Monday, April 29, 2013

SLS Brickell Update

On the heels of other successful Brickell condominiums going under construction, the Related Group recently announced its plan for a new hotel/condominium building in Brickell.  The SLS Hotel and Residences Brickell is officially on the books and tentatively slated to start construction late this year.  The Daily Business News said in a recent article that “Brickell is experiencing a demand for hotel rooms.”  This new project is a new project that will answer those demands by designing a luxury boutique hotel with luxury condominiums.   

SLS Hotel and Residences Brickell Details
The Related Group and Philippe Starck are embarking on the SLS Hotel and Residence Brickell that will include a 52-story building with three restaurants – Katsuya, Bazaar by Jose Andres, and another restaurant by Michael Schwartz (Michael’s Genuine Kitchen) as well as a luxury boutique hotel occupying the 3rd through 9th floors; and 451 condominium residences from the 10th to the 51st floors (11 units per floor).  The condominium residences will consist of one, two, and three-bedroom residences with square footage ranging from 717 square feet to just over 1,500 square feet.   Arquitectonica, the architectural firm behind the likes of the Miami Museum of Art, the South Miami Cultural Arts Center and more, will design this spectacular building. 

The SLS Hotel and Residences Brickell’s address is at 1300 South Miami Avenue which his adjacent to Infinity in the heart of Miami’s fianancial district.  Also close to Brickell Village and CitiCentre which is also under construction, the views from SLS Brickell showcase Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.   Brickell real estate is situated in the hub of Miami action where residents have access to every part of the entire metro area including the Design District, Wynwood Arts District and the beaches.  

Residents at the SLS Hotel and Residences Brickell have access to all of the hotel amenities most of which plan to be on the 8th floor and include the hotel swimming pool along with access to the Hyde Lounge, Ciel Spa, state of the art fitness center, executive business center and grand ballroom.  On top of that, amenities slated are a 3000-sqare-foot business center with private meeting rooms; a roof-top exclusive pool and lounge area exclusively for residents of the condominiums; floor to ceiling windows; top of the line appliances; valet and concierge services; and more. 

Real Estate at SLS Hotel and Residences Brickell
Since its announcement, the reception has been unbelievable!  In fact, the number of allowed pre-reservations has been met and the developer has created a waiting list.  At the time the applications go to contract, those on the waiting list will be given the opportunity to purchase a residence should a potential buyer opt out of the pre-reservation.  If a potential buyer on the waiting list receive an opportunity to opt-in, at that point, the deposit must be made (10 percent of the sale price). 

The pricing has been adjusted from what was first announced and is as follows:

Starting Price
NE Corner
From the $700s
From the $600s
From the $400s
From the $400s
SE Corner
From the $800s
SW Corner
From the $600s
From the $300s
From the $300s
From the $400s
NW Corner
From the $500s
From the $400s

Construction is expected to start in November with a payment schedule for buyers as follows:
  • 10% with Reservation (April 2013)
  • 10% at Contract (July 2013)
  • 10% at Groundbreaking (November 2013)
  • 10% at 25th floor (9 months after groundbreaking - August 2014)
  • 10% at Top off (June 2015)
  • 50% at closing (mid-2016)       
As we said before, the Miami skyline is being transformed in response to the huge demand for Brickell real estate by real estate investors and buyers who are actively searching for property in this and most other parts of Miami.  Over the next year, more and more luxury condominiums are slated to take shape throughout the area.  As SLS Hotel and Residences Brickell begins to come together, its demand will continue to grow.  One thing is for sure, Miami real estate is in high demand and will continue to grow.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

South Beach Lofts

When most people visit Miami for the first time, they end up in South Beach (SoBe). The lifestyle in South Beach is unlike any other in the country.  The most beautiful people combined with a tropical Florida lifestyle embodies what anyone imagines when thinking of living in Miami. 

South Beach lofts take the Miami lifestyle one step further with their contemporary “Miami” architecture and tropical feel that comes with living there. With loft condominiums in South Beach, residents live in smaller boutique condominiums with a significantly smaller number of homes than in the high rise buildings.

