Saturday, December 20, 2014

Buena Vista Trio: Three Favorite Design District Restaurants

If there is one thing the city of Miami is not lacking?  It would have to be restaurants!  Everywhere you turn; there is another fantastic place to eat.  With the development of the Design District bringing high-end shopping, art and more to this newly rehabbed neighborhood, restaurants are also abundant.  Three long-time favorites in this part of town are related to each other even sharing the same name:  Buena Vista Deli, Bistro and, of course, the Chocolate and Wine Bar.

Buena Vista Deli, 4590 NE 2nd Avenue.  Holy cow!  You know when you pull on each end of a croissant and it just flakes apart; then you take a bite and it literally melts in your mouth?  Well, that happens every day at Buena Vista Deli.  There is nothing like their croissants.  They have a huge menu on a chalkboard from which you can choose the best salads, croissant sandwiches, desserts and, of course, a little libation with wine and beer if coffee, tea and other drinks are not quite what you have in mind. BV Deli is a great place to go if you are not super hungry at dinner but want to relax with a glass of wine and a perfect salad or a quick and delectable breakfast.  Did we mention how delectable the croissants were?

Buena Vista Bistro, 4582 NE 2nd Avenue.  Another Buena Vista hot spot is the Bistro.  Located just next door to the Deli, the Bistro is a step up from the Deli in terms of the menu and atmosphere but as for food, it is just as good.  The flavor of the BVB is a true bistro-style atmosphere.  It is one of those places where people say “I just love how it feels in here.”  Then they bring you food that is so good you could order another full meal just because you cannot quit eating.  From delectable lunches to unbelievable dinners, everyone leaves saying that they will definitely be back.  Probably one of their most requested items is the Tuna Tartare – if you like sushi, you need to try this – it is better.  Additionally, the lamb chops are out of this world.  The best part is that the prices are very reasonable.  This is a true favorite for those who live and work here as well as those from other Miami neighborhoods. Oh and don’t forget Sunday brunch at BVB – the perfect way to start off Sunday fun-day in Miami!   

Buena Vista Chocolate and Wine Bar, 4557 NE 2nd Avenue.  After eating at either of the other two BV’s, the next stop has to be the BV Chocolate and Wine Bar. Chocolate and wine – in the same place -- what else needs to be said? You know when you have a craving for chocolate and one piece will fix it? Well, once you are here, one piece is not enough. Chocolate fanatics think they have died and gone to heaven upon putting that first piece of handmade chocolate in their mouths. It is so incredibly scrumptious that words are simply not enough. The wine selection is extraordinary.  They often feature a Pinot Gris that many people love because it has a light and fruity note to it without being too sweet.  This is a must-do in the Design District. 

All at One Time
The best part for the BV trio is that they are located on the same block so you can hit the Buena Vista establishments all at one time or each of them one at a time.  Also, they cater and deliver so this group may just be the easiest, not to mention the tastiest, to handle the food and beverages for your next event. 

If you have not been to any of them, make sure you go – it is worth the trip to the Design District.  For those who have but have forgotten about it, now is the time to reacquaint yourselves.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Brickell Rentals: Cool and Affordable Luxury

A few months ago, we introduced My Brickell to you.  My Brickell is the brain child from famed designer, Karim Rashid, along with renowned developer, Jorge Perez, Arquitectonica’s Principal, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, and famed landscape designer, Raymond Jungles.  This creation, unlike anything that has been built in all of Miami, has been so well received that following a complete sell out, re-sales are underway with increases in list prices topping 70 percent. 

My Brickell Rentals
Along with a high demand on sales, My Brickell rentals are also a hot commodity as the condominium, itself, has that edgy appeal that draws so many renters who want to be in Brickell.  Early on, investors saw the value in My Brickell real estate and sought to be part of something that was going to stand out in the pack of the new wave of development taking place in Brickell.  And it appears they hit the nail on the head.

