Friday, December 26, 2014

Jordache buys Setai Hotel on Miami Beach for $90 million

By Rene Rodriguez

The Jordache look, a quaint relic of the 1980s, is coming back in style in a different way.
Nakash Holdings, the investment company controlled by the designer jeans firm Jordache Enterprises, announced Wednesday it has purchased the 120-room Setai Hotel, one of Miami Beach’s most vaunted celebrity haunts, for about $90million.
The Setai is the latest acquisition by Jordache, which bought the Versace Mansion last year for a reported $41.5 million, and also owns five other hotels in the area, including the Breakwater Hotel and the Hotel Victor.
“The Setai is really the crown jewel of Miami Beach,” said Jonathan Bennett, managing director of Nakash Holdings, the real estate division of Jordache. “It is the epitome of luxury in that city. We’ve enjoyed spending time there, and when it came up for sale, we knew it was something that would be a great fit for us. It’s special and unique, and there’s nothing else on the Beach that can compete with it.”
With 85 hotel suites and another 35 condo units, the price averages out to $750,000 per room. That makes it one of the highest per-room sales ever in Miami Beach, said Scott Brush, a Miami-based hotel consultant. The condo units are privately owned, but most can be rented through the hotel program.
“There have been some really high numbers recently — numbers that five years ago would have you committed to an asylum,” Brush said. “Rumors have it that the Delano might be available for $1million a room. We’re also talking about a market, Miami Beach, where the numbers have gone through the roof. You can still pay more in New York City or San Francisco, but for an area that did so poorly for so long, it has really come into its own in the past few years. As occupancy numbers go up, so do the value of the hotels.”
Built originally in 1938 as the Art Deco-styled Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel, the hotel at 2001 Collins Ave. was renovated in 2004 and augmented by a 40-foot tower that is home to one, two and three-bedroom condos ranging in size from 900 to 3,500 square feet. Conceived partly by Aman Resorts founder Adrian Zecha, the beachfront Asian-inspired grounds include an interior courtyard pool surrounded by pergolas and an expansive outdoor pool garden. In 2013, readers of Conde Nast Traveler voted it the best hotel in Miami Beach and No.2 in Florida.
Past guests have included Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Hudson and Dylan McDermott. Its hotel suites bring some of the highest rates on Miami Beach, with a one-night stay on Jan. 4 starting at $1,360 plus tax; according to the hotel website, it is sold out through Jan. 2. In 2013, a full-floor, 7,100-square-foot condo unit on the building’s 40th floor sold for a record-setting $27 million — just over $3,800 per square foot.
Bennett said the current contract with the management firm that operates the condo portion of the facility expires early next year. He said the decision has not been made whether to renew or go in a different direction.
Jordache’s interest in Miami Beach won’t stop with the Setai, he said.
“We own several other properties there and the chairman of our company [Joe Nakash] has a residence on Fisher Island, so he spends a lot of time there,” Bennett said. “We’re going to continue to seek out these kinds of opportunities and add to our portfolio as they come along.”

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Russian ruble’s skip hits Miami realty market

