Category Archives: Sunny Isles

3rd Quarter 2007 Construction Tour: Sunny Isles Area

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

St. Regis Bal Harbour (no activity)


One Bal Harbour (topped off)


Solis (foundation work)


Chi (no activity)


Trump Towers (Under Construction)


Sayan (Completed)


La Perla (Completed)


Paramount Beach (foundation work)


Jade Ocean (Under Construction)


Jade Beach (Topped Off)


Da Vinci (No activity)


Trump Grande (Only one phase left for completion)


Sole (Topped off)


Turnberry Ocean Colony (Topped off)


Ocean Four (Completed)


St. Tropez (Under Construction)


Acqualina (Completed last year–but had to include it)


Not pictured:

Le Meridien (completed)

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


Filed under BoB Articles, Residential Developments, Sunny Isles

The Sunny Isles Skyline Versus Florida’s Big Cities

Sunny Isles is a relatively small beach front community, yet the average height and density of its skyline has exceeded the skylines of Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville.

The Solis tower alone would be the tallest in Tampa at 583ft (taller than the 579ft. AmSouth Bldg). Tampa has a total of four 500 footers and two 400 footers. Sunny Isles has ten 500 footers and nine 400 footers. (Note: Tampa has plans for a 600 footer, three 500 footers, and three 400 footers, but construction has yet to begin)

Orlando is simply blown away by the Sunny Isles skyline. The SunTrust Center at 441ft. is Orlando’s tallest but would rank #19 in height were it to be in Sunny Isles.

Jacksonville fairs better than the other large Florida cities. It has a 600 footer whereas Sunny Isles has none. However, Jacksonville has only one 500 footer and two 400 footers. Sunny Isles, again, blows the city’s skyline away. (Note: Jax has plans for a 700, 600, and 500 footer, but construction has yet to begin)

Considering that Sunny Isles is but a sub-segment of Greater Miami, it is telling to see that its skyline exceeds the scope of Florida’s other big cities. This is another indication of the anomalous nature of the boom. In fact, Sunny Isles’ skyline ranks second in Florida and exceeds the scope of many other major U.S. cities. This is a far cry from the motel row that it was 15 years ago.

Here is the Sunny Isles Building List (excluding Chi):

Solis Residences 583ft.
Acqualina 551ft.
Trump Palace 551ft.
Trump Royale 551ft.
Jade Ocean 549ft.
Trump Tower I 541ft.
Trump Tower II 541ft.
Trump Tower III 541ft.
Paramount Beach 509ft.
The Sea 509ft.
Turnberry Ocean Colony South 486ft.
Turnberry Ocean Colony North 486ft.
Regalia 485ft.
The Pinnacle 476ft.
La Perla 447ft.
Ocean Four 446ft.
La Perla 447ft.
Ocean Four 446ft.
Ocean Three 404ft.
The Millenium 381ft.
Sayan 342ft.

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Filed under BoB Articles, Sunny Isles

Chi Tower: Apex of Over the Top Luxury

We’re used to high end buildings in Miami, but this one I have to admit has me shocked. Chi, a new 42 story ultra-freaking-luxurious tower, has an unprecedented and astounding level of millionaire amenities: private sky residences including private elevator lobbies and infinity-edge mineral water pools, a personal butler, maid, chauffeur, and association owned Bentley!!!! What the heck is that all about? Why not just throw in a Helicopter and some trips to an association owned villa in the Bahamas? The interior is being designed by Jaya Ibrahim, designer of the Setai, Datai, and Four Seasons in Bali. The building’s design looks like an Oppenheim (10 Museum Park and Element), but actually comes from the drawing boards of Sieger Suarez.

What’s happening in Sunny Isles is absolutely insane. The Trump brand has multiple towers going vertical, The Related Group as expected, is heavily in the mix, and there are numerous other extremely high end impressive high rises that are newly built, under construction, or proposed.

As you would expect from such an unexpected project, it is not being marketed in an orthodox way. For example, a model of the project is currently displayed in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton. Even for hardcore high end condo buyers this one seems out of reach. Undoubtedly, such a remarkably lavish development has a risk of not being built, but there are only 38 residences and there are already buyers—one of them a filthy rich Russian heiress.

