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Architecture Development Real Estate

Hallandale approves condo king Jorge Perez’s $100 million, high-rise Beachwalk project

Hallandale Beach commissioners gave final approval Wednesday night to developer Jorge Perez’s plan to construct Beachwalk – a $100-million, 31-story hotel-residential complex on the Intracoastal Waterway.

The proposed 305-foot tower at 2600 E. Hallandale Beach Boulevard will contain 216 two-bedroom hotel-condominium suites, 84 residential units, a 1,225-square-foot restaurant and a five-story parking garage.

Commissioners also gave approval for Perez’s Related Group of Florida to spend $2.5 million to create a lush park, with a two-story restaurant and concessions, at the city’s nearby oceanfront North Beach Park.

The group will manage the facility, but the city commission said the public would still have access to the oceanfront. The term of the lease was reduced from a proposed 30-year agreement to 15 years.

In approving the project, the developer received various zoning exemptions and concessioners, including a giveway by the city of more than a third of an acre of right-of-way along portions of Diana Drive to allow for more residential units. – William Gjebre

June 7 – Hallandale Beach commissioners unanimously gave a tentative green light Wednesday night to Miami developer Jorge Perez’s plans to construct Beachwalk — a $100-million, 31-story, hotel-residential complex on the Intracoastal Waterway where the popular Manero’s restaurant once stood.

At the same time, commissioners put off until later this month a vote on a another aspect of the deal that would give Perez long-term control of a nearby prime parcel of city-owned oceanfront property to develop as a park with a restaurant.

The proposed 305-foot tower, at 2600 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., would contain 216 two-bedroom suites that could serve as hotel rooms or condominiums, as well as an additional 84 apartments dedicated to being condominiums only. Plans include a 1,225-square foot restaurant and a five-story parking garage.

Final approvals are to be voted on June 20.

The developer, PRH-2600 Hallandale Beach LLC, is a Miami company controlled by Perez, chairman of the Related Group of Florida. If finally approved, the developer will receive various zoning exemptions and concessions, including a giveaway by the city of more than a third of an acre of right-of-way along a portion Diana Drive to allow for more residential units.

Local activist and commission candidate Csaba Kulin complained the project was too massive and that the city should not be awarding a 30-year contract for the development of the city’s one-acre oceanfront parcel.

“I’m against any giveaway of the beachfront area,” said candidate Kulin.

Kulin believes the deal would give another nearby Perez development access to the ocean and the developer control of 91 public parking spaces at the nearby residential Beach Club.

Kulin previously urged commissioners to defer the tower project because many of the residents are snowbirds and won’t be back in town until the fall.

“The problem is they are trying to shoehorn too big a building on a small site,” Kulin said.

The total site is 1.68 acres, including the land from Diana Drive.

Mayor Joy Cooper said earlier that negotiations with the developer were continuing.

“A lot of things can change,” said Cooper said, who noted that a parking shortage at the tower might not be as severe as it appears.

Cooper said she was not necessarily concerned about Perez’s group developing and managing the city’s North Beach park property, especially since he will pay for the improvements in accordance with the city’s master plan for parks. The city will be paid a percentage of the revenues from the restaurant and other concessions made available in the park, she said.

Cooper said Hallandale Beach needs new hotel space, especially at the oceanfront to attract tourists and visitors. The restaurant in the park will provide a wonderful oceanfront setting for dinners, she added.

Commissioner Keith London, who is running against Cooper, agreed.

“There is a need for quality hotel space in Hallandale.”

Perez, known as Miami’s “condo king,” did not appear at Wednesday’s meeting to talk about Beachwalk.

His Fort Lauderdale attorney, Debbie Orshefky of Greenberg Traurig, told commissioners, “We are confident that it will be successful.”

London and other commissioners hope to extract some concessions before the final vote, including a pledge from the developer that the beach park project will be completed first. Another request: regular monitoring of parking around the facility.

