Category Archives: Downtown Miami

Greater Downtown Miami Development Pipeline

23,500 condominiums — 5,300 apartments — 6,000 hotel rooms — 3.5 million sq. ft. of office space — 4.0 Million sq. ft. of retail…..All within the Greater Downtown Miami area….

Click on the link to see where they plan to put all that “stuff”.

Greater Downtown Miami Development Pipeline.

Swire Properties Announces Plans for Northern Trust Site

Arquitectonica-designed tower planned at 700 Brickell

A rendering of One Brickell CityCentre

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Swire Properties plans an 80-story, mixed-use tower at the 700 Brickell Ave. site it purchased recently for $64 million.

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

Related’s Element to have three towers, 1,000 condos – slideshow – South Florida Business Journal

Related’s Element to have three towers, 1,000 condos – slideshow – South Florida Business Journal.

Brickell CitiCentre Buys 700 Brickell, A Massive New $65 Million Front Door

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?

(Drum-roll…spoiler alert)….

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.

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Health Insurance Reform – FAQs: Medicare Tax on Net Investment Income

Health Insurance Reform – FAQs: Medicare Tax on Net Investment Income.

Miami’s future skyscrapers: Part II

Miami’s future skyscrapers: Part II

About a month after I posted about Miami’s future skyscrapers, where I introduced seven of Miami’s biggest high-rise projects, five additional projects have been revived and/or proposed for the Greater Downtown Miami area. The city is back to its old housing boom ways…

1400 Biscayne:
1400 Biscayne is being revived from the original building that was proposed for this site before the economic crash. 1400 Biscayne is mixed-use, although primarily residential. It is designed by the architects Pei Cobb Freed Partners. The building would rise 651 feet or 198 meters, towering over theArsht Center, located just a block south of this project. The building is designed with a ground floor courtyard with retail, perfect for cafés and restaurants for the theater crowd. Above this would be about 100,000 square feet of office space and 710,000 square feet of residential space, totaling 428 residential units.

The previous design for 1400 Biscayne was more airy, incorporating a lot more glass than the current, heavy design does. Currently on the site is a dull, three-story office building from 1971, which would be demolished to build this tower. The area around the Arsht Center is desolate with vacant lots surrounding every corner of the performing arts center. After a show, most patrons leave the area for other neighborhoods for dinner and drinks. 1400 Biscayne could be the catalyst for infill development around the beautiful performing arts center to finally create a 24/7 urban neighborhood here.

1400 Biscayne (old design)

The original design for 1400 Biscayne. The Adrienne Arsht Center can be seen to the right of the tower.

1400 Biscayne

Ground floor view of the new design for 1400 Biscayne.

1400 Biscayne

Aerial view of the new design of 1400 Biscayne.

Brickell Flatiron:
Designed by architect Enrique Norten, Brickell Flatiron was initially proposed to much fanfare in 2006 as one of Miami’s most exciting high-rise designs. Unfortunately, construction never began and the lot became a parking lot. In 2011, the lot’s southern corner was the proposed site of a small pocket park designed by Raymond Jungles. Work began on the park in 2012 but as of October 2012, work has been stalled for months. Now, the high-rise is back and the developer is in the permitting process with the city to get this built. Scrap the park idea.

Brickell Flatiron is located at 1015 South Miami Avenue, on a triangular lot. The design of the building takes advantage of this unique lot shape with a design reminiscent of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building. Brickell Flatiron will be 794 feet (242 meters) tall with 70 stories. Inside will be 554 residential units with 254,043 square feet of office space, 30,316 sf of retail, 16,913 sf of restaurant space and 820 parking spaces.

Brickell Flatiron from South Miami Avenue

Brickell Flatiron building as seen from South Miami Avenue looking north.

Brickell Flatiron back view

Brickell Flatiron as seen from SE 10th Street looking south.

Brickell Flatiron park plaza

The triangular lot’s southern tip will become a public plaza. The developer is currently going through a land swap with the city to transfer the lot’s southern tip to the city for public use. In exchange, Brickell Flatiron would get the tiny pocket park on the northeast corner of this block to develop.