What’s Dubai going to do now? I thought they were pushing for the most outrageous billionaire retreat. If Chi goes through, it will not likely be the last preposterously expensive high end tower to be built on Sunny Isles Beach (Aka: Trumptown, Little Moscow, and America’s Riviera), but if this is the case, Dubai’s Shiek and company are in for a major run for their money.

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Filed under BoB Articles, Sunny Isles

MIMO Money

Mimo (My-Moe), short for Miami Modern architecture, is becoming quite the alluring architectural style for new construction. In fact, when looking at Miami Beach’s most well known Mimo buildings, one easily realizes that almost all of them are undergoing impressive and expensive transformations.

The Fontainebleau Hilton (built in 1954) has long since been a staple of the tourism industry in Miami Beach and is under going a monumental $1 billion renovation. Its neighbor to the north, the equally historic landmark Eden Roc (built in 1956), is currently undergoing a $110 million renovation. Both properties are Miami Modern. But that’s not all; Miami Modern buildings throughout Miami Beach are getting pricey face lifts. The Mimo designed Carillon (built in 1957) is becoming the centerpiece of the new luxurious Canyon Ranch Residences—a project estimated at near a half billion dollars in cost. In the last couple of years, the DiLido (built in the late 1950’s) was transformed into the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The project’s cost is estimated to have been near $200 million. The Mimo-designed Macy’s on Lincoln Road is getting a well deserved renovation. The Casablanca on the Beach is getting a $5.5 million 40-year recertification. The Shelborne has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. There is a Mimo casualty though, the Sheraton Bal Harbour (built in 1965) is to be eliminated to make room for the St. Regis Resort and Spa. The project’s cost is estimated to be $1 billion.

Overall, Miami Beach’s Mimo structures are getting lots of money pumped into their restoration and in some cases expansion. The Carillon, Fontainebleau, Eden Roc, and Sheraton Bal Harbour are all undergoing enormous expansions where the old Mimo structures serves as an architectural centerpiece. Just like Art Deco served to reinvigorate South Beach during the 1990’s. Today, Mimo is doing the same for the Mid and North Beaches. Although most of the projects are featuring new residential and hotel units, there are others, like the Casablanca, which are under going the required 40-year recertification process. Built from the mid-1950’s to the mid-1960’s, all of the Beach’s Mimo-era buildings are at that point in their lifespan where either there is a 40-year recertification or a complete renovation of the building. This explains why many of the Mimo buildings are more or less simultaneously being transformed. Currently, hundreds of millions of dollars either have been or are being invested into preserving and expanding Mimo structures. Mimo, unlike Art Deco, is unique to Miami. Architectural history is amalgamating with the future and the money is the glue that sticks them both together. Mimo is in the money.

Read More about Mimo on BoB: Mimo Motels

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Filed under Bal Harbour, BoB Articles, History, MiMo District, Sunny Isles, Surfside

Reader Submitted View: Sunny Isles

View of Sunny Isles and the Intracoastal Waterway from Coastal Towers. Submitted by a Bob: Miami reader. Thanks for the view Frank.

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Sunny Isles is Trump-town


Trump is building in Sunny Isles. Trump is building big. Sure, when this first became known, it was exciting as hell, but now what? Will the Trump name remain on that rich slither of sand to the north? The Acqualina and Trump Sonesta are built. The Trump Palace and Royale are under construction. Now, work on the three Trump Towers is beginning, but is this the end, or are there bigger plans for the Trump brand in Miami?

The Dezers (the father and son duo) are the ones who brought the Trump phenomenom to Sunny Isles. From their initial land acquisitions to the luring of the legendary developer from the Big Apple, the Dezers have been the masterminds. However, it is the Trump brand that all the projects base their features and marketing on. The Acqualina is a private Vegas caliber resort-like ultra luxurious community minus a casino. The Trump Sonesta is an exceptional addition to Miami’s luxury hotel market. The Trump Grande and Royale are going to be the most distinguished monoliths in the Sunny Isles skyline. The building designs alone are a marvel. To think of the impact that the Trump Towers are going to have on Sunny Isles is mind boggling. Donald Trump’s name is all that is required. It connotes opulence, exclusivity, and high quality. Not a hard sell. Nothing needs to come out of his pocket. His is a franchise of mega developments with the Trump brand. Retaining the perception of extremely high value has to be the highest priority for the Trump brand. This makes the stakes of a Trump project all that higher, because of the hype, expectations, and typically massive project scope. A Trump project is good for the city in terms of generating tax revenues and attention. Three Trump projects are excellent. Seven, is well, ridiculous. Yet, why is the Trump brand confined to Sunny Isles? Sunny Isles is on the Ocean, between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, and doesn’t have the permitting red tape of its municipal counterparts to the south. Could these all be reasons for Trump’s involvement or could it just be that the persuasiveness of the Dezers plus the appeal of their oceanfront properties pulled him in? It doesn’t matter. There are 7 major Trump projects in Sunny Isles. The Trump name is consuming the former motel dotted beachfront city.

