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posted Mar 5, 2013, 10:54 AM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Mar 5, 2013, 10:56 AM ]

This mansion at 3 Indian Creek in Indian Creek Village, which fetched a record-setting $47-million, is the most expensive home ever sold in Miami-Dade County history.  Michael Stavaridis / The Jills 

The Miami area ranked eighth among the top 10 luxury real estate markets in the world in a report from Christie’s International Real Estate, putting it in a league with London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong, (but also Dallas and Toronto).

Miami-Dade placed high in the percentage of second-home buyers, cash buyers, and foreign and other non-local buyers, according to Christie’s, a luxury brokerage whose local affiliate is Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors in Coral Gables.

The priciest home sold in Miami in 2012 was the spectacular bayfront estate at 3 Indian Creek Drive in Indian Creek Village, which fetched a record-setting $47-million.

The trophy property — a 10-bedroom, 14-bathroom resort-like project constructed along a series of pavilions — went to a Russian buyer, whose identity hasn’t been disclosed.

The Miami-Dade deal paled compared to the top residential sales last year in London ($121.2 million) and New York ($88 million).

“Fueled by strong interest from South American buyers, Miami had a high percentage of both international and secondary and additional home buyers,” the Christie’s paper said. In Miami, 45 percent of the luxury buyers were from out of town, including foreign buyers.

Greater Miami’s luxury homes are still a relative bargain: For the year ended Sept. 30, 2012, for Miami residences listed at more than $1 million, the average was $764 per square foot. The record price in Miami was $3,463 per square foot, the report said.

By contrast, in New York, the average price for properties over $1 million was $1,810 per square foot, and the record was $13,049 per square foot, the highest of any city.

The top end of the residential market moves to its own rhythm, according to the report. “Residential real estate is a tale of two markets — luxury and everything else,” Christie’s CEO Bonnie Stone Sellers said in the report. “Prestige residential will more likely follow growth trends in non-consumable luxury goods than trends in the general housing market.”

Miami, which has a shortage of inventory across all sectors of the residential market, ranked seventh among the top 10 cities in luxury inventory, with just 2,036 residential listings for more than $1 million as of Sept. 30, 2012.

London had 7,741 such homes, Côte d’Azur had 7,000 and New York had 4,100, the report said.

By Martha Brannigan courtsey The Miami Herald: Read the full report

Miami pending home sales up 22 percent

posted Jul 30, 2012, 9:45 PM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Jul 30, 2012, 9:46 PM ]

downtown miami view from south beach

Pending sales of condominiums and single-family homes in Miami rose 22 percent in June compared to the same period in 2011, according to data from the Miami Association of Realtors. There were a total of 3,344 pending sales in June, although that represented a 13 percent decline from May 2012. “Despite low levels of housing inventory in Miami, pending sales activity continue to point to strong future sales,” said Martha Pomares, chairman of the board of the Miami Association of Realtors. “Dwindling supply, coupled with rising contract activity, will continue to drive price appreciation in Miami-Dade.” A sale is listed as pending when a contract is signed, but the transaction has not yet closed.

South Beach redevelopment proposals progressing

posted Jun 21, 2012, 1:22 PM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Jun 21, 2012, 1:26 PM ]

Two separate redevelopment projects that would transform the inner core of Miami Beach are progressing toward votes.

Read more here:

Two pricey South Beach redevelopment projects – one to overhaul the Miami Beach Convention Center and another to build an offshoot of the Lincoln Road Mall – are progressing toward key city votes.

Miami Beach commissioners are expected to vote next month to partner with a developer to turn public parking lots on an alley north of Lincoln Road into shopping and entertainment plazas that complement the historic pedestrian mall.

And while a larger project to redevelop the city’s aging convention center and the surrounding area remains in its infancy, frontrunners emerged this month to make the short list of preferred development teams. Teams that make the cut will compete to redesign, redevelop and lease prime, public South Beach real estate under and around the convention center.

Of the seven groups that submitted qualifications for the massive project, only two were recommended by a city evaluation as viable private partners.

They are:

• Portman-CMC, a collaboration between Atlanta-based Portman Holdings and Miami developer Ugo Colombo. The team includes acrobatic entertainer Cirque du Soleil.

• South Beach ACE, led by Tishman Hotel and Realty and Miami Beach developer Robert Wennett. The team includes the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, headed by Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas, as its main design firm.