Written by on December 23, 2014, Miami Today

Residential brokers who help Russians find homes in Miami say the plunging value of the ruble will probably affect their clients in a variety of ways, including apprehension over buying and renting here alongside higher motivation to place their money in a more secure country.
Russians are already buying in Miami and they know the market, said Anita Funtek, broker at The Boscolo Realty and CEO of the Miami New Construction Show.
“Their buying power is definitely shrinking as the ruble is falling, but as they have doubts in the future of the Russian economy, their motivation is higher to place their savings to a more secure country,” she said. “Many just want to stop their loss right now and, if they were planning to buy in the last couple of months, the current situation is helping them to make the decision faster.”
Ms. Funtek has a large number of Russian clients in Sunny Isles where there’s a community of Russian stores, restaurants and newspapers. She said there’s also a growing Russian population in Hollywood and Golden Beach.
It’s difficult to be a fortuneteller, she said, but the falling ruble could increase as easily as decrease the number of Russians buying and renting property in the Miami area.
“I just returned from a month-long trip to Ukraine and Russia where I talked to many friends who are worried about the ruble,” Ms. Funtek said. “Just like in the stock market crash, some want to stop the loss and put their money in a safe haven because they don’t feel they have a future in Russia; others are hesitant to buy and want to wait until the market improves.”
At the beginning of the year, $1 bought 33 rubles. The escalating currency crisis began in the second half of 2014 due to the fall in the price of oil, a major export of Russia, along with the international economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and European Union following President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine.
Last week, the Russian ruble steadied around 62.5 against the US dollar after Russian authorities announced Dec. 18 measures to ease banking regulations and encourage exporters to sell foreign currency. On Dec. 19, Mr. Putin endorsed the Russian central bank’s raising its key interest rate 6.5 percentage points to 17%, its highest since 2003.
The exchange rate from rubles to dollars results in properties that are twice as expensive for Russian buyers and current condo owners, said Irina Kim Sang, broker/associate for Coldwell Banker Miami Beach.
“The devaluation of the ruble and oil price decrease is distressing a lot of Russians,” she said. “I’ve seen the effect of this confusion and worry in my daily practice for the past three months.”
There will be a number of consequences, Ms. Sang said. “Those who have invested $1 million plus [for a condo] have at least $1,000 in monthly fees,” she said. “With the ruble devalued, they’re paying double the amount for maintenance and, should they only be using the property for three to six months of the year, they may want to sell.”
For her affluent Russian clients who have an investment portfolio of homes, sometimes three or more in Miami and elsewhere around the world, Ms. Sang doesn’t believe they are concerned with finances.
However, Ms. Sang said, political instability and the uncertainty of getting a visa might affect people of all income levels if they can’t travel to their vacation home.
“There are people in Russia who don’t want to immigrate and are more interested in investing their money in property here,” she said. “They prefer a tourist visa so they don’t have to pay worldwide income taxes.”
With the shrinking ruble and the possibility that the problem will continue to loom, Ms. Sang said there’s a potential for clients who might be interested in committing to immigration through an EB-5 visa, bringing investment to Miami for an approved regional center project. Those people, she said,  are potential homebuyers. 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

In Miami, Luxury Knows No Limits

MIAMI — With a construction worker’s hard hat tipped to a jaunty angle on his bald head, the developer Craig Robins marched toward a cavernous three-story space, raw with dusty building materials and cables poking from unfinished walls.
“This is going to be Valentino,” Mr. Robins, 51, said in October in the Miami Design District, once a sleepy swath of furniture stores in a less-than-desirable part of town that Mr. Robins and his partners are transforming into a large concentration of luxury shops.

Louis Vuitton’s flagship store will stand just north of Valentino, and Van Cleef & Arpels to the south. Facing them will be Bulgari and Christian Dior. About 20 top-drawer brands are to open in the district this month, in individual buildings along spotless walkways and streets, in the manner of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Fla., and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Another 30 or so are planned for the first half of 2015. And by the end of 2016, Mr. Robins plans to have about 120 high-end tenants in a 10-square-block radius, alongside restaurants, galleries, a boutique hotel, sculptures, murals and 300 new trees, some perched on roofs. “We’re not a mall, we’re a neighborhood,” Mr. Robins said in a thinly veiled jab at Bal Harbour Shops.

