Photo:Units in the Soreno sold for $650 to $675 per square foot.
Miami Dade Roundup
Low density attraction
Tiny Bay Harbor Islands is the hot new waterfront location.
Bay Harbor Islands — population fewer than 5,900 — is experiencing a condominium boom. Seven buildings with 307 units were under way there as of July, with 15 more buildings (a total of 553 more condo and condo/hotel units) planned or proposed, according to Condo Vultures.
Comprised of barrier islands between Bal Harbour and mainland Miami, the town has plenty of waterfront property (although none on the ocean), a good school and a desirable location.
“All you have to say is that you could walk to Bal Harbour if you wanted to,” says Jacob Roffman, a principal with Miami-based 13th Floor Investments, which partnered with Integra Investments (also based in Miami) to develop the 38-unit Sereno in Bay Harbor.
All the projects planned or under way in Bay Harbor range from six to 10 stories. Sereno will be eight. “It’s a lower-density municipality and is certainly reticent to allow any high-rise development of the type that you see downtown,” Roffman says.
“It’s very boutique in nature, very homey.” About 25% of Sereno’s buyers are from the U.S., a much higher proportion than at the company’s projects in Sunny Isles Beach and Miami’s Brickell area. Units in the Sereno sold for an average of $650 to $675 per square foot, compared to an average of $550 per square foot at the company’s 1010 Brickell development.
“A growing number of families have been looking at Bay Harbor Islands as an alternative to Miami Beach,” says Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s Florida brokerage. He says proximity to Miami Beach, Aventura and Bal Harbor is one reason, as is the islands’ low volume of pass-through traffic.
AVENTURA — Norwich Partners has approval to build an AC Hotel by Marriott in the city.
CORAL GABLES — The co-founder and former president and COO of Chesapeake Energy, Tom L. Ward, has acquired a 25% stake in Nopetro, a compressed natural gas provider, investing more than $10 million. > The city approved plans for Mediterranean Village, a 6.7-acre project that will include 227 condominiums and townhomes, 180 hotel rooms, 290,000 square feet of office space and 289,000 square feet of retail/restaurants. The developer is Agave Holdings, which has ties to Mexico’s Jose Cuervo tequila.
DORAL — The U.S. government approved Carnival’s plan to operate cruises to Cuba under its new Fathom “social impact travel” brand. Carnival expects to begin sailing to Cuba in May. > Jackson Health System plans to build Jackson West — including a children’s outpatient clinic, emergency room and urgent care center — on 27 acres it purchased for $38.5 million. Funds for the purchase come from an $830-million general obligation bond approved by county voters in 2013. > Ecuador-based flower shipping company G&G Cargo Service purchased a 102,310-sq.-ft. warehouse and office complex with refrigeration equipment and backup generators for $10 million. G&G will move into the building, which is less than half occupied with other flower-related tenants.
MIAMI — Fort Lauderdale- based GA Telesis will relocate one of its aerospace distribution and maintenance centers to Miami from Tucson, Ariz., adding some 50 jobs to its local workforce. > Sony Pictures Television is buying a majority stake in Latin American digital ad sales and media-buying firm IMS Internet Media Services. Neither company would disclose the deal’s terms. > The Florida International Bankers Association opened a tele-education center, called the Institute for Financial Education: A Global Center of Excellence, from which it will host webinars, training sessions, certification courses and other programs. > The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has joined other institutions around the world in enrolling patients in the nation’s largest clinical trial for genetic screening of cancer tumors, the National Cancer Institute’s Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice. > Developer Moishe Mana, who already has purchased buildings worth more than $75 million in downtown Miami this year, acquired two additional buildings totaling 41,450 square feet for $32 million.
MIAMI BEACH — Argentinian developers Domus Group and Urbis Real Estate have approval for a four-story, 70-unit condo/hotel called 6080 Collins Avenue Beach House in the city’s Mid-Beach neighborhood. > GoldenPeaks Capital Real Estate purchased the 3-year-old, 140-room, SLS South Beach hotel for a reported $125 million from sbe and CIM Group. Sbe will continue to operate the hotel, its restaurants and its lounge. > Miami Beach-based Think Hotel Group paid $28.5 million to purchase the 88-room Clinton Hotel South Beach, a historic Art Deco property, from Maryland-based East Coast Realty Ventures.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY — Mexico’s largest hotel operator, Grupo Posadas, will enter its first international market with Live Aqua brand hotel properties in Miami and four other U.S. cities.
MIAMI GARDENS — A $5-million gift to St. Thomas University — the largest in its history — will be used to construct the Gus Machado School of Business. The gift came from Machado, a former member of the Catholic university’s board of trustees and owner of Gus Machado Ford. The university will need to raise more funds for the building, which will cost between $13 million and $15 million.
MIAMI LAKES — Nashville, Tenn.-based Emdeon will acquire health care analytics and technology company Altegra Health (currently owned by Parthenon Capital Partners) for about $910 million. Emdeon is owned by investment firms Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman.
SURFSIDE — Israel-based ASRR Capital, Istanbulbased Suzer Group and Turkish businesswoman Ozlem Onal will build a luxury oceanfront hotel topped with 10 condominiums on a one-acre site they purchased for $40 million.
Carnival Cruise Line hired James Heaney as its CFO and senior vice president, replacing Anne Bramman, who left the company in March. Heaney had been CFO of Sea- World Entertainment.
Royal Caribbean Cruises promoted Zinan Liu to the new position of president for the China and North Asia Pacific region for its Royal Caribbean International line. Liu had been vice president of regional Asia operations.
Brickell Biotech hired Patricia Walker as president and chief scientific officer. She had been chief medical officer for Kythera Biopharmaceuticals.
BankUnited hired Frank Fernandez as executive vice president, leading its Miami-Dade branches. He had been vice president of retail banking in Miami-Dade and Broward counties for U.S. Century Bank.
Downtown Miami Condo Prices
After two years of rapid quarterly appreciation, resale condo prices in greater downtown Miami (which includes downtown, Brickell, Edgewater, Midtown, Wynwood and the Arts & Entertainment District) held steady during the second quarter of this year. Analysts say the dollar’s strength relative to Latin American currencies and the euro has reduced the number of foreign buyers interested in investing in condominiums. Rental rates for greater downtown condos, however, continued to rise.