Power Players: Miami's Top Names in Residential Development


Power Players: Miami’s Top Names in Residential Development

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Here, we take a look at the top condo kings of the city that reign in the field of luxury residential development. We get the scoop on industry trends, the Miami real estate market, what the future looks like and more. 

Carlos Rosso, Related Group

Carlos RossoPhoto Credit: Related Group

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?

We recently completed SLS Hotel and Residences Brickell and are confident that it has raised the bar for what people expect out of a luxury condominium. With a fully integrated sbe-managed hotel component, residents are able to request room service, reserve the spa, speak with the concierge or enjoy any of the other perks that have set the best hotels apart. There are also two world-class restaurants built directly into the tower, Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz and Bazaar Mar by José Andrés. We have also finished a fantastic project in Hollywood: Hyde Resort. It’s the first phase of our Hyde projects in the area, which are a tremendous success, and are now selling the second phase called Hyde Beach House. We’re also set to deliver Brickell Heights and SLS Lux in Brickell and Paraiso Bay in Edgewater later this year, and will be delivering close to 3,000 units in different submarkets in South Florida.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city? 

We’ve seen a great demand for mixed-use projects as the city urbanizes and increases in density. For example, SLS Brickell and SLS LUX’s street-level restaurants and Brickell Heights houses state-of-the-art Equinox and Soul Cycle Gyms speak to those buyers drawn to the urban lifestyle. They are able to live, work and play without having to drive or worry about parking. Meanwhile, the buyers at our Paraiso projects are looking for a more laid-back style, and so the beach club from chef Michael Schwartz speaks to that. They are still just a short drive from areas like Wynwood and Brickell, so they can have the best of both worlds.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo? 

It’s no mystery that Miami itself is what draws most buyers. The city has gone through a striking transformation over the past few years and that doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. Of course, we still have the beautiful weather and beaches that made the city famous in the first place, but now we also have world-class cultural institutions, a thriving culinary scene and more Pritzker prize-winning architects than any other city in the country.

SLS Lux
Rendering of SLS Lux at Night

Photo Credit: Related Group

Where do most of your buyers come from?

It all depends on the project. In Brickell and Edgewater, we continue to see a wide spread of buyers from Latin America, whereas at our Auberge Fort Lauderdale project it’s been mostly domestic and local buyers.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique?

Miami’s market is unique in that it appeals to everyone in a different way. South Florida’s extremely diverse population is leading to incredibly unique neighborhoods, each with their own personalities. Some buyers will be drawn to Brickell’s big-city feel, while a neighborhood like Coconut Grove will draw someone looking for more village-like surroundings. Another unique aspect is the speed at which Miami has changed. If you look back only 10 years ago, these neighborhoods that we now take for granted would be unrecognizable. The city has a huge amount of momentum behind it and we are all excited to see where it’s headed.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

We keep reinventing ourselves as a company in each project we tackle. We’re bringing to South Florida the most attractive projects designed by innovative designers and integrating museum-quality art into their outdoors, interiors and façades. I believe we are cementing each neighborhood in South Florida, and bringing life to new neighborhoods such as Edgewater and Hollywood/Hallandale where our projects have had an immensely positive impact. Just in 2016, Related’s projects have created close to $100 million per year in new property taxes for the different counties in South Florida. When we say we are building cities, there is no better proof than that.

Favorite Miami neighborhood.

Definitely Brickell. It has the best in everything Miami has to offer: food, arts, shopping, nightlife, you name it. It’s a city unto itself that’s rapidly growing and becoming the go-to neighborhood for anyone looking for a place to live, work and play. It’s the perfect example of what so many of us are pushing for Miami to become.

Gil Dezer, Dezer Development 

Gil Dezer Headshot_RSPhoto Credit: Dezer Development

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?

Porsche Design Tower. Its uniqueness is no doubt derived from the Dezervator, which is the patented car-elevator system that takes a passenger with their car directly to their garage within their apartment. There is simply nothing like it in the world.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city?

We have been setting the trends that are happening in Miami with our branded buildings. Our first success with Trump led to our success with Porsche Design, which in turn led us to build Residences by Armani/Casa. Other developers have tried to imitate the idea of branding buildings using second-rate brands. Plagiarism is the best form of flattery and confirms that I am a forward-thinking trendsetter.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

That answer can land anywhere on the map, but in real estate everybody knows: location, location, location. We focused primarily on only the best locations. The good news is that buyers have a wide range of desires, and therefore buildings have the opportunity to reach all different types of buyers.

