Category Archives: Miami Beach: SoFi

Collins Avenue Development Activity Expanding

Image: Formerly Fairwind Seafood Bar and Grill

On May 17, last year, I wrote a post on the Collins Avenue Shopping District’s relatively rapid emergence and unique attributes. I ended the post by stating:

“The shopping district currently ends at 10th street, but there is room for it to expand northward. Collins, between 10th and 15th streets represents an underutilized segment of the storied avenue.”

Since then, the area north of 10th street on Collins has begun to transform as the anticipated northward expansion of new retail and hotel activity takes place. Structures are getting bought, restored, or demolished to make way for new businesses.

South Beach as a neighborhood and international brand has continuously redefined itself. It’s in these subtle changes, the motifs within the theme, that you see the redefinition taking place, so that every time a New Yorker or Londoner visits SoBe they feel like the experience has improved. This adaptability, along with the endowments nature has granted the island, is the key to its continued success.

Let’s see what this expansion looks like on the ground:

Image: 1221-25 Collins (NY-based owners)

Image: Hotel Webster 1220 Collins

Image: Site of future retail on 12th and Collins

Image: Palmer House Apartments 1119 Collins

Image: Tudor Hotel 1111 Collins

Image: Courtyard adjacent to the Tudor Hotel

Image: formerly David’s Cafe 1058 Collins

Image: Fairwind Hotel 1000 Collins

Image: Stardust Apartments 910 Collins Avenue

Image: Coral House

Image: Franklin Hotel 860 Collins

Image: Close up of the Franklin Hotel

Map: Green line represents existing Collins Avenue shopping District and new retail. The Red line represents the area of northward expansion currently taking place.

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

3rd Quarter 07′ Construction Tour: Miami Beach

Let’s take a tour through Miami Beach to take a look at the third quarter status of recently topped off buildings, ongoing construction, and recently started foundation work:

APOGEE (topped off)

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VICEROY (no activity)

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CONTINUUM II (topped off)

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SOUTH OF FIFTH (construction)

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RITZ PLAZA (renovation)

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PARC PLACE (Construction)

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RESIDENCES AT THE W (Construction)

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PARADISO (renovation)

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RIVAGE (no activity)

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RESIDENCES AT THE RITZ – SEVILLE (no activity)

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CIPRIANI (no activity)

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OCEAN 3651 (no activity)

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CARIBBEAN (topped off)

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FONTAINEBLEAU III (topped off)

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EDEN ROC (construction)

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MANSION ON THE BEACH (topped off)

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MEI (topped off)

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TERRA LOFTS (construction)

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63 NOBE (construction)

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CASABLANCA VILLAS (topped off)

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AZUL LOFTS (no activity)

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NOBE BAY (construction)

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REGATTA (recently completed)

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CANYON RANCH (construction)

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1111 LINCOLN (no activity)

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CAPRI (construction)

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MONDRIAN (renovation)

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VITRI (incomplete)

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SHOPS AT FIFTH AND ALTON (ground cleared for construction)

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BEACH HOUSE (no activity)

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CABANA ON COLLINS (renovation)

For more construction tours click on the links below:

Post Script: Do you think this report missed something? If so, Contact BoB. Your input is appreciated.

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Construction Update: Shops at Fifth & Alton

Image: Active construction site for the Shops at 5th and Alton

The Shops at 5th and Alton, which will include 185,000 sq. ft. of vertical retail space and a 943 space parking garage at the 5th street entrance to South Beach, has begun to see activity on its site. U.S. Century Bank is financing development for the Berkowitz Development Group and Potamkin family. The Shops at 5th and Alton will serve as a development anchor for the West Avenue Corridor and SoFi, and further fill-in retail activity along 5th Street.

This project is also significant for shifting economic activity towards the west side of South Beach as well as integrating a novel vertical-retail approach that has worked quite well at Dadeland Station. Publix has signed a letter of intent for space in the new facility.

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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.

Click to view entire map and legend

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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.

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

Miami Beach Goes Beyond the American Riviera (Part I)

Image: Delano Hotel

There is little doubt that Miami Beach’s waters are among the clearest and warmest in the U.S. It’s set in a cosmopolitan and culturally rich city at the edge of the continent. It has a vibrant history with diverse architecture to match. Miami Beach is a thick blend of life, energy, money, endless ways to spend it, and a strikingly beautiful beach. The City is a Rolling Stone, a shooting star, and just about every major international resort brand is pushing for a presence on the “Billion Dollar Sandbar.”

Image: Ritz Carlton

The Miami Beach area is home to several massive multi-phase luxury resort/residences developments. In any other beach, any one of these major developments would stand as the center piece. In Miami Beach each one is just another piece of the puzzle.

