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Sports car-themed condos are just the start of Miami’s wild real-estate trends

June 15, 2018

Car-star condos

Lambos, Ferraris, and Bugattis: Collins Avenue may be the best stretch in the country to show off your whip(s). So it’s no surprise that prestigious auto brands are turning to Miami for their latest lifestyle plays.

The first building to push the pedal to the metal was 1100 Millecento, completed in 2015 in Brickell. Related Group tapped Pininfarina, the Italian car-design firm behind Ferrari, Maserati, and Rolls-Royce, to bring a sports-car feel to the 42-story tower (where a few units are available, including one from $500,000). The Turin-based firm crafted Ferrari-red elevator lobbies and streamlined apartment interiors, hanging large black-and-white photos of their supercars in public spaces.

Completed last year, the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach features a first-of-its-kind automobile elevator system that allows residents to park their cars in a glass display case in their own living rooms. “We made the building about the car collector,” says developer Gil Dezer. “There’s an owner with a $22 million Ferrari that he only uses on the weekends.” A 19,403-square-foot penthouse — with enough living-area garage space for 11 vehicles to be displayed 57 stories above the beach — is available for $32.5 million.

But the latest building to make engines purr is the Aston Martin Residences, which is under construction in Downtown Miami. The UK brand’s subtle approach to luxury is reflected in car-themed design elements, like kestrel-colored leather door handles, signage that evokes British-style license plates, and carbon-fiber reception desks in the lobby.

“Aston Martin’s design team was meticulous about crafting every piece of the building,” says Alicia Cervera Lamadrid of Cervera Real Estate, who is handling sales. Units are priced from the $700,000s to $50 million. Drive on.

Buy it like Beckham

The full-sized soccer field at Paramount Miami Worldcenter.

After five years of negotiations, David Beckham scored a hat trick in January: snagging a new Major League Soccer team for Miami (set to debut in 2020), a new Magic City stadium (location pending) — and the renewed admiration of Floridian fútbol fanatics.

Indeed, the soccer trickledown has already started: Paramount Miami World Center — a 60-story Downtown luxury condo tower (prices from $750,000 to $9.5 million) — boasts roughly 50 distinct amenities spread over 4 acres. But according to its co-developer, Dan Kodsi, “The full-sized soccer field has generated the most buzz.” He says that the signature pitch and the city’s soccer prospects have already helped draw buyers from 50 separate countries to the development.

Also grabbing headlines are deals with soccer stars Miguel Borja and Douglas Costa. Borja, who plays for the Colombian national team, reportedly bought a condo at Russian developer Vlad Doronin’s fashionable Missoni Baia in Edgewater for around $1 million in March. And Costa, who plays for Germany’s Bayern Munich, is said to have recently paid $4.53 million for three bedrooms at the 57-story Jade Signature in Sunny Isles Beach. Olé!

Urban jungles

Jade Signature in Sunny Isles Beach

A tree grows in … Miami? As luxe builders grow more eco-conscious, they’re throwing a spotlight — rather than a chainsaw — at Floridian trees, embracing them as stunning centerpieces of their designs.

To signify the laying down of new roots in Sunny Isles Beach, Jade Signature (the glamorous, aforementioned oceanfront condo development, where homes range from $800,000 to $32.9 million), purchased and moved a giant kapok tree from a private South Florida property to the building’s entrance in December. The massive 65,000-pound, 38-year-old tree is native to the tropics and notable for its large buttress roots. “It’s a legacy tree that can live for hundreds of years,” Matthew Wisniewski, a landscape architect at Raymond Jungles, Inc., who worked on design at Jade, tells Alexa. “It’s a focal. It has beautiful horizontal branching that blends with the architecture of the building.”

Grove at Grand Bay in Coconut Grove

Meanwhile, at architect Bjarke Ingels’ Grove at Grand Bay in Coconut Grove, Jungles’ firm uprooted more than 60 of the 500 original giant fig, stopper and gumbo-limbo trees lining the grounds to save them from the bulldozer. They then carefully replanted them to surround the base of its twisting, twin 20-story towers (prices from $1 million to $28 million).

True North

Turnberry Ocean Club Residences in Sunny Isles Beach

South Beach has long been sizzling, but its neighbors to the north are also heating up. Miami home hunters with seasoned tastes — and bigger budgets — are looking up to glamorous North Beach, Surfside, Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles Beach.

The 66-unit Eighty Seven Park is drawing architecture aficionados, wary of the tourist party scene, to a sleepy strip of North Beach. The building (where prices range from $3 million to $15.4 million) is the first US residential project from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano and is slated for completion later this year. “As South Beach became more commercial, we saw the people who were looking for authentic experiences head north,” says David Martin, president of Terra Group, the developer behind Eighty Seven Park. “We used to be a place to party, but Miami has really grown up.”

Eighty Seven Park 

That’s especially true north of 87th Street, where the wow factor now rivals that of the flashy hotels further down the beach. The ultraluxe Turnberry Ocean Club Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, for example, boasts a three-story, $100 million “Sky Club” perched 300 feet above sea level. The amenity floor features two cantilevered swimming pools, two spas, a fitness center, a bar and dining area. Prices at the 54-story tower’s 154 residences — where upper-floor units reach 10,000 square feet and boast private pools — range from just under $4 million to above $35 million.

In Surfside, the Four Seasons Hotel Residences at The Surf Club (a Richard Meier-designed revival of the iconic 1930s social club) has added sophisticated panache to the area, which is famous for its quiet, pristine beaches. That beachside development includes a Four Seasons Hotel with 77 guest rooms; two residential towers (rental units from $2,400 per month); a retro, palm-filled Champagne bar; two stunning restaurants (one from acclaimed chef Thomas Keller); as well as pools and a posh spa. A hop down Collins from the Surf Club, the 12-story Fendi Château Residences, designed by celebrated firm Arquitectonica, is wooing design fans with an “avant-garde” garden, a private restaurant and, of course, interiors by Fendi. Now that’s northern exposure.

Big Art

Recognizing the eye-popping allure of art, builders are going big — tapping curators and commissioning truly gargantuan pieces for their glittering towers.

Miami’s 37-story, soon-to-be-completed Canvas (from $388,000 to $655,000) offers a fully art-branded lifestyle, complete with an in-house curator and some 200 massive murals and contemporary installations — many as long as 70 feet. “We looked at the building like a gallery,” explains the developer, Nir Shoshani, a principal of NR Investment.

Meanwhile, at the aptly named Arte tower in Surfside (where sales have yet to launch), an 8.5-foot-tall sculpture from Robert Indiana’s “Art” series greets residents outside the building’s entrance, while a large wall installation of colorful orbs by Olafur Eliasson hangs inside. “Art is a unifier and an emotional trigger,” says developer Alex Sapir. “Everyone is trying to figure out how to incorporate substantial artworks into what they’re doing.”

In Aventura, the developers of Privé, a 160-unit condo complex on a private island (homes from $2.3 to $12 million), hired consultant Kipton Cronkite to give their development art-world cred. He commissioned four 10-by-9-foot paintings by Ross Bleckner for its two towers.

But the King Kong of grand art is certainly Related’s SLS Lux. Developer Jorge Perez tapped Argentine artist Fabian Burgos to paint a 40,000-square-foot colorblock mural that envelops the (sold-out) 450-unit condo building. Now that’s painting with broad strokes.

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