Archives for posts with tag: Miami Beach


Russel Galbut is the managing Principle of Crescent Heights, one of America’s largest and most well-respected residential real estate developers. He and his family are a very important part of Miami Beach recent history. For more than 80 years, the Galbut family has been developing Miami Beach.Russel

Russel have been active in the urban mixed use real estate sector for over 35 years, Mr. Galbut and the Crescent Heights team are considered the “best in class” developer with a successful track record in new construction and renovations. Through today Mr. Galbut and Crescent Heights have completed such conversion projects in Miami Beach, as the Decoplage, Shelborne, Carriage Club, Carriage Club North, Castel Beach Club, Carriage House, Casablanca to name just a few. Together these conversions raised the assessed values of these buildings over 2 billion dollars in value which is the largest tax base increase brought about by any company in the history of the Island.

Last June 24th 2015 Mr. Russel Galbut was the special guest speaker on the 2nd series of LEAD: Leaders Empowering Action through Discussion, held at the Mondrian South Beach.

His presentation was excellent. Having one of the best Miami entrepreneurs in the Commercial Real Estate sharing his insides about the market and the business was an outstanding opportunity. Mr. Galbut talked about strategies that will be able to be applied to life and/or any line of work!

Here are some of the most relevant points of his presentation:

  • Excellence and quality, the money follows that
  • Reinvention every time
  • Experience
  • You can do a lot of money with Real estate. Why? Leverage
  • Special community work harder
  • How to go to the next level
  • Circumstances change!
  • Constant focus and desire to be better than before
  • Love what you do! You can work weekends
  • Never give up
  • Creation and fun
  • With education is easier to Success
  • As a leader you need to help build a community
  • 50000 south Florida conversions
  • FIFO, first in – first out!

Russell and the entire Galbut family believe in giving back to society and stand as pillars in our community.

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This past year was one of growth in real estate, not only in South Florida, but all over the country. 2013 marked the first time since the collapse of the market that people truly started to feel a recovery. Putting the microscope over South Florida’s commercial real estate market, the year was littered with events that signaled the current and future expansion of our area. It was difficult to narrow it down, but below we have put together a list of the top five stories of 2013 according to the Top Commercial Blog.

5. Record Setting Deal on Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road is becoming the home for flagship retail and folks are looking to cash in on the trend. This December, Tristar Capital purchased 530 Lincoln Road for $30 million, setting a new record. At 10,000 rentable square feet, the deal amounted to $3,000 per square foot. The expectation is that Tristar will add more two-story, single tenant retail to accompany Forever 21, H&M, and Zara.

4. Swire Proposes 80-Story Tower

It wouldn’t be a countdown without mentioning Brickell CityCentre. This fall, Swire announced that they plan to add an 80-story tower to the already massive project to act as a gateway to the development. One Brickell CityCentre, as it would be called, would add more Class-A office space, condos, retail and even another hotel to the project. Phase one of the Brickell CityCentre is still currently set for completion in 2015.

3. All Aboard Florida Applies for Federal Loan

This past March, All Aboard Florida applied for a loan from the Federal Railroad Administration to begin work on their vision of a passenger rail service from Miami to Orlando. The train would also make stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Commercial real estate would be a large part of the project, with around $325 million being dedicated to develop about 1 million square feet of commercial real estate. The planned opening of the service would be in 2015.

2. David Beckham Eyes PortMiami for Soccer Stadium

In November, all anyone was talking about was David Beckham’s plans to bring a new Major League Soccer team to Miami. The famed footballer was touring the city, looking for a location to build a new stadium. Then we discovered that Beckham was eyeing PortMiami. A soccer stadium in the port would fit right in with their  master plan for the southwest corner that would include a hotel, retail and office space. If this idea moves forward, Beckham and his team will have to figure out how to better flow traffic into Dodge Island.

1. The Miami Beach Convention Center Saga

If there’s one story with enough action, drama and significance to come out on top of this list, it’s that of the Miami Beach Convention Center. First there was the showdown between South Beach ACE and Portman-CMC for the development deal, but ACE’s victory only marked the beginning. The convention center project became a top issue in Miami Beach politics, leading up to a heated election in November. The vote resulted in more difficulties for the convention center, as any new leases would need to be approved by a super-majority. The drama here is expected to continue well into 2014.

With flagship retail popping up all over Lincoln Road, the pedestrian mall has never been more popular or, through the lens of real estate, more valuable. Until now, of course. This week, the record setting sale of 530 Lincoln Road gave us a glimpse into the area’s impressive future. The property was sold to Tristar Capital for $30 million.