While there are a good number of loft condominiums scattered throughout SoBe, there are only a handful of units for sale at any given time.  The common thread throughout the majority of loft condominiums is that they are in such demand that they sell quickly.  Following are several South Beach loft condominium buildings that feature some of the most fabulous homes in truly one of the most fabulous parts in all of South Florida:

The Lofts at South Beach are located at the edge of the Venetian Causeway offering easy access to the action of Downtown Miami as well as Lincoln Road in the opposite direction. As the only SoBe loft condominium with direct Biscayne Bay views, this exclusive home offers the ideal SoBe lifestyle in a serene setting.  Each home features the best of everything with open and airy living areas, European style kitchen with high-line cabinets, counter tops, and stainless steel appliances as well as oversized, impact resistant windows that overlook the majestic Biscayne Bay.  Built in 2004, The Lofts at South Beach is a five-story building that has office and retail space on the first two floors with 24 units scattered between remaining three stories.   Residence sizes range from just under 1,000 square feet to over 2,600 for a penthouse loft that was redesigned by combining two units into one larger one.  Residents enjoy a rooftop terrace, gated electronic intercom access, indoor parking and a wonderful heated pool.  In the past 12 months, five units have sold with sale prices falling between the upper-$200s and $600K with the average number of days on the market at 47 days.  Currently, the penthouse loft is listed for sale with a list price at $1.5 million.  

Built in 2006, Claris is situated in the chicest section of South Beach known as South of Fifth (SoFi).  This is a unique loft condominium in that it consists of two buildings with the front building housing four townhouses and the back building housing three tri-level loft residences all surrounded by lush and tropical landscaping.  Just three blocks from the beach, it is a very exclusive address because of the small number of residences.  The loft residences feature floor to ceiling high-impact windows that showcase the most amazing views and private roof-top terraces in addition to exquisitely modern kitchens with high-end appliances, counter tops and cabinetry.  Other appealing characteristics include private garages which are uncommon in SoBe as well as 25-foot ceilings.  The only unit listed for sale is priced just under $1 million.  No units have sold in the past 12 months and after seeing a loft at Claris, you will know why.  This is absolutely South Beach living in its truest form.

When seeing the word “Absolut,” affluent comes to mind.  With Absolut Lofts, this rings true.  This loft condominium is located in exclusive SoFi and features only 20 split-level units scattered around five stories.  There are two styles of residences at Absolut – garden lofts and penthouse lofts.  The garden lofts are distinctive in that they have their own private entrances as well as small courtyards while the unique characteristic of the penthouse lofts are the private roof-top terraces.  Designed by famed architecture firm, Kobi Karp (1101 Brickell), Absolut Lofts were built in 2005 and offer a very chic lifestyle to those who have the chance to call this address home.  Current list prices fall between the mid-$600s to upper-$800s with sale prices of the two that sold over the last 12 months in the same range and the average number of days on the market at only TWO days.  For investors, monthly rentals range from around $3,000 to over $4,000. 

Industry Lofts embody the true loft experience with its industrial aesthetic design.  Originally a telephone company, the residences feature exposed ceilings, A/C ducts, and other loft characteristics.  Zoned live/work, this is ideal for those who have the desire to live and work in the same location.  With retail on the first floor and a total of 17 residences on the other two stories, the location of Industry Lofts I perfect as it is one block from Lincoln Road.  Inside each residence, there are gourmet kitchens with top-quality appliances and fixtures as well as high ceilings and contemporary finishes.  Other great qualities include an elevator and huge roof top garden with a Jacuzzi and sundeck.  In the past year, two units have sold with sale prices in the mid-$300s and mid-$400s and the average number of days on the market at only 30 days.  For investors, rental rates are anywhere between $3,000 and $4,000 per month.

