Real Estate

Miami Super Yacht Marina To Be Built In Watson Island

Watson-Island-Island-Gardens-Miami Super yacht Marina

Miami Super Yacht Marina To Be Built In Watson Island

Organizers of the Yacht & Brokerage Show have signed a contract to expand the 26-year-old show into an as-yet-unbuilt mega-yacht marina on Watson Island.

Despite a decade of false starts, the Island Gardens project is slated to confirm financing this spring and begin dredging the marina by June, said Mehmet Bayraktar, the Turkish founder of the development company, Flagstone Property Group.

If it can do that, next year’s show would have a 25-foot deep basin in which to erect floating docks for any number of yachts. The marina’s real docks would be built in time for the 2016 show, both sides said.

“We are very excited about the expansion of the show,” said Ann Vernon, executive director of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association (FYBA), which co-owns the show with Show Management. “This is the largest show we’ve had to date, and we see the expansion as a positive indication of where the show needs to go.”

The show gave a trial run at expanding for larger yachts this year by contracting with the A dock at Miami Beach Marina. Called Superyacht Miami, that exhibit has about seven or eight yachts, including at least one larger than 170 feet.

A new marina would allow for additional luxury and lifestyle exhibits as well as yachts.

Despite the announcement, several more hurdles still need to be cleared before construction begins on Watson Island, not the least of which is securing financing and perhaps finding a co-developer, said Bahar Bayraktar, director of communications for the company and daughter of the owner.

And while the developers and show organizers appeared confident yesterday that would happen, Miami real estate watchers aren’t convinced.

A version of this project was first proposed more than a decade ago. Watson Island is on the west end of Government Cut, bifurcated by the MacArthur Causeway with Jungle Island on the north and the seaplane base and helipad on the south.

Residents balked at projected hotel and residential towers, so the project stalled amid securing permits, approvals and financing.

Then, at about this time last year, the company announced it was finalizing financing and would begin construction by September.

In June, Miami real estate powerhouse The Related Group announced it would participate in the project, giving city officials enough cause to extend the lease until construction could begin. With Related Group, the project grew to almost double its size in terms of retail with more hotel and convention center space.

Two months later, in August, Related Group withdrew, saying it didn’t want to deal with an expected long approval process and opposition from residents, according to news reports.

At the time, Flagstone said it would pay for the marina portion itself and that work would begin by the end of the first quarter.

Yesterday, Bayraktar said dredging would begin in June. Under city timelines, construction on the uplands doesn’t have to begin for another year, Bahar Bayraktar said.

Drawings and renderings of the marina look inviting.

“This is not a marina for parking, Mehmet Bayraktar said after the announcement yesterday. “It will be like pulling up to Worth Avenue or Rodeo Drive. It will be like Monaco and St. Tropez, that was the inspiration.”

In addition to a 100-foot-wide strip of pedestrian area near the water, the upland developments would include alfresco dining, two levels of retail and restaurants,and two hotel/residence towers. It also will have “the smallest international airport in the country,” Bayraktar said, pointing to a small area for seaplanes whose landing strip would be Government Cut. Helicopters, too, could land there, just east of the marina.

The Miami super yacht marina is slated to have about 5,500 linear feet of dockage, including about 450 feet of bulkhead on the outside. Bayraktar said a vessel of about 600 feet could dock stern-to in the center of the basin. Designs include no finger piers to remain flexible with stern-to dockage, but he said it will accommodate up to 75 megayachts, depending on size.

By Lucy Chabot Reed Triton Today
Click here to read this post at Triton Today.

Miami Super Yacht Marina Watson Island Flagstone project
Former Flagstone project rendering

Real Estate

Related could give push to long overdue Watson Island Flagstone’s development

watson Island Flagstone project 2

Related could give push to long overdue Watson Island Flagstone’s development

The long overdue development of Watson Island, stalled for a dozen years by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a collapsed economy, may have received a huge jolt when New York’s Related Companies agreed to study the plan and possibly join forces in its development.

Developer Mehmet Bayraktar, Flagstone Group, who won the right to develop on the waterfront crown jewel back in 2001, said Monday that the company run by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has signed a Letter of Intent to “co-develop” the entire project.

“They will come in and we will work together jointly on the whole project. We’re co-developers or co-investors,” Bayraktar said Monday.

He described a Letter of Intent as a non-binding agreement in which both sides agree to do due diligence and spend time and money studying the plans. “It’s like an engagement, or a promissory note,” he said.

Ross was out of town Monday and couldn’t be reached for comment. Ric Katz, a public relations hand hired to help the Dolphins with the push to get public money for Sun Life Stadium renovations, couldn’t confirm the agreement late Monday.

According to Bayraktar, Related would be involved in three main components of the proposal: a hotel and residential complex, retail and a giant mega-yacht facility meant to lure some of the wealthiest people in the world. He estimated the project he won with a $281 million bid in 2001would likely balloon to a cost of about $800 million today. If Related absorbs 50 percent of the deal, it could put Ross’ investment close to $400 million.

