By Helen Hill
Leonardo Hidalgo’s painted car featured at the Hallucination exhibition co-hosted by ArTech and Jade Ocean
Mission: Real Estate
With Russians now figuring as an important target market for South Florida real estate, it was tempting to head this paragraph “the Russians are coming.” But Groundwork avoided the cliché and instead confirms that a delegation of Russians did indeed come to Miami recently in the form of 28 members of the Moscow-based Russian Guild of Realtors (RGR). The trade mission group headed south post-NARdi Gras — the National Association of Realtors Annual Conference and Expo — in New Orleans to see what the Miami area has to offer their clients. Welcomed by Teresa King Kinney, CEO Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches, Inc. (RAMB), the Russians were introduced to local real estate professionals and were able to establish new contacts and generate referrals. Their program included RAMB’s Miami River Real Estate Boat Tour, showing off the more than 30 residential and commercial new developments going up on or close to the river; seminars on investment opportunities in South Florida, and receptions and tours. Michael and Gil Dezer of Dezer Development and Elena Baronoff of Exclusively Baronoff Realty showed off the Miami lifestyle at a cocktail party they hosted at the Trump Towers sales center at 158th & Collins Avenue and at a private dinner in Trump Grande Ocean Resort & Residences’ penthouse sales center at 181st Street and Collins Avenue.
Marketing condos in South Florida means offering more than mere shelter. Lately the focus has been on tempting sophisticated buyers with the promise of an inimitable lifestyle that’s glitzy, artful and healthy as well.
“Pearls of Wisdom & Jewels of Health” was the theme when jewelry queen Judith Ripka, a frequent Canyon Ranch guest and future resident of Canyon Ranch Living – Miami Beach, celebrated the nearly completed luxe development at 6901 Collins Ave. Ripka showed off gemstones and colored diamonds in limited edition pieces from her holiday collection, including “mouthwatering” ambrosia bracelets and truffle necklaces. Showing off bling works best on the fit and fashionable, according to Canyon Ranch exercise physiologist Dr. Michael J. Hewitt, who gave guests valuable advice.
“Diamond” encrusted cocktails! Sounds a perfect way to capture the upscale jewelry vibe for guests at the recent “Infinite Indulgences” event. Infinity II Lofts at Brickell hosted the evening with Chopard’s Bal Harbour boutique, at the Infinity II sales center at 1300 S. Miami Ave. Guests sampled the drink du jour and feasted their eyes on models draped in Chopard’s latest jewels.
Sales center as avant-garde art gallery! Is this the new direction for condo marketing in this art-conscious town? Even the cookies, frosted with the ArTech logo and rendering of the building, were part of the scene at Fortune International’s recent celebration for two of its new developments, Jade Ocean in Sunny Isles Beach and ArTech in Aventura, a joint venture with Shefaor Development, The cookies were small fry in comparison to Ecuadorian painter Leonardo Hidalgo’s Hallucination exhibit, a frenzy of ten massive paintings on display around the Jade Ocean’s $5 million sales center at 17121 Collins Ave. Other examples of the artist’s provocative work showed up in unexpected places — a boldly decorated mannequin in the model bathroom, a psychedelically painted car at the entrance and colorful Hidalgo-designed shirts on the servers’ backs. Edgardo Defortuna, president of Fortune International; Ana Cristina Defortuna, VP of sales; and Claudio Stivelman, co-principal of Shefaor Development, were all presented with Hidalgo-adorned hard hats.
Art Basel Miami Beach arrives next week, bringing with it thousands of upscale visitors — and real estate marketing gets into high gear at the prospect of a wealth of potential home buyers in town. Some notable developer and condo-happy events include:
Internationally acclaimed, and often elusive, designer Philippe Starck makes a rare South Florida appearance at the Related Group’s booth at the official Art Basel Miami Beach in the Miami Beach Convention Center. The booth will showcase the Related Group’s projects, including Icon Brickell in downtown Miami inspired by the London-based design firm, YOO by Philippe Starck. (Starck was also the inspiration behind Icon Brickell’s sister project Icon South Beach, which opened during the 2003 Art Basel Miami Beach.) This year Basel fairgoers can view Starck’s signature whimsy in his design concept for Icon Brickell, including a spectacular entrance flanked by monoliths modeled after the Moai Statues of Easter Island. Also in typical Starck fashion are the larger than life fireplace and chess set in an outdoor living room, and an enormous chandelier suspended over a plunge pool in Icon Brickell’s 28,000-square-foot spa. Starck is scheduled to appear at the TRG booth for a meet and greet from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Designer Todd Oldham will be hosting a Dec. 9 party at the Fairfax on 18th Street and Collins Avenue featuring an installation, Drunken Letters to Stray Balloons, by New York-based artist Daniel Joseph. The installation, sponsored by The Fairfax and the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, encompassing personal ephemera, paintings, drawing, sculpture and video, considers social rituals of celebration and partying as presented through the artist’s personal history. The event will also show off Oldham’s innovative designs for The Fairfax’s luxury boutique and proposed fractional ownership resort, his newest project on South Beach.
Mondrian South Beach, the first ownership offering from tony Morgans Hotel Group, will officially launch its sales center at West Avenue on Thursday, Dec. 7, marked by a preview event envisioned by the property’s designer, internationally acclaimed Marcel Wanders. Newly formed Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, a combination of New York real estate heavy hitters, is planning to reach some of the “connoisseurs of style from around the globe” who are in town for Art Basel. Prices for the condo and condo-hotel residences range from $400,000 for bayfront studios to $4 million each for four private penthouses.
Commercial real estate networking event
Next week’s RealShare SOUTH FLORIDA conference will be the first for South Florida. Organizers Real Estate Media, publishers of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com, present some 24 such events annually around the country. According to Richard Kelley, director of RealShare Conference Series, they were attracted by South Florida’s dynamic real estate market with its depth of talent and interesting stories.
The half-day program covers the state of the market, office and multifamily/condo sectors, investment sales activity, and the debt and equity capital markets. High-level executives representing owners, developers and lenders as well as investors and brokers are expected to attend. The event takes place Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, Fla. Info and registration: Colleen McShane, 212- 255-3620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also Coming Up
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2 p.m. “Continuity of Change in Shanghai” — Speaker: Xing Tonghe, chief architect of Shanghai Xian Dai, one of the largest architectural firms in the world and the firm responsible for more than 70 percent of new development in Shanghai. Presented with the Miami Design Preservation League, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Urban Arts Committee of Miami Beach. Lincoln Theatre, 555 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. $10 for members and students; $20 all others.
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Free Workshop on Condo Insurance.
Presented by the City of Miami Beach Neighborhood Services Department and Ad-Hoc Condo Reform Task Force Insurance Requirements for Condominiums. Guest speakers: William Raphan, Condo Ombudsman’s Office, state of Florida and Alina Torres, Department of Financial Services, state of Florida, will answer questions from the public. Miami Beach City Hall Commission Chambers, third floor, 1700 Convention Center Drive. Info: Miami Beach Answer Center, 305-604-2489 (CITY), ext. 2489.
Helen Hill is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and lifestyle topics.