In the last six months, there have been 28 rentals have been leased.  Studios with a little more than 600 square feet have monthly rentals falling between $1,500 and $1,650 while one and two-bedroom monthly rentals range from about $1,900 to well over $3,000.  The overall price per square foot falls between $2.00 and $3.00. 

Available My Brickell Rentals
It is interesting to note that the one studio rental available has a monthly rental of $1,790 – an 8 percent increase over the highest rental rate paid in the last six months.  As for one-bedroom rentals, there is only one penthouse unit available with a monthly rate of $2,250.  Two-bedroom rentals are available with rates ranging from $2,450 to $3,300 which is comparable to the prices of recent My Brickell rentals

My Brickell Amenities
It is no wonder that My Brickell is such a hot spot.  The condominium provides numerous amenities that have a trendy, “now” kind of feel to them.  Orange is the signature color and it appears everywhere even if it is just a fleck in the carpet. The state of the art fitness center, the inviting and happy pool deck with a cool pool bar, game room with an orange pool table, no less, and expansive art deco-style lobby make this condominium absolutely all the rage.  

When creating My Brickell, the goal was to make it as pedestrian-friendly as possible.  With that in mind, there is parking next door but only one and two bedroom residences come with one assigned parking spot while studios must use valet parking.  Let’s face it – because of its location, you do not need a car unless you want to go to the beach but just make sure you have a friend with a car.

Residences are spacious and have a loft-style feel to them.  Studios are a little over 600 square feet and the largest two-bedroom/two-bath has over 1,300 square feet.  The kitchens feature stainless steel appliances and tiled back splashes and are designed as a loft would lay out a kitchen.  Views from the residences showcase the city and water.  The living area is open and airy, and the master bedrooms have very nice walk-in closets.

Do Not Delay
With this in mind, there are currently 10 rentals available at My Brickell.  But be sure to act if you like one as it seems more and more people in Brickell want to live at My Brickell.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Five Affordable Downtown Miami Rentals

In a recent Daily Business Review article, experts believe that rental rates in Downtown Miami are on the rise.  Harvey Hernandez, Managing Director, Newgard Development Group, stated that with the population influx in this part of Miami, the booming neighborhood is “not going to have enough product to cover the demand." Hernandez said based on predictions for a population influx in central Miami. He further stated that he anticipates the rental rate per square foot to jump from the current $2.25 to $2.50 to about $3.25 which is aimed at “the professional who wants to be centrally located," he said.

When comparing rentals, two and three bedroom units are a better value when looking at the price per square foot.  With that in mind, it is still possible to find a great, roomy Downtown Miami rental with over two bedrooms in a well sought-after condominium.  Here are five condominiums with two-bedroom residences for well under $3.00 per square foot.

The Loft Downtown, 234 NE 3rd Street.   Located in the heart of Downtown Miami, The Loft Downtown is a Related Group project built in 2005.  It is within walking distance to everything so that you can virtually park the car and walk everywhere which is ideal for those who work Downtown and in Brickell.  With only nine units have an urban loft-style design with exposed walls and pipes they are pre-wired for high-speed internet and cable TV access as well as have modern fixtures and finishes energy-efficient and impact resistant sliding glass doors and windows, and nice size balconies.  Community amenities include a pool with thermal waterfall, Feng Shui seating areas, tea garden and convenient juice bar fully-equipped fitness center and 24-hour concierge.  In terms of rental rates, the prices start under $2 per square foot and climb to just under $3 per square foot with monthly rentals falling between about $1,500 and $2,200 per month. 

The Loft II Downtown, 133 NE 2nd Avenue.  Another condominium situated just around the corner from its sister building and built in 2007 is the Loft II Downtown.  This condominium is slightly larger than the other with 36 stories and 495 residences.  Not only is it close to everything, it has a MetroMover stop right in the building making it easy to move through Miami without a car.  It has a loft-style design in each residence with room to move and updated fixtures and finishes along with high-speed internet, cable TV access and balconies with beautiful views.  Community amenities are similar to its sister property with a pool, state of the art fitness center, 24-hour concierge, and a gated-access garage.  Rental rates for two-bedrooms fall within the $2,000 to $2,500 range.  Additionally, rental rate per square foot for two-bedrooms skirt the $2 per square foot range.   

