🏎 Three Cars Inside Your Condo

Plus: An Airbnb wave washing over Miami; Billy Joel moving to Boca

Happy Monday Highest & Best! Today we span the range of Miami’s new condo offerings —from studio apartments designed as Airbnbs, to mansions in the sky where you can park two Bentleys and a Porsche outside your 50th-story living room. Here’s the playlist:

🏗️ Miami’s getting 7,800 new Airbnb listings
🏎️ Bentley-inspired condo tower will break ground this month
💰 Largest construction loan in Florida history
🎹 Billy Joel is moving to Boca

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Florida’s Future Airbnb Surplus?

600 Miami Worldcenter is sold out (Photo: Merrimac Ventures & Aria Development)

Miami's condo boom could soon become an Airbnb boom.

There are over 12,000 condos under development in Miami’s downtown core. About 64% of them will be small, furnished units designed to be listed for rent by their owners on home-sharing websites, according to a report by brokerage ISG World.

That means a majority of new condo owners on Miami’s mainland will be future Airbnb landlords. It also means Miami hotels will face sizable competition in coming years, from all those new condos that get listed as short-term rentals for tourists.

Small condos that can be rented out as hotel rooms have proven to be a popular investment in recent years as buyers, from places like Latin America and elsewhere in the U.S., seek access to a slice of Miami’s real estate market at lower price points.

And Miami-area developers are responding to that demand: In the last four years they’ve built or announced plans for 8,200 new Airbnb-ready condo units in the region, according to a report by Bisnow. (That’s more proposed in just four years than in the three decades leading up to 2020).

The niche still seems to be striking a chord with buyers— and lenders. Here’s news from just this month:

🛌🏻 600 Miami Worldcenter, a planned condo tower with 606 units that can be leased, with no restrictions, as short-term rentals, secured a $95 million construction loan from Banco Inbursa. Groundbreaking won’t start until next month. But every condo at the 32-story tower — where prices started in the $400,000’s — has already been sold, according the developers, Merrimac Ventures and Aria Development.

🛌🏻 In Fort Lauderdale, Newgard Development Group announced plans to build a 40-story “resort condominium,” with 384 apartments designed to become short-term rentals. The project, called Natiivo Fort Lauderdale, will offer furnished residences ranging from 500 to 1,200 square feet, at prices starting in the $500,000’s, the developer said in a statement.

It’s the encore to two previous Natiivo-branded condo projects in Austin, Texas and Miami — both of which sold out well before the buildings’ expected completion.

🚨 Even before much of this supply reaches the market, Miami is awash in vacation rentals of existing apartments and homes. In 2023, listings for short-term rentals averaged 23,500 per month, a 14% jump from the previous year, according to AirDNA, a vacation rental data firm, which counts all listings with at least one available night.

Revenue per available room in Miami dropped 3% amid all that competition.

Natiivo Fort Lauderdale (Photo: Newgard Development)

Bentley Residences: Three Cars and a Pool in Each Condo

Bentley Residences, Sunny Isles Beach (Photo: Dezer Development)

A luxury car in the driveway is nice. How about one parked outside your living room – on, say, the 58th floor of your high-rise condo building?

That’s the staple for buyers at Bentley Residences, the planned 216-unit condo tower on Sunny Isles Beach.

Developer Gil Dezer says groundbreaking will start by the end of this month for the future 62-story waterfront building, where apartment owners can take their cars up an elevator — ‘The Dezervator’ — and park them outside their unit, within full view of their dining room table.

Each residence’s glass-walled garage can hold at least three cars (and in some apartments, four). That’s a tweak from Dezer’s first automobile-branded condominium, the Porsche Design Tower, which was completed in 2017.

“Porsche was a two-car garage and that was the biggest complaint we got from our buyers,” Dezer said in an interview at Bentley Residences’ model apartment showroom. “A family in a three-bedroom, in which you have two parents and two kids, you have four drivers in the house, and a two-car garage is not enough.”

Can you relate?

You car within view of your kitchen (Photo: Dezer Development)

Anyway, apartments at the tower, which include a pool on each balcony, now start at $5.65 million, Dezer said. About 39% of the units, or 84, have commitments from buyers.

Wyclef Jean and rapper Future have reportedly signed contracts for condos at the project. The day I visited the showroom late last year, the actor Cuba Gooding Jr. was there too, browsing.

Dezer said he’s still shopping for a construction loan on the project, but plans to self-fund the foundation work, which will begin in March. The development is built in partnership with Bentley Motors, owned by the Volkswagen Group. After Porsche tower’s completion, the automaker asked Dezer for another condo project modeled after one its brands, he said.

Bentley’s diamond lattice pattern will be sprinkled throughout the project’s apartments and amenity areas, which include: a golf simulator, a cigar lounge, a private restaurant, and a spa for pets. You know, the basics.

A good portion of the buyers so far are from the U.S., including some who rented lavish apartments in Miami during the pandemic, then realized they could still work remotely and didn’t need to return to where they came from, he said.

“Everybody wants to be in Miami,” Dezer said. “It’s not that the buyer changed. People just woke up and realized ‘Hey, what am I doing in my hometown? Why am I not enjoying my life the way I should?’ ”

I took some video in my walk-through of the showroom with Dezer. Check it out here:

Catch up on recent Highest & Best issues:

 ⚡⚡Largest Florida Construction Loan in History!

That’s not a headline I expected to write in the hyper-cautious lending era of 2024. Yet here it is:

Mast Capital, the developer of the 397-unit Cipriani Residences Miami, has secured the largest construction loan in Florida’s history — $600 million.

The funding for the 80-story tower comes in part from billionaire Carlos Slim’s Banco Inbursa, which is providing $350 million. The rest — $250 million — will come from Ascendant Capital Partners.

The project, where prices will start at $1.7 million, will also include penthouses for $40 million.

Terrace at Cipriani Residences Miami (Photo:Arquitectonica)

Billy Joel Buys in Boca

Singer songwriter Billy Joel told fans last month that he plans to spend more time in Florida, “like old Jewish guys from Long Island do.”

It appears he might be heading to Boca Raton.

Public records suggest the Piano Man bought a home for $29.5 million at a gated yachting community called The Sanctuary, the Palm Beach Post reported. The sale closed on January 31, the paper said, citing a deed and state business forms.

The 15,000-square-foot home is surrounded on three sides by waterfront on the Intracoastal Waterway. That works out to 560 feet of shoreline to accommodate “multi-yacht dockage,” according to the property listing.

It’s not Joel’s first home in Florida. He’s owned several properties in Palm Beach County, including one in the exclusive town of Manalapan, which he’s been trying to offload since 2022. He re-listed it for sale this month at $54.9 million.

Billy Joel said he’ll be spending more time in Florida at a recent press conference

That’s it for today!

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