Residents who spoke at the meeting were equally divided on both sides of the project.

City staff endorsed the project. London, however, said he wasn’t happy that it took nearly two years to reach the commission, and that some agreements between the city and developer were incomplete.

City documents say the developer has vowed to spend up to $2.5 million to reshape the rundown North Beach park area with a two-story, 4,000-square foot structure to include the restaurant, restrooms and changing facilities for both beach goers and diners. There would be an additional 3,000 square feet of patio area facing the ocean.

Plans for the full-service restaurant call for indoor seating for 80 persons and outdoor seating for 100. Patrons could rent beach chairs, umbrellas, paddle boards and canoes. A volleyball area is planned.

For the first 10 years of the 30-year lease, the city would collect a minimum of $5,000 a month or 2.5% of gross park concession receipts, whichever is greater. The percentage would go up a notch to 3% in years 11 through 20, and rise another half-percent to 3.5% from years 21-30.

The concessionaire would pay all operating and maintenance for the park facility, and also give the city $200,000 to maintain other city parks.

Prior to issuance of the first building permit for the high-rise tower, the developer would give the city another $550,000 — $250,000 to be used for public improvements and $300,000 for improvements to affordable housing.

By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org
William Gjebre can be reached at wgjebre@browardbulldog.org
Hallandale approves condo king Jorge Perez’s $100 million, high-rise Beachwalk project

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Economy Investment Real Estate

4 Reasons Why Foreign Investors Are Keen to Invest in Miami Real Estate

4 Reasons Why Foreign Investors Are Keen to Invest in Miami Real Estate

If current trends are to be analyzed, you will see a substantial rise in foreign investment in the Miami real estate boom. Market experts believe that high-end buyers from foreign countries are helping Miami real estate come out from its dark days. These are the reasons for these foreign investors to invest in the real estate market of Miami.

1. Low Prices

The city of Miami is still recovering from its rough patch after the country wide economic down-slide. This has caused the prices of properties to be at their all time low. The developers and investors of Miami Beach condos are desperately trying to remove the large number of apartments from their hands by offering low prices. This has seen a large wave of foreign nationals buying these properties. These high-end condos and apartments may not be exactly cheap for the US citizens, but these foreigners find these prices cheaper than the price of property back home. Thus, they are rushing to buy their own properties in the city.

2. Vacation Homes In Beautiful Locations

Miami is a beautiful place with the sun, beach and sand. It is an ideal place to set up vacation villas and homes. This is one reason for rich people from other foreign countries to come and invest in beautiful Miami Beach condos, facing the clear blue ocean. These investors are rich and price is not a factor for them. What they want is a villa or condo that meets their basic necessities and demands and with developers eyeing rich buyers there are plenty of expensively done high-end condos that these people can invest in.

3. Better Livelihood In The States

United States has often been the country where people want to migrate to for a chance at a better lifestyle. These foreign nationals upon arriving in the country invest in properties. Majority of the sale in Miami is in the residential market where these investors are spending all their money. The USA has a trustworthy legal system which places a lot of importance on property rights and these people feel that it is the safest place to invest their money in.

4. Low Interest Rates

With the Federal Reserve keeping the interest rates low to attract foreign investors, investors and developers from Japan, China, Germany and Russia are coming in. These investors feel that United States that is recovering economically is a safe market for their investment. Moreover, investing in projects in Miami where the real estate market is going through a boom, they will be able to gain more profit than in investing in their own countries.

Miami is one of the most popular cities in the USA and getting an opportunity to buy property in this city is not something that most foreign investors would like to give up. Property prices cheaper than their home country and the benefit of low interest rates are responsible for large scale foreign investment.

