Swarovski Hires SPACiO to Build-Out Store in Brickell City Centre

SPACiO Design Build has been retained to build-out high-end jewelry retailer Swarovski’s new home in Brickell City Centre. Founded 1895 in Austria, Swarovski designs, creates, and markets high-quality crystal product collections such as jewelry, accessories, ornaments, figurines and decorative items for the home. The luxurious design of the new 520-square-foot store is a significant addition to one of South Florida’s most spectacular mixed-use projects developed by Swire Properties. We look forward to completing the build-out by mid-August.

We are honored to play a role in the evolution of Brickell City Centre, which opened last year and continues to welcome high-end retail tenants. The 150,000-square-foot mixed-use development includes retail, residential and office space strategically located in the Brickell area. The retail component is home to restaurants, luxury retailers, an Italian food hall and Cinemex movie theatre. The new Swarovski store will serve the growing number of residents moving into the new luxury condos in Miami’s urban core. Many more towers are currently planned or under construction as the Brickell area continues to evolve into a world-class destination.

Swarovski adds another international brand to our portfolio of international clients/designs. That includes working with the Nobu Hospitality brand (hotel and restaurant) and building the sales center of Armani/Casa Residences. As a general contractor, we are the artisans behind the scenes turning design into reality. It is rewarding to be closely involved in projects that highlight Miami’s international appeal, unique architecture and design sophistication.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Building out SLS Brickell Hotel & Residences

SPACiO Design Build recently completed the build out of several units at SLS Brickell and looks forward to the completion of several more. We are proud to be offered the opportunity to add value to one of the most recognizable towers in Miami.

Four weeks after receiving the permits, we completed the job on time and on budget. The SPACiOs team installed interior and exterior flooring throughout the condos. Some interiors featured white 32” x 32” porcelain tile with 10” x 40” light gray porcelain tile on the exterior that resembled wood. Other units included 21” x 42” porcelain tile, resembling Carrara marble, installed on both the interior and exterior. Our clients’ choices reflect the contemporary trend of choosing flooring that harmonizes interior and exterior colors and patterns.

We also installed solar blinds in the living areas, blackout blinds with side channels in the bedrooms, custom closets in the master bedrooms and other bespoke touches. In many of the units, the tile and paint colors complement the existing cabinetry and countertops delivered by the developer – giving the unit a warm, cozy look. Each unit also includes stunning custom finishes that express the style and personality of the owner, creating a lush backdrop for the exquisite details in the décor that accent each room.

And we won’t forget the view! A sleek 55-story tower that features floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors, SLS Brickell combines panoramic views with the comfort and convenience of a 5-star hotel. In fact, we are noticing an emerging trend: owners transforming their high-rise condominiums by creating a polished look that resembles a hotel suite. With all the amenities offered by SLS Brickell and the unrivaled view, SPACiO is proud to have once again been chosen to deliver custom luxury, on time and on budget, to one of Miami’s most impressive towers.

 

Getting Up Close and Personal with The Jills

Source: South Florida Business Journal

It is almost impossible to talk about Miami’s luxury real estate market without mentioning Realtors Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber. Mansions Global recently got up close and personal with the two Coldwell Banker agents and SPACiO couldn’t pass the opportunity to share some of their insights with you. As a general contractor of luxury custom homes and condos, we recognize the hard work and commitment these brokers have made to reach the top of their profession.

Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.

Jill Hertzberg: My dream property would be in an amazing location—it would be on Miami Beach on the wide-open bay or Golden Beach directly on the ocean. I love rooms that have views of gardens or water, a smart home that makes everyday life easy, furniture that is comfortable and somewhere that you feel you are living in a true treasure.

MG: Do you have a real estate property that got away?

Jill Eber: Sure, we have those in our shopping cart. You cannot get them all. But there is plenty for everyone so you love the one you’re with!

MG: What does luxury mean to you?

JH: Luxury is a feeling. It is a combination of multiple factors, which include high-end brands, quality material and finishes and décor that really stand out and make the total look and feel very high end.

Whether it is jewelry, a car, a property or even clothing, the attention to detail and materials is readily apparent.

MG: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?

JE: Fort Lauderdale is really coming on strong for both affordability and lifestyle. With so much water from the intercostal to the ocean, it gives a lot of opportunity for upgrading existing housing and taking advantage of the beautiful views.

MG: What’s the biggest surprise in the luxury real estate market now?

JH: Luxury real estate keeps evolving; from condos with private pools to custom items on the property such as a sound studio or off-the-charts media rooms. As properties continue to have smart home elements incorporated and possible “bots” that can perform duties, there is really no limit to what an owner may choose to add to their homes.

MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?

JE: The best homes are here in Miami Beach. I have traveled around the world and constantly get amazed at beautiful properties with breathtaking views and unbelievable amenities. But I always return home with an appreciation for all we have here on the Beach. It’s not just the grand estate and palatial amenities that make the area so special, it is the “you can have it all” splendor of our area. We have culture, dining, sports, entertainment, celebrity, fashion, world class events, boating and the list goes on. Very often, it is within walking distance or a short hop from where you live. We truly have it all.

MG: What is your favorite part of your home?

JE: It has to be the outdoor living. We seamlessly combine our indoor space with our outdoor space and the balcony of my condo on Fisher Island is just a tropical extension of my property. I never tire of the beautiful water, open sky and the healthy ocean air steps from every room in my home.

MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?

JE: I love finishes and have the most extraordinary stone in various places in my home. In addition, I have high-quality personally crafted furnishings that were done by my father. I think you can describe my property as personal elegance. It has a private personal feel surrounded by wonderful finishings and loving memories of my dad.

MG: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?

JE: Well…that would be my husband and my two doggies! Aside from them, it is the personal crafted furniture that was created and built by my father.

MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?

JH: Bathrooms and kitchens are always the key. You can have a beautiful foyer, grand entrance and staircase, upscale finishes but lose the interest with a buyer due to outdated bathrooms and kitchen.

MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?

JH: Make sure your real estate professional demonstrates their expertise and knowledge of the local market. Nothing replaces knowing everything that has sold, did not sell, sold years ago, been updated/renovated and the movement in the neighborhood. It’s not just about the house itself; it is also important to know everything that has gone on or will be going on around the property. You cannot underestimate the value of a realtor who knows the inventory extremely well, both on and off the market. If you’re a buyer, you don’t want to find out you missed the best property and if you are a seller, you want to get the best price obtainable.

MG: What’s going on in the news that will have the biggest impact on the luxury real estate market?

JE: The new administration in the White House, of course. Policies that are made can affect real estate: the stock market (which affects real estate), immigration, foreign investment, EB-5’s and the list goes on. Everything in the U.S. is affected by real estate and so much that goes on that impacts consumer outlook affects our business.

What area currently has the best resale value?

JH: Waterfront is always your best bet. Some views are just priceless and if you can get one of those on a good piece of land, you will always be in a good position.

Why Signing a Cost-Plus Contract With Your General Contractor Makes Sense

When I am contacted about an extensive remodeling job and/or repositioning of a commercial property, the potential client often wants to know if I should give them a ‘fixed-price’ proposal or do the work on a ‘cost-plus’ basis.

My answer is ‘it depends.’ If the job involves building out space in a historic or neglected building, it is likely that the general contractor will encounter surprises behind the walls, floors and ceilings. Each surprise requires more labor and materials. For instances like this, I recommend working on a cost-plus basis, where the general contractor executes the work then adds a fee to the cost of the project.

This approach requires trust and constant communication between the GC, the client and project manager. Each party needs to be on the same page so that all are involved in arriving at a decision when an issue arises. The GC should be accessible when the client asks why the costs are incurred and whether they are justified. The cost-plus basis works very well with customers who have done build-outs in the past or have experience in the construction industry and understand the complexities of building new within an existing structure.

Fixed-price proposals are more common for condo and homeowners seeking to build-out their property and budget appropriately. Custom-built homes and repositioned retail spaces in newer buildings are also conducive to fixed-price proposals. My simple rule: The more predictable the build-out work, the easier it is to write a proposal.

A fixed-price proposal may not be the right answer when working on a historic or long-neglected property. Most likely, the GC will need to amend the fixed price through ‘change orders.’ Each change order addresses whatever ‘unpredicted work’ is necessary to solve the problem. By the time the job is complete, the accumulation of change orders can make the job much costlier than the initial agreement. When this occurs, both the property owners and the GC may feel they have been taken advantage of.

At SPACiO, when the job is big and looks like surprises may be waiting, we recommend using the cost-plus approach. But the key ingredient for this strategy to succeed is trust. The GC must earn the trust of the client and the client should check the GC’s references to ensure that the partnership will be successful.

Cost Effective Luxury Upgrades to Sell A Home/Condo Faster

If you’re thinking about putting your house or condo on the market, you should consider making a few luxury upgrades to help increase your property’s value. Realtor.com has compiled a list of big impact improvements you can make that are surprisingly cost-efficient.

Upgrade Your Patio

Average cost of a new patio: $3,007 
Increase in home value: 3% to 4%

It’s no secret that more homeowners regard their backyard as an extension of their living space. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that outdoor kitchens and furnished patio areas alongside a fire pit are increasingly popular.