For decades, Bal Harbour was the only shopping center in the Miami area where customers were assured a wide choice of luxury goods. Now, it has lost some of retail’s choicest names, like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Cartier, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy and several others, to the Design District.
In Miami and its environs, a thumping economy is continuing to animate a construction boom. And in the once-genteel world of luxury retail, it has spurred a no-holds-barred skirmish for the attentions of the roughly 14 million people who arrive each year, many of them cash-wielding visitors from Latin America, Russia and Western Europe, and the five million people who live here and in the area, including Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
For example, in the Brickell area south of downtown, cranes hover like colossal flamingos over dozens of building sites, the largest of them the Brickell City Centre, a $1 billion, 8.3-million-square-foot shopping, office, condominium and hotel project on nine acres. Saks Fifth Avenue plans to open the site’s anchor store in fall 2016.
“Seventy percent of the retail sales in Miami are to visitors from Latin America,” said Deborah Overholt, the center’s retail leasing director. “Their No. 1 priority is luxury. That’s what they’re looking for.”
In 2012, she said, visitors staying at hotels in the Brickell area alone, which includes the Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons, spent $800 million on shopping in and around Miami.
The Brickell project, she said, will cater to that clientele. As for the Design District, Ms. Overholt said she was not concerned that it may pull away a hefty amount of business long before Brickell can open its doors. “We feel that high tides float all boats,” she said. “It’s better for everyone if we’re all successful.”
On Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, a pedestrian thoroughfare of shops and restaurants that has begun to attract upscale businesses, six retail buildings sold in August for a total of $342 million, a transaction that The Miami Herald called one of the largest in South Florida’s history.
And Bal Harbour Shops and the Aventura Mall, which is increasingly a home to premium retailers, are planning their own costly expansions.
Developers and shopkeepers seem unfazed, at least for now, about warnings in recent quarterly reports from many high-end brands. “Most of the negative financial issues in the luxury market are in China and Europe,” Mr. Robins said. “But business in the U.S. remains robust, increasing the importance of the Miami market.”
Matthew W. Lazenby, the 37-year-old president and chief executive of Whitman Family Development, Bal Harbour’s parent company, seemed untroubled, too.
“Over the years, Bal Harbour Shops has proved to be largely defiant in terms of bucking prevailing trends, even in the luxury sector,” he said. “We tend to think in terms of decades, not quarters, so we are somewhat intentionally oblivious to flash-in-the-pan trends.”
Yet Bal Harbour’s long hegemony over Miami’s top-tier retail market has faltered, apparently, at least in part because of its own rules. For decades, Bal Harbour leases stipulated that if tenants opened stores elsewhere in South Florida, percentages of their sales had to be paid to Bal Harbour’s owners, the Whitman family. To some leaseholders, it amounted to a prohibition on unfettered commerce.
In the last three years, frustrated tenants, notably brands owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, began packing up their Bal Harbour stores and moving out, many to temporary quarters in the Design District while new flagships were built. Some also opened outlets in the Aventura Mall, which draws 28 million shoppers a year in northeast Miami-Dade County, while a few rented spaces in the Village of Merrick Park, in Coral Gables, a few miles south of downtown Miami.
Mr. Lazenby said that some “bad blood” remained in the wake of the leases’ so-called radius clause. “We did have a firm stance in the past, but we’re not taking that stance anymore,” said Mr. Lazenby, whose grandfather Stanley F. Whitman built the shops in 1965. “We frankly learned a lot from all this.”
But in what seems a display of confidence, Bal Harbour now is seeking approval of a $300 million expansion that will add roughly 300,000 square feet of store space, including a third department store to join Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
On a recent Saturday, Bal Harbour’s parking lot was all but full as shoppers chatting in various languages ambled in and out of Balenciaga, Chanel, Harry Winston and some of the 100 or so other stores. Only a couple of shops on the top floor were boarded up, awaiting new tenants. On the ground floor, open to the sky and the palms, three sleek, shiny Jaguars were lined up. “We lease vehicles to foreign nationals,” a pamphlet said in Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and English.
“This is still a destination,” said Marquietta Buffaloe, a sales assistant at the Bal Harbour outpost of the South Florida chain Books & Books, where sales last year were up 7.5 percent over 2012.
At least one Bal Harbour shopper was irked that, after 30 years, Louis Vuitton had left and opened in the Design District and Aventura. “I hated it when that happened,” said Ana Fernandez, who lives less than three miles away. “I liked it here. But it’s not going to stop me from going to Louis Vuitton just because it’s not here.”

A version of this article appears in print on December 7, 2014, on page ST14 of the New York edition with the headline: In Miami, Let Luxury Know No Limits. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Именно в период до 30 ноября Вы можете оплатить НАЛОГ на НЕДВИЖИМОСТЬ за 2014 со СКИДКОЙ в 4%!

Приглашаем на Семинар (язык проведения русский), на котором будет обсужден широкий спектр вопросов, касающихся русско-язычных граждан, проживающих на территории Южной Флориды.  Основными из них являются:

11. Известно ли Вам о налоговых вычетах?  Переплачиваете ли Вы налог на недвижимость?
22. Если налог уже оплачен, имеете ли Вы право на компенсацию, подав на аппеляцию?
33. Имеете ли Вы основание на налоговые вычеты, связанные с рождением Вашего ребенка в США?

     Ответы на Ваши вопросы по окончании Семинара.  Если Вам не удастся посетить семинар, Вы можете отправить Ваши вопросы на адрес: и мы с удовольствием на них ответим.

