Apogee Beach Hollywood If the real estate bust was good for anything, it might be that it’s forcing developers to get more creative.
How creative?
Try high-rise condos with elevators for cars that allow you to park next to your living room — even if it’s on the 20th floor. Or a shopping center adorned with artwork, and a parking garage that lets you pull up to the retailer of your choice. Or try turning a former landfill into a mixed-use development. Those were among the plans discussed Friday during a developer roundtable organized by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also stopped by.
To have developers gearing up for projects, “it means there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Mayor Gimenez told about 100 people at the lunch hosted by law firm Bilzin Sumberg at 1450 Brickell Ave.
“It’s good to have these workshops because it means there’s work,” the mayor said, adding that his administration will streamline the permitting process. “We’ll do everything in our power to make it easier for you to build and create, and to continue to create this beautiful city.”
Developers on the panel talked about how much of today’s tight post-crash real estate market is about finding a niche, whether that’s offering unconventional luxuries to stand out to wealthy foreign buyers or simply scouting for previously overlooked sites to get the most land for the money.
Local developer Gil Dezer is getting creative with help from Germany-based Porsche Design Group in a project catering to wealthy buyers, particularly from abroad.
“We’ve come up with the car elevator,” Mr. Dezer said.
Porsche Design Tower, Sunny Isles BeachDezer Development and Porsche are partnering on the Porsche Design Tower, where elevators are to lift cars into the sky to high-rise condos, each with its own parking space in a glass-walled showroom.
The 57-foor, 132-unit tower is planned for Sunny Isles Beach. Mr. Dezer said the building would have the world’s first elevators with their own fire-suppression system. The units are expected to be priced up to several million dollars each.
“We’ll be charging for the parking space as part of the units, instead of giving it away free in a garage,” Mr. Dezer said. The high-rise parking “offers more security, which is important to a lot of our South American customers.”

Another project catering to well-heeled foreign buyers is the 49-unit Apogee Beach in Hollywood Beach. Developer Carlos Rosso, president of Related Condominium Division, said units are selling for about $1 million on average, with the company requiring buyers to pay at least 80% of the price before completion.
Mr. Rosso said about 95% of buyers at Apogee Beach come from Latin America.
“The more we go to feeder markets” outside the US, “the more we find that the cash is in South America,” he said, adding that Miami has the potential to become “the New York of Latin America.”

Apogee Beach Hollywood

Apogee Beach Hollywood
Brett Dill, president of the Swerdlow Group, described a somewhat different approach. Instead of buying relatively little land and building vertically, his group is planning a mixed-use development on a 180-acre site off Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami that was once a landfill.
Named Biscayne Landing, the project will feature about 800,000 square feet of retail and plenty of open space, and eventually could include up to 3,500 housing units, Mr. Dill said.
“We’re actually underutilizing the land, but there’s such an abundance of it,” he added. “There’s almost an unlimited capacity for development [there] in the next 10 years.”
Jeff Berkowitz, president of Berkowitz Development Group, said his firm has been waiting for several months for permits from the City of Coral Gables for the proposed Gables Station. The project would feature four levels of upscale retail — about 333,000 square feet in total — divided by a 1,450-space parking garage. The project also will feature nearly $1 million worth of art on public display, Mr. Berkowitz said.
“The garage will be done so cars can go to the front doors of retailers they like to visit,” he added. “This will be a trophy project. We hope to get the permits in the next two months. Then we hope to get enough leasing done that lenders will give us enough money to go forward.”


Source: http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/120202/story5.shtml


Depressed pricing, low interest rates, a strong rental market and favorable exchange rates for foreign currency are pumping up the housing Miami Beach condomarket as domestic and international buyers snap up both single-family homes and condos as investments. “Investors make up the strongest segment of the market,” said Mike Pappas, president & CEO of The Keyes Co. “Demand for rental is rising, prices have dropped and interest rates are low. It’s a perfect storm. “People fear inflation, and want to get into a tangible asset that they can control.” So far, Mr. Pappas said, bank-owned properties, or REOs, that have come on the market have sold quickly. “We’re able to absorb them due to that investor base,” he said. “Either they flip them or they are renting them and holding for a longer-term play.” Historically, he said, about 68% of South Floridians owned their homes, but the foreclosure crisis has changed that. He estimated more than half are now renting.
“I’m amazed at the inflow of cash into the real estate market today,” Mr. Pappas said.“I believe people are taking their money out of savings or IRAs, where they aren’t getting a good return, and putting it in real estate, where they can get returns of 7%, 8% or 9%. This is an unbelievable time for South Florida real estate.”

Savvy small investors starting seeing the possibilities as early as 2009, said Melanie Hyer, a broker at Keller Williams Miami Beach. “They could buy foreclosures for $60,000-$80,000, put $20,000-$30,000 into fixing them up and then resell them to first-time homebuyers eligible for the FHA credit,” she said. “It was an amazing market.” In 2010 and ’11, she said, “more investors started figuring this out.” The frenzy for cheap investment properties got so bad, Ms. Hyer said, that those who were not offering cash didn’t stand a chance. “Lenders started implementing some rules so that first-time buyers could get these properties,” she said, “as the lenders and the government wanted” — things like not accepting any offer for 14 days, and giving preference to owner-occupants over investors. “At the same time, there was a strong investor market in top-dollar resales,” Ms. Hyer said. The price differential between these two market extremes averaged about $100,000, she said, “but in 2011the gap started shrinking. Foreclosures started selling for more, top-dollar properties for less.

“PeopMiami Beach condole who were willing to take a risk and were buying in 2009-’10 will be rewarded the most,” Ms. Hyer said. “Now the market is stabilizing and with only seven months of inventory, it’s no longer a buyers’ market. But there are still a lot of good deals. “The market that is still going on is buying properties for cash flow. It’s gone from fix-and-flip to buy-and-hold.”
Investors are coming from Europe, South America and Canada as well as New York, she said, but some of them are local as well. “The entire US right now is still down about 8% in property sales,” said Perci Pietro, president of Own Realty, “but Miami is up 54% — and the reason for that is international buyers.”

Own Realty, which works with many international clients, is fielding interest in investment and second-home properties from all over, he said. “For Mexicans and Venezuelans, it’s security issues,” he said. “For Canadians and the English, it’s the exchange rate; for Russians and Germans, the strength of their economies. So there’s a lot of action.” It makes sense, Mr. Pietro said, for international buyers to invest in real estate right now, “not just to make money but for the safety of their money, and buying condos or home in this area is a way to do that. “Right now, even the euro is having problems. People are saying China is cooling down, and China and Brazil are so closely connected that Brazil could be affected. “And there are so many reasons to invest in this city, starting with the beautiful weather.”

Miami Beach condoJoann Roberts, who works out of Coldwell Banker’s Pinecrest office, said most of the investors she sees are foreign. “The international luxury market is hot,” she said. She defined that market as properties selling for $1 million and up. Ms. Roberts said statistics show that 81% of investors in the luxury residential market nationwide are foreign — and 31% of them buy in South Florida. “What differentiates us is the weather and all the amenities South Florida offers,” she said. “Many buy to rent and sell in the future. It’s a great time for buyers who have been sitting in the background.” Europeans, Asians and Brazilians are here with cash and ready to buy, Ms. Roberts said, “but there is very little luxury inventory, so some are frustrated.”

Source: http://miamitodaynews.com

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