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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.
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BY CHARLES RABIN
Pictures courtesy of South Florida Business Journal
Faena House by Norman Foster
It’s the tower that could change a whole strip of Miami Beach — and it will make you instantly dissatisfied with your measly standard balcony.
New renderings of the 18-story Faena House tower, four exclusive to The Huffington Post, reveal even more details of the jaw-dropping residential centerpiece of four blocks that will eventually be known as Faena District Miami Beach. Underway on the waterfront at 3201 Collins Avenue, Faena House is designed by architects Foster + Partners to resemble “a towering ship at sea” — if that ship passed out in a really nice bed, dreaming of maximum amounts of light and space.
In fact, at least one penthouse has nearly as much terrace space as interior square footage. And each of the 47 residences are wrapped with wide aleros, as they are known in Argentina, with balconies functioning like hallways to connect the rooms from the outside. Glass is everywhere and all but uninterrupted, with plans calling for sliding glass doors — built to hurricane code, mind you — as astonishingly wide as 12.5 feet.
Earlier this year, the massive duplex penthouse at Faena House nearly matched a local listings record when it debuted with a $50 million price tag, just $5 million less than a whopper of a penthouse at the Mansions at Aqualina that comes with a cantilevered glass pool hanging off the 47th floor. (The most expensive condo sale so far is a $34 million penthouse at Ian Schrager’s half-constructed The Edition Residences, a few blocks south of Faena on Collins.)
Alan Faena, an Argentinian fashion designer-turned-developer, is building the tower as just the first phase of a neighborhood district he hopes will recreate the success he had with an unlikely warehouse area in Buenos Aires that now boasts some of the most expensive real estate in that city. Faena District Miami Beach will eventually build out 32nd and 35th streets between Indian Creek and the ocean with a luxury hotel, an arts center, an “architecturally important” parking complex (so hot right now!), a marina, and luxury retail space. (Fortunately, the existing historic Saxony Hotel at 32nd and Collins will be refurbished, not torn down.)
The flush, however, aren’t waiting for the rest of it: Faena announced last week that his tower is already 50 percent under contract after breaking ground in January. The scheduled completion date? Fall 2014.
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Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the developer. for correct representations, reference should be made to the purchase agreement and the documents required by section 718.503, Florida statutes, to be furnished by a developer to a purchaser or lessee. Not an offering where prohibiting by state law. Prices subject to change without notice. Photography and artwork in this website is for informational purposes and might be stock photography used to depict the lifestyle to be achieved rather than any that may exist. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of us policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
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
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.
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Picture: W South Beach – Starwood.