South Florida’s coastal condo market has officially entered a growth phase as of the second quarter of 2012.
Some 45 months after the last condo construction crane was disassembled at the Paramount Beach tower in Greater Downtown Miami in October 2008, the first new vertical project since South Florida’s historic real estate crash has been completed and is actively selling developer units.
The newly opened 23 Biscayne Bay condo in the Biscayne Boulevard Corridor just north of Downtown Miami has sold 46 units out of a pool of 96 residential units in the 18-story tower at 601 N.E. 23rd St. as of June 18, according to Miami-Dade County Clerk of the Court records.
The project’s developer, executive Martin Ferreira de Melo of the Melo Group, estimates as many as 95 percent of the buyers are from overseas with a high concentration of investors originating from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Based on the current success of the project, the Melo Group, with roots in Argentina, is planning to develop as many as four new towers — a combination of either condo or rental units depending upon market conditions at the time of completion of each respective project — with at least 600 units in greater downtown Miami and the vicinity in the next few years.
The Melo Group is not the only development company building condo towers in South Florida.
At least 45 towers with more than 7,600 units have been proposed — with five towers already under construction — along the coast in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in the last 14 months.
Additionally, developers are proceeding with plans to build thousands of new apartments units — that could be converted into condominiums in the future — in South Florida to capitalize on the strong rents being collected from tenants who cannot or will not buy their own residences.
As of March 31, about 3,900 developer units remain unsold out of a pool of nearly 49,000 units created during the last boom in South Florida’s seven largest coastal condo markets of greater downtown Miami; South Beach; Sunny Isles Beach; Hollywood and Hallandale Beach; downtown Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale beach; Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach; and downtown West Palm Beach and Palm Beach.
Despite the unsold condo inventory from the last South Florida real estate boom, developers in Miami-Dade County are leading the preconstruction movement by proposing at least 35 towers with more than 6,100 units in Aventura, Bal Harbour, Greater Downtown Miami, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, Surfside and Sunny Isles Beach.
Earlier this month, foreign investment groups from Argentina and Turkey paid a combined $336 million in unrelated transactions for control of a pair of oceanfront development sites — the current homes of the Bal Harbour Club and the Surf Club in Surfside — that are ideally suited for new luxury condo projects, according to articles in The Miami Herald and Daily Business Review.
New condo developments are also proceeding along the coast in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
In Broward County, developers are proposing five new towers with nearly 800 units in Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale Beach.
In Palm Beach County, developers are proposing five new towers with more than 700 units in the municipalities of Gulf Stream, North Palm Beach and West Palm Beach.