One Miami, 325 Biscayne Boulevard.  One Miami is a Downtown Miami landmark that features 896 units on 44 floors.  With 11 floor plans offering studios, one, two and three-bedroom units, the location of One Miami offers amazing views of the city, South Beach, and water views.  Inside each unit, you can expect to European kitchen cabinets with stainless steel sinks and granite countertops along with imported tile in the kitchens and bath, and impact resistant glass doors and windows that lead out to balconies with amazing views.   Additionally, residents have access to wonderful pool with tropical landscaping surrounding it, a fitness center with state-of-the art equipment, assigned parking, 24-hour valet, security, concierge and housecleaning, and a lot more.  As for rental rates, one and two, and three-bedroom residences fall between about $1,600 and $4,500 per month.  As a comparison, for the most part, the price per square foot for One Miami rentals ranges from about $2.10 to $2.75 with a handful about $3 per square foot. 

Opera Tower, 1750 North Bayshore Drive.  As a slightly more expensive condominium when comparing on a price per square foot basis, it does not get much better than Opera Tower rentals.  Situated just across the street from Margaret Pace Park and Biscayne Bay, this is a luxury condominium in the truest sense of the word.  Inside there are studios, one and two-bedroom units available for rent with rental rates falling between about $1,600 and just over $3,000 with sizes ranging from about 500 square feet and just over 1,000 square feet.  Inside each residence, tenants enjoy beautiful kitchens with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and custom European cabinetry as well as spacious living areas, pre-wiring for digital satellite cable and high-speed internet access and floor-to-ceiling solar tint sliding glass doors that lead out to spacious wraparound balconies.  In terms of price per square foot, two-bedrooms offer the most value starting at $2.35 per square foot while studios may hit $4 per square foot.

50 Biscayne, 50 Biscayne Boulevard.   Located just across the street from Biscayne Park, 50 Biscayne is a gorgeous condominium with beautiful views and lots of restaurants and activities within a block or two.  Inside each residence, there are floor to ceiling glass windows that lead out to large balconies, large living rooms, large master bedrooms with walk-in closets, Smart Building wiring, large kitchens with plenty of counter space, custom cabinets and high-end stainless steel appliances, and more.  As for community amenities, tenants have access to a two-story fitness center, two-story club room, resort-style pool, high-speed elevators, 24-hour concierge, valet and security, and more.  Monthly rental rates range from about $1,600 to over $4,000 with price per square foot falling between about $2 to about $3.75 for a studio.  Like most other rental properties, two bedroom rentals offer the most value when comparing units on a price per square foot basis.

Rental Rates Will Climb
With downtown rentals, experts and developers see the potential with rental properties and are in a development mode with new construction throughout all of Miami.  They also indicate that they expect Downtown Miami rental rates will climb.  When comparing Downtown Miami rentals as well as those in other parts of this tropical paradise, looking at them on a price per square foot basis provides an accurate comparison. 

If you are thinking about renting in one of the Downtown Miami condominiums, now is the time to get serious.  Check out some of the units in one of these buildings as well as others. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

SLS LUX: Another Brickell Masterpiece

Because of the successful sell out of SLS Brickell, another SLS hotel and residence property is about to begin construction in Brickell --  SLS LUX.  Situated just a few blocks from its sister property and within the Brickell Heights property, this new Related project plans a 57-story tower with 450 condominium residences and 12 penthouses that will ooze luxury.  With Jorge Perez's passion for fine art and unique design, SLS LUX is about to bring the best of both worlds to what will become a highly sought after address in all of Brickell. 

