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

5 Luxury Homes With Exquisite Wine Cellars

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For true oenophiles, building a beautiful wine cellar isn’t just about aesthetics. Other features such as placement, security, temperature and humidity control plus different bottles’ shapes and sizes must be considered as well, according to Richard Rosenthal, a real estate agent at Halstead in Manhattan.

Using a variety of materials ranging from wood to glass, some of the most impressive in-house wine rooms are works of art themselves.

Here are a few gorgeous examples on the market right now.

357 West 17th Street (New York, New York)Rich Caplan Photograph

357 West 17th Street (New York, New York)

#1: 18 FRICK DRIVE (ALPINE, NEW JERSEY)

Behold, here’s a classic wine cellar decked out with a solid mahogany double door, dark tiled floors with metallic accents and custom plaster ceilings. Yet, don’t be mistaken: there’s much more to this 4,000-bottle dual zone, temperature-controlled wine cellar than its traditional details. With a tamper-proof, biometric entry security system programmed to accept the fingerprint of selected individuals, numeric pass codes and RFID bottle authentication, the most impressive feature here is the smart home technology. Actively monitoring who and when someone accesses the wine cellar, this security system can quickly notify the owner of entry and departure via email or text.

What you can find in the spacious octagonal wine room at 18 Frick Drive are mahogany display cases and shelving lined from floor to ceiling, with some lined with rope lighting and others made to pull out for convenient access to bottles. Each room has its own cooling systems that can be used individually, giving the options of different climates or working together to keep the 4,000 bottle wine cellar uniformly chilled.  Evan Joseph

What you can find in the spacious octagonal wine room at 18 Frick Drive are mahogany display cases and shelving lined from floor to ceiling, with some lined with rope lighting and others made to pull out for convenient access to bottles. Each room has its own cooling systems that can be used individually, giving the options of different climates or working together to keep the 4,000-bottle wine cellar uniformly chilled.

#2: 321 OCEAN, UNIT 201 (MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA)

Style meets function in this 50-square-foot, refrigerated wine room. Boasting an open, more transparent atmosphere, the climate-controlled room features a sleek, insulated glass enclosure, customized acrylic and thermal metal framing, which is powder-coated with a matte black finish to match the custom black finish on the racks.

Sophisticated yet minimalistic, this beautiful wine room at 321 Ocean, Unit 201 has a storage capacity of 440 bottles.Evan Joseph

Sleek and sophisticated, this wine room at 321 Ocean, Unit 201 has a storage capacity of 440 bottles.

#3: 357 WEST 17TH STREET (NEW YORK, NEW YORK)

Reflecting the best of modern and country styles, this stunning wine cellar is one of the biggest highlights of this $36.8-million house. (That’s saying a lot considering the 11,000 square-foot house comes along with a White 2016 Bentley Mulsanne!) Each bottle within the climate-controlled space is tastefully illuminated by backlit LED walls, combined with a rustic brick wall and arched ceiling to create an effortlessly chic look.

This beautiful wine cellar at 357 West 17th Street holds about 500 bottles.Rich Caplan Photograph

This beautiful wine cellar at 357 West 17th Street holds about 500 bottles.

#4: 795 HIGHCOURT ROAD (ATLANTA, GEORGIA)

Inside a six-acre European-style estate is an extremely well-manicured, 2,000-bottle wine cellar. Consisting of a high-velocity, self-contained cooling system that keeps the temperature at 59 degrees, the most impressive detail here is the barrel-vaulted, hand-laid Italian tile ceiling, which uses a centuries-old technique to ensure even weight distribution in the design.

The ceiling’s installation spanned two weeks and required such intricate precision that the homeowners flew in an installation specialist from Italy.Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

The ceiling’s installation of 795 Highcourt Road was so intricate that the owners flew in a specialist from Italy to complete the two-week process.

#5: DARLINGTON (MAHWAH, NEW JERSEY)

Dubbed by many architectural enthusiasts as the American Versailles, this rare estate (sold furnished) has a wine cellar—with separate temperature controls for red and white wines—connected to a squared shape 27-by-27-foot wine room. While everything in the wine room is beautifully custom made, the pièce de résistance is certainly the wine wall displaying 326 bottles. Along with two blue chairs that once belonged to Sir Elton John, the entire combination works like a well-curated art installation many cultural aficionados would die for.

The room’s design started with the purchase of a slab of a very unique blue marble which was used for the tabletops – then everything else was brought in and designed around that to matchSpecial Properties/CIRE

The room’s design started with the purchase of a slab of a very unique blue marble which was used for the tabletops – then everything else was brought in and designed around that to match.

