Category Archives: Miami New Developments

Canyon Ranch Miami Beach Selling Quickly

Northeast, Latin American buyers drive 55 condo sales at Canyon Ranch in 2012

March 12, 2012 12:00PM

Canyon Ranch Living

Miami Beach’s Canyon Ranch Living has closed on 55 properties in 2012, following a total of 150 sales in 2011. About 90 percent of those residents are from the Northeast and Latin America, according to Michael Sadov, real estate sales director at the 580-unit property. The central and south towers at the property have sold out, along with half of the units at Canyon Ranch’s North Tower. “There are not that many new residences remaining in the North Tower,” he said. Last year, a wave of Canadian buyers contributed in large part to sales at the property. — Alexander Britell

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.”

Most of Swire’s Brickell CitiCentre to finish by 2015

Most of Swire’s Brickell CitiCentre to finish by 2015

South Florida Business Journal by Oscar Pedro Musibay, Reporter

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2012, 7:04am EST

Most of the Brickell CitiCentre project is scheduled to be completed by 2015.
As work crews continue testing and prepping the site in Miami where Swire Properties is planning Brickell CitiCentre, the developer announced it has received a $140 million credit facility to fund operations and the initial development cost.

HSBC Bank USA is providing the credit facility, which Swire said would allow the developer to do more design, development and cover the initial construction costs, according to a statement released Tuesday.

The six-building project is planned for 9.1 acres between Brickell Avenue and South Miami Avenue, from Southeast Sixth Street to Southwest Eighth Street.

Located in the center of Miami’s financial district, Brickell CitiCentre will include 520,000 square feet of shopping and dining, three office buildings, two residential towers and a 243-room hotel with 93 apartments.

The project will be developed in two phases, with all elements of the first phase, except for one office tower, scheduled for completion in 2015.

The first phase will have about 4.3 million square feet, including 520,000 square feet of retail shops, 800 condominium units, 243 hotel rooms, 93 serviced apartments, two office towers of 110,000 square feet each and 3,100 parking spaces.

A Feb. 15 news release said the third office tower would be completed by 2018, but the Tuesday release said market conditions would determine when the 750,000-square-foot structure would be built.

“Miami’s economy is benefiting from investments by its neighbors from South America, and we see strong growth potential for the city,” Swire Properties CEO Martin Cubbon said in the Tuesday release. “The location of Brickell CitiCentre offers an excellent opportunity to draw market share from local businesses and residents as well as visitors.”

Swire Properties is the U.S. subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based Swire Properties Ltd.

In September, the Business Journal reported that the developer planned to dedicate 95,000 square feet of the project to medical offices and a wellness center.

Oceana Key Biscayne Breaks Ground at the Former Site of the Sonesta Hotel

From: World Property Channel
By: Michael Gerrity
February 15, 2012

(MIAMI, FL) — Despite a national U.S. housing crisis still in play, the Miami condo boom is back with a vengeance On February 14, 2012,  another groundbreaking ceremony was held for the newly announced Oceana, the first U.S. real estate development of Argentina-based developer Consultatio.

Marcos Corti-Maderna of Consultatio Key Biscayne, LLC, Key Biscayne Mayor Frank Caplan and Eduardo Constantini of Consultatio Key Biscayne, LLC at the groundbreaking ceremony for Oceana Key Biscayne.

Oceana will be an exclusive 142 condominium development with 12 luxury Villas adjacent, located on the last oceanfront site available on Key Biscayne. This will be a state of the art project; Units will range from 1800 SF to 7500 SF, with a very low density (154 units on a 10.3 acres site).

Oceana Key Biscayne as seen from the Ocean

The new twin-tower Key Biscayne condo project is being touted by some local real estate brokers as the most exclusive new residential project in Miami since the condo boom five years prior.

Oceana is going to be built on the site of the former Sonesta Hotel, which was one of the first hotels in Key Biscayne. The 10.3 acre oceanfront site was acquired by Consultatio in September 2009 for $80 million, and the estimated total project cost will be over $250 million USD.

Due to the lack of land availability on Key Biscayne, there has not been any new real state development in the past 12 years.

Consultatio has hired Coastal Construction as their contractor, and continues working with their architectural firm Arquitectonica on finalizing project construction drawings. The developer plans to start selling the 154 condo units in the months ahead and is currently working on setting up their in-house sales team.

Key Biscayne is considered one of the most exclusive areas in Miami and has one of the highest incomes per capita in the United States.

