🦃 A Florida Thanksgiving Digest

Miami hotel rates drop. Plus: Ken Griffin's tax bill -- and sports wager

Happy Thanksgiving from Florida!

I write today in thanks to all who’ve subscribed, read and commented on this newsletter in its first few months. There’s so much more to say about South Florida real estate and the continuing migration of people and money into the region. The pipeline of pricey condos alone leaves plenty to look at.

I’m grateful to have you along for the ride. And coming soon: video!

On this food-saturated holiday weekend, I offer a brief real estate digest (pun intended).

Here are a few morsels from the (short) South Florida real estate week that was.

Billionaire Ken Griffin May Add Miami Dolphins to his Portfolio

He’s moved his firm’s headquarters and spent over $100 million on personal real estate in Miami. Now billionaire Ken Griffin is declaring the ultimate fidelity to the city:

He’s wants a piece of its sports teams.

Griffin, founder of hedge fund Citadel, is in discussions to acquire a stake in the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and its home field, Hard Rock Stadium. He’s also looking at buying a piece of F1 Miami Grand Prix, according to reports by Bloomberg News and Florida radio station Fox Sports 640.

Griffin is negotiating a possible deal with billionaire Stephen Ross, who owns stakes in all three sporting entities. Ross is the founder of Related Cos, the New York developer with plans to build Florida’s tallest office tower.

Ross is only seeking to sell minority stakes in his ventures. He wants to raise a little cash for more real estate and sports investments, according to reports.

Forbes estimates the value of the Miami Dolphins at $5.7 billion, making it the 11th most expensive team in the NFL.

Included in that valuation is Hard Rock Stadium, the team’s 65,000-seat venue. Forbes puts its worth at $918 million.

Griffin — whose net worth is estimated at $35 billion — made headlines last week when he suggested that Miami could replace New York as the world’s financial capital.

He’s also embarked on a residential real estate spending spree in South Florida. He bought a waterfront estate in Coconut Grove last year for $106.9 million. Last month, he paid $45.5 million to buy back a Star Island lot he sold to retired Yankee shortstop, and now property investor, Alex Rodriguez.

And Griffin’s been buying land parcels in Palm Beach for over a decade, spending over half a billion to acquire 27 waterfront acres. He has plans to build a $1 billion compound there.

The plans include a mansion for his mom. 

Miami Hotel Rates Are Down. But Investors Still Love Hotels

2618 Collins Ave marketing photo. (Photo:Crexi)

Revenue for Miami-area hotels is slipping. According to CoStar:

🛎️ Average daily room rates in Miami Beach fell 7.1% in the four weeks through Nov. 18, as compared with the same period last year.

🛎️ Miami Beach Hotel revenues sank too. Revenue per available room in the same four-week period dropped 8.5% from last year to $178.83.

🛎️Miami mainland hotels are also seeing a softening. Average daily rates fell 4.2% from last year. Revenue per room is down 4.7%

For Miami investors, however, now is a great time to a buy a hotel site:

🏨 A former Miami Beach rental complex sold this week to Holidays Network Group for $27 million, according to real estate sales tracker Vizzda. The property, at 2618 Collins Avenue, was marketed by the sellers as a hotel redevelopment project, with pre-approval from the city to build 107 rooms.

Holidays Network bought the property with a loan of up to $35,250,000 from Western Alliance Bank, according to Vizzda.

🏨 The 84-room Crystal Beach Suites Miami Oceanfront Hotel, further north on Miami Beach, sold for $24 million. The buyers were Kolter Hospitality and BH Group.

The property, built in 1950, was once a timeshare condo with multiple unit owners. The sellers of the property bought out the majority of the units and terminated the condo association last month.

Crystal Beach Suites was bought for $24 million (Photo: Google Maps)

2618 Collins Ave. was bought for $27 million (Photo: Google Maps)

The “Million-Dollar Taxpayers Club” of Palm Beach County

There are now a record 23 homeowners in Palm Beach County with tax bills of over $1 million. Compare that to pre-pandemic 2019, when there were just seven.

The Palm Beach Daily News analyzed the county’s recently finalized tax rolls and compiled a list of homeowners whose annual levy surpasses the seven-figure threshold.

The largest residential taxpayer in the county this year?

Miami-based hedge funder Ken Griffin (see first item above). The tax tab on his 27 acres of oceanfront in the town of Palm Beach is $10.12 million.

Radio shock jock Howard Stern is 11th on the list, with a tax bill of $1.38 million, the Daily News said.

And in 13th place is former President Donald Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago and adjacent properties generated a tax bill of $1.25 million. (See complete list here).

Home prices are surging across all of Palm Beach County as legal, financial and tech firms relocate well-heeled employees and executives from New York and other major metros.

In the exclusive town of Palm Beach, with its secluded homes along pristine beaches, the median price of a single-family home was $14.35 million in the third quarter, according to appraiser Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

And that median price is a 54% increase over the same time last year.

That’s it for today!

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