People Behind the Scenes: Miami’s Top Innovators


 The city has now become the gateway to the art worlds of North America, Latin America and Europe, and a vibrant winter meeting place for art connoisseurs.

Senanda Adzem
Bay Rock Group
“The Apprentice”

Senada Adzem hailed from Croatia to help lead Bayrock Group, LLC, an international real estate investment and developing firm that boasts being behind more than $2.5 billion of the most successful new hotel and condominium projects in the US and Europe.

HL What attracted you to real estate?
SA I love the process of creating as it relates to real estate: every step from an innovative marketing strategy to an actual development. What’s also exciting about real estate is the concept of positively impacting people’s lives on both a rudimentary level and a self-expression level: Be it a first or second home, a condo, house or “condotel” – people have a need to own real estate and also to express themselves through unique exterior and interior design.
I have a strong personal interest in seeing positive developments in real estate and urban development. From 1991 to 1996, I witnessed the devastation and mass loss of life in Croatia and Bosnia. At the time, dwelling in the remains of buildings and landmarks seemed self-indulgent, despite the fact that a city like Sarajevo was world-renowned as one of the most architecturally and culturally significant destinations in Europe.
The experience has had a profound impact on me as it strengthened me a person, and has also provided me with a deep appreciation for life, renewal and witnessing how urban development revitalizes an entire culture.

HL What does your position entail?
SA As Vice President of Bayrock, I’m in charge of the marketing and sales strategy for the company’s portfolio of luxury hotel condominiums. Currently, the portfolio includes about $1.25 billion of The Trump International Hotel Condominium product that Bayrock is co-developing with The Trump Organization. I also am working on the early stage of the development process, including acquisition and product positioning, which are crucial to the end-result and overall success of the project. My latest project is the Trump Soho Hotel Condominium New York, where I serve as the Director of Marketing. As such, I’m directing the branding and positioning, which will reinterpret the uptown luxury for a downtown setting through the design by Handel Architects and Rockwell Group. We’ve just completed the advertising campaign, which draws inspiration from the art, fashion and style Soho is synonymous with. Ivanka Trump will be the face of the project as she embodies the fusion of Trump elegance and Soho style.

HL Who is your favorite artist?
SA David Salle is one of my favorites, although I have an eclectic taste and enjoy quite a few postmodern and contemporary artists. Postmodern art and architecture are exciting, as they are continually engaging and affect the boundaries of perception. They are very dynamic and combine a vocabulary of media, genre and style.

HL What has been your favorite use of art in real estate?
SA Hotel Puerta America Madrid is my favorite, as it incorporates the worlds of architecture, design and art in such an avant-garde way. It also works brilliantly from a marketing perspective, as it was not a gimmick, but an authentic way for designers and artists to exercise the freedom of creativity and development.

HL What has Art Basel’s impact been on the Miami community?
SA Art Basel Miami Beach has significantly raised South Florida’s profile in terms of contemporary art and culture, and has provided a forum for Miami’s local art scene. The city has now become the gateway to the art worlds of North America, Latin America and Europe, and a vibrant winter meeting place for art connoisseurs.

HL Outlook for the 2007 Luxury Market?
SA Ecological architecture, with its sophisticated and technologically advanced design is the next step in both the real estate development and hospitality industries. Design and architecture as an art form have become increasingly important to discerning buyers and leisure travelers. However, we now must add a layer of environmentally responsible design. All of this allows for a return to nature: projects that are visually dynamic, self-sustainable and allow for a return to environment – be it nature or urban cityscape.
Luxury rental and branded hotel developments will dominate in 2007. I think the demand in the high-rise luxury condominium segment will continue at a slower pace, and will be fueled by the international and Gen X markets. The importance of “green” design is strong in this market segment and will impact both real estate and hospitality industries.