Key Biscayne is also home to many internationally prominent residents, including A-list actor Andy Garcia, Miami Dolphin football great Nick Buoniconti and Latin American television celebrity El Gordo of El Gordo y La Flaca.

Eduardo Costantini, President of Consultatio said, “We are very excited with the excellent reception that Oceana has within the Key Biscayne community. The fact that we have government and community support is a very important reinforcement and also a commitment for the project to have the highest quality standards, respecting Consultatio’s philosophy.”

Consultatio is an experienced real estate developer from Argentina, with 30 years of experience developing large-scale master planned communities, commercial properties, and residential towers in high end international markets like Nordelta, Puertos del Lago, Las Garzas (Uruguay). The company is under the direction of its’ major share holder, president and CEO Eduardo F. Costantini, a prominent Argentinean businessman.

Swire Properties Plans $1Billion Development in Miami

Swire Properties plans $1 bln development in Miami

Dark clouds pass over the downtown of Miami, July 8, 2005. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

By Alex Frew McMillan

HONG KONG | Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:53am EST

(Reuters) – Newly listed developer Swire Properties Ltd said on Thursday that it plans to build a 2.9 million square foot project in Miami’s financial district.

The Hong Kong-based company had previously said in a filing that the development, Brickell CitiCentre, would cost about $1.05 billion.

It said the project would include three office towers, two residential blocks, 500,000 square feet of shopping and dining space, and a hotel, with construction expected to start in the second quarter.

Swire (1972.HK) bought four plots of land for project in 2008 and 2011, and through to September 2011 had spent $72.8 million on advance preparation of the site, including $69.4 million for the land.

Although Swire focuses on the core markets of China and Hong Kong, it has a 30-year track record in Miami, where it has been developing on an island called Brickell Key. It has hired Miami-based architects Arquitectonica to design the project.

Chairman Christopher Pratt said when Swire Properties listed in mid-January that the company had no immediate plans to raise capital, with the sale of its Festival Walk asset in Hong Kong providing adequate capital for its immediate plans .

One fund manager, who runs a $5 billion portfolio of actively managed property stocks in Asia, told Reuters this week that he expected Swire Properties to go to the equity or debt markets soon to fund expansion.

“Probably one year from now, they’ll raise money,” he said, declining to be identified as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Swire Properties shares pared earlier losses on Thursday afternoon to trade down 0.8 percent compared with a 0.6 percent decline on the benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI.

Miami CitiCentre’s Solution to Urban Parking….Innovative!

Swire’s deep freeze puts icing on mega-project CitiCentre

By Scott Blake     

Miami Today      February 9, 2012

    With its massive Brickell CitiCentre project, Hong Kong-based Swire Properties is bringing a different twist to downtown Miami development — underground parking — that also will involve a first for the city: groundwater freezing, a project official told Miami Today.
   “It’s never been done in Miami,” said Steve Krysowaty, president of CBP Construction Consultants in Miami.
   Currently, preparatory work is being done for the freezing around the perimeter of the site, he said.
   Using rods or tubes containing super-cold liquid nitrogen, groundwater freezing is needed while building a barrier to prevent more groundwater from entering the site. Eventually, the water will be defrosted and sucked out of the ground to make way for the complex’s foundation and two levels of underground parking, he said.
   Overall, plans call for a six-story shopping mall, two office towers, two condominium towers, a large hotel, and plethora of amenities such as restaurants, nightclubs, a movie theater and a bowling alley.
   Construction is expected to start before the end of the year with completion hopefully sometime in 2015, Mr. Krysowaty said.
   Project officials at Swire’s Miami office did not return calls for comment.
   Until now, developers have avoided going underground for parking in Miami because of the extensive groundwater here. Likewise, groundwater is spread throughout the CitiCentre site, Mr. Krysowaty said, adding that the complex’s foundation will be anchored to bedrock some 50 feet or so below the surface.
   The underground parking is necessary because Swire wants CitiCentre to be a “street level” development immediately accessible to both residents and visitors on the ground, according to people familiar with the project.
   That’s a unique feature in Miami, where large developments typically have multi-level parking garages on the bottom floors, with the featured development on top.
   In addition, pile testing has been done on the site to determine the ground’s capability in various spots to support the weight of the structures, Mr. Krysowaty said.
   The CitiCentre site involved in the freezing is divided by Miami Avenue and located primarily along Southeast Eighth and Seventh streets. The parcels are boxed in on the west by Southwest First Avenue and go just east of the Eighth Street Metromover Station.