South Beach, even with its luxurious retail market, has yet to see a deal like this. At 10,000 rentable square feet, the deal amounted to $3,000 per square foot. The building is an optimal site for redevelopment as the ground-floor is currently housing two short-term leases.

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530 Lincoln Road

The property, which was once owned by the family of The Miami Sound Machine’s own Gloria Estefan, was sold in 2010 to local business, Lincoln 530. Lincoln 530 purchased the building for $12 million and first began testing the market in March of 2012. At the time, they opened with an asking price of $28 million. The final sale ended up exceeding those grand expectations.

Tristar Capital is expected to request the city for permission to add 3,000 square feet to the building. Although, the property could easily be leased to multiple tenants, the opportunity exists for Tristar to take advantage of a recent Lincoln Road trend: two-story, single-tenant retail.

Recent notable retailers to open mega-stores on Lincoln Road include Forever 21, H&M, and Zara. In fact, 530 Lincoln is located directly across the street from the former Symphony Building that is now home to H&M’s flagship store. With the amount Tristar has invested in the property and the recent activity on Lincoln Road, expectations will be sky-high for 530 Lincoln.

This year will be the 12th for Art Basel Miami Beach. Each year the event has grown and has continued to play an integral part in the development of South Florida’s artistic culture. This weekend, visitors can count on the festival to feature more than 250 of the world’s leading galleries.

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Art Basel creates a key opportunity for continued growth

Art Basel Miami Beach has become an international artistic spectacle with visitors, including many celebrities, coming from all over the globe to get a look at the newest trends in the art scene. Miami expects more than 60,000 visitors to attend the event this year. Of course, with international cash-buyers playing such a key role in the revival of South Florida real estate, Art Basel creates a key opportunity for continued growth.

Brokers will be able to highlight South Florida’s latest real estate development to Art Basel’s international guests. Condominium inventory is running thin, thanks in large part to international buyers who accounted for approximately 70 to 80 percent of condo sales during the latest boom. South Florida is compensating for the diminishing inventory with 175 new condo projects planned for the area that would be of great interest to overseas buyers.

With the evolution of Art Basel over the years, the festival is no longer solely taking place in Miami Beach. Events and showings connected with Art Basel are popping up all over Miami-Dade County, creating unique opportunities for brokers to mingle with VIP guests over a meal or drink. Private events can be the perfect place to develop relationships today that will help sell a luxurious space in a development months from now.

A sign of the spectacular mark that Art Basel has made in the development of South Florida’s culture can be seen in the opening of the Perez Art Museum earlier this week. The building itself was touted as a work of art and contained 500 pieces on display the day it opened. The future of the Miami art scene and its contribution to the development of our city is bright.

Envision, if you will, a stadium in Miami that actually manages to represent the luxury that the city has to offer. If you were to do so, you might imagine attending a sporting event in which the vibrant environment is contrasted with a view of the calm waters of Biscayne Bay and nighttime events accentuate the glittering Brickell skyline.

This is also the vision that David Beckham’s group, Beckham Brand Limited, has for their potential Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

As many local soccer enthusiasts may have heard, the group has been scouting locations for a 25,000-seat stadium for quite some time, with Arquitectonica as the rumored choice to design and plan the project. Though the group has surveyed around 30 potential sites, one has generated enough interest to inspire talks with Miami-Dade County.

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PortMiami has been interested for quite some time in creating a better connection with the mainland

According to the Mayor’s office, Beckham’s group has asked them to consider allowing the stadium to be built in the southwest corner of PortMiami in Dodge Island. PortMiami has been interested for quite some time in creating a better connection with the mainland. A soccer stadium may fit perfectly with their 25-year master plan for the southwest corner that would include a hotel, retail and office space.

25 acres would be available for the group to lease and build on, but the location raises some questions. For one, the port is only accessible through Port Boulevard and the Port Tunnel that is scheduled to open next year. Adding the event traffic to roads already clogged with cruise ship travelers on weekends may add up to a local nightmare. Similarly, the issue of parking would cause a major stir, though the idea to build an underground garage like that of the American Airlines Arena has been discussed.

Either way, the discussion between Beckham’s group and the county has just begun and any plan would eventually require approval from the Miami-Dade County commission. As a matter of fact, MLS has yet to formally announce an expansion franchise for the city of Miami.

However, a professional soccer stadium built with private money could be a boon to the local economy and provide a large opportunity for retail in the underutilized PortMiami area.

The scientific community estimates that the first financial effects of rising sea levels will be felt in a matter of two decades. Some highly regarded scientists project an earlier date, around one decade from now. Either way there is one harsh truth, no area in the country will feel more of an impact from rising sea levels than South Florida and much of that financial impact will come from real estate.