By Brenda Lyttle
http://www.business2community.com

Categories
Economy Real Estate

Hotel Real Estate Boom on Miami Beach

Hotel Real Estate Boom on Miami Beach Signals Demand for the Destination

There’s been a major real estate boom in Miami Beach recently but what’s changing hands aren’t lofty penthouses on Collins Avenue but small to mid-size luxury hotels that are being bought, sold, managed and renovated. In just the last few months:

– We saw the arrival of the $85 million SLS South Beach Hotel on Collins Avenue
– The Royal Palm Hotel was sold for $130 million and is being rebranded as the James Hotel
– The Gansevoort hotel was sold and renamed The Perry and is being managed by Starwood
– Kimpton beat out Doubletree for the management of the Surfcomber Hotel which sits at a prime location at 17th and Collins Avenue
– The Delano hotel is for sale (although its owners still want to manage it after the sale)
– And David Edelstein, the developer and owner of the W South Beach, along with the SLS Group have reportedly just bought Collins Avenue neighbor the Raleigh hotel for $55 million

“The unprecedented sales, purchase and renovation upgrades of hotel properties all over Miami Beach are indicators of the strength and demand for the destination,” says Jeff Lehman, Chair, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority. “Miami Beach’s consistent placement in the top ten of varied Best Of lists, continued allure in a competitive vacation market, ongoing infrastructure updates, sophisticated cultural, gastronomic and social options and of course, our great weather entices business-savvy hotel operators who realize this city is the best place to invest in now and for the future.”

Renovation projects currently underway include the B Hotel (the former Continental) and the Saxony hotel which is getting a dramatic makeover courtesy of star architects, Rem Koolhaas and Lord Norman Foster, continuing the tradition of star architects bringing their talents to Miami Beach. The reconstruction of the historic beachfront Seville Hotel, is also underway, soon to be branded a Marriot Editions as envisioned by Ian Schrager, the celebrity hotelier who invigorated South Beach with his launch of the Delano hotel 15 years ago. A number of properties are also actively courting buyers – if the price is right.

Luxury properties have become particularly in demand on Miami Beach with hotels like the SLS South Beach (designed by celeb designer, Phillipe Starck), the Mondrian (designed by famed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders), the W, Standard and Setai opening their doors in recent years and other properties getting significant makeovers like the Betsy, Surfcomber (also managed by Kimpton hotels), Fontainebleau and coming up, the Loews. Major hoteliers see Miami Beach as a sure bet in a tough economy. “We encourage business growth and development on the Beach,” says Lehman, “but all the attributes of Miami Beach make it easy to see why everyone wants to be here.”

About Miami Beach

With an average year-round temperature of 75 degrees, Miami Beach has an unrivaled reputation for culinary offerings, nightlife, culture, fashion, and luxurious hotels. Also a popular destination among travelers, Miami Beach was recently ranked by Trip Advisor as number one on its Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations for 2011 list and was included on both the Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S. lists. Boasting seven miles of breathtaking beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has just been named one of the top cities worldwide for ‘walkability’ and is equally easy to navigate by bike or by boat. Home to unique museums, to the New World Symphony and Miami City Ballet, to over 17,000 luxury, boutique and resort hotel rooms, 12 public parks and to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach is a destination for all seasons. Miami Beach is like no other place in the world!

Visit MiamiBeachGuest.com or MiamiBeachINCARD.com for more information.

Read more here.
Souce: Heraldonline.com
Picture: W South Beach – Starwood.

Categories
Economy Investment

Why Credit-Card Firms Are Sweet on You Again

Banks are returning to a practice they abandoned after the financial crisis: taking Americans’ credit-card debt, slicing and dicing it, and selling it off as bonds.

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

So far this year, banks and other companies that issue credit cards have sold $21 billion in bonds backed by those accounts’ debt, Bloomberg News reported on Aug. 29—up from $4.8 billion in the same period the year prior. Broadly, it’s a bet that consumers have their finances in order and will continue to be able to pay their monthly bills on time.

