Miami has always been caliente, but of late the real estate down there has been seriously on fuego—and its smoke signals are attracting the eyes of savvy New Yorkers. Buyers are eager to capitalize on prices as much as 60 to 70 percent lower than in New York. A new wave of buildings designed by “starchitects” and decorated by names known the world over is hitting all that waterfront property, and the surf looks good.
One group taking the plunge is Two Roads Real Estate Group, headed by New Yorker Jim Harpel with partners Reid Boren and Taylor Collins. The group’s Two Road Development is the majority owner of Eastwood Development, which, along with GTIS Partners, was responsible for developing the Biscayne Beach Residences. Since then, it is estimated that between 25 and 35 new residential, mixed-use, and commercial projects will follow in its sandy footsteps. Biscayne Beach made its mark on the new landscape in many ways, not the least of which are that it is one of the few towers with actual bay frontage, as well as having Thom Filicia work on the inside, effectively setting the bar for interior design.
“We’re likely to keep seeing development in South Florida for quite a while,” explains Harpel. “Miami’s status as a global capital is definitely secure.” He contends that there are many opportunities around, something that the Two Roads Group love to identify in previously underutilized locales throughout Miami. These are the types of deals to which New York developers—at least those who keep an ear out for the next great boom—pay attention.
Two Roads’ newest boutique high-rise, Elysee Residences, is going to offer the only 100 units in a 57-story waterfront tower set directly on Biscayne Bay at 700 NE 23rd Street. Elysee will offer expansive three- to five-bedroom residences with den options, as well as duplexes and full-floor penthouses, measuring from 2,660 to 4,000 square feet. With only two units per floor, every residence at Elysee will boast direct unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach, and the downtown Miami skyline. The glass structure, designed by acclaimed Miami architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia, will boast a unique three-tiered telescoping shape, and the interiors will be under the elegant hand of Jean-Louis Deniot. Preconstruction reservations are now underway, with prices ranging from $1.65 million to over $10 million, and averaging about $750 per square foot.
“As downtown Miami continues to emerge as a community, East Edgewater [the neighborhood east of Biscayne Boulevard] is growing more and more vibrant,” says Collins. “Today’s buyers have access to a host of luxuries and amenities that simply didn’t exist—from world-class arts and cultural destinations to some of the best shops and restaurants in Miami. And Elysee is in the center of it all!”