News articles of SPACiO Design Build, a South Florida general contractor specializing in luxury commercial and residential design build construction.

For Europeans, Miami now about real life, not just tourism

Miami Today features Alex Wertheim in their special section on the good life and luxury in Miami in the paper’s print edition from November 8, 2017. Click the link below to read the full article as it appears in print.

11.8.17.Miami Today. Good Life

Congratulations to Arquitectonica Co-Founders on receiving ULI’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Our team would like to congratulate Arquitectonica co-founders Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear for receiving the very prestigious Urban Land Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. These amazing architects have truly transformed Miami’s skyline and created a brand for our city.

From the Atlantis condominium, featured in the opening credits of Miami Vice, to the recently built Brickell City Centre, Arquitectonica is one of Miami’s most important architecture firms. The firm continues to contribute impeccable work to Miami’s evolving urban landscape.

As Related Group’s Jorge Perez said in a video honoring this couple, “they have a unique ability to successfully mix modernity with light and water. When you look at Miami, you see tropical modernity and the image that Arquitectonica has created.”

As a general contractor, it’s always an honor and privilege to bring the vision of incredible architects like Bernardo and Laurinda to reality. Working with visionaries such as them helps the SPACiO team push boundaries to reach a higher level of sophistication and craftsmanship in our work. We look forward to Bernardo and Laurinda’s future projects, as they never stop surprising us.

Outdoor Kitchens Take Your Home to the Next Level

With cooler temperatures now among us, the weather is perfect in South Florida for outdoor parties and eating outside. We are the outdoor kitchen’s biggest fan. They can take your luxury home to the next level, allowing you to experiment with colors and styles that may not align with the interior of your home. Before you draw up the blue prints, there are some factors, as highlighted in the following Mansion Global article, you need to consider to make an outdoor kitchen a functional yet stylish place to entertain.

Consider the logistics

“If you’re on the ocean, understand that every metal—even stainless steel—will eventually rust to some degree, so it needs maintenance. It should be cleaned and protected at least seasonally to extend the life. Think of the house as being in a salt bath all the time. Countertop materials have to be able to withstand sun exposure, so natural stones and concrete work well; whereas many composite materials break down in UV.

“One of the biggest decisions is whether you wantyour guests to be involved with the cooking. Are you doing the cooking and want to be part of the party? Or, do you have staff that would function better elsewhere? Travel distance (and routes) from cooking to serving to cleanup also need to be thought through.

“Subtle lighting is best—you can function with a lot less light than you might think. If your outdoor space is too bright, you might as well be inside. Outdoor spaces tend to get a lot of spillover light from the inside of the house. The goal is to have lounge lighting, not surgical suite lighting.”

Define the space

“The outdoor kitchen is an area where you can play and experiment, but it should still mix with the rest of the aesthetic inside the home to create a cohesive story. This might be a good place to try out a funky tile that you’ve been eyeing, or brass hardware, but don’t go crazy with a scheme or vibe that doesn’t match the interiors.

“Functional furniture is key for an outdoor entertaining area, but that doesn’t mean it should sacrifice on style. Focusing on durable perennial fabrics and the right sealants and treatments for wood and stone will keep the area useable and durable over time.

“Bistro lights or large hurricane candles in tall pillars create ambient lighting, as do tea light candles around the table. As for wired lighting, be sure to install dimmers to set the mood—that’s half the point of eating outside.

“Materials like stainless steel, concrete, quartz, and caesarstone are durable, easily cleanable materials that can hold up to the weather.”

Work out the details

“The more trips you can reduce between your outdoor space and your main kitchen, the better. Key elements include a sink and faucet, two mini fridges—one for beverages and one for food—and a grill with ample prep space. My favorite one is from Caliber Appliances—the lid folds all the way back and goes flush with the countertop. It’s very sleek and unintrusive.

“Consider a unit that’s mobile to give you more flexibility. I recently collaborated with Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens and Dekton to design my vision for the ultimate outdoor kitchen. Its freestanding modular design includes plenty of storage on both sides of the kitchen to keep counter space clear, allowing it to be a gathering spot from all sides for both guests and the chef—sort of like an island.

“Just be sure it’s at least 10 feet from your pool. No one wants their steaks or cocktails splashed with pool water.”

Fashion Designer Giorgio’s Announcement This Week Compelled Us To Look Back

Last week, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani unveiled his succession plan, which is in place to preserve and protect his legacy, a fashion empire, after the 83-year-old designer dies.

The news of this plan led us to pause and reflect on how fortunate SPACiO has been to work closely with Armani through the Residences by Armani Casa project in Sunny Isles.

As a boutique, highly specialized general contractor, we were trusted with building the development’s luxurious Armani Casa sales center. Armani is hands-on, and he was responsible for the interior design of the luxury condo high-rise.

The sales center was built to resemble one of the tower’s most expensive units, featuring high-quality finishes and materials imported from Italy. It was not uncommon for Armani to walk into the sales center while it was under construction to check the quality of our work, and to ensure that it was in line with the integrity of his brand.