Bonds thrive when there’s predictability, and the credit-card business has become more stable since the crisis. The number of accounts 30 days past due peaked in March 2009 and again in November 2009, and has been declining ever since. Spenders are reining in their charging habits. Card issuers have cut off their least creditworthy customers, and reforms such as the CARD Act have forced them to be more careful about the riskiness of new customers. While all of this has put a crimp in credit-card companies’ growth, it has made for fat, steady revenue streams. In 2012, that’s not a bad position to be in.

“You may have to go back to the 1980s to see credit losses and delinquencies as low as they are right now,” says Bob Napoli, an analyst with William Blair. “It’s a sign that consumers are much more concerned about having good credit today, and a sign that the credit-card companies have been very disciplined in their underwriting.” The result, Napoli says, is a credit-card market that’s “Goldilocks healthy.”

With Europe’s future a giant question mark, and Treasuries offering meager returns, buyers such as mutual funds view credit-card-backed bonds as an attractive investment. For credit-card companies, this creates an opportunity to lower their own borrowing costs. Yields on top-ranked, five-year credit-card securities are the lowest in five years relative to a common benchmark, according to the Bloomberg report.

Might credit-card companies perhaps be grateful for the 2009 CARD Act, which they fiercely lobbied against? “I think so,” says Scott Valentin, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets. “The key has been the discipline coming out of the CARD Act.” Issuers are being more honest about their upfront pricing, Valentin says, and are restricted from the old industry practice of revising rates at any time for any reason. As Bloomberg Businessweek’s Karen Weise reported in July, the legislation has instilled a “forced rationality” in credit-card companies.

The New York Fed, in a report published yesterday, offered more data about the country’s credit-card habits. The number of open credit-card accounts has fallen 23 percent from its 2008 peak, to 383 million. And balances on those accounts are 22 percent down from their peak in the same year, from $866 billion to $672 billion. (Delinquency rates for student loans and home equity lines of credit rose.) That’s part of a general decline in household debt, which fell 0.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, to $11.38 trillion.

Fans of plastic still have plenty to curse credit-card companies about. This $20 billion-and-growing bonds trend, though, is a rare signal of a saner industry.

Summers covers Wall Street and finance for Bloomberg Businessweek.
By Nick Summers

Categories
Economy Personal Finance Real Estate

Mortgage-debt forgiveness preventing foreclosures

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Reducing the amount struggling homeowners owe on their mortgages is proving to be a more effective way to prevent foreclosures than other methods, such as reducing interest rates or postponing payments, a new report finds.
In a report presented this week, Amherst Securities Group said that when principal reductions brought mortgages near the home’s market value, borrowers were substantially less likely to fall behind on payments again and lose their homes.

Only 12% of borrowers who received principal reductions re-defaulted in 2011, Amherst found. That’s compared with 23% of borrowers who received mortgage modifications with interest rate reductions (but no principal reduction) and 30% who received forbearance, which postpones their debt repayment.
“[Modifications] with principal forgiveness are apt to be most effective, as the borrower no longer owes the money — so he is no longer hopelessly underwater,” said Laurie Goodman, Amherst’s housing market analyst and one of the authors of the report.

The success these principal reductions have had in turning delinquent borrowers back into paying clients has led many lenders to step up debt forgiveness on the loans in their own portfolios.

So far this year, principal reductions have accounted for 40% of the modifications done by the banks, up dramatically from 25% in 2011 and 11% in 2010, according to Amherst.

The mortgage servicers cannot forgive debt on loans that are owned or backed by one of the two government-controlled mortgage giants, Fannie Mae (FNMA, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE), however, and they are limited in what they can forgive on loans owned by investors.

That means, of the vast majority of loans — 6 million since April 2009, according to the Treasury Department — only a fraction have received debt forgiveness. That may be changing, though.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which controls the majority of outstanding mortgages through its oversight of Fannie and Freddie, has thus far prohibited the mortgage giants from including debt forgiveness as part of their mortgage modifications.
See also: Most affordable cities to buy a home

Last month, however, Fannie and Freddie announced they would participate in two programs in California and Nevada that will use part of a $7.6 billion Hardest Hit Fund to pay down loans the companies own or back.