Trump: King of A1A

No longer are the Related Group’s Ocean 1, 2, and 3 projects enough to dominate the Sunny Isles skyline. The addition of Ocean 4 is not going to change the status quo, which is that Trump rules. Through a development standpoint, the Dezers brought Trump to town. What happens if Trump’s brand escapes Sunny Isles and into Brickell Village or the CBD? What about South Beach? Currently, Trump’s brand of development is confined to one small beachfront municipality, but it is tempting to consider what would happen if it wasn’t. Jorge Perez’s developments have been eclipsed by Trump’s in Sunny Isles. Could the Sunny Isles market be a microcosm of what would happen if Trump broke into Miami’s more competitive and developing urban real estate market? At this point, it’s too late to get into the saturated South Beach market. Jorge Perez has dominated SoFi. Although there are several significant developers active in Miami right now, Jorge Perez is probably number one in terms of quality, consistency, selectivity, quantity of units built, among other factors. Mr. Perez’s towers ruled over the Sunny Isles skyline, but now they will stand among the three Trump Towers, Royale, Grande, Sonesta, and Acqualina. They may even go unnoticed. Still, it would be nice to see the Related and Trump brands compete in Brickell, South Beach, or the CBD. Although there is nothing to indicate that this will happen, the possibility is not remote. The two juggernauts have already had at it in Sunny Isles, which is already becoming Trump-town.

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The New American Riviera: Sunny Isles




November 21, 2006 — IT is a cloudless, balmy day, and we are strolling past a bright green English-perfect lawn to a white, sandy beach, where we plant ourselves under pretty red umbrellas.

Servers, clad in flowing white tunics, buzz around, bearing trays of tropical drinks stuffed with fresh fruit. A holiday acquaintance from St. Barts stops by to say hello. We experience the sensation, suddenly, of having forgotten where we are.

Oh, yes. We are in Sunny Isles Beach where, until recently, the only reason to drop by (in our estimation) would have been for Jewish classics at the red-naugahyde paradise that is Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House, one of the Miami area’s truly great restaurant relics.

But everything changes. North Miami Beach will soon feature Canyon Ranch Living (conveniently located across from Dunkin’ Donuts). Further up, you have Bal Harbour imploding on itself in an effort to go even further upscale. Sunny Isles, the next in line as you drive north, is under fire, being promoted by developers as the new hotness.

Right now, Sunny Isles is part construction zone and a lot scruffy old beach town, a favorite with old-timers who have vacationed here for more than a generation. They are now finding themselves having to move their beach chairs out of the shadows of high rise condominiums and package hotels such as the Trump Sonesta and a Le Meridien.

Former Ritz-Carlton president Horst Schulze’s Solis hotel is slated to open just one door north of Haulover Park in 2008.

The Kimpton Group’s Sole hotel (we are now taking bets on which one will change its name first) is due to open nearby next year.

Separating the two will be a Trump development of epic proportions. (Covering the fences lining the streets are ads printed with giant-sized puffy images of Trump and his development partners. Less Trump Royale, more Trump Royale with Cheese.)

Not that development is ruining the community, necessarily.

The kitsch value of properties such as the Thunderbird, the Suez, the Monaco and the Golden Nugget (all now owned by Trump’s partners) is not to be discounted. However, beyond that, the town, filled with miles of gloomy strip malls, has little to boast about.

And while the hotels crow that Miami’s nightlife is a short hop away, 11 miles of driving on congested surface streets seems a trial. Particularly after mojitos.

Hence, and contrary to my usual stance on resorts, the best you can hope for in a Sunny Isles hotel is that it does not have a “sense of place.” You want to be kept as insulated as possible.

A night in the shoulder-width Le Meridien, jammed onto a sliver of beach, revealed that at least one hotel is failing miserably.