The Masterminds of SLS LUX
SLS LUX  is a combination of some of the elite minds of the real estate development and architectural world.   At the helm is none other than Mr. Brickell himself, Jorge Perez, CEO of the Related Group which can be credited for being part of re-energizing real estate development in Miami over the past two to three years with the likes of Icon Bay, Icon Brickell, SLS Brickell, Paraiso Bay and others.  The Related Group has partnered with other icons in the industry including The Allen Morris Company, Arquitectonica (no surprise there),
world renowned Yabu Pushelberg for the interior design, and sbe Founder and hospitality guru, Sam Nazarian, with other SLS hotels and residences (SLS South Beach and SLS Brickell) along with some of the best restaurants and night clubs under his belt. But what makes SLS LUX stand out above the rest is the museum-quality works of art by artists Fernando Botero and  Fabian Bergos throughout the property.  On top of this, prominent lighting artist, Ana Isabel Martinez is designing the first LED facade.

Location of SLS LUX
In terms of location, SLS LUX is literally right in the center of everything.  Situated at 801 South Miami Avenue, SLS LUX is planned to sit adjacent to Mary Brickell Village and the Brickell City Centre, currently under construction.  Within walking distance are restaurants, shopping, businesses and everything else needed to make living here easy and convenient. 

SLS LUX Features and Amenities
There is so much planned for SLS LUX that it seems we need to break it up into smaller categories.  This complex looks like it will be different from the other Related projects simply because of the art planned. 

Features.  Botero sculptures will be placed in several places including the front sidewalk and other prominent areas of the building.  sbe restaurant by chef Katsuya Uechi and a lounge by SBar are expected on the ground floor.  And, amazingly, there looks like a huge ninth floor indoor/outdoor sports and entertainment  area that offers:
  • A huge lap pool
  • Beach front entry pool
  • Multi-use sports center that includes a tennis court (yes tennis court), soccer area, bocce ball court and more
  • A state-of-the-art fitness center, rock climbing wall
  • Outdoor bar and kitchen with grill area
  • VIP access to other SLS properties' and Brickell Heights (under construction)
  • Too many features to mention

Building Services.  In addition to the stand-out features of SLS LUX, residents have access to the services offered at SLS LUX Hotel.  These building services include:

·         24-hour valet parking
·         24-hour security service
·         Butler and "While You're Away" services
·         Concierge services
·         Dry cleaning and laundry
·         Housekeeping
·         In-room dining
·         Nanny/babysitting
·         Overnight shoeshine
·         Personal IT support assistance
·         Pet services
·         Plant maintenance
·         Pre-arrival provisioning and grocery shopping
·         Translation services

Residence Amenities.  If the building services and features are not enough, each residence offers the following amenities:

·         Fully finished residences with several choices of imported porcelain tile flooring
·         Elegant semi-private and private elevators with biometrics technology
·         9' and 12'- smooth finish ceilings for residences and penthouses, respectively
·         Some penthouses with private rooftop pools and outdoor spas
·         Amazing gourmet-kitchens with imported cabinetry and stone countertops (choices pre-selected by Yabu Pushelberg) as well as high-end stainless steel appliances
·         Home Automation system
·         Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
·         Pre-wired for high-speed communications multiple telephone lines and cable
·         Private vestibules in all residences
·         Rain Showers and spa tubs in all master bathrooms
·         Barbecue grilling areas on terraces of some residences
·         "Smart Building" technology features custom SLS LUX app, that links residents to SLS Brickell professional concierge services and building amenities
·         Spacious, fully finished walk-in closets in all master bedrooms
·         Spacious terraces with glass and aluminum railings
·         Stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline
·         Two self-parking spaces available for most residences

SLS LUX Real Estate Information
SLS LUX plans to offer one, two, three and four-bedroom prices for residential properties.  There are 10 floor plans from which to choose some of which offer dens and plenty of room to move.  Following are the selected floor plans:
Prices average about $600 per square foot with list prices falling between the mid to upper-$600s and well over $1 million.  Penthouse properties will be offered with list prices higher possibly topping $3 million.