The Super-Yacht Harbor at Island Gardens will be the only facility in the area that is exclusively designed for mega-yachts. The super-yacht harbor, which will provide a spectacular backdrop to Island Gardens, benefits from the deep waters of the cruise ship terminal, which are deep enough for large cruise ships and not subject to tidal restrictions for access. (Flagstone Group)

“We’re planning to start building this fall,” said Bayraktar, who said he’s known Ross for many years.

The news was all good to Miami leaders who have struggled in dealing with Bayraktar, especially the past three years, when he fell behind in rent by as much as $500,000.

Several times they’ve threatened to kill the plan and reopen the bid to prospective developers. Each time, however, Bayraktar has been able to make required payments before the city rebid the project. Other times lobbyist Brian May was persuasive enough in pleading Bayraktar’s case that commissioners stalled killing the deal. “It’s fantastic news,” said Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who represents the district that encompasses Watson Island, a large circular spit of land that links Miami Beach to the mainland. “It shows we have someone who has the ability to get the ball across the goal. This type of project is right up his [Ross’] alley.”

Related, which specializes in high-end residential properties, also built New York’s Time Warner Center and CityPlace in West Palm Beach; it is currently working on the high-profile 26-acre Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s West Side.

Bayraktar has been beset by problems since he won the right through a public vote to develop on Watson Island in November 2001.

The original $281 million plan would have yielded Miami a pair of ritzy hotels, one 18 floors and the other 28 floors. Shops, gardens, and restaurants were planned for more than 221,000 square feet of retail space, and a 54-slip mega-yacht complex called for matching 470-foot platforms.

Bayraktar’s company, the Flagstone Property Group, was to pay Miami $1 million a year in rent during the two years it would take to build, then $2 million a year and a percentage of retail and hotel room sales. Miami leaders drooled at the thought of $250 million into its coffers over the project’s 45-year lease.

But construction stalled as banks backed away after 9/11 and Bayraktar fought lawsuits and money issues. When the economy began to tank again in 2007 and banks again wouldn’t commit to the plan, the city granted him extensions.

Bayraktar and May have been a constant presence at City Hall since early 2010, soon after Tomás Regalado was elected mayor and made saving the Flagstone plan one of his top priorities.

“We expect to be open by 2016,” said Bayraktar.

About the location:

watson Island Flagstone project

Read more here.
Pictures courtesy of South Florida Business Journal

Real Estate

Announcing the Surf Club Four Seasons Surfside

Surf Club Four Seasons Surfside Private Residences site


BY HANNAH SAMPSONSurf Club Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences

The historic Surf Club, in the process of expanding to include a hotel and condos, will bear the Four Seasons brand.

Owner Fort Capital, a Miami-based real estate investment company, announced this week that it had entered a brand and management agreement with the luxury Canadian hotel company. The project at 9011 Collins Ave. in Surfside will be the third Four Seasons property in South Florida, after the resort in Palm Beach and hotel in Miami.

As the owner has previously said, the hotel, to be named Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, will have about 80 rooms. The condominium — called The Surf Club Four Seasons Private Residences — will include 150 units.

When it opens in early 2016, the former social club will include the hotel, two condo towers, a private membership club, two restaurants, four pools, a spa and gym and beach cabanas. The new structures will incorporate a historic building designed by Russell Pancoast.

“When we acquired The Surf Club in 2012, our goal was to augment the property’s natural beauty and storied past with the intelligent, purposeful design of Richard Meier to create an elegant, amenity-rich residential and hospitality experience,” said Nadim Ashi, CEO of Fort Capital, in a statement. Partnering with Four Seasons, he said, will ensure residents and guests receive “the highest caliber of service.”

Source Miami Herald

Set on eight acres of pristine Atlantic oceanfront on Miami Beach immediately south of Bal Harbour, The Surf Club Four Seasons Surfside combines the elegant, purposeful architecture of Pritzker Prize – winner Richard Meier with a unique provenance and history. The result – two 12-story residential buildings comprising 150 homes situated between the ocean and the bay, flanking an intimate five-star hotel – offers the opportunity to live on today’s vibrant Miami Beach while enjoying the low-key elegance of a more gracious age.

Information available upon request.

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Real Estate

Miami rates top on the latest Case-Shiller real estate report

Miami takes top score in latest Case-Shiller real estate report

Home values in South Florida showed no weakness in November, soaring 17 percent compared to the prior year, according to the latest Case-Shiller numbers.

The closely watched real estate index gave the greater Miami market the largest November increase of any of the 20 metropolitan markets it tracks. Between October and November, the Miami index increased .7 percent, the 23rd straight month of rising values. Taking a 12-month view, the Miami index grew the fastest since June 2006.

With values soaring, industry analysts expect price increases to moderate in 2014. The S&P/Case-Shiller index reports on conditions from several months earlier, so it is considered a lagging indicator. The latest numbers offer more evidence of the real estate market’s quicker pace in 2013. In November 2012, the Case-Shiller Miami index, which includes Broward and Palm Beach, was up 10 percent from the prior year.

Miami top score Case-Shiller

The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine seeks to give the long view on the latest financial numbers for South Florida. Visit for analysis of the numbers that drive the local economy. Our ETM index tracks more than 40 local indicators to measure where the economy has “landed” post-bust when compared to earlier economic conditions. The latest reading: July 2004.