ВРЕМЯ ПРОВЕДЕНИЯ: 25 ноября 2014, в 19:00
МЕСТО ПРОВЕДЕНИЯ: Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach
Адрес: Coldwell Banker Conference Room
1682 Jefferson Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Организатор: Ирина Ким Сэнг, риэлтор-брокер агенства недвижимости Coldwell Banker

Пожалуйста, подтвердите свое участие, отправив сообщение на или по тел. 305-562-5864 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Miami International Auto Show 2014 presents... The show is on November 7-16 at Miami Beach Convention Center

Do not miss to visit Miami Million Dollar Alley at the Miami International Auto Show 2014

In 1971, Datsun introduced the 240Z, gasoline was 36 cents a gallon and the Miami lnternational Auto Show launched its first exhibition. Today, this same show is recognized as one of the largest and most prestigious in the nation.
A venue for national product introductions, the auto show showcases more than a thousand new vehicles from over 40 manufacturers from around the world - a collection that auto enthusiasts wait all year to see.
Building from a momentous show in 2013, this signature South Florida event is back with popular returning exhibits, including Topless in Miami's display of convertible cars in a picturesque Miami environment, and Havana Classics, a spin-off of Memory Lane celebrating nostalgia of the 50s. Ride & Drive events, including Camp Jeep will also be back at Convention Center Drive.

Adults    $15.00
Children 6-12    $6.00
Children 5 & under    Free
Online Tickets 
Show attendees can turn a regular selfie into a truly global one by snapping a pic in front of the “first ever” Selfie Car, wrapped with hundreds of other selfies and brought to you by South Miami Fiat. Look for the “Selfie Car” just outside the Topless in Miami exhibition.

To purchase a ticket in advance online, please click here to visit our online ticket booth.
*Please note: a $1 convenience fee will be charged in addition to the ticket price.

Miami, FL – October 20, 2014 – South Florida’s love affair for automobiles, trucks, SUVs and crossovers will be front and center at this year’s 44th Miami International Auto Show presented by Ally Auto.
Taking place Friday, November 7th through Sunday, November 16th, 2014 at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive), several hundred thousand visitors will be treated to close-up looks of today’s hottest rides from the leading auto manufacturers.
In addition to the new 2015s, popular show attractions such as Camp Jeep, Havana Classics and Memory Lane will return as a treat for visitors.
An auto show first will be the Cars Meet Art exhibit, a unique attraction inspired by urban graffiti art from Miamis Historic Wynwood District. World famous street artists have painted a variety of cars and matching murals that will be displayed throughout the show.  Many of the artists will make appearances signing autographs and answering questions about their work.
Cars Meet Art will also feature Ally Auto Alley, which will provide show attendees with the opportunity to show off their own designs by painting on a virtual car with the results of their work shared via social media.
Many manufacturers will have interactive displays, and you can connect and interact with others in real time via Twitter at prominent screens displayed at high traffic spots on the convention center floor.
            The official Show Car is the 2015 Ford Mustang GT, the iconic American Pony Car that is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the annual Giveaway Car is a new Chevrolet Camaro LT. The 2015 Camaro has an MSRP of $24,550, so don't miss the opportunity to enter the drawing.
Attendees will not only have the opportunity to see, touch, and feel the latest 2015 models, but will also have to chance to drive certain makes as well. Among those offering Ride & Drive opportunities on weekend hours and Veterans Day are Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Kia, Scion, Nissan, and Toyota.
The Miami Auto Show is among the largest nationally, and the biggest stars are the cars with everything from such exotics as a Pagani, priced at $1 million, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Aston Martins to small, fuel-sipping economy cars on display. Admission to the show is $15 for adults, $6 children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit

Monday, October 27, 2014

Do not miss the 55th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show October 30-November 3, 2014

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the "Yachting Capital of the World" will host the 55th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on October 30-Nov 3, 2014. Show exhibits range from yacht builders and designers to exotic cars and brokerage yachts. A wide variety of boats and sea vessels will be on display including runabouts, sportfishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, flats boats, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, jet boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, and extraordinary superyachts.
Covering seven locations and over 3 million square feet of space, the show's transportation network of bus shuttles, water taxis, and riverboats ensures attendees can easily navigate the boat show and its expansive waterways system.