More Lofts in South Beach
While there are more lofts in South Beach, the number of opportunities to purchase a loft condominium is few and far between.  Too many to name, when one is listed, it is gobbled up virtually within the snap of a finger which is why it is so important to work with a Miami Realtor who has his finger on the pulse of the market and even more important to be ready to buy.  Lofts in and of themselves are very contemporary and cool but put them in tropical South Beach and they also become very exotic.  There is nothing like living in a South Beachloft.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lofts 1 and 2 Downtown Miami

For the hip, upwardly mobile professional living in or moving to Downtown Miami, lofts are becoming a very chic and cool place to live.  Probably one of the most popular condominiums with loft-style units is Loft 1 and Loft 2 Downtown. They combine the chic lifestyle of South Beach with the urban feel of a metropolitan loft.  Built in 2006 and 2007, respectively, Loft 1 and Loft 2 Downtown are the products of forward thinking developer, The Related Group and the architecture firm, Cohen, Freedman, Encinosa and Associates.  Loft 1 has 24 stories with a two-story lobby and 196 residences in the building (only nine per floor).  In Loft 2, the building hosts another two-story lobby and 36 stories with 496 units.

The Groups Involved in the Lofts
Miami developer, The Related Group, was behind the concept and development of the Lofts 1 and 2 Downtown and enlisted Cohen Freedman, Encinosa and Associates to design the buildings.  The Related Group has developed some of the area’s most well-known residential condominiums including Icon Brickell, 50 Biscayne, My Brickell, and Icon Bay (currently about to begin construction).  Cohen, Freedman, Encinosa and Associates have designed such condominiums as Brickell on the River, Uptown Lofts and other landmark buildings.

These urban lofts are located in the heart of Downtown Miami with Loft 1 Downtown at 234 3rd Street and Loft 2 Downtown at 133 2nd Avenue.  In the center of everything, The Lofts are a block away from Bayfront Park and within walking distance to most everything in Downtown Miami including the Performing Arts Center, Bayside Market  and more. Situated adjacent to Miami’s Metro Mover system, residents can live in Miami without owning a car.

Downtown Miami is a thriving cultural mecca with so much going on.  As a prosperous part of the city, it offers the best of metropolitan living in a tropical paradise. 

Amenities of the Lofts 1 and Lofts 2 Downtown
The Lofts 1 and Lofts 2 Downtown have so much to offer their residents. Each building is a “smart” building that is pre-wired for high-speed internet and cable television; tinted, energy efficient and impact resistant windows; state of the art fitness centers with a sauna, steam room; outdoor pool; 24-hour concierge and valet service; and, so much more.

Inside each studio, one and two-bedroom homes, while the spaces are smaller than many other condominium residences, each has a wide open space with 10-foot ceilings and an interior design that has an authentic loft feel.  Updated appliances in open, eat-in kitchens and large areas make living at the Lofts easy and comfortable.  In addition to designer fixtures and finishes, homeowners enjoy a contemporary atmosphere with unique concrete floors and ceilings as well as panoramic city and Bay views.  Some homeowners have installed hardwood flooring to create their own aesthetic. 

Real Estate at the Lofts 1 and 2
Lofts 1 and 2 real estate features studios and one and two-bedroom homes.   At the Loft 1, the building is somewhat smaller with only 196 units on 22 floors (nine per floor) while Loft 2 has 34 floors with 396 units (about 12 per floor).  In Loft 1 there are only nine units for sale (as of this writing) that are priced between about $165K and the mid-$300s while 14 units on the market priced between just under $200K to almost $400K. 

Over the past six months, there have been 22 sales in Loft 1 Downtown with sale prices between $110K and $210K while in Loft 2 Downtown, there have been 50 sales with sale prices between $110K and about $340K.  The average number of days on the market range between just over 20 days and almost 90 days.  Because these are much more affordable, offer so much for the price tag and are so popular, they sell quickly.

As for Loft 1 and 2 Downtown rentals in either of the buildings, monthly rental rates fall anywhere between about $1,300 and $2,600.  With these kinds of rental rates and the reasonable sale prices, this is an excellent opportunity for investors. 