The committee ranked teams by developers Turnberry Associates and Crescent Heights a distant third and fourth.

Whichever teams make the city’s pared down list will be asked to design a master plan to expand and update the 55-year-old Miami Beach Convention Center, build 800 hotel rooms, and turn surrounding parking lots, a garage and municipal buildings into shops, parks, restaurants and condos. The scope of the project has been valued between $500 million and $1 billion.

“The project is the most exciting and ambitious redevelopment in the Southeastern United States of this decade,” Portman-CMC stated in its qualifications submittal to the city.

A vote on which teams should be considered for the convention center project was originally anticipated this month. But delays that include the ouster of the city’s purchasing director and the looming July 8 resignation of City Manager Jorge Gonzalez have pushed that date back until at least September.Miami Beach’s city manager will make the final recommendation on which teams the city should negotiate with, and then city commissioners will decide. They are not bound by the committee’s recommendations or the manager’s.

Colombo, the Miami developer from Portman-CMC, told The Miami Herald that much about the project will remain uncertain until a short list is crafted and negotiations begin.

“Right now it’s difficult to see how it will pan out,” he said.

On the other hand, Miami Beach’s project to build out public parking lots on Lincoln Lane, a thin, dumpster-lined alley directly north of Lincoln Road, is far closer to reality.

Four teams unveiled proposals last month to turn three city parking lots on Lenox and Meridian avenues into different arrangements of apartments, shops, office buildings and public promenades. City commissioners are expected to vote on a preferred developer and design July 18.

A recommendation has not been issued by the city manager to commissioners yet. But the evaluation committee that weighed the four proposals last month recommended that the City Commission approve a design by another group from developer Robert Wennett to build out the city’s two Lenox Avenue parking lots and issue a new request for proposal for a third parking lot on Meridian Avenue.

Wennett’s group, which includes South Beach developers Michael Comras and Jonathan Fryd, owns about a half dozen properties around the city’s Lenox Avenue parking lots. The developers proposed building on their own empty properties and leasing space in their Lincoln Road buildings to tenants who will complement the new Lincoln Lane complex.

“The idea is we need to create a strong node here,” Wennett told the committee. “We need to create a neighborhood.”

The group’s $59 million proposal is designed by Snøhetta, the Norwegian firm selected to design the new National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center. The plan includes 36 apartments, 76,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, 360 parking spaces and 42,000 square feet of office space. The two main buildings pull back from the street to allow for walkways, green space and a stand-alone restaurant.

Whatever group wins the City Commission’s approval will try to negotiate a long-term land lease for the city’s parking lots.

Wennett’s team has proposed a 99-year lease for the two lots and estimated that combined lease payments would equal $1.8 million by 2015.

Miami Beach’s city charter requires that voters approve leases of city property for 10 years or longer. Assistant City Manager Jorge Gomez said the city’s July meeting is the last possible date to approve a developer and plan in time to bring a long-term lease referendum to voters on the November presidential ballot.

courtesy: Miami Herald

Read more here:

Marquis Miami now 90 percent sold

posted Jun 18, 2012, 2:24 PM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Jun 18, 2012, 2:24 PM ]

The Marquis Residences condominium in downtown Miami has now sold 90 percent of its units, the project announced. The 67-story condominium, which includes the boutique Tempo hotel, debuted in 2009. “This outstanding achievement is ample proof that buyers recognize the exceptional nature of what is provided at Marquis Residences,” said Lori Ordover, managing member of the Ordover Group, which is the sales and marketing consultant for developer Africa-Israel USA. Wendy Marks Pine, sales director at Marquis, said a majority of buyers at the condo had come from Brazil, the strongest international feeder market of downtown Miami’s recent condo boom. 

Bal Harbour Club sold to Argentine for $220 million

posted Jun 17, 2012, 8:50 AM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Jun 17, 2012, 8:51 AM ]


The sale of the Bal Harbour Club is one of the last prime pieces of oceanfront property. The club is expected to be demolished to make room for a luxury condominium.

An Argentine developer paid $220 million for the Bal Harbour Club, with plans to build a luxury high-rise condominium on the prime, under-utilized oceanfront site.

Consultatio, the development and financial firm owned by Argentine businessman Eduardo Constantini, closed Monday on the 5.53-acre property at 10201 Collins Ave. This is the firm’s second major acquisition in Miami. Consultatio this year began construction of another luxury condominium project on the site of the former Sonesta Key Biscayne, which it purchased in 2009.