Our room was nice enough, with spare, modern furnishings. But a failed attempt at eating dinner in the restaurant, marshaled by a hostess with Hair-U-Wear and no people skills, sent us running for room service.

Things did not improve at the Trump Sonesta. Good luck navigating the ugly interior up to an antiseptic pool, elevated so far above the beach that you run out of energy to tackle the narrow staircase leading down to it.

We’d almost given up guessing what anybody sees in this town besides the location. But then we checked into the Acqualina, a brand new, 96-room, Rosewood-managed resort in a 51-story residential confection whose exterior unapologetically thieves both from Italian villas and the Vegas hotels that rip them off.

A surprising thing happened once in the lobby, with its Venetian-ish marble columns, sky-high coffered ceilings, red and gold velvet and damask furnishings: We were transported.

To where, we weren’t sure, but it was far away from the flickering Subway sign across the street.

The front desk, which had been alerted to our arrival by the valet, whisked us up to our room.

I remembered why I like Rosewood’s flagship, the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, so much. It keeps telling you it is European, but it is actually European filtered through the lens of a wealthy lady from Dallas. Opulent and slightly inappropriate, but endlessly gracious.

Since this was low season, our room had been automatically upgraded two levels from an Intracoastal Waterway room. Our large oceanfront room was light and beachy, in cream colors with classic dark wood furniture.

An old-school bar with real-sized bottles stood in the corner. A huge, flat-screen TV swiveled 360 degrees to the plush couch and retracted into a white upholstered box at the base of the bed. Sounds cheesy, but it actually (almost) resolved the sticky interior design question of what to do with the tube.

Our room also looked over the outdoor area of the new ESPA spa, whose rooftop lounge area was still in the works (it will open next month).

Unlike other area hotels, Acqualina has carefully considered its outside spaces, with three distinct pools (one for adults only), separated by green lawns and punctuated by bright red upholstered furniture, all looking out to the resort’s particularly nice beach.

Here, one may -as we did – avail oneself of delicious specialty pineapple mojitos from the Costa Grill, the poolside restaurant that is mostly open to guests and residents only.

We were a bit thrown off by the presence of New York’s Il Mulino. While some people might leave home to eat the same food in the same atmosphere, we decided on the resort’s signature restaurant, Aaria, for its creative mish-mosh of Asian and Mediterranean (delicious but for the chef’s accident with a saltshaker).

Pricey, yes, but for an evening we were sitting on a terrace overlooking some other stretch of ocean, in another country, millions of miles away from Route A1A and the strip malls, just out the front door.

Gordon (who, like a wealthy lady from Dallas, is opulent and slightly inappropriate), always travels anonymously at the Post’s expense.

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Project List: The Beaches

Sunny Isles:
Acqualina 51 floors 550ft Residential/Hotel—Completed 2005
Jade Beach 53 floors 550ft Residential—Approved
Jade Beach 2 51 floors 550ft Residential—Approved
Regalia 42 floors 485ft Residential—Approved
Paramount Beach 45 floors Residential—Approved
Trump Palace 44 floors 551ft Residential—Construction
Trump Royale 44 floors 550ft Residential—Construction
Trump Sonesta 32 floors Hotel—Completed 2004
Trump Towers 1 45 floors Residential—Proposed
Trump Towers 2 45 floors Residential—Proposed
Trump Towers 3 45 floors Residential—Proposed
La Perla 42 floors Residential—Construction
Ocean 4 40 floors Residential—Approved
Turnberry Ocean Colony 1 37 floors Residential—Construction
Turnberry Ocean Colony 2 37 floors Residential—Approved
Sayan 30 floors Residential/Hotel—Construction
Le Meridien 27 floors Hotel—Completed 2005
Sole 24 floors Residential/Hotel—Construction
Fantasy of the Ocean 21 floors Residential—Approved
St.Tropez I 19 floors Residential—Approved
St.Tropez II 19 floors Residential—Approved
St.Tropez III 19 floors Residential—Approved
King David 14 floors Residential—Construction
Mansiana 51 floors Hotel/Residential—Proposed