The build-out included precise work, such as the inclusion of book-matched stone flooring installed in complex radiuses.

Armani hand-picked all furniture and materials for use in the build-out of the sales center. Our experience with Armani, his complex designs and luxurious taste, allowed us the opportunity to sharpen our craftsmanship skills. Today, we are a more seasoned general contractor firm thanks to our experience working under Armani’s guidance.

We look forward to seeing many more years of his design genius.

The Iconic Metro Mall in Downtown Miami: A Diamond in the Rough Ready for a New Beginning

Having built out high-end luxury jewelry stores across South Florida from Breitling at Sawgrass Mills mall to Swarovski in Brickell City Centre, we are excited to hear that Metro Mall in the downtown Miami’s Jewelry District is up for grabs and with potential for redevelopment.

Our good friend Investment Broker Mika Mattingly, with Colliers International South Florida’s Urban Core Division, is marketing the property. The new owner could turn the aging building into a state-of the art diamond or jewelry retailer. Not many people know that the neighborhood is one of the top three jewelry districts in the United States – generating more than $850 million in sales during 2016 alone. This signals the continued upward trend of consumer spending and investment in downtown Miami.

Downtown Miami is experiencing unprecedented transformation, and the Metro Mall listing is another example of how the neighborhood is reinventing itself into a major metropolis. The SPACiO Design Build team is already talking with some of the new owners of commercial properties along Flagler Street to reposition their retail space on the ground floor. They expect to attract specialty retailers capable of helping to build a true community, where area residents can live, work and play. In the last two years, investors have acquired $1.5 billion of real estate along the historic Flagler Street, where properties have been neglected for decades.

A significant number of investors are coming from New York and familiar with the process of preserving and restoring buildings in an effort to create trendy districts. As an experienced general contractor working on buildings of historic value, we can’t wait to help retrofit some of the amazing spaces in downtown Miami after decades of neglect. The work will require a high level of creativity and innovation in the build-out of that space but we are up to the task.

This is an exciting time for downtown Miami and Metro Mall, one of the few remaining developing sites to hit the market. It will play an important role in the area’s transformation. We’re looking forward to the wave of new development that will reinvent the urban landscape into a thriving metropolis.

Building A Decorator Ready Condo To Win Budget-Minded Tenants



MIAMI—As condo buildings get completed, the last units are always the most difficult to sell. At the same time, investors putting their newly built units on the market are facing competition from the condos coming on line.

As a result, many sellers are choosing to position their units as rentals to generate an income. GlobeSt.com sat down with general contractor SPACiO Design Build’s Alex Wertheim to discuss how to build-out a “decorator ready” condo to attract tenants on a tight budget in part one of this exclusive interview.

GlobeSt.com: With so many luxury condos on the market, how can developers and investors position their condos to generate income?

Wertheim: When a developer nearly sells out a project, there are always a few units in the building that are difficult to sell. Increasingly, developers are calling us to turn those ‘decorator ready’ units into livable spaces. Investors who are unable to sell their newly built units as fast as they had planned are also moving in that direction.

We go into those units and install the flooring, paint the walls, build a closet system, create storage space, enclose dens and—from time to time—upgrade the kitchens and bathrooms to turn the condo into rental units. This strategy works well for units in luxury buildings. These units tend to attract affluent renters who want to experience the luxurious amenities of Miami’s high-end condo towers but don’t want to deal with the burden of owning a condo.

GlobeSt.com: What advice can you give developers and/or end-users who are turning their units into rentals?

Wertheim: There are hundreds of new luxury units nearing completion or under construction and hundreds of new condos hitting the rental market simultaneously. Many of the buyers closing on units in recently completed luxury towers across South Florida are investors.

While some of the investors are domestic and others are foreign, they all share the same plan: renting the units out until the time arrives to execute an exit strategy. If the newly-built unit comes “decorator ready”—which means the floor, walls, closets are finished—you should recruit a general contractor before the closing date to start planning the build-out of the unit. This way, a general contractor can start work as soon as the unit is yours, saving you weeks of ‘waiting time’ and placing a tenant in the unit much faster.

Other advice I would recommend would be to stick to neutral colors if you’re painting the walls and using basic standard materials to build-out the unit. The tenants are not going to treat your investment with the same quality of care, so don’t overspend.

For flooring, we recommend porcelain tiles because they are stylish, durable and low maintenance. If the unit seems small, consider knocking down walls to open up the floor plan, which usually involves combining the kitchen, dining and living areas into one large space. This will increase the natural light and create the perception that there’s more square footage.

 

SPACiO Builds Out Breitling’s New Store at Sawgrass Mills Mall


As Sawgrass Mills continues to bring in new stores, SPACiO Design Build completed a full interior build-out of Breitling. The Swiss watch retailer just opened a new store in Sawgrass, located in Broward County. It was an honor to be retained by Breitling, which is known for making precision-made chronometers useful to aviators, to help build (literally) their brand in one of America’s busiest malls. The classy and luxurious design of the 1,000 square foot store truly reflects the high-quality timepieces that Breitling is known for.