However, the move will not cost Fannie and Freddie anything and is a far cry from the principal reduction that private mortgage servicers are extending to borrowers.

“My guess is that eventually, [Fannie and Freddie will] go down that path, but there’s still a lot of reticence there,” said Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “People have problems with principal reduction. They think it’s unfair.”

Even if Fannie and Freddie remain on the sidelines, Amherst said it expects to see a continued increase in principal reductions.

Mortgage-debt forgiveness preventing foreclosures
source:http://money.cnn.com/

Categories
Economy Investment Real Estate

Genting cools interest in buying Miami-Dade School District property

The cash-strapped Miami-Dade School District has several options to consider from developers interested in buying its prime downtown real estate, but interest has cooled from its biggest suitor — the Genting Group.

In December, the Malaysian investors told the School Board they were interested in buying the district’s downtown property, which spans more than 10 acres of parking lots and office buildings on eight separate parcels.

But on Monday, the group said it is pursuing scaled-back plans for a luxury development — for now without a casino — on The Miami Herald’s bayfront property, which Genting purchased last year from the newspaper’s parent company.

“Though we initially indicated interest in the School Board properties, we have since decided to move forward developing Resorts World Miami on the nearby Miami Herald site, independent of the school bpard land,” said Jessica Hoppe, vice president and general counsel for Resorts World Miami.

Starting with its purchase of The Miami Herald property, the Genting Group has invested about $500 million in real estate in the Omni area. The group is moving ahead with a luxury complex on the bay after its bid to build the world’s largest casino faded in February in the Florida Legislature.

“We understand Genting’s decision, and the matter remains under the cone of silence,” John Schuster, spokesman for the school district, said in an email.

Last fall, the district issued a request for letters of interest in the property, the first step in selling or developing it, and got some proposals.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has not recommended any option to board members, but released the letters in a Feb. 9 memo to the board for “informational purposes.”

“We have a structured process if we were to proceed,” said Jaime Torrens, the district’s chief facilities officer. “There’s no pricing at this point. It’s very conceptual.”

Among the proposals:

–One from 1550 The Chelsea to buy the district’s lot at 1535 NE Second Ave. The developers are working on a mixed-use tower near the Omni hotel. It owns the Brickell Flatiron, which includes the bar Baru, and has plans for a park and to build Park Lane Towers in a vacant area.

“We’re the natural purchasers,” said managing member Mallory Kauderer. “I’ll pay a good price because we’re on Biscayne Boulevard.”

–An offer to buy one of the district’s parcels, 1610 NE First Ct., for $908,440 in cash from Prince Albert, a company of the Kluger family, who own other properties in the area.

–A pitch to market and sell the district’s eight parcels separately by Ryan Shaw with Marcus & Millichap, a national real estate brokerage. In his letter, Shaw estimated the value of each of the district’s properties for a total of more than $40.7 million.

“It would be in the School Board’s best interest to bring these properties to market separately,” Shaw said. “They’re sitting on equity that could be better served in the school district by building more facilities more centrally located and getting out of downtown.”

–A conceptual plan from Town Square Neighborhood Development, a nonprofit focused on developing the area around the Adrienne Arsht Center. The group has no funds, but has a wish list to make over the performing arts area.

Any timeline to sell the district’s property would likely take at least a year, given the deal’s complexity and need to find a place for the district to relocate its headquarters, Torrens said. Atsthe nerve center of the fourth largest school district in the country, the district oversees more than 300 schools, 30,000-plus employees and nearly 350,000 students.

Torrens said the district could weigh other alternatives, too. “It isn’t just sell. There are different types of leases or developments,” he said.

Genting cools interest in buying Miami-Dade School District property
By Laura Isensee, Miami Herald