Image: Loews Miami Beach

Superstar hotelier Ian Schrager has been highly successful with the Delano and Shore Club, now operated by the Morgan Hotel Group. He is expanding his presence on Miami Beach in 2008 a with a new luxury hotel.

The Setai: This spectacularly opulent Asian inspired resort and residences concept comes from Malaysia with the highly successful Datai. The Datai is considered to be among the world’s most exclusive and exotic retreats. The Setai is the Miami Beach interpretation of Asian luxury. Penthouses go for over $6 million.

The Fontainebleu: Turnberry has billion dollar plans for this historic gem. Already the Fontainebleau II tower has been completed and Fontainebleau III has been topped off. The original hotel structures are undergoing a 40-year recertification and complete modern overhaul. The impressive virtual tour sheds light on the mega-resorts tantalizing future.

Award winning world renown Canyon Ranch Resorts, has transformed the historic Carillon building into the center of a seriously massive resort complex in the heart of Miami Beach.

The trendy W Hotel brand, of course, is not to be left out. This international luxury hotel brand is planning a sleekly designed resort and residence complex with uber-amenities. The site is located north of the Setai, across from the Collins Cultural Park.

Image: Fontainebleau II Tower

The Related Group of Florida plans to demolish the Sheraton Bal Harbour to replace it with a palatial St. Regis resort complex. Directly across from the Bal Harbour shops and by far the most ambitious project in the exclusive beach front enclave, the St. Regis will add a new dimension to luxe living on the Beach.

The historic Dilido hotel on South Beach has become the Ritz-Carlton Resort and Spa. The luxury resort boasts a multi-million dollar art collection, ground breaking pool, and a cruise theme. There are plans to expand the brands presence on the Beach. The historic Seville building is the site of the planed Ritz Carlton Club Residences.

The Regent luxury hotel brand recently completed their first South Beach hotel on Collins Avenue.

Not wishing to be left out Trump has, in addition to his numerous large scale residential developments, built a Sonesta brand Trump International Resort

The South Beach Loews remains one of the Beach’s most impressive luxury resorts and has set the precedent for much of the growth in the luxury hotel market on the island.

Ugo Colombo is bringing Venetian Cipriani tradition, luxurious accommodations, and fine dining to Miami Beach with the Cipriani development. Read more about Cipriani involvement in Miami Beach from CNN Money.

Jorge Perez has brought the Viceroy brand to SoFi.

Image: Canyon Ranch

Miami Beach does not just represent a luxurious retreat for vacationers but a lifestyle destination for the creme de la creme of the world. Miami Beach as a lifestyle destination is what truly cements its role as the premiere getaway for the rich and famous in the Western Hemisphere. Miami Beach as a lifestyle destination will be the focus of a follow up post. (to be continued…)

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Continuum II Has Topped Off in South Pointe

Construction for phase II of Continuum has been efficient. In less than a year the tower has topped off. The crown is elegant and less stylistic than its Phase I counterpart.

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Alton Road Flyover Might be Demolished

South Beach’s 5th street flyover is studied by the FDOT in order to best determine what future course of action to take with the overpass in relation to the proposed plans for the voter-approved Baylink.

This is encouraging news since not much has been said about the Baylink in recent months. The City of Miami Beach initially opposed the Baylink proposition. The 5th street/Alton Rd. flyover currently runs through Boymelgreen’s Vitri project parcel and the proposed 5th and Alton big box project to the east.

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Vantage Point: South Pointe Park

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What’s What?

The neighborhood south of 5th street in South Beach is a remarkably high end community, but what is it called? The area is referred to by three names: South Pointe, South of Fifth (SoFi), and Portofino. So, what’s what? Are the names synonymous? Surely there must be a difference.

The nearby Murano’s official name is “The Murano at Portofino” so is the “Yacht Club at Portofino”. So where is Portofino? Presumably on that same spot. The name Portofino seems to be derived from the Porofino Tower, which was the first new skyscraper in the neighborhood. Then, the area started being referred to as South Pointe–the name of the neighborhood’s park. This seemed more logical since it wouldn’t be proper to name a neighborhood after a building, but then came South of Fifth (SoFi).

Suddenly, there were too many names. It seems that SoFi refers to the entire area south of 5th street; including the mid-rise dominated interior and high-rise dominated southern tip. The Portofino and South Pointe titles seem to refer to the extreme southern tip and bay front slither along the west side of the neighborhood. In any case, this matter deserves some clarification prior to Bob’s upcoming Miami Beach Report, which will include a detailed section on this important yet small beach front neighborhood.

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