Our job as the general contractor on the project required running the daily construction activities, coordinating with the mall operations department as well as ensuring the designs were true to the finish. The store was a vanilla shell. We had to build the walls, drywall the ceilings, install flooring and work with the artisan behind the installation of the millwork display, which was imported from Canada. There were also a lot of electrical components, including the HVAC, that needed to be installed.

Getting the job done required finding quick solutions to unexpected challenges. The biggest challenge involved the weather. When the mall closed for three days as result of flooding, we managed to get inspectors into the store and finish the job despite the rising water surrounding the mall. Another challenge involved coordinating the logistics for deliveries, which we had to arrange before or after mall hours – same with making any loud noise such as cutting concrete.

The SPACiO Design team successfully completed the project in 5 weeks due to SPACiO’s core values of transparency and open communication with the client. We also worked quickly to make any last-minute changes the client had following the project’s completion.

Time is money so delivering a finished product on time and on budget is the best way to keep our clients happy.

 

 

 

Forbes Features Wine Cellar SPACiO Built at 321 Ocean

In case you missed it, Forbes recently published an article featuring a wine cellar we built out in a condo at 321 Ocean, an exclusive collection of 21 luxury residences in South of Fifth, one of Miami Beach’s most upscale neighborhoods. The Forbes article, titled “5 Luxury Homes with Exquisite Wine Cellars,” features five of some of the most impressive in-house wine rooms in homes that are currently on the market across the United States.

Building out the 50-square foot, climate-controlled wine cellar was a treat. It required us to work closely with the interior design firm Associated Design Co. to ensure that we could build out the design and execute the project without a hitch. We built the insulated glass enclosure, using customized acrylic and thermal metal framing, which was power-coated with a matte black finish to match the custom black finish on the rack.

The wine cellar was part of the build-out of the entire condo, which involved installing hardwood flooring throughout the condo, trim window coverings, staircase handrails, millwork and more.

It was a privilege to work with Associated Design Co. on the wine cellar. We’re looking forward to working with this very talented interior design firm again in the near future.

Click here to see the other wine cellars that made the list.

 

Q&A: Prestige’s Broker Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche Strives to Be Different and Finds Success

Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche, co-founder and managing broker of Prestige Realty Group, sat down with SPACiO Design Build to discuss today’s luxury real estate market in Miami. The boutique brokerage firm focuses on luxury homes and high-rise condominium sales. As a Miami native, Tony has seen the transformation of Miami from a beachside destination into a bustling and sprawling metropolis attracting buyers from all over the world.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BROKERAGE FIRM?

My business partner Christopher Hodgson and I wanted to create more of a boutique real estate firm, offering clients personalized services that the larger firms don’t offer. When someone hires Prestige Realty, they are hiring our entire team of over 23 agents that are available 24/7 to serve our clients. We also wanted to create a firm with an international reach. My partner is from London and I’m from Miami so we really have a global reach. Our approach seems to be working. Last year, we sold more than $50 million in real estate and I was recognized by Real Trends and the Wall Street Journal as one of the America’s best Realtors.

WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS KNOW ABOUT MIAMI’S REAL ESTATE MARKET?

People always ask me how the market is doing and I always ask which one. Most real estate consumers assume Miami- Dade County is one market but in reality it’s composed of many different markets, all of which have their own character. I take a neighborhood approach to real estate, mostly focusing on single-family luxury homes and condominiums in Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, downtown, South Miami and Miami Beach. Every market is its own special ecosystem. One may be booming while the other is down. Overall, in the submarkets I focus on, the market hasn’t slowed down significantly. It’s a healthy slow-down with plenty of inventory available. People need to realize that the pre-construction condos are different from single-family homes and a slow-down in that particular sector is not an indicator of the overall housing market. Miami’s luxury real estate is very dynamic and can’t be generalized. For example, we have noticed that demand for Mediterranean style homes has decreased while modern and turnkey homes remain hot with buyers.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SELLERS?

The most important piece of advice for sellers is to hire a brokerage firm that’s tech savvy and will invest in their listings. You don’t want a realtor who is taking photos of your property with an iPhone. At Prestige Realty Group, we hire professional photographers and videographers who often use drones to get the best visuals possible for our listings. We want prospective buyers to have a 360-degree view of the property they will want to purchase. Sellers should also work with brokers who are advanced on social media. Technology is a major part of our lives now and should be an integral component to any realtor’s strategy for marketing and selling a home.

Another important piece of advice for sellers is to keep their homes clean and free of clutter when it’s on the market for sale.  Many underestimate the power of staging, which is not the same as decorating. You need to stage your home into a place that potential buyers can envision living in. Remove all your personal items including family photos, books and other items that may distract your potential buyer. You want your house to be known as the one with the beautiful kitchen, not the one with the overbearing collection of crystal figurines.

Capitalizing on the shifting real estate markets: Look for opportunities — and always network