The planned schedule for deposits is:
  • 10% at Reservation
  • 10% at Contract (or balance of 20%)
  • 10% at Groundbreaking
  • 10% at 9th floor
  • 10% at Top-off
  • 50% at closing

Luxury at Its Finest
SLS LUX represents luxury at its finest.  This property is, without a doubt, a continuation of its SLS sister properties in Miami and maybe even one step further.  Because SLS Brickell sold out within a month of launching reservations, SLS LUX seems to show that it may do the same. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Centro Lofts Miami

There are a lot of condominiums under construction and even more in the works in Downtown Miami and the surrounding neighborhoods right now.  Each has its own architectural flavor that adds to the Miami skyline and appeals to different buyers who want to experience living in Miami.

Centro Lofts epitomizes today’s urban life in one of the most exciting tropical cities in the world.  Officially under construction and set to be completed in late 2015, the 36-story, 352-unit project is an edgy, new Downtown Miami condominium project with loft loft-style residences and a vibe that is unlike any other in the city – in the entire southern quarter of the US.

People Bringing the Ideas to Life
The people bringing the ideas to life include some of the development world’s most innovative developers, architects and designers.  Newgard Development Group is the genius behind wanting to develop Centro and has partnered with Seiger Suarez Architects and forward-thinking designer Yves Behar to create one of the most urban-influenced condominiums.  One of the other major condominiums for which they are involved is Brickell House.   

Location of Centro Lofts Miami
Centro is located in the heart of Downtown Miami at 151 SE 1st St Miami, FL where residents who want an urban pedestrian-friendly lifestyle in the center of everything.  Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Bayfront Amphitheatre, and the American Airlines Arena are all within a short walk in addition to the upcoming Museum Park, Brickell, and the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. restaurants, shopping, and the beautiful Bayfront Park and Biscayne Bay.  On top of this, the major transportation hubs of Miami are less than 15 minutes from Centro.     

car2Go – Miami’s Only Hub
Centro Lofts is the first designated car2go hub in Miami.  car2go is a new approach to metro transportation where customers have access to vehicles via a mobile app or internet to use to simply reserve it, drive it and park it.  With 240 vehicles set to be available at the company’s newest hub, car2go Miami will be the eighth US city to jump on board with this innovative idea of transportation.  There is no need to own a vehicle when living at Centro – when residents want to go anywhere that is a bit far to walk, car2go is a great way to go.

Centro Lofts Amenities
Just as anyone would imagine, a property like Centro is going to have the coolest amenities and with Yves Behar designing the interiors, the plans go all out.  Not only does it have the first dedicated hub of car2go in Miami, the plans show a condominium that is sustainable and environmentally conscious.  Community amenities include:
  • Triple-height lobby entrance
  • 24-hour reception desk
  • Full-service valet parking
  • Ground floor Anchor restaurant
  • Secured key-fob entry access
  • High-speed controlled elevators
  • Outdoor pet area with secure, access controlled entry/exit
  • Two-story Penthouse recreation area
  • Fully equipped fitness center with spa
  • Skyline residents lounge
  • Resort style pool with panoramic city and Bay views

As for residence amenities, the plans show that each residence has a loft design with dramatic effects that give Centro its contemporary style – think high ceilings and open living areas.  Several of the amenities include:
  • 10-foot exposed elevated ceilings
  • Floor to ceiling energy-efficient and sound-reducing windows
  • Concrete flooring
  • Oversized closets
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom fixtures with modern flair and design
  • Stainless-steel appliances that are energy-smart
  • Stone counter tops and back splashes
  • Italian kitchen and bathroom cabinetry
  • Separate showers and soaking tubs in select units
  • High-efficiency air conditioning

Centro Lofts Real Estate
Even with so many options and amenities, the idea behind Centro is to make them more affordable so that they appeal to the type of buyers who want to live in the center of all of the action for which Miami is known. 

Construction is tentatively slated to be complete by the end of next year – 2015.  The most recent photos show that they have gone up three floors with construction so far.  At this point, there are currently 10 units listed for sale with list prices between the upper-$200s and upper-$400s for one and two-bedroom lofts.  Centro is perfect for first-time buyers as well as investors in the market for Downtown rental properties.