Storm a comin'

“Even a six-inch rise would cost the area much of its acreage.”

A three-foot rise in sea levels would change South Florida as we know it, leaving a large part of the region under water, but even a six-inch rise would cost the area much of its acreage. The timetable for when such a rise would occur is not completely reliable, but the most widely used projection is that of the Army Corps of Engineers. This group projects that South Florida will see a three- to seven-inch rise in sea levels by 2030. A sea level rise of nine to 24 inches could be expected by 2060.

According to a group formed by the Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties called the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, the region would lose up to $4 billion in taxable real estate from even a one-foot rise in sea levels. A three-foot rise would cost around $31 billion or more.

Professionals are beginning to wonder when the devaluation of waterfront property in South Florida will begin. Most likely, this process will occur as flooding in the area begins to increase. Along with the inconvenience of constantly flooded streets, buyers will grow wearisome of rising premiums for flood insurance. Most climate change experts expect this to begin occurring a decade from now.

However, there is hope for normalcy in the future of South Florida real estate as many entities have already started planning for these events. For example, the City of Miami Beach has dedicated $200 million to stop flooding in South Beach over the next 20 years. The real estate industry itself is also preparing. Many urban planning groups are taking rising sea levels into consideration when discussing projects with developers.

These are all strong first steps, but more work will need to be done to prepare for drastic changes in regards to waterfront properties or perhaps to attempt to prevent some of this damage from being done. Over the next decade, South Florida should be a melting pot of interesting and revolutionary ideas that will help the real estate industry overcome rising sea levels.

Over the summer statistics pointed to South Americans as the heroes in the South Florida real estate market. However, recently it seems that cash-buyers from down south may have some competition in the northeast. That’s right, the new boon to the Miami market is coming from the Big Apple.

Brokers in the area have reported a 25 percent uptick in purchases from New Yorkers. Our northeast neighbors are now competing with foreign investors for prime Miami real estate and, in many cases, are willing to pay more. The main reason? Their lack of sensitivity to rising prices in the area. New York is widely known as one of the most expensive markets in the country, giving residents of the state a thick skin for the prices in Miami’s luxury markets.

New York is now the largest feeder market for South Florida. As a matter of fact, New Yorkers have accounted for approximately 15 percent of sales in the luxury real estate market this year. Luxurious condos in Brickell are seen as a bargain in comparison to Manhattan prices.

Purchasing real estate in Miami has tremendous benefits for New Yorkers, as well. The main bonus for these buyers is the opportunity to escape their rising state taxes and head on down to Florida, where there is no state income tax . Setting up shop in South Florida has become a great way for high earners from New York to save a ton of extra cash, making it so that these luxury condos practically pay for themselves.

Of course, New Yorkers do not have to sacrifice much culturally when making the move to Miami, either. Like New York, Miami has no lack of places to visit or events to take part in. Specifically, the rising Wynwood art scene and multiple cultural festivals make for an easy sell to prospective buyers looking for the New York lifestyle.

With their low sensitivity to Miami’s beachfront prices and their desire to escape burdensome income tax, New Yorkers are making the transition without missing a beat. With buyers coming from both foreign and domestic regions, the Miami-Dade market is on the rise.

This summer we discussed the battle for the future of the Miami Beach Convention Center between developers Portman-CMC and South Beach ACE. In July, beach commissioners decided that they agreed with South Beach ACE’s vision for the future of the convention center district. Little did the city know that at as quickly as one battle would end, a more onerous one would begin.

Tomorrow, when the voters of Miami Beach visit the polls, they will face a choice between candidates who would like to see the South Beach ACE vision through and those who would like to see the project scaled down. Citizens will also be voting on a referendum that could move the amount of votes to approve the convention center project from a simple majority to a super majority, requiring 60 percent of the vote and making the project more difficult to pass.

However, most agree that the issue is not whether the convention center should be renovated at all, as it clearly needs an update. The convention business is a key contributor to the tourism dollars that are the foundation of the city’s revenues. The city cannot afford to let that activity slide down.

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Rendering of the proposed Miami Beach Convention Center renovation

The real debate is in regards to whether the project is worth the bill to the taxpayers or if the vision is too grandiose. If the project were to stay as is, taxpayers in Miami Beach would be on the hook for $600 million. An amount that would be covered by a pre-approved increase in hotel taxes, as well as land leases and county taxes.