Oct 30 - Nov 3, 2014

Prime Time Preview: 
Thurs. Oct 30, 10am - 7pm 
General Admission: 
Fri. Oct 31, 10am - 7pm 
Sat. Nov 1, 10am - 7pm 
Sun. Nov 2, 10am - 7pm 
Mon. Nov 3, 10am - 5pm


Prime Time Preview (Thurs. Oct.30) -  
$38 Online and $40.00 at Show

2-Day Tickets- 
$40 Online and $42 at Show

General Admission
Adult - $22 Online and $24 at Show
Children, ages 6-15: $7 Online and $9 at Show
Children under 6 - Free


Bahia Mar Yachting Center:  
801 Seabreeze Boulevard, 33316 (Google Map)

Hall of Fame Marina: 
1 Hall of Fame Drive, 33316 (Google Map)

Las Olas Marina: 
240 E. Las Olas Circle, 33316 (Google Map)

Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County 
Convention Center:  
1950 Eisenhower Blvd., 33316 (Google Map)

The Sails Marina 
2150 SE 17th Street, 
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Google Map)

Pier 66 Marina 2301 SE 17th St, 
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Google Map)

Fort Lauderdale Hilton:  
1881 SE 17th Street, 33316 (Google Map)


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Draw The Butter, Stone Crab Season Is Officially Open

October 15, 2014

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Time to draw the butter and dip into one of South Florida’s favorite delicacies.  Stone crab season has officially opened for commercial recreational fishermen who can hunt for the tasty crustaceans in state and federal waters.
But there are a strict set of rules that must be followed:

• When catching catch a crab the claws can be removed, but throw back the crab

• Stone crab claws must be at least 2¾ inches in length to be harvested legally
• Crabs must be captured in baited traps, declawed and released
• Egg bearing females cannot be declawed
• No hooks or spears are allowed

Click Here for a complete list of rules and regulations from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The season runs through May 15.

The nice thing about eating stone crab claws, other than they are delicious, is that stone crab claws are the only renewable resource from the water. Crabbers take only one claw from each crab, which is then regenerated over time.
Florida Keys fisherman definitely benefit from the 7-month stone crab season.  They harvest, on average, about 2.6 million pounds of claws, or about 40-percent of all stone crab claws taken statewide, according to the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association.

Commercial fishermen in the Keys anticipate high demand and likely higher prices than the beginning of last season.
Gary Graves is vice president of Keys Fisheries, one of the state’s largest processors of the tasty claws. He projected season-opening, per-pound state retail prices should exceed $13 for medium, $20 for large and $25 for jumbo.
Graves hopes this season’s statewide harvest will yield more than the 2.6 million pounds per season averaged during the past 10 years.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Indian Creek Village is for the uber-rich

10/11/2014 8:39 PM

Owners: Charles Johnson, retired chairman of mutual fund Franklin Resources and No. 59 on Forbes’ 2013 list of U.S. billionaires. Johnson owns the San Francisco Giants. Net worth: $5.6 billion, according to Forbes. Property: 19,941 sq-ft home with 6 bedrooms, 7 baths, 2 half-baths featuring vaulted ceilings, wine room and gym. Built in 2002. Last sale: No previous sales listed. The home is currently for sale for $35M.

