Daily Archives: May 16, 2007

Columbus Centre Tower Plans Scaled Back

Recently, the Miami City Commission rejected plans for the Columbus Centre Tower located on 15th Road and South Miami Avenue. Now, the developer, Nickel Goeseke, of Cervera Real Estate, has reduced the height of the proposed tower from 56 to 50 floors. The project’s construction is estimated to cost $490 million. The project will be on the May 24th agenda for the City Commission.

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Filed under Brickell Village

Buses, Taxis, Cars, and Bulldozers

When a city is undergoing a transformation involving billions of dollars in construction and millions of square feet in new residential and retail space, it’s normal to have bulldozers cut you off on the road.

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Filed under Transportation

Collins Park Cultural Center is a Centerpiece for Development

Image: Setai

The Collins Cultural Center and Park will be comprised of the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach Library, Miami City Ballet, as well as a new beach front park. It sits at the north east edge of Miami Beach’s CANDO District (Cultural Arts Overlay District). The site of the CPCC is surrounded by new development: Parc Place, Rivage, The Residences at the W, Paradiso, and the Setai. Already, there is a Walgreens planned across from Paradiso. The CPCC falls into the City’s plans for the incorporation of art in public places by having outdoor art and sculptures on display:

  • A Perfect Place – by Jose Bedia
  • Me, Knife, Diamond, and Flower – by James Surls
  • Collins Park Title Project – by Cosmyk Images
  • War Giro – by Carlos Luna
  • Maze – by Brian Tolle
  • Bandshell – by Morris Lapidus
  • Fountain – by Carlos Alves

Image: View of the construction site for the W (foreground) and Paradiso (background)

The completion of the CPCC will coincide with the occupancy of all of the aforementioned projects except Setai, which is already occupied. The Zyscovich designed Parc Place is resting its name on it. The park will add another dimension to Miami Beach’s growing cultural fold. It will boost pedestrian traffic and retail activity in the area as well.

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Filed under BoB Articles, Miami Beach: SoFi, Miami Beach: South Beach

Buyer’s Notes: Miami Beach’s Affordable Housing Sector

Image: Nestled in between the Akoya and La Gorce Palace towers, the 49 year-old Casablanca Condominium is undergoing a 5.5 million dollar recertification.

Investing in affordable housing on Miami Beach is a tricky business. Although present throughout the beach, older and more affordable condominiums are predominately located from 40th street to about 70th street. This includes the Carriage House, Castle Beach Club, Alexander, Corinthian (1967), Casablanca (1948), Pavilion, All Seasons, Tower 41, Marlborough House (1963), and Maison Grande, to name a few. From 40th up towards 70th street, the area is filled with these types of condominiums.

These buildings all have something in common. They are either past due on the required 40 year re-certification or due for one soon. This is critical for a buyer. A 40 year re-certification involves addressing all life safety, mechanical, structural, and electrical issues the building may have. In some cases, these buildings require millions in construction to get them re-certified.

Not having the 40-year re-certification means the city can condemn the building as it did the Castle Beach Club. The Castle Beach Club remains closed and unit owners footing a $25 million bill for necessary re-certification repairs.

Due to the high cost, risk, and inconvenience of the 40-year re-certification process, it is better to buy in a building that has been re-certified.

There are ways to minimize the risk of this type of purchase:

  • Your Realtor should have the seller provide you with the minutes of the Board of Directors meetings. Reviewing minutes can also reveal litigation against the Association that a buyer would inherit, the state of political affairs in the building, and any pending projects that may result in special assessments.
  • Request a copy of the budget. This will tell you if the reserves are being funded–again, another way of preventing a special assessment.
  • Contact the City of Miami Beach’s Building Department. They can provide information regarding the status of the 40-year re-certification as well as an inspection and violation history.

If an older condominium has been re-certified, has well-funded reserves, no litigation, and a relatively stable Board, it may represent a low cost investment and high value potential.


Filed under BoB Articles, BoB Series: Buyer's Notes, Miami Beach: SoFi, Miami Beach: South Beach