“We bought two of the best oceanfront properties in Miami,” said Marcos Corti Maderna, chief executive of Consultatio North America. “We paid prime prices for prime product. We believe in the market and the product that we can develop there.”

This is believed to be the largest land sale of the year and comparable to the $236 million the Genting Group paid in May 2011 for the 13.9-acre bayfront site that is the home of The Miami Herald.

Bal Harbour Club owner Joseph Imbesi had been shopping the site for several years.

Consultatio’s preliminary plans for the Bal Harbour site call for knocking down the club and building about 250 condominiums priced at over $2 million each, Maderna said. The site would also include a small amount of commercial development, including an upscale restaurant.

The Bal Harbour site’s positioning would be similar to what Consultatio is doing in Key Biscayne with the construction of Oceana at Key Biscayne, a 154-unit project with units starting at $1.6 million and scheduled for completion in March 2014. About 75 percent of the units are currently reserved and moving toward contracts, he said.

Miami is the first U.S. expansion for the Argentine firm. While the focus will be on these two projects, the firm wouldn’t rule out future acquisitions in Miami over the long-term.

“Consultatio is here to stay and to get a good reputation,” Maderna said. “We’re going to keep moving forward.”


Read more here:

More luxury retailers moving to Design District Miami

posted Feb 24, 2012, 3:07 PM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Feb 24, 2012, 3:14 PM ]

More luxury retailers moving to Design District

The Miami Herald

Plans to turn Miami’s Design District into a high-end fashion destination are quickly gaining critical mass with more than two dozen luxury retailers like Fendi, Zegna and Bulgari on the way.

Louis Vuitton and Hermès were the first to announce plans last year to close stores at the Bal Harbour Shops and open in the Miami Design District.

Now, developer Craig Robins has confirmed the long-anticipated deal with parent company Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy to bring another 11 brands beyond its namesake company to the burgeoning area on the northern fringes of downtown Miami. They include Christian Dior, Fendi, Bulgari, Pucci, De Beers, Celine and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Robins also officially announced the opening of Cartier, which will be one of 10 Richemont brands opening in the Design District. Other new tenants: Tom Ford, Zegna and Burberry, according to Robins.

“This demonstrates the viability and potential of the Miami Design District,” Robins said. “Our neighborhood has the potential to help redefine how fashion is merchandised in this country.”

Last year, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Dior closed their boutiques at Bal Harbour; Vuitton opened at Aventura Mall. Most of the other LVMH brands are expected also to leave Bal Harbour and relocate to the Design District, while some will also open second locations in Aventura.

The departures haven’t seemed to hurt Bal Harbour, which had its best year in 2011, with annual sales of more than $600 million and average sales per square foot of $2,369 — the industry’s highest. New tenants recently opened or on the way include Alexander McQueen, Canali, Panerai, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and La Perla.

“In a strange way, Louis Vuitton closing created an opportunity for folks that would otherwise not have found a home here,” said Matthew Whitman Lazenby, Bal Harbour’s operating partner and the third generation of the Whitman family to run the business. “There’s no shortage of fantastic luxury tenants.”

Currently, Bal Harbour contracts include a “radius” clause that limits tenants from opening additional outlets within a specified number of miles. Management allowed waivers years ago for some tenants to open at the Village at Merrick Park and is considering a similar idea that would allow tenants to open in the Design District if they are willing to go to the second floor at Bal Harbour or move to a future expansion wing, Lazenby said.

Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hermès, Celine, Pucci and Cartier are all expected to open at least temporary locations in the Design District by the end of this year. By 2014 Robins expects to have between 40 and 50 luxury retail brands, representing nearly 400,000 square feet of shopping space spread throughout the neighborhood.

The effort is intended to create a Miami version of New York’s SoHo or Meat Packing District.

“The Miami market is so underserved that there was a lot of interest in being able to do something new and add second locations,” Robins said.

“While the Design District is unproven, its central location and historic neighborhood make it a prime location for art, design, food and now fashion.”

Read more here:

Swoop Miami SO COOL!

posted Nov 13, 2011, 6:58 AM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Nov 13, 2011, 7:52 AM ]

So, I was walking over to trendy Wine Depot for dinner the other night - and low and behold a little electric vehicle pulled up next to me 
and said "want a free ride?".  I said "where to" - they said "anywhere in SoBe!".  I said "hecht yes, Wine Depot please" - and the rest is history.  