The Crocker Mansion in Mahwah, New Jersey, a 55,000 square foot single family home built by architect James Brite in 1908. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed of Indiana limestone and Harvard brick, the home is also named "Darlington."Special Properties/CIRE

The Crocker Mansion in Mahwah, New Jersey, a 55,000 square foot single family home built by architect James Brite in 1908. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed of Indiana limestone and Harvard brick, the home is also named “Darlington.”

the wine storage cabinets have separate temperature controls and they are ran by two separate coolers, which allows for the proper storage or red and white winesSpecial Properties/CIRE

The wine storage cabinets at the back have separate temperature controls run by two separate coolers, which allows for the proper storage or red and white wines.

Read the full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/eustaciahuen/2017/06/30/winecellars/#bce7b704e89e

Behind the Scenes: Another Build-Out at Oceana Bal Harbour Has Been Delivered

SPACiO Design Build is happy to announce that another build-out project at Oceana Bal Harbour has been completed. The unit looks spectacular and blends well with the design of the unit, which features a complete flow-through floor plan and unobstructed views. Oceana Bal Harbour is one of the most luxurious development projects in South Florida.

The unit we recently completed arrived decorator-ready, so our work included installing interior hardwood flooring, tile on the large balcony, dropping the ceiling for additional lighting, installing pocket doors and audiovisual equipment, and more. As promised, we delivered the unit in four to six weeks but every unit is different depending on the scope of work.

Working at Oceana is an incredible experience. With floor-to-ceiling windows and extra-deep balconies, the unit boasts some of the most breathtaking views available in Miami. Oceana Bal Harbour’s spacious homes and balconies are designed to offer spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Biscayne Bay and the Bal Harbour Marina to the west and Miami’s skyline to the South.

It took effort not to be distracted by the remarkable views of golden sunlight reflecting on the blue ocean. Now, we move forward to our next build-out project in this incredible building.

Q&A Guest Contributor: Michael Internoscia Talks About Marina Palms Yacht Club and What Makes It Different

What advice would you give condo sellers seeking to re-sell their newly purchased units in such a competitive condo market?

I would suggest finishing out their condo with flooring, baseboards, paint and build-out closets to show off the unit. It is easier to show an apartment with finishes when the competition has only concrete floors and primer on the walls. Most buyers want to occupy the unit or rent it out right away instead of waiting weeks or months to build-out the space. This strategy can give sellers a competitive edge.

What makes Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences stand out from many of the other new condo developments in South Florida?

Clearly our marina. We offer amenities for boaters and watersport fans that are hard to find in many other luxury projects in South Florida. Marina Palms offers 40-foot to 100-foot boat slips and plenty of aquatic activities, including jet skis, kayaks, water skiing, windsurfing and snorkeling. We have it all and everything is fully managed. By the way, the 112-slip private marina provides open ocean access for boaters via Haulover Inlet just 20 minutes away. Another unique feature of Marina Palms is the size of the units. The condos are either two or three bedrooms and range in size from 1,821 to 2,500 square feet, providing a mix of luxury and value.

How would you describe the profile of Marina Palms buyers?

Our buyers come from different regions of the world, including South America, Canada and the US. What they all have in common is an affinity for water-based activates and the boating lifestyle.

Tips for Getting Your Newly Built Condo Ready for Rent

Many of the buyers closing on units in recently completed luxury towers across South Florida are investors. Some are domestic and some are foreigners. They all share the same plan: renting the units out until the time arrives to execute an exit strategy. But renting a new condo can be a challenge for two reasons:

1. Hundreds of new condos are hitting the rental market simultaneously.

2. Hundreds of new luxury rental units are either nearing completion or under construction.

This is creating intense competition among future landlords. Here are some tips to help investors rent their units faster and generate income sooner rather than later:

1- If the newly-built unit comes ‘decorator ready’ – which means the floor, walls, closets, etc. are not finished – you will need to paint the walls, add flooring and build-out the closets. A solution: weeks before the closing date, recruit a general contractor to start planning the build-out of the unit. This way, the GC will start work as soon as the unit becomes yours, saving you weeks of ‘waiting time’ and placing a tenant in the unit much faster.

2 – For the walls, stick to neutral colors. Stay away from bold or ‘white,’ which will make your unit seem dull and potentially scare away tenants who may not have the creativity to envision the unit as their home.

3 – Basic Standard Materials: if your unit requires a build-out, do not use the same type of materials that you would install in your own home. Your tenants are not going to treat it with the same quality of care, so don’t overspend. For flooring, we recommend porcelain tiles because they are stylish, durable and low maintenance. They also work well in balconies and blend with the interior flooring.

4 – Invest in a practical built in closet system throughout the unit.

5 – Most new units come with the kitchen and bathrooms already finished. But if you plan to upgrade the kitchen, avoid white cabinets. Earth tones are ‘in’. Also consider upgrading fixtures such as door handles, faucets, etc.

6 – Open floor plans: 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 of increased square footage.

For more ideas, give us a call. We have some great concepts to build out new condos and modernize older units.