As Miami Beach cements its reputation as a playground for the rich, with pied-a-terres priced in the tens of millions, one of its nearby, tony private islands is getting down to serious business.
Tucked off the shores of Surfside in Biscayne Bay, Indian Creek Island has become known as a “billionaire bunker.” Its 86 residents include four of America’s top 500 richest people, according to Forbes: activist investor Carl Icahn; hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert; car dealership owner Norman Braman. and mutual fund mogul Charles Johnson. Add to that Colombian Jaime Galinski, who has recently landed on Forbes’ world billionaires list.
No need to feel sorry for the island’s other residents, though, who include crooner Julio Iglesias, retired Dolphins coach Don Shula, Turnberry Associates co-CEOs Jackie Soffer and brother Jeffrey, who is married to supermodel Elle MacPherson. Others with Indian Creek addresses include Spanish-language TV personality “Don Francisco,” whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger; co-founder Bob Diener and industrialist Gilbert Bigio, considered one of the wealthiest people in Haiti. Even music magnates Jay-Z and Beyonce were once homeowners.
Island home sales have been selling at whopping — and often record — prices, such as the $47 million paid by a Russian billionaire in 2012 for a newly constructed, 30,000-square-foot mansion. Earlier this summer, steel tycoon Leroy Schecter sold his 22,686-square-foot house for $28 million to an undisclosed buyer.
Taken together, the village of 86 residents boasts a net worth in excess of $37 billion. That’s greater than the gross domestic product of half the the world’s nations, above oil-rich Yemen but just less than gas-rich Turkmenistan. (Without uber-investor Carl Icahn’s $20.3 billion, its rank would fall to No. 112, just below Bosnia and Herzgovina and just above Georgia.)
It’s quite a change from 2001, when Benny Klepach moved to the posh private island-village where he is now mayor.
“There wasn’t a lot to pick from,” said Klepach, CEO of the world’s largest duty-free retailer. “And what there was to pick from, you really had to knock it down.”
Where the island used to be filled mostly with vacation houses for the wealthy, now families are constructing extravagant dream homes to live in. All 35 properties have waterfront views, with an exclusive golf course and country club taking up the center of the 294-acre island.
“There has been incredible appreciation in Indian Creek,” said Jill Eber, one-half of The Jills, the Coldwell Banker team that sold seven of the island properties over the years.
With the economy improving and adjacent neighborhood Surfside adding entertainment and dining options, potential buyers are warming up to Indian Creek, said Klepach, who also serves as mayor of the incorporated Indian Creek Village. The island is protected by a 10-officer police force, including 24-hour marine patrol. That has led to property taxes that are among the highest in Miami-Dade County, at a 8.3782 millage rate for city taxes, alone.
Indian Creek Village was established in 1939, and a few of the properties still date back to the ’50s and ’60s. But for the most part, the smaller houses of that era are making way for sprawling mansions.
In 2012, 3 Indian Creek Island Rd. set a county record when Eber and Jill Hertzberg sold the 30,000-foot resort-style home to a Russian billionaire for $47 million. The mostly glass home included 13 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a 3D theater, 100-foot swimming pool and a recording studio.
“That really for me was the catalyst of the recent boom not only for Indian Creek, but for all of Miami,” said Oren Alexander, who represented the buyer in the sale. Alexander’s father, Miami Beach developer Shlomy Alexander, built the mansion on spec.
Shlomy Alexander said his team just broke ground on a second project at 30 Indian Creek Dr., designed by architect Chad Oppenheim. The 22,000-square-foot house is one of the largest being built in the county, he said.
Like the record-setting glass house, the new project will incorporate the outdoors and the indoors as much as possible, Oren Alexander said. The property sold in May 2014 to a buyer attracted to contemporary design’s vast spaces.
“If you define what luxury is today, to me it’s volume: big rooms, high ceilings,” he said. “You’re almost selling cubic feet instead of square feet.”
Every lot on Indian Creek Island is at least an acre and a quarter, Eber said, and today’s buyers want to use much more of that space than they used to.
“A lot of people are looking at the older properties as tear-downs ... The [house] that was 30 Indian Creek was a little over 4,000 square feet, probably about 4,400 square feet,” she said.
Klepach not only knocked down a 1940s house on his property when he bought it, he also bought his neighbor’s house to double his lot space to 160,000 square feet. Like many of his neighbors, he said, he was looking for a more contemporary style.
“The house was old; I was buying it for lot value,” Klepach said. With three children in school when the new house was finished in 2006, he and his wife “wanted to build our dream house.”
Families with children are becoming more common on the island as houses shift from winter residences to year-round homes, residents said.
“We moved there in 1991, and there weren’t any small children ... The average age [now] is half of what it was,” said Irma Braman, whose husband is billionaire car dealership owner Braman.
As a result, the village council is planning to construct the island’s first sidewalks, Klepach said. Residents have pushed for sidewalks and accompanying streetlights so their children can ride bikes and play outside — a rare sight even a decade ago.
The 300-member Indian Creek Country Club, one of the most exclusive country clubs in America, has added kids’ golf and tennis lessons to adjust to the demographic change, club president Wayne Schuchts said.
Club members, who pay $150,000 to join and $16,000 a year after that, are still an average of 65 years old, he said.
But “a significant number” have young children or grandchildren, and so the club has shifted its social calendar from black-tie, orchestral galas. A new event is “Havana Nights,” an outdoor costume soirée that aims to be more kid-friendly — albeit still with a focus on Cuban cigars.
The golf crowd might see an even larger dip in age in the coming years, Schuchts said.
The resurgence of entertainment options in Surfside plays a role in drawing young people to Indian Creek, Alexander said. For example, the new Four Seasons Private Residences now under construction on the site of the nearby Surf Club will give Indian Creek residents an opportunity to buy a beach apartment for guests, he said.
“That was the one downside to Indian Creek,” he said. “People always said, ‘Hey, it’s in Surfside.’”
As Indian Creek Island becomes known for its space, security and location, home prices will continue to skyrocket, Klepach predicted. He thinks prices will increase 20 to 25 percent in the next few years.
Currently, four pricey properties are listed for sale: 17 Indian Creek, listed by Nelson Gonzalez of EWM Realty International, for $35 million; 9 Indian Creek, a vacant lot listed by Beachfront Realty for $27.9 million; 2 Indian Creek, a vacant lot listed by the Jills for $26 million; and 36 Indian Creek, listed by the Jills for $19.8 million.
“I don’t think we’re even close to seeing what the real values are, when you compare it to L.A. and other cosmopolitan cities,” Klepach said.
Alexander said he would be surprised to see more than four sales on the island in the next decade. Homeowners there won’t part with their homes till death or divorce, he said.
“These people that own [houses on] Indian Creek, these are some of the wealthiest people in the world,” he said.
“For them, no matter if their property value increases 200 percent, it’s irrelevant” because nothing can replace the island’s security and views of Biscayne Bay. “The question is, how much money are you going to pay a billionaire like Carl Icahn to leave his house?”
Miami Herald staff writer Ina Paiva Cordle contributed to this report.
Billionaire bunker
Tucked off the shores of Surfside in Biscayne Bay, Indian Creek Island has become known as a “billionaire bunker.” Its 86 residents include four of America’s top 500 richest people, according to Forbes. Island home sales have been selling at whopping — and often record — prices, such as the $47 million paid by a Russian billionaire in 2012 for a newly constructed, 30,000-square-foot mansion. 