Irene Medina, a real estate agent at Medina Group Real Estate in Coral Springs, FL, says an outdoor kitchen is “a big plus in homes [priced] from $350,000 and up.” This can be anything from an area in the patio with a built-in grill and sink to a full-blown kitchen.

Low-hassle option: Don’t have the money for an all-out kitchen? Try adding French doors that open to the outside. This simple change will make your home feel lighter and brighter, and will appeal to potential buyers—all for an average cost of $879.

Add a Hot Tub

Average cost to install an above-ground hot tub: $321
Increase in home value: 1% to 4%

“Having a hot tub on the property is a great selling point if the home doesn’t have a pool or a water view,” Medina says. If the property has a built-in pool, a hot spa attached to it or nearby could also go a long way, she says. Prices run the gamut, depending on how elaborate you want your spa to be. At the upper end, these babies can cost thousands, once plumbing, electrical, and the tub itself are factored in. But they don’t have to.

Low-hassle option: Don’t want to heat things up that much? Potential buyers are simply looking for a backyard oasis. Consider a simpler (and cheaper) upgrade by adding a hammock surrounded by lush landscaping—your costs will start around a whopping $30 for the hammock. (Cost of fresh caipirinhas not included.)

When it comes time to sell, any special extras that can paint a picture of leisure and relaxation out back can be an incentive for those in the market for a new home. Leisure is a good thing, right?

Get Smart with an Automation System

Average cost to install a home automation system: $1,282
Increase in home value: 3% to 5%

These days, smart intercom/doorbells that can show a homeowner video of a visitor at the door (and use remote communication) are becoming the Main Street version of the urban doorman. Smart garage door openers, security systems, and thermostats are also becoming more common.

Not only will these smart gadgets help you feel more secure in your home, they are also a big draw for the tech-savvy buyer looking for innovative and practical home features, says Mike McGrew, treasurer for the National Association of Realtors® and CEO of McGrew Real Estate in Lawrence, KS.

Low-hassle option: Consider a small splurge on just a Wi-Fi video doorbell. For as little as $100, you’ll have a fancy amenity that can provide convenience and some peace of mind.

Add an In-Law or Nanny Suite

Average cost of a basement remodel: $18,618
Increase in home value: 5% to 10%

Real estate agent Nancy Itteilag of Washington Fine Properties in Washington, DC, says she recently was “this close” to selling a home, but for one major obstacle: The property wasn’t fit to accommodate the prospective buyer’s au pair.

In her market, where double incomes are at an all-time high, there’s big demand for homes with an au pair suite, in-law unit, or a flexible living space (often on the lower level of a two-story house to maximize privacy for both au pair and family). So while the initial costs seem quite high, they could pay off in spades when it’s time for a sale.

Low-hassle option: If you already have a finished basement, you’re in luck. Want to give the feeling of privacy without doing a total remodel of the space? Throw up some temporary walls. For just over $200, you’ll have an extra bedroom instantly. And if your basement has a separate entrance, it’s all the better—it can double as a living space that can be rented out for extra income.

Create a Wine Room 

Cost of a wine cellar: Starts at $4,000
Increase in home value: Varies, but can be as much as 2%

We’re not talking about a dark closet where you hide your best reds (although those pay off, too). We mean a next-level wine space—possibly furnished with a small island or table—for entertaining guests and igniting conversation.

For some wine collectors, this room is becoming more of a showpiece than simply a repository to let wine age. Accordingly, in high-end homes, these cellars are also moving from the lower level to upper floors—often housed in glass walls and under LED lighting.

Wine Cellar SPACiO Built Out at 321 Ocean

While Realtors® agree that a wine room can increase your home’s value, this home improvement should be thought of first and foremost as a treat just for you. Because you deserve it!

“Wine cellars are a bit like swimming pools. They come in all shapes and sizes and costs. And the next folks that look at your house may want nothing to do with them,” McGrew says. “So do a wine cellar because you want a wine cellar, and don’t try to justify it by an increase in value when you sell.”

Low-hassle option: Carve out a space in your home to display a few decorative wine racks and a wine fridge to keep bottles chilled and ready for entertaining. You could create your own wine enclave for as little as $200!

Change Up Your Flooring

Average cost of installing new flooring: $2,853
Increase in home value: 5%

It might not sound sexy, but flooring is also high on the list when it comes to features that pay off in a big way. Whether it’s made of reclaimed hardwood or picturesque tile or features heating, it can set the tone for the whole house.