Atlantic One 31 floors 295ft Residential—Completed 2005
BellaMare 30 floors Residential—Construction
Pennisula I 30 floors Residential—Completed 2004
Pennisula II 30 floors Residential—Construction
Hamptons South 28 floors Residential—Completed 2005
LaVogue 24 floors Residential—Approved
Parc Tower 1 22 floors Residential—Construction
Parc Tower 2 22 floors Residential—Construction
Turnberry Place 20 floors Residential—Proposed
Aventura Marina 19 floors Residential—Construction
Terzetto 18 floors Residential—Approved
Aventura Landings II 18 floors Residential—Proposed
Aventura Hosp. 11 floors 146ft Office—Completed 2005
Atrium I 11 floors 135ft Residential—Construction
Atrium II 11 floors 135ft Residential—Construction
Uptown Marina 11 floors 129ft Residential—Construction
Turnberry Village 14 floors Residential—Construction
Turnberry Village 14 floors Residential—Construction
Terzetto Lofts 13 floors Residential—Approved
Aventura Landings I 13 floors Residential—Proposed
Aventura Landings II 13 floors Residential—Proposed
Venture 11 floors Residential—Construction
Country Club Center 10 floors Office—Completed 2005
21420 Biscayne 10 floors Office—Approved
Artech 9 floors Residential—Approved

North Beach:
Akoya 47 floors 492ft Residential—Completed 2005
Canyon Ranch 42 floors 397ft Residential—Construction
Canyon Ranch 26 floors 257ft Residential—Construction
6000 Indian Creek 25 floors Residential—Construction
Mei 22 floors Residential—Proposed
Monte Carlo 20 floors Residential—Proposed
Ocean Sound 19 floors Residential—Approved
Bel Aire 18 floors Residential—Completed 2005
Ocean Blue 11 floors 122ft Residential—Completed 2005
Nobe Bay 15 floors Residential—Proposed
Belaire Bay 14 floors Residential—Approved
Gorlin Acqua 12 floors Residential—Construction
Morris Acqua 11 floors Residential—Construction
Spear Acqua 11 floors Residential—Constructnio
Azure 12 floors Residential—Construction
Beach House 12 floors Residential—Proposed

Mid Beach:
Fountanebleau 2 36 floors Hotel—Completed 2005
Fontainebleau 3 18 floors Hotel—Approved
Mosaic 20 floors Residential—Construction
Bath Club 19 floors Residential—Construction
3737 Collins 19 floors Residential—Proposed
Saxony 18 floors Residential—Proposed

South Beach:
ICON South Beach 42 floors 423ft Residential—Completed 2005
Murano Grande 37 floors 407ft Residential—Completed 2004
Setai 38 floors 386ft Residential/Hotel—Completed 2004
Continuum 2 37 floors Residential—Approved
Bentley Bay 26 floors 259ft Residential—Completed 2005
Bentley Bay II 24 floors 243ft Residential—Completed 2005
Apogee 22 floors Residential—Approved
W Miami 19 floors Hotel—Proposed
W Miami 19 floors Hotel—Proposed
Lincoln Bay 15 floors Residential—Approved

Bal Harbour:
One Bal Harbour 26 floors Residential—Construction
Bellini 24 floors Residential—Completed 2005
Regent Bal Harbour 17 floors Hotel—Construction
St.Regis 25 floors 322ft Hotel—Approved
St.Regis 25 floors 322ft Hotel—Approved
St.Regis 25 floors 322ft Hotel—Approved

North Miami Beach:
Biscayne Landing 25 floors Residential—Approved
Biscayne Landing 25 floors Residential—Approved
Maule Lake 24 floors Residential—Approved
Maule Lake 24 floors Residential—Approved

North Bay Village:
Bridgewater 20 floors Residential—Construction
360 Condo 15 floors Residential—Construction
Lexi 20 floors Residential—Approved
8000 West Dr 21 floors 213ft Residential—Approved
8000 West Dr 21 floors 213ft Residential—Approved
7922 East DR 17 floors 170ft Residential—Proposed
Cielo 16 floors 170ft Residential—Approved
Sunset Bay 15 floors 170ft Residential—Approved
Space 01 16 floors Residential—Construction
Prisma 16 floors Residential—Approved
Indigo Bay 12 floors Residential—Construction (Bay Harbor)
360 Condo B 12 floors Residential—Construction
Blue Bay 16 floors Residential—Construction
Sky 15 floors Residential—Approved
Bay Harbor 101 16 floors Residential—Construction
Carroll Walk 15 floors Residential—Completed 2004
Bay Treasure 12 floors Residential—Approved


Filed under Miami Beach: SoFi, Miami Beach: South Beach, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles, Surfside