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Miami land fetches $100 million an acre

A prime waterfront site in Miami sold for $100 million an acre, a record, as a spate of high-end development transforms downtown.

The 1.25 acre site at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay sold for $125 million, a record for a parcel that size in Miami, according to listing brokerage CBRE. The site is next to Epic Residences and Hotel.
The 1.25 acre site at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay sold for $125 million, a record for a parcel that size in Miami, according to listing brokerage CBRE. The site is next to Epic Residences and Hotel.

A 1.25-acre site on the Miami River at Biscayne Bay changed hands for a stunning $125 million, a record high for a property of its size in South Florida, according to CBRE, the listing broker.

The buyer is Riverwalk East Developments LLC, a newly formed Florida limited liability corporation managed through several other corporate entities by German and Gloria Coto. German Coto is the son of Argentine businessman Alfredo Coto, whose family is best known for its supermarket chain; Gloria is Alfredo’s wife.
The buyer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The seller was D&P Property Holding, a Florida corporation managed by Miami developers Ugo Colombo and Diego Lowenstein.
CBRE began marketing the property in April, and touted it in a May press release as “downtown Miami’s last vacant waterfront site.’’
The property fetched keen interest from suitors in Miami, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to CBRE.
“We got 15 offers,” said Gerard Yetming, senior vice president of CBRE, who marketed the property. “We had a very competitive process. We had multiple rounds of bidding with five or six bidding.”
CBRE said the grassy site, next to the EPIC Residences and Hotel, “holds the potential for over 2 million square feet of gross building area with spectacular views of the bay and downtown. In addition, the property has access to the only private dock downtown capable of accommodating mega-yachts.”
Maria Alvarez, a Realtor with CWV Realty Group in Miami, who represented the buyers, said: “That land is, I think, the most unique waterfront property that whatever they build it will be spectacular, very high end.”
Robert Given, vice chairman of CBRE, said the record price reflects downtown Miami’s emergence as a global city and destination for the wealthy, particularly as several big projects in downtown reshape the city as a live-work-play center.
He said his firm began advising the sellers last year. “Our sense of the market overall was the timing was right. There was very good development momentum in the area with amenities going in,” Given said.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Miami will be World Cup crossroads: With air connections to 10 of the 12 host cities, Miami will likely experience the biggest effect of any city outside of Brazil.