Want to step it up even more? Heated floors in common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms are a nice amenity for cold winter mornings—and, of course, add a sweet touch of luxury to your home.

Low-hassle option: If you’re looking for a home makeover on the cheap, consider new carpeting in neutral colors, which can go a long way in pleasing prospective buyers. The best part? The price tag, with an average cost of just $1,491.”

Behind the Scenes: Building out the Iconic Grove at Grand Bay

Over the last decade, Miami has become a forefront for cutting edge architecture in the world thanks to starchitects like Zaha Hadid, Arquitectonica and Bjarke Ingels. As a GC, it’s always an honor to leave our imprint on projects that are taking Miami’s skyline to the next level. In fact, the SPACiO team recently completed building out a unit in Grove at Grand Bay, the luxury condo tower in Coconut Grove described by its architect Bjarke Ingles as a Caribbean interpretation of modernism.

With its twisting, dancing glass towers, it was by far one of the more unique projects we’ve ever worked on. All of the rooms in the unit were angled, making it extremely important for us to take the precise measurements in order to incorporate all of the different angles. For example, our client wanted to incorporate the large, structural columns into the interior design of their unit. The columns had a slight slant so we had to be very accurate with the marble installation. To incorporate the columns aesthetically, we advised the owner on the best color palate for the tile and wall paint tones.

When you’re building out luxury units at iconic buildings like Grove at Grand Bay, it’s important to integrate your own personal touch in a way that doesn’t disrupt the natural feel and ambience of the building. The work we successfully carried out for our client did just that. It combined raw with high-end materials, including mixed raw concrete of the columns, high-end marble, glass and woodwork, giving the unit a natural feel.

In addition to installing the columns and marble throughout the entire unit including on the walls of the powder bathroom, we also installed motorized solar and blackout blinds with channels to eliminate all light when they were closed. This is a great feature to have especially in Florida when the sun is always shining bright at 6 am.

We installed a beautiful onyx mirrored glass backsplash in the kitchen, which helped magnify the light in the room and give the wall a classy appearance. We built the closets, which included drawers, shelving and hanging space in beige linen egger colors, giving the closet a modern and clean look. We installed unique light fixtures, bathroom mirrors and a custom laundry room with pure white quartz countertop and beige linen cabinetry. We hung Onyx mirrored glass in the foyer of the unit, which made the entrance really stand out. Last but not least, we also painted the entire unit.

We’re looking forward to building out more units at the Grove at Grand Bay. It gives us the opportunity to truly show our level of craftsmanship.

Q&A with Guest Contributor: Miami’s Jeff Morr Dishes on Trends in Interior Design

SPACiO sat down with the talented Jeff Morr , an interior designer who has designed some of Miami’s most iconic condo projects from Ten Museum Park to Paramount on the Bay. He gives us the scoop on what it takes to be an interior designer in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

How did you become an interior designer?

I have been a real estate broker for over 30 years and have always had a passion for interior design. For years, I’ve worked closely with developers and architects designing buildings and introducing new concepts to the South Florida real estate market. For example, I introduced the ‘loft’ concept in the 1990s. Buyers from New York would ask me for lofts in Miami Beach and I would always say “we don’t have them in Miami”. As a result, I convinced a handful of developers to build small loft condo projects South of Fifth Street in South Beach. These were a big success so I brought the concept across Biscayne Bay to work with the developers of Ten Museum Park, Paramount on the Bay, Parc Lofts MiamiCynergi  (the first residential project in Wynwood), Midtown Miami and many others.

Give us a taste of the work you do as a designer.

We recently completed a unit at Continuum South Beach and have now started working at a unit in the Beach Club. We are doing a lot of work in buildings completed in the last cycle to freshen up the floor plans, kitchens, baths and create brand new spaces. We also manufacture furniture to match our design as well as design decorator-ready units in buildings being completed in this cycle, like Echo Brickell.

When it comes to designing, I love doing kitchens. My clients are amazed to see how you can create a completely new style by replacing cabinet doors, installing new countertops and adding an interesting backsplash. Our clients are moving away from ‘all white’ and are increasingly choosing pastel blue, pastel gray and pastel orange for cabinets. Shaker kitchen cabinets are very popular because some clients like just a twist of traditionalism.

In terms of flooring, porcelain is in. It is a great material. You don’t have to worry about it polishing every few years. It is virtually maintenance free. Wood-look porcelain tile is also very popular on terraces, pool decks and areas you would have never imagined.

Miami is a very cosmopolitan city. How does the ‘international influence’ reflect on the work you do?

Miami is a progressive city that tends to be into a singular look known as Tropical Modernism, embracing clean lines combined with warm colors, wood