Excellent Real Estate Opportunities
The Lofts Downtown 1 and 2 are excellent real estate opportunities for many different buyers from first time buyers to investors to international buyers who are frequently come to Miami for business.  With all that the buildings offer as well as what is in each unit, it is truly understandable why these sell so quickly.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Aqua on Allison Island – Miami’s Tropical Oasis

Situated in Miami Beach, Aqua on Allison Island is Miami’s tropical oasis.  It is a small island village set on 8.5 acres of land that features some of the most sought after Miami real estate.  This guarded close-knit community features the ultimate in luxury and privacy.  The people who live here are very friendly and love where they live. 

Aqua on Allison Island is a collection of some of the most creative and successful architects, designers and developers who have created a city within a city.  This creative and savvy group of professionals worked individually yet as a cohesive unit to create an unbelievable assembly of condominiums and private homes that only a select few live.

Up until 1912, Allison Island was nothing but a small clearing in a swamp of mangroves at the mouth of Indian Creek.  Because it was inhabited by nothing but alligators and other “swamp creatures,” no one ever thought about developing it.  Then in 1912, Carl Fisher, who began developing Miami Beach, decided to buy Allison Island as a tribute to his good friend and partner, Jim Allison.  Allison tried unsuccessfully to develop it several times.  But until 1926, nothing succeeded.  At that point, he began to develop a luxury, “state of the art” hospital for the wealthy Miami Beach residents.  But the Hurricane of 1926 (Great Miami Hurricane), a category 4 storm, destroyed all hopes of such a development when it flattened the hospital. 

Location of Aqua Allison Island
This small island, long and skinny in its shape, sits directly between La Gorce Island and Miami Beach.  Just a short drive from Bal Harbour and North Bay Village, this quaint little paradise sits at the mouth of Indian Creek.  While it has a feel of being far away from all the action of Miami, it is very close to much of the action of Miami.

Aqua Allison Island Amenities
Luxury is the number one goal at Aqua on Allison Island.  The amenities at any Aqua property are all about comfort and indulgence. There are so many awesome conveniences for the residents and their guests that include a state of the art fitness center with a large patio that looks out over the water, 24-hour security and monitoring of the private entrance to the community, beautiful heated pools and a children’s pool, a children’s center, walking and jogging paths throughout the island, private docks and so much more.

For Aqua residence amenities, luxury continues to be at the forefront of the features of this high-end Miami real estate.  In terms of the residential design, homes have a contemporary style with private garage, wrap around balconies, and high ceilings of 10 feet.  As for features, residences offer designer kitchens with high-end fixtures, large open rooms, floor to ceiling windows that look out over the water and the rest of Miami, and more. 
Everything about Aqua on Allison Island is so breathtaking and amazing.  From the inside out, everything has been well thought out with the home owners in mind.

Real Estate at Aqua on Allison Island
Aqua at Allison Island real estate is a combination of condominiums and private homes.  There is a striking yet subtle art deco design throughout the island with a color scheme that has a tropical feel.   While so many have the aspiration to live on the island, only a lucky few get to call an Aqua property home. 

There are 46 private homes in the form of individual condominium homes and townhouses, and 105 units in three mid-rise condominiums each with 11 stories – The Spear, Gorlin and Chatham.  The Spear offers the largest potential for buying as it has 60 residences inside while the Gorlin and Chatham are slightly more exclusive with only 29 and 16 homes in each, respectively. 

Mid-Rise Condos
Spear Condo has a unique appearance where it almost seems to float in the water and features colors that blend or compliment the surroundings.  There are two to four-bedroom homes inside this 11-story building that range in size from 1,367 to 2,752 square feet. List prices fall between about $900K and $1.5 million. 

As for the Gorlin Condo, its 11 stories encompass 29 units ranging in size from 1,316 to 3,442 square feet and featuring three bedrooms.  Its design compliments its sister properties and offers list prices that typically start at about $1 million and climb to over $1.5 million. 

The Chatham Condo is the most exclusive of the three buildings with only 16 units in the 11 story building.  It sits on a multi-level parking structure.  The units have a loft-type feel and offer two and three bedrooms.  Sizes range from 1,957 to 3,427 square feet.  This building is much more exclusive and rarely has units available for sale.