Dezervator
Dezervator in the Porsche Design Tower

Photo Credit: Dezer Development

Where do most of your buyers come from? 

We get the same slice of buyers from all the different South American and European countries as most other developments. U.S. buyers are starting to come back now.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique? 

The Miami market is so unique because of our worldwide audience. This is one of the very few markets in the world that has such a worldwide reach. It compares to cities like New York and London with respect to the amount of nationalities that own real estate here in South Florida. But people are buying here because they want to, versus cities where they may have to for their professional life. For our second, home buyers are coming to Miami for the leisure life. Another thing that makes the Miami market unique is the language. Latin Americans feel extremely comfortable being attended to in their own language, from anywhere from the restaurant to the shopping mall to the car dealership to the condo sale. That wouldn’t happen to an Argentinian in London.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

Since we’ve established that I’m a trendsetter I can’t reveal what I see. I can’t have them copying me before I start. But I’ll give you a hint—micro units.

Ugo Colombo, CMC Group

Ugo Colombo Photo Credit CMC GroupPhoto Credit: CMC Group

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?

Since we built Bristol Tower and Santa Maria in the 1990s, CMC Group has been raising the bar for luxury real estate development in Miami. We are synonymous with patient development, the highest quality design and construction, and the closest attention to detail possible. Today, we are perfecting this formula with Brickell Flatiron, a condominium that personifies the new urban Miami. I like to think a real estate development is a reflection of a moment in time. That has been the case with all of our projects, and I believe Brickell Flatiron is a reflection of Miami’s coming of age as a cosmopolitan city with a thriving downtown at its heart. With its distinct flatiron shape and prominent position in the heart of downtown Miami’s Brickell Financial District, the 64-story Brickell Flatiron tower will be one of the tallest residential buildings in the U.S. upon its completion in 2019.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments within the city? 

We have always targeted the higher end of the market at CMC Group, and we find that our projects typically attract a more discerning buyer who is willing to pay a premium for higher-quality materials, attention to detail and unique amenities. We’ve seen this at Santa Maria, Bristol Tower, Porto Vita, Grovenor House and now at Brickell Flatiron.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo? 

As Miami becomes increasingly urban and cosmopolitan, buyer preferences are shifting today—luxury isn’t necessarily synonymous with the waterfront. There is a large segment of buyers who value convenience, access to retail and restaurants, walkability, proximity to transit, etc. This is the new Miami.

Brickell Flatiron, Miami
Brickell Flatiron, Miami

Photo Credit: CMC Group

Where do most of your buyers come from?

Buyers have primary hailed from the United States—mostly domestic buyers from Miami and the Northeast—as well as European and Latin-American countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. We’ve also seen buyers hail from Italy, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Spain and the Netherlands.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique? 

Miami has traditionally been a magnet for Latin-American flight capital, but its reputation as a safe haven for investment is spreading in lockstep with its increasing accessibility, lifestyle and multicultural appeal. Equally important is the fact that Miami is still a significant bargain by comparison with other gateway cities like New York, London, even Sao Paolo. Go to New York and luxury product is trading for $2,500 per square foot, but there’s a heavier cash requirement, which protects the market.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

I think we’ll see a trend towards larger oversized units that are more conducive to buyers with families who are looking for full-time or part-time living in Miami. These kinds of units are also more likely to appeal to end-user residents [vs. renters] who are attracted to buildings in neighborhoods with good walkability and elements that add to their quality of life, such as access to parks, schools, restaurants, shopping, etc.

Favorite Miami neighborhood.

Downtown/Brickell, of course! Miami is, for the first time, a global city, and that evolution has come on the heels of the development of a vertical urban core in and around Brickell Avenue and Greater Downtown Miami. The urban appeal—the amenities, the entertainment options, the walkability, the access, the diverse international business community—that will continue to drive the Miami market in the foreseeable future.

Russell Galbut, Crescent Heights

Russell GalbutPhoto Credit: Crescent Heights

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?

We believe that quality, as defined by architecture, design, art and a full level of amenities is what will make a building stand out from others. As an international developer we understand that Miami does not survive in a vacuum. It takes its place in comparison to such other great cities as London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles. Buyers of Miami’s condos come from all over the world, and to attract them you have to be the best! Our most recently completed [January 2017] project, 10000 Santa Monica in L.A., rises 40 stories above the Beverly Hills Golf Course with more than 67,000 feet of private amenities. It has set a new standard in America for residential towers, and thus will actually achieve rental rates double any comp set selected.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city?

