Dora Puig is no stranger to the high-end lifestyle of South Florida. A native Miamian, Puig launched her career over 23 years ago, selling luxury homes in Beverly Hills before returning to her home town and taking the South Florida market by storm. Today, Puig has established her own boutique brokerage firm, PuigWerner Real Estate and has sold over $1 billion in residential and condominium sales. Puig had a record-breaking year in 2013 with the sale of three penthouse prototypes. She set the highest recorded sale for a bay front condominium for $21M at The Icon South Beach Penthouse 2, posted the second highest price per square-foot for a condominium in the history of Miami-Dade County for Ocean House Penthouse 702 and also sold Edie Laquer’s condominium for $13 million, the highest sale at Miami Beach’s Continuum.
She is poised to continue on this streak of excellence into 2014 with two of the best penthouses on the market: a modern lower penthouse at the Four Seasons Millennium and an oceanfront penthouse at The Bath Club Residences. While the two listings boast quite different designs, Puig notes that they share a key component. “They both have incredible finishes,” she says. “There is an amazing attention for detail on both of them and they’re fashioned by top designer names, right from the textured wallpapers, to the coffee tables, to the lamps. They’re fully furnished and move-in ready, with museum quality furniture.”
Not a hint of the original development is evident in either residence, as both were gutted and completely reimagined to create an entirely new atmosphere. The penthouse at The Bath Club was designed by Joe Serrins Studio of New York, with earth tone finishes by Holly Hunt. The Collins Ave. oceanfront pad boasts a Boffi kitchen, 13.5-foot ceilings and a unique, giant rolling wall that can separate the master bedroom from the living room or open up into one spacious area. Not only does the residence feature many custom amenities, but it is also the largest penthouse in the building, an ideal selling point for the hip New Yorker that Puig imagines will purchase the earthy, laid-back penthouse.
Over in Brickell, the Four Seasons Millennium Penthouse delivers the impeccable taste of a Park Avenue residence with the added bonus of gorgeous, wraparound ocean views. A personal favorite of Puig, the penthouse features interior architecture by ODP Architects – the same group that designs the Four Seasons Hotels, Holly Hunt upholstered walls and custom everything (hardware, hinges, LED lighting – you name it). The space is designed in Fifty Shades of Grey (literally) and the sleek hues create a surprising richness that moves beautifully from room to room.
This penthouse was undoubtedly fashioned with an art aficionado in mind, as dark spaces have been created specifically for works of art to be displayed out of reach from sunlight, which shines through floor-to-ceiling windows. Puig envisions the penthouse becoming the home of a Northeastern or European art collector, as it has a modern, refined flair.
The sophistication, level of detail and 5-star locations of both penthouses leaves Puig confident that both will make excellent sales. But that’s not all that she’s excited about. This year will bring about even bigger projects for the real estate mogul. “I am about to list a big music celebrity’s property…and a mega, 5-star development, but I can’t disclose any information until January or February,” she says. Puig says she only sees South Florida’s real estate market expanding and getting better. Because of Florida’s nonexistent income tax, buyers in the highest tax bracket from areas like New York, London and even the South of France will continue to flock to the cultural and recreational hub that Miami is becoming. She’s ready for them, too. Highly experienced in the luxury market, Puig knows how to cater to those who demand the best of the best.
“I have lunch and dinner, spend leisure time with my clients to get to know them and assess their needs,” she says. “I only pick prime, 5-star locations – reputable buildings with pedigree. I also negotiate to get the best price and terms for my clients.” Often, it’s not hard to sell clients on the idea of moving to Miami. Many buyers are eager to adapt to the Miami lifestyle.
“I was just with a client from Sweden this morning,” Puig says. “All I have to do is talk about the beach, weather, location and lifestyle. We are really ambassadors for this city.”