This novel start-up is a great idea - they give you free rides anywhere in SoBe (they just ask for tips) and they generate their operating 
revenue through advertising on the electric vehicles.  HOW COOL!!  I'll be using these guys again, no doubt.  Check em out -

Vacation homes: Why it might be time to buy

posted Aug 2, 2011, 12:52 PM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Aug 2, 2011, 12:59 PM ]

WASHINGTON – Aug. 2, 2011 – Home price declines remain the norm in many areas, but experts say certain luxury markets are picking up steam and attracting affluent vacation-home buyers.

The median second-home price fell 11 percent to $150,000 in 2010 from the prior year, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). And the price dropped 25 percent since 2006, compared to a 22 percent decrease for the overall housing market.

Experts say sales activity depends on geography, with buyers more interested in prime vacation spots. However, financing remains a challenge since banks remain skittish about writing jumbo mortgages.

For many second-home buyers, though, the investment value is not a big concern. NAR says more than 80 percent of second-home buyers made their purchases to simply enjoy the home – not as an investment – with the number of all-cash deals up to 36 percent in 2010 from 29 percent in 2009, enabling buyers to forego a complex mortgage process.

Prices have stabilized or started to rise in Santa Monica, Calif.; Aspen, Colo.; the Hamptons, N.Y.; and Hilton Head, S.C. Meanwhile, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Vail, Colo.; and Miami and Palm Beach remain depressed but offer some bargains.

Source: Wall Street Journal (07/23/11) Silver-Greenberg, Jessica

Lincoln Road project changing South Beach retail real estate market

posted Jul 30, 2011, 1:15 PM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Jul 30, 2011, 1:19 PM ]

Brokers say the addition of the 1111 Lincoln Road project in South Beach has altered the retail real estate landscape in the northern portion of the neighborhood.

The project, which includes tenants like Danny Meyer's Shake Shack and Nespresso Café, has impacted the way landlords in the area think about their property, said Mike Comras, president of Comras, a retail brokerage firm based in Miami Beach.

"I would say Lincoln Road is one of the hottest streets in the country right now," Comras said.

According to Comras, rents in the Lincoln Road submarket have risen approximately 20 percent in the last six months, from averaging between $130 to $160 per square foot all the way to a current range of $150 to $200 per foot.

Comras represented several new tenants in recent deals in the complex, which was built by developer Robert Wennett, including Mexican eatery Rosa Mexicano and clothing boutique Coltorti.

"I think there's been an impact," said Cushman and Wakefield's Greg Masin. "I think that the flow and the feel of that block has been materially altered. I think [Wennett] has got a very efficient retail floor plan there."

The site was designed by Basel, Switzerland-based architects Herzog & DeMeuron in their first Miami project. The global firm has designed structures from the Beijing National Stadium to the Tate Modern in London.

"I think with 1111 [Lincoln], the combination of the architecture, being widely photographed, it's gotten a lot of acclaim," Comras said. "I think [Wennett] did a great job in leasing the space. He's gotten some smaller spaces and signed some upscale tenants."

Masin said the effect on 1111 Lincoln's block, which is at the western end of Lincoln Road where it meets Alton Road, has caused a new kind of thinking for landlords.

"I think it's forcing other landlords who are in a position to do so, to address upgrades for their exteriors and their facades, and how they're going to enhance tenants' ability to make a presentation in the street," he said. "The question for each individual block of Lincoln is whether it would have the kind of environment that [tenants] would want to operate in and be a part of."

Part of its success has come from the decision to close off that block, between Alton and Lenox roads, to pedestrian traffic, said Drew Kristol, a senior associate at Marcus & Millichap.

"The 1111 project has definitely redefined the western portion of Lincoln Road with a more international, high-end retail vibe," Kristol said. "Prior to the development, that corner was defined by only the [AMC] movie theater and now the retail activity and outdoor restaurant space has created a much livelier corridor."

Courtesy of: The Real Deal/Alexander Britell

Miami Spice

posted Jul 21, 2011, 9:18 AM by Jayson Wingfield   [ updated Jul 21, 2011, 9:27 AM ]

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to present an impressive lineup of participating Miami Spice restaurants! 

Please check back periodically for updates. Days offered and menus to come...

Miami Beach/South Beach

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