Trending today in the luxury condominium space is a desire for larger unit sizes and better finishes with art and amenities in abundant supply.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

Buyers have an insatiable demand for amenities, quality design and the best of every feature available in a home.

Where do most of your buyers come from?

Today’s buyers come from all over the world and are more sophisticated than ever before. They know what they want and they know value.

1000 Santa Monica
10000 Santa Monica

Photo Credit: Crescent Heights

What makes the Miami real estate market unique?

Particularly, what makes Miami so unique is our diversity of people, language and cultures mixing together in one spot. Only in Miami can a single building have owners from more than 50 foreign countries.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

Infill, highly urbanized communities will continue to grow in Miami with only short periods of slowdowns. The city has done a tremendous job promoting the development and creation of a true urban fabric. Miami’s diversity and our continuing ability to recreate ourselves give Miami the uniqueness to survive all economic hardships.

Favorite Miami neighborhood.   

My favorite neighborhood in Miami is South Beach! Nothing like it in the world!

Louis Birdman, Birdman Real Estate Development 

Louis Birdman

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?

One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects; the 62-story, ultra-lux tower was Zaha Hadid’s first private residential skyscraper to be constructed in the Western Hemisphere, and since her untimely passing last year it will unfortunately be her last.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city?

Developers continue to push skyscrapers higher, adding more unique amenities; One Thousand Museum will be the first residential tower to include a private helipad.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

Exclusivity, lifestyle, privacy and security.

One Thousand Museum
One Thousand Museum

Where do most of your buyers come from? 

Our buyers at One Thousand Museum have come from more than 15 countries, as well as within the United States. We continue to see buyers from Latin America, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Middle East, New York and Chicago.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique? 

Miami continues to mature into a global city that is multicultural, attracting people from around the world to live, work and play.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

In the downtown market, I believe we will begin to see an increase in smaller infill developments as well as more mixed-use projects that include a condominium, hotel and office.

Manuel Grosskopf, Château Group

Manuel GrosskopfPhoto Credit: Château Group

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?  

Château Group’s latest residential project is the FENDI Château Residences in Surfside. It is a unique property not only because it’s FENDI’s first residential branded project worldwide, but also because the concept blends fashion, luxury, exclusivity and service. The residences feature only 58 units, which were designed to over-exceed the expectations of a sophisticated buyer, who is used to getting the best of the best in terms of luxury around the world. The location, just steps away from the glamorous Bal Harbour Shops, is the best spot in town for an ultra-luxury residential building. FENDI Château Residences also exhibits organic design elements, like the waves in the façade that fit perfectly within the building’s natural surroundings.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city?

As a developer of luxury condominiums, I have noticed that Miami buyers want something special. You need to be able to deliver a complete package with impeccable architecture, interior design, unique branding and superior service. Château Group is committed to delivering all aspects of luxury-lifestyle living.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

It is a combination of three elements: location, brand and service. Oceanfront properties are always the most appealing, brands are synonymous with prestige and design that buyers identify with, and of course service and amenities are really what make your property a home.

Fendi Chateau
Fendi Chateau

Photo Credit: Château Group

Where do most of your buyers come from?

Our buyers come from different countries including Argentina, Brazil, Austria, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, France, Russia, Turkey, USA and Spain, among others.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique?

There are many factors that make Miami’s real estate market unique; a few are the geographic location, climate, the political stability and clear regulations.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

The trend that I foresee is offering buyers a lifestyle, not only a development. We need to make sure that our designs, finishes and details fulfill the expectations that the buyer is looking for.

Kevin Maloney, PMG 

Kevin MaloneyPhoto Credit: PMG

What is your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?

We have several residential projects in the works in South Florida including Sage Beach in Hollywood Beach; Echo Brickell with our joint venture partner JDS Development; Muse Sunny Isles co-developed by S2 Development; and 300 Biscayne Boulevard. In addition, we recently launched a new partnership with Dr. Deepak Chopra and Delos Living at our development in Sunny Isles-Muse Residences. As part of the partnership, Delos and Dr. Chopra will work with PMG to design scientifically validated wellness homes within our future developments in South Florida.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city?