Crimson Tower:
Crimson Tower is a 205 foot (65 meters) high, 18-story, 83-unit apartment building proposed for theEdgewater neighborhood at 527 NE 27th Street. Crimson Tower is designed by the architecture firm IDEA. The building is great in that it’ll provide greater population density in the growing Edgewater neighborhood, especially considering it will be built over a currently-vacant lot, however, the design is horrid. Of all the new proposed towers in Miami, this is the least favorite and most aesthetically painful.

With 150 parking spaces, there’s also way too much parking for an 83-unit apartment building. The city should discourage developers to include so much parking, especially in a neighborhood as walkable as Edgewater. Just looking at the elevations of this building and it’s clearly half parking, half apartments. Especially for a waterfront location, the city’s planning and zoning department should be more stringent on design standards. This is Miami, the city deserves quality urban design. Very unfortunate.

In total, Crimson Tower will be 219,350 square feet, half of which is dedicated to parking. 83 apartments, 6,654 sf of open and green space, 150 parking spaces and 7 bicycle racks.

Crimson Tower Miami

Element:
Element was originally proposed in 2006 and was later cancelled. Originally designed by Chad Oppenheim, the same Miami architect who designed Ten Museum Park in Miami’s Park West neighborhood, Element has been revived with a new design by Dorsky+Yue. Element is to be 412 feet (126 meters) high with 389 apartments in 36 floors. Element’s new redesign is beautiful with a public baywalk. Unlike other projects, such as Icon Bay that pretend to open the bay up to the public, Element’s baywalk is much more successful.

Old Element design Chad Oppenheim

The old design for Element as designed by Miami architect Chad Oppenheim in 2006.

Element Miami new design

The new and current designed for Element.

Miami World Center:
Oh, Miami World Center. After Brickell CitiCentre, this is one of the most exciting and promising projects for Miami. It’s scale is massive, its urban and economic impact is incredible and its design is amazing.

Miami World Center was first proposed in 2007 and then it died down during the Great Recession. Now, with recent land purchases and activity it seems Miami World Center and it couldn’t be more exciting. Miami World Center would take over eight, mostly vacant city blocks in the heart of the city and convert them into a dense, busy neighborhood with thousands of apartments, offices, stores, restaurants, theaters, etc. It’s the kind of development that any city could dream of. Everything is still very abstract and preliminary about Miami World Center, so nothing is exact quite yet. Depending on the aggressiveness of the developer, a project of this scale would no doubt, easily take many years to complete.

Miami World Center is divided into five districts:

  1. Worldcircle: The central public plaza of the project. It would feature an impressive fountain and sculpture. Business and retail activity would center around this public plaza.
  2. First Avenue: Lush shade trees would line First Avenue with stores, restaurants and cafés on the ground floor of hotels and high-rise apartment buildings.
  3. Seventh Street Promenade: Seventh Street would be a pedestrian-only promenade connecting the American Airlines Arena to the east with the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Metrorail station to the west. Seventh Street would have cafés and restaurants on the ground floor with apartments above. Think South Beach’s Lincoln Road, but with much more density.
  4. Worldwalk and Worldplaza: A diagonal road connecting Bayfront Park to Miami World Center. This area would have wide, open public spaces with lush shade trees.
  5. Worldsquare: This would be a massive semi-interior public space forming a courtyard space within one of the buildings. This space would be  covered with a trellis-style roof canopy connecting five stories of retail on either side. This space is billed as ideal for Miami Fashion Week.

Miami World Center aerial

Miami World Center looking east towards Biscayne Bay.

Miami World Center

MWC looking north towards Edgewater and Wynwood.

Miami World Center Worldcircle

MWC Worldcircle would be the center of the retail and business activity in the new neighborhood.

Miami World Center 7th Street

MWC Seventh Street Promenade. Seventh Street would be a pedestrian-only promenade connecting the Overtown Metrorail station to the west to the American Airlines Arena to the east.

Miami World Center streets

Urban and pedestrian-friendly streets of Miami World Center.

Miami World Center Worldplaza

Miami World Center’s Worldplaza would be the perfect location for Miami Fashion Week.

Investment visas pump millions into Miami

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.

via Investment visas pump millions into Miami.

Once Empty Downtown Miami Condos Reach 93% Occupancy

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

DHANKS@MIAMIHERALD.COM

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.”