The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine seeks to give the long view on the latest financial numbers for South Florida real estate report. Visit for analysis of the numbers that drive the local economy.

By Douglas Hanks
Source: Miami Herald
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Real Estate

Port Miami Tunnel Set to Open in May

Port Miami Tunnel

Port Miami Tunnel Set to Open in May

The tunnel will connect the MacArthur Causeway with PortMiami.

The $1 billion Port Miami Tunnel Project is nearing completion.

“It is kind of like finishing up your kitchen remodeling job. We are down to the kind of surface you’re going to put on top of the kitchen cabinets,” said Chris Hodgkins, Vice President of Miami Access Tunnel, the company that is building the project.

Hodgkins is vice president of Miami Access Tunnel, the company in charge of the construction.

“We are going to open this baby up in May and we are going to have traffic coming through,” Hodgkins said. “Right now, we are on time, on schedule and on budget.”

Boring Machine ‘Harriet’ Tunnels Through to Watson Island

A tour of the twin tunnels reveals that the workers are in the process of adhering fire proof panels on the tunnel sides and asphalt is being laid on the roadway. When open, the twin tubes will sport shiny tile walls and two lanes within the northbound and southbound tunnels.

The tunnels will connect the MacArthur Causeway with Port Miami. The project will bring cargo carrying 18-wheelers and cruise ship passengers into the port in a more efficient manner. For years the trucks have caused traffic problems in downtown Miami as they wound their way through the heart of the city to the port.

This is the first stage of a series of infrastructure projects, the dredging along the port is another improvement that will allow super cargo ships to access the Port Miami providing a much efficient flow. Miami is on its way to become an economic epicenter for the Americas in a much broader scale.

By Hank Tester NBC 6
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Real Estate

Ritz Carlton Residences Miami Beach to be built on the former Miami Heart Institute site

Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach to be built on the former Miami Heart Institute site

A rendering of the Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach, which is in the works at the site of the former Miami Heart Institute. Courtesy of Lionheart Capital and DBOX
A rendering of the Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach, which is in the works at the site of the former Miami Heart Institute. Courtesy of Lionheart Capital and DBOX

The site of the shuttered Miami Heart Institute could hardly have a more different future: It’s slated to become The Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach.

The developer who is building an upscale condominium complex at the site tapped Ritz-Carlton to run the premises, which will have 126 residences, including 111 units in a 9-story condominium building and 15 single-family homes.

Lionheart Capital, a Miami Beach real estate investment and development firm, signed a 30-year licensing and management agreement with the prestigious hotel brand to operate the project planned for 4701 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach.

“This will provide 5-star-hotel-style service in a fully residential community with no transient guests,’’ said Ophir Sternberg, CEO of Lionheart Capital, which has backing from a New York private equity firm.

The deal is the second between Lionheart and the luxury hotel brand; Lionheart also developed The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singer Island, Palm Beach, which is 90-percent sold out.

Maintenance fees for units will be about $1 per square foot per month, or about $3,000 on a 3,000-square-foot unit, which Sternberg said is “in line’’ with other luxury projects in Miami.

Amenities will include, among other things, a 24-hour concierge, a spa and a restaurant managed by Ritz-Carlton, a private screening room, and a pool deck with waterfalls and cabanas.

Lionheart purchased the nine-acre site in February 2012 for $20 million.

Demolition of the former hospital is under way. Lionheart said it plans to keep just enough of the old structure to take advantage of the height and density, which would be virtually impossible to obtain on new construction in the single-family neighborhood.

“Views are protected on all four sides, because it’s all single-family homes or water,’’ Sternberg said.

Ritz Carlton Residences Miami Beach features:

Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni came up with a contemporary design with mostly glass exteriors to take advantage of the waterfront views. Residences will have 12-foot ceilings, large terraces with summer kitchens and plunge pools in most units.

Prices will start at about $2 million and go to about $25 million for penthouses, which will span some 10,000 square feet. The single-family homes will be in the range of 4,000 to 6,000 square feet and most will have private boat docks on Surprise Lake, which opens to the Intracoastal Waterway and Biscayne Bay.

Premier Sales Group was retained to handle pre-construction sales; the same firm is handling the Ritz-Carlton Residences project on Singer Island.

The developer is building a waterfront sales center on the site and hopes to open within 30 days. “We’re trying to be open for Art Basel,’’ Sternberg said.

“We think we’ll get a fair share of overseas buyers, but a big buyer base will be local Miami Beach residents looking to upgrade or stay in that neighborhood,’’ Sternberg said. “A lot of condominiums in Miami Beach are on Collins Avenue, which is very transient and hard to raise a family. Here, you are in a very family-oriented neighborhood. That’s why we think it will appeal to a lot of locals.’’

The developer plans to require 40-percent deposits from buyers. That will include 10 percent of the purchase price at contract signing and 30 percent phased in during construction.

Ritz Carlton Miami Beach Site View

Source: Miami Herald
By Martha Brannigan