The trend seems to be coming up with new and inventive ways to offer luxury amenities to residents, and we found a niche of offering wellness residences that has allowed us to stand out from the rest of the competition.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

Buyers in Miami value quality and a return on their investment overall. In addition, they seek the unique components that only Miami can offer—beautiful beaches, the best weather in the country and the financial stability and prosperity growing by the day.

Kevin Maloney Muse
Muse Residences

Photo Credit: PMG

Where do most of your buyers come from?

Our projects have attracted a wide range of buyers and international interest extending from Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Columbia, Peru, the United Kingdom, China, Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, as well as domestic buyers in Miami, New York and Los Angeles.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique?

 The real estate market in South Florida is strong and property values continue to rise, indicating a healthy and stable market. Miami has really raised the bar on luxury-lifestyle standards and has truly become an ideal location for investors, families and businesses. As a regional, national and international center, the influx of investors and businesses keep the economy going strong.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

Over the last decade, Miami has undergone massive development and growth, and that trend is only moving forward as we continue on our path to becoming a major global city and destination.

Jeff Soffer, Turnberry Associates

Jeff SofferPhoto Credit: Gio Alma

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market? 

Our latest residential project, which is currently under construction, is Turnberry Ocean Club Residences in Sunny Isles Beach. This is going to be the crown jewel of all the residential towers that we have developed in our company’s history. The tower is designed by architects Carlos Zapata and Robert Swedroe, and we spared no expense and paid attention to every architectural detail. It truly caters to the high-end buyer of today’s market, offering larger floor plans ranging from three to six bedrooms including beautiful duplex and triplex penthouse units.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city? 

Developers have been recognizing the importance of offering top-of-the-line unique amenities and experiences to their purchasers. It’s not enough to simply offer luxury within the individual units; now we must provide a well-rounded luxury lifestyle to provide ease of life that high-end buyers are looking for. Our goal has always been to provide that luxe life, or Turnberry lifestyle to our residents and set the bar really high for the quality and consistency people have come to expect from our brand.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

Buyers have come to expect the best of the best. We offer incomparable views, world-class dining, culture and the best overall lifestyle over any other city in the country with, of course, unsurpassed beaches. It’s all about the resort experience and feeling that you’re on vacation in your own home. Turnberry residents have high expectations from the Turnberry brand because Turnberry consistently delivers superior developments, lifestyle and amenities that meet the continuing and rising demands of a changing market.

Turnberry Ocean
Turnberry Ocean Club Residences

Photo Credit: Turnberry Associates

Where do most of your buyers come from? 

We have purchasers from all over the United States, particularly the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast. Cities like New York, D.C., Boston and Chicago, among others, are all big markets for us. We have Latin-American buyers from countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. Other markets include Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique? 

The real estate market in Miami offers aspects that no other city offers including a stunning beachfront and breathtaking views as well as a diversified and rich culture. Miami is known as the “Gateway to the Americas” and is quickly becoming a financial and business mecca, attracting new investors as well as global companies looking for an innovative and prosperous environment to set up offices and headquarters. In response to that, the market here is steady and strong with a stable influx of interest and demographics that consistently look to Miami for investment and growth.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

I think the standards for development rise with every new building that enhances our skyline. Miami is at the doorstep of becoming a prime global destination, and we are growing into this status with every architectural addition. I believe that developers will continue to raise the bar in response to the expectations of the world—that means building iconic landmarks with timeless architecture.

Edgardo Defortuna, Fortune International

Edgardo DefortunaPhoto Credit: Fortune International

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market?

Jade Signature is my latest residential project, and one near and dear to my heart because of the world-class team we assembled to bring the building to life. Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, Parisian design firm PYR led by Pierre-Yves Rochon and landscape architect Raymond Jungles are producing a building of the utmost quality. This speaks to buyers who want to be surrounded by luxury, not to mention the services and amenities that Jade Signature offers.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city? 

Developers have put more of an emphasis on the architecture and design talent that goes into their projects. This is contributing to Miami’s design renaissance; the city has become very sophisticated and very colorful.

What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

Miami buyers value space, both indoor and outdoor, and ocean views, but above all they value the lifestyle the building will offer. At Jade Signature, the amenities like a restaurant and a kids club were a big part of the design plans. We put the parking garage underground (no easy feat steps away from the ocean) so that residents and guests can experience the connectivity between the public areas, the pool and the beaches. These elements were woven into the fabric of the building.

Jade Signature
Jade Signature

Photo Credit: Jade Signature

Where do most of your buyers come from?