A New Twist to Miami Real Estate
Without a doubt, Centro Lofts Miami offers a new twist to Miami real estate to bring a contemporary element to what is considered one of the most exciting cities in the country or world.  Buying at Centro Lofts is the perfect opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new idea which will become more prevalent throughout the area. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

MIDBLOCK: Miami at Your Fingertips

More and more people have work at home careers with today’s technology whether in sales or an office position.  That is why it is so important to have a space that accommodates home and work.  MIDBLOCK is a mixed-use building in Midtown Miami with a combination of lofts, townhouses and tower units.  It showcases some of the trendiest and most inviting properties Midtown Miami real estate has to offer.
Designed by Forum Architects, MIDBLOCK is undergoing a shift from a total rental community to a building with individually owned units.  One of the most unique qualities of MIDBLOCK is its architectural style that features a glass rotunda filled with retail and restaurants surrounded by townhouses and live/work lofts with tower units on top of the business levels.  MIDBLOCK has a coolness factor to it that appeals to buyers who have a desire to have a more updated and modern living space. 

Location of MIDBLOCK at Midtown
The physical address of MIDBLOCK is 3250 NE 1st Street which is in the heart of Miami’s Midtown neighborhood.  The best part about living in Midtown is that it is surrounded by other great neighborhoods like Wynwood and the Design District and all that those areas have to offer.  In fact, it is often referred to SoHo in New York City – the only difference being that it is about a five minute drive of Miami Beach.  Additionally, it is very close to the major travel arteries and transportation hubs for which Miami is known.  In fact, MIDBLOCK is close to everything!  From here you can be anywhere in Miami in less than 10 minutes. 

Amenities at MIDBLOCK at Midtown
If being around some of the best shopping and dining is not enough, MIDBLOCK is full of amenities that make it a fantastic place to live.  Some of the most desirable include:

·         Covered gated parking
·         Pet-friendly
·         Rooftop patios and gathering areas
·         24-hour concierge
·         Key card access controlled elevators
·         24-hour security
·         Chic modern lobby
·         State of the art fitness centers
·         Rooftop swimming pool with 360-degree views of the city

From there, lofts are two-story with an upper level for bedroom/work area while the townhouse villas offer two stories with two bedrooms on the upper levels and the tower houses one and two-bedroom units.  Each unit is filled with tons of amenities and space to make living there pure bliss.  Some of the most notable features about the living space include 10-foot exposed concrete ceilings, large kitchens with stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry and stone countertops, spacious master suites with large master baths and walk-in closets and more.  Other amenities for each of the residences include:

·         Pre-wired for electric, cable, high-speed Internet
·         Full-sized washer and dryer
·         Floor to ceiling windows
·         Spacious private terraces with amazing views
·         Private storage for each residence

Real Estate at MIDBLOCK at Midtown
The mix of residences at MIDBLOCK include apartment units, townhouses and loft units that range in size from just over 800 square feet for a one-bedroom tower unit to over 2,000 square feet for a loft and everything in between.  List prices start in the mid to upper-$300s and climb to over $600K depending on the type and size of unit.  Because it was a rental community up until recently, many of the units MIDBLOCK rentals already had lease agreements in place which makes this a huge opportunity for investors.  Investors can expect to get anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500 per month for rental rates.  

There are currently four units for sale at MIDBLOCK all in the Tower with list prices ranging from the upper-$300s to mid-$500s.  Over the past six months, 13 units at MIDBLOCK have sold with sale prices falling between the upper-$300s and low-$500s. 

MIDBLOCK Reflects a Growing Economy
MIDBLOCK is a perfect example of how the real estate market pendulum has swung in the right direction and reflects a growing economy.  With 13 sales under its belt since it went from an entirely rental community to individually-owned units, it shows that there is a need for properties of this caliber.  MIDBLOCK is what Miami real estate buyers want – especially when Midtown is where they want to be.

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