Private Residences
In terms of the individual Aqua homes, they range in size from around 2,000 square foot condominium home to over 4,000 square feet for a townhome.  The main draw to these private residences is that they have an individual style and design.  List prices range anywhere from $1.2 million to well over $2 million.

Eight homes have sold in the past 12 months with sale prices ranging from the upper $500s to over $1.2 million.  While the average number of days on the market sits at about 190 days for these recent sales, the spread is all over the board with some selling within as little as five days while others took over one year to sell. 

Rental Property
Aqua real estate is an excellent investment as any property that hits the market as a rental is swiped up in a quick manner.  It is such an awesome place to live that there are Miami residents who will rent property here.

There are Aqua rentals available but never more than a couple at a time.  When one does appear, monthly rental rates range from around $4,500 to over $10,000.  After all, Aqua Allison Island is very exclusive and the rates reflect that.

Living the Dream
To live at Aqua on Allison Island is truly living the Dream.  This city within a city offers exclusive Miami real estate for those who are lucky enough to buy here.   Take some time and visit the island to see what it is all about.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Miami Neighborhoods -- Where the Rich and Famous Live

Long before the Kardashians headed to Miami, the rich and famous flocked to Miami to live.  Whether a permanent residence for successful business people, dignitaries and sports icons or vacation homes for some of the world’s favorite celebrities, sightings are commonplace throughout the downtown, beach and island areas.  Following are the top Miami neighborhoods where the rich and famous live.

Star Island
As one of the most exclusive communities in all of Miami, Star Island is a favorite of celebrity residents.  Star Island is a man-made island in Biscayne Bay that, while it has a guard house at the only entrance to the one street neighborhood, is a public neighborhood in which anyone can enter after stopping at the guard gate.  On the island are very large estates that are home to many wealthy homeowners including some very famous people.  Some names of former and present residents include Julio Iglesias, Rosie O’Donnell, Shaquille O’Neal, Gloria Estefan, and more. 

List prices for Star Island homes typically start at about $10 million.  Over the past five years, one home has sold each year with sale prices and sale prices per square foot varying with no common thread.  In a nutshell, potential buyers want to live on Star Island and have no issues paying to live there as they can easily afford it.
Palm Island
Palm Island is another manmade island that lies in Biscayne Bay and is accessible by one entrance from the Mac Arthur Causeway.  Homes on Palm Island are grand in their appearance and offer the ultimate in luxury living. Homes feature extensive pool and outdoor living areas along with private docks housing mega yachts and multiple vessels.   Celebrities who have lived or still own homes on Palm Island include Barbara Walters, Gabrielle Anwar, Al Capone, Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova and others. 

Palm Island real estate typically ranges between about $4 million and over $20 million. In 2012, two homes sold between $2.8 million and just over $5 million while one home sold earlier this month for $2.4 million. 

Fisher Island
A barrier island in Miami, Fisher Island is known for having the highest per capita income in the United States.  It is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in all of Miami-Dade County.  Fisher Island real estate features some of the most beautiful and sought after condominiums.  In addition, the community amenities are second to none with a private marina and yacht club, elegant Club, secluded beach club, and top golf course among other things make it as elite as the residents who choose to have homes on Fisher Island.  Some of the celebrities who have lived or still live include Oprah Winfrey, Jim Carrey, Andre Agassi, and others.

Fisher Island real estate features condominiums varying in size but offers an immense amount of luxury that is second to none.  With list prices from the mid-$200s at Marina Village to $15 million at Oceanside, residents have the ability to live an exclusive lifestyle on Fisher Island.  In 2012, 24 units sold with sale prices ranging from $300K to over $5.7 million.  So far this year, six units have sold with prices between $500K and over $6 million. 

Celebrity Spottings Throughout Miami
Only a very select group of people have the ability to live in the exclusive Miami communities.   While there are certain communities where celebrities tend to seek out homes, there are always celebrity spottings throughout Miami.  Other areas include Brickell and Miami’s Design District, Key Biscayne where Miami socialites and other celebrities have homes, and of course, Miami Beach/South Beach.  Miami has always been a worldwide fashion and cultural mecca in the United States and continues to draw the rich and famous to live in areas all over the city.  
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