We have buyers from all over the world including Latin America, Europe, Asia and even domestic buyers mostly hailing from the Northeast. We have more than 23 nationalities represented at Jade Signature.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique?

Miami is a huge international hub, with a lot more than good weather and beautiful beaches. The city has grown in arts and culture, venues and events. Seasoned travelers make for highly sophisticated buyers. Developers have gotten creative in order to cater to them, which is why we’re seeing buildings with over-the-top amenities and star architects.   Additionally Miami is still a great value if you compare it with other major capital cities both in the U.S. and internationally.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years?

Buildings will become a lot more tech-savvy. We’re already seeing the rise of home automation and condos with their own apps, but this will become a lot more popular in the coming years.

 Favorite Miami neighborhood.

My family and I live in Key Biscayne, and I love the area. It’s incredibly family-friendly, picturesque and is close to neighborhoods like the Grove, Brickell and Coral Gables. I also love Sunny Isles Beach because it has some of the best beaches and it’s less than 10 minutes from great shopping like Bal Harbour and Aventura malls.

David Martin, Terra

David MartinPhoto Credit: Terra

What’s your latest residential project and what makes it unique in the competitive Miami real estate market? 

Park Grove is a 5.2-acre development comprised of three residential towers with architecture by OMA/Rem Koolhaas, interiors by Meyer Davis Studio, an onsite restaurant concept by Michael Schwartz and an abundance of green space landscaped by the famed Enzo Enea. The first-class amenities include an onsite art curator and a resident-only art gallery, a wine tasting room with private wine storage for residents, an outdoor amphitheater, a nautical concierge and state-of-the-art fitness and spa facilities. Eighty Seven Park is one of the most unique developments in all of Florida — situated directly on the ocean alongside a 35-acre public park. Our plans call for a low-density high rise that will appeal to residents who value exquisite design, the outdoors and life on the water. We’ve committed $10 million to the city to overhaul the North Shore Open Space Park in tandem with a master plan created by West 8. Once finished, it will be one of the premier public parks in the country.

What trends have you noticed within the luxury-condo developments in the city? 

 We’ve noticed a recent uptick in partnering with internationally renowned architects. These “star architects” bring a different perspective to the table with their wealth of international experience. At Park Grove, we’ve tapped Rem Koolhaas/OMA’s Shohei Shigematsu, who recently completed Miami’s hot new Faena District. Similarly, we’ve noticed a trend in combining the best of the best in each industry to create a luxurious product and lifestyle. Beyond Rem Koolhaas/OMA, Park Grove will feature interiors by New York-based design firm Meyer Davis Studio; kitchens and bathrooms by William Sofield; landscape architecture by famed Enzo Enea; an onsite restaurant and bar from nationally acclaimed chef Michael Schwartz; and world-class services curated by Colin Cowie.

 What do you find that Miami buyers value most when looking for a luxury condo?

 Location is almost always the most important factor in making a real estate purchase decision. Miami has become a mecca for buyers as they can choose from beachfront to historic to urban living or cultural center. We are fortunate enough to be experiencing an amazing growth in our city in terms of residential and commercial real estate but also culturally. It’s very exciting! Miami buyers also value features and amenities. In today’s market, we’re constantly aiming to make our projects stand out, and in order to do so we’ve gotten very creative with our over-the-top offerings to woo buyers.

Park Grove
Park Grove rendering

Where do most of your buyers come from? 

We have a large pool of local buyers, whether they’re empty-nesters looking to trade in their standalone homes for expansive condo units, or even buyers looking to move inland from Miami Beach to a place that offers an urban feel and more greenspace. Another pool of buyers is domestic, like snowbirds in search of warm weather during the Northeast’s frigid winter season.

What makes the Miami real estate market unique? 

Its international impact. Nowhere else in the U.S. can we argue this fact, but Miami has become a globally recognized city and a destination for international buyers. The city of Miami also offers something to fit everyone’s desired wish list, from design to location—Miami has it all.

What trends do you foresee in condo developments within the city in the coming years? 

 More personalization. Buyers are always looking for the latest and greatest, so as a developer we have to cater to these needs. A perfect example of this is how some developments are now offering furniture or design-upgrade packages, or the ability to combine two units into one. We will continue to offer new ways for buyers to add their personal touch.

Favorite Miami neighborhood. 

I might be biased, but Coconut Grove. In fact, I’m building a home for my family right up the street from Park Grove, so I am obviously a huge fan of this neighborhood.

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