent of the condos are occupied. After Latin American investors snapped up condos at distressed prices amid a wave of bankrupt high-rises, they turned to local renters to fill them. Four years into the buying spree, vacant units have almost disappeared.
“I always encourage my clients to bring their checkbook for the first month’s rent,’’ said Lauren Popham, an agent with Jeanne Baker Realty who specializes in rental units. “There is a lot more demand than there is supply.”
The study by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority found 93 percent of the nearly 23,000 condominiums built in downtown Miami after 2002 are occupied. Of that, only about a third are occupied by full-time by owners, with the majority serving as rental apartments.
Behind the statistics are a fundamental shift in real estate math allowing for downtown Miami to become one of South Florida’s hottest rental markets.
The boom prices, where top condos were selling for $600 or more a square foot, would require rents too pricey for all but the most affluent residents. Instead, investors who bought then hoped to flip their units for even more money to future buyers.
Even at the sharply discounted $200-a-foot purchase prices in the depths of the housing bust, many of the condos would be too expensive to generate enough rent to cover association fees and mortgages on the units, said Craig Werley, of Focus Real Estate Advisors and author of the DDA study. But with the vast majority of investors paying cash for their downtown condos, they require far less rental revenue each month to make the deals “pencil out” as reasonable investments, Werley said.
“Traditional financing wouldn’t have made these rentals viable,’’ said Werley, who conducted the study in a partnership with Goodkin Consulting. “If you had a mortgage on a half-million-dollar condo, the monthly costs would be way out of line with any reasonable rent you could generate.”
Not all condos being rented in Miami’s urban core depend on cash investments, and the DDA study only covers units built during the last decade. Other indicators point to a downtown that is an increasingly popular place to be. The bust didn’t stop a wave of new retail complexes from opening, including the Midtown Miami mall on northern side of downtown and the Mary Brickell Village mall to the south. Restaurant taxes have surged 77 percent within Miami city limits since 2005 compared to a 35 percent gain countywide.
Tyler Tejeda commutes almost an hour each way in order to spend weekends in Miami. The 24-year-old recruiter for a Fort Lauderdale firm moved into a Brickell Avenue apartment in August, despite having a job nearly an hour away. “I could move to Fort Lauderdale if I really wanted to,’’ Tejeda said. “But I’d rather be in Brickell on the weekends. It bothers me less to have to commute on weekdays than have to come down to Miami on the weekends.”
Paul Riemer could afford to buy a condo of his own, but the young insurance executive instead pays upwards of $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment at the Icon, a posh condo complex on Brickell Avenue.
“I’m not ready to make a big purchase yet,’’ the 23-year-old said. He cites a gap in what he can afford to rent and what he can afford to buy. Why move out of a luxury apartment to purchase his own condo somewhere else with a large mortgage?
“I have the money to comfortably rent,’’ Riemer said. “I don’t know if I’d be able to comfortably buy.”
The 93 percent occupancy rate in the latest DDA condo survey identifies little more than 1,000 vacants units in a condo market that came to symbolize the excess of Florida real estate. And it marks a big improvement over the 65 percent occupancy rate in the first DDA survey taken four years ago — a number that at the time seemed surprisingly high.
That was in 2008, at a time when South Florida real estate sales were just beginning to show a rebound. But prices were heading the other way, accelerating into a decline that has so far last five years, according to the Case-Shiller housing index. At the time, the DDA wasn’t sure it wanted to know how many people were living downtown.
“We were hearing from everybody driving down the road: Hey the condos are empty,’’ said DDA director Alyce Robertson. “You never know what the numbers are going to say. What if they really were all empty?”
With a hot rental market, downtown Miami has become a more expensive place to live. Mark McCann, owner of the Miami Apartment Locators brokerage, said a one-bedroom apartment in the downtown area went for about $1,300 a month several years ago. “Now that’s almost impossible,’’ he said. “Now it’s closer to $1,500 or $1,600. There is a lot of competition for the units. There was more supply before the recession.”
The rental market has helped usher in a new crop of condo projects downtown, a revival many thought might have to wait at least a decade after the big crash. Harvey Hernandez runs the company selling units in Brickell House, a 46-story building planned for 1300 Brickell Bay Drive. His sales staff runs weekly reports on the rental market — statistics that can help close a sale for a $400-per-square-foot unit at Brickell House.
“The rental market influences the buyer a lot. It is a great option,’’ Hernandez said. Miami “has about half the inventory available for rent we had four months ago. And four months ago, it was at least half of what it was four months prior.”