With air connections to 10 of the 12 host cities, Miami will likely experience the biggest effect of any city outside of Brazil.
By Mimi Whitefield
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The director of Miami International Airport likens getting MIA ready to handle an extra 50,000 or so World Cup travelers this summer to a military operation.
It involves checking and rechecking. Will the toilets work, will the moving sidewalks all be running smoothly? And then there’s the big one: Will there be a logjam at Customs as passengers bound for the June 12-July 13 FIFA World Cup cities pass through MIA?
“If we get as many extra people as we anticipate, we need to be ready to accommodate them,” said MIA Director Emilio González, who has begun using a soccer ball logo on his business cards and emails that touts MIA as the “Gateway to Brazil.”
With air connections to 10 of the 12 Brazilian host cities, Miami will probably experience the biggest Copa effect of any city outside Brazil. And it wants to be more than just a gateway: Tourism officials hope to convince soccer fans to tack a few extra days in Miami on to their trips to Brazil or even use the city as their World Cup base.
American Airlines, for example, is offering a promotion that will allow Brazil-bound passengers to disembark in Miami for 48 hours before flying on to Brazil without incurring any extra flight charges.
And the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to launch a new branding effort, “Miami Soccer Summer.” and a new website ( in early May to promote Miami’s soccer culture, says Rolando Aedo, the bureau’s executive vice and chief marketing officer.
Signs, a logo and an advertising campaign to celebrate not only Miami’s World Cup connections but also all things soccer — from the city’s growing soccer community to the coming MLS soccer franchise — will be introduced.
MIA already has more flights to Brazil than any other U.S. airport, but for the World Cup, American, TAM and GOL, the three airlines that serve Brazil from Miami, are increasing the frequency of flights, putting larger aircraft on some routes or adding new service.
TAM announced last week that it would begin new direct weekly service May 31 from Miami to Fortaleza, a coastal city in northeastern Brazil and host to six World Cup games.
There is already service from MIA to nine other host cities: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Manaus, Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. Cuiabá and Natal are the only host cities lacking air service from Miami.
You can also catch a plane from Miami to Belém, and low-fare carrier GOL plans to begin offering three flights per week between Campinas and Miami, via Santo Domingo, on July 18 — just after the World Cup ends. Belém and Campinas aren’t World Cup cities.
Come June, an estimated 578 monthly departures from MIA to Brazil are expected. In comparison, last June there were 437 departures and 75,000 passengers flew to Brazil.
During both June and July, an additional 25,000 Brazil-bound passengers are expected to depart from MIA, bringing the monthly figures to 100,000. When they finish their Brazilian sojourns, presumably many of the passengers will be returning through Miami too.
American Airlines alone will be offering 364 monthly flights to nine Brazilian cities this summer, and it also plans to fly larger planes on one of its twice daily Miami-Rio flights as well as on its service to Recife, which will be increased from four times a week to daily.
That will increase AA seats to Recife by 116 percent, said Marilyn DeVoe, Miami vice president for the airline. This June, 91 of American’s 110 weekly flights from the United States to Brazil will leave from Miami.
“We think we’ve got this covered,” DeVoe said. “Clearly the World Cup is good for business; we will have full flights. We’re excited by Brazil.” Brazil is already Miami’s top international market.
In addition to its new Fortaleza route, TAM will increase service from Miami to Sao Paulo from 14 departures weekly to 17. It will have 39 weekly flights in June.
More U.S. fans have requested FIFA World Cup tickets than any other nation besides Brazil. But MIA isn’t expected to ferry just U.S. soccer fans to Brazil, it will be a crossroads for world travelers too, González said.
European and Canadian travelers also will be taking advantage of Miami’s Brazil connections, and new Qatar Airways service from Doha to Miami begins June 10 and will help make Miami a gateway for Middle Eastern and Asian fans too.
To get Miami in the World Cup mood, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, which is on a global tour, arrived at MIA Monday for a two-day stopover.
“They said it was solid gold,” said González, who hopes that description also will apply to MIA’s performance during World Cup season.
“We’re trying to get ahead of the crowds,” said González, who has been planning for the World Cup influx since last fall. “What we want to do is mitigate any surprises as best as we can. By the way, this is very military.”
One area of concern is handling additional passengers moving through Customs and immigration lines. “If we’ve got immigration problems now, imagine what it could be like this summer,” González said.
On a recent visit to the international arrivals area, he found people waiting in line two hours to get their passports stamped and then spending additional time to collect their bags and clear Customs. “That is not how you welcome people,” he said.
González said he has been meeting regularly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and “we’ve been promised some relief this summer.” He said he expected CBP agents from other airports would be sent to Miami during the summer crush.
Events from soccer ball giveaways to soccer-themed games for kids and a soccer art exhibition are planned at the airport. “You will not miss it if you pass through MIA,” DeVoe said.
The convention and visitors bureau also is assembling all World Cup-related activities going on in the community this summer — from block parties to massive viewing events — and making them available on its new website.
The agency also is encouraging hotels to unofficially adopt one of the 32 teams playing in the World Cup so they can plan events, use their colors during Copa season and offer menus themed to the cuisine of a team’s country. Some hotels also will be packaging soccer-themed discounts.
“We’re pitching Miami as the next best thing to being in Brazil for World Cup,” said Aedo.