The Related Group, already leading the charge in new condominium development in Miami, is moving forward with four more high-rise condominium towers, one in Midtown and three in the Brickell area.
The developer’s latest plans call for a mega-project called Brickell Heights, including about 1,000 units in three towers at 801 and 850 South Miami Avenue, an area that is abuzz with new condo construction projects fueled by purchases from cash-rich foreign investors.
The second project, dubbed Hyde Midtown, will include 400 units at Northeast 34th Street and First Avenue in Midtown, between the Midtown 2 and Midtown 4 buildings. The Midtown project will include some hotel rooms.
“We’re trying to be in the market with both by the end of this year,” said Carlos Rosso, Related’s president of condo development.
News of the latest Related projects was first reported in the South Florida Business Journal, which according to Rosso, got wind of them through an ad the developer was placing with the paper. “It sort of leaked,” Rosso said.
In Miami and Miami Beach, Related alone already has under construction four condominium projects with 924 units and four others with 1,349 units in the works, according to company data. Thousands of units are going up in Miami as a phalanx of other developers also rush to attract wealthy Latin American investors willing to make hefty deposits and pay steep prices on pre-construction condominiums.
With the pace of condo development hitting high gear, some experts wonder how much is too much.
“The question now becomes: ‘Is Related going to overbuild the market this decade like they did last decade?’ ” said Jack McCabe, an independent housing analyst and CEO of McCabe Research & Consulting Inc. in Deerfield Beach.
The rush to build reflects a desire to be early to market: “It’s not just location. It’s timing, timing, timing. Those buildings completed early in the last cycle did very well. Those completed after ’06 fell into massive foreclosure,” McCabe added. “These developers know timing is crucial.”
Related and other developers insist that the substantial deposits required from buyers distinguishes this cycle from the fateful bubble that wrecked South Florida’s economy. More skin in the game keeps speculators out and ensures more measured development, the argument goes.
Related will require 10 percent increments of the purchase price at reservation, contract signing, groundbreaking, reaching a benchmark floor, and top-off of the building, with the 50 percent balance due at closing, Rosso said.
Asked whether downtown Miami is getting overbuilt again, Rosso said: “I don’t think so. Brickell is generating jobs. There are two million square feet of office space, nearly full.” With growing shopping and restaurant options, he added, people want to shop and eat on Brickell. “So more people want to sleep on Brickell. South Miami Avenue is going to become the Madison Avenue of South Florida.”