The 800-room hotel proposed by South Beach ACE has also been the center of quite a bit of controversy. If approved, South Beach ACE would lease public land for 99 years in order to build a hotel for the convention center, as well as 90,000-square feet of retail. Some city officials worry that 99 years would be too long a period for the city to lease such important land.

High-end hotels have also taken issue with the idea of making the hotel a place where convention-goers could escape some of the higher hotel rates in the beach area. The Fontainebleau, for example, has donated $15,000 to Let Miami Beach Decide, an organization supporting efforts against the current plan. Beach Commissioner Jonah Woflson, who set up the Let Miami Beach Decide movement, agrees with the Fontainebleau’s motives, claiming that Miami should stay “a high end destination.”

Either way, the saga of the Miami Beach Convention Center renovation continues to captivate with every new chapter it enters. This week will be the biggest milestone yet for the future of the project. All eyes in Miami-Dade County will be on the voters in Miami Beach tomorrow.

For more on the politics behind tomorrow’s decision, take a look at this article from the Miami Herald.

The investors behind the new Miami Worldcenter development in downtown are hoping to bring in some flagship retail for their 750,000-square-foot-mall, and they just may get it. Earlier this week, the South Florida Business Journal reported that the Worldcenter hopes to land Macy’s to anchor acres of restaurants and retail.

For those that have not yet heard, the Worldcenter is yet another mega-project set for development in downtown Miami. The project will be located within blocks of Biscayne Boulevard, the Metrorail and the Metromover. It will also stand between downtown landmarks such as the American Airlines Arena, where the last 3 NBA Final’s champions have been crowned, and the Adrienne Arsht Center, home to Broadway in Miami.

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Rendering of the Miami Worldcenter

Investors in the Miami Worldcenter are turning to The Forbes Co., and Tauman Centers to help snag Macy’s for the upcoming development. Forbes and Tauman already have a level of familiarity with Macy’s. Their Orlando mall, The Mall at Millenia, already has one. Another well-known retailer may also be in the cards for the Worldcenter. Bloomingdales, which does not yet have any stores in the downtown area, has also been rumored to be part of the move.

Spokespeople for Macy’s, as well as those for the Worldcenter, would not comment on whether or not a deal between the two was in the works. However, if the Worldcenter manages to find big name restaurants and retail capable of fitting their square footage, this could be one of the more exciting developments out of many in the downtown area. The Worldcenter may have the potential to be on the same level as Swire’s Brickell CityCentre, with the capability to transform the downtown landscape.

Developments such as these make it clear that now is the time to invest in South Florida. The South Florida real estate market, which was originally not projected to rebound until 2016, has seen the median sales of condos spike 27.5 percent in one year, to go along with a 20.5 percent uptick in single-family home sales. With every passing day, as new cranes go up in the downtown skyline, South Florida is quickly becoming the place-to-be for affluent buyers.

This past Wednesday, Edgardo Defortuna, head of Fortune International, along with several authority figures in the city of Sunny Isles, gathered at the future site of Jade Signature for the ground breaking ceremony. Among those in attendance to celebrate Fortune International’s latest development were Mayor Norman S. Edelcup and City Attorney Hans Ottinot.

As the third Jade project in Sunny Isles, Edelcup claimed that Jade Signature would help Sunny Isles become “Florida’s Riviera.” Jade Signature will be the fourth Jade project overall, the first being Jade Brickell, built during the last residential boom in South Florida. The Brickell project was then followed by the two projects in Sunny Isles.

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Rendering of Jade Signature

Jade Signature, however, has a chance to be the most dazzling of all the Jade projects yet. Defortuna has acquired the services of some of the most notable names in their field for the 192-unit, 57-story project. The building’s parallelogram shape was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architecture-firm Heurzog and de Meuron. The shape of the building creates room for 25-foot terraces to overlook the ocean.

The interiors will be designed by Pierre Yves Rochon and feature amenities such as a full-service concierge, beach-side restaurant, luxury spa, gym, playground and more. Raymond Jungles was hired to take care of the landscape, the same firm that will oversee the expansion of the botanical gardens for the new Miami Beach Convention Center.

The characteristic that best describes the work being done by everyone involved with Jade Signature would have to be “attention to detail.” The three-story parking garage at Jade Signature will be around double the cost of a normal parking garage, due to the fact that it is being built underground. This was done in order to bring all of the amenities closer to nature without having to put a parking garage in the way.

The workers in Sunny Isles have already begun the nine-month process of digging out space to create the underground parking for Jade Signature. Apartments at the new development are set to range in cost from $1.7 million to $25 million. According to Defortuna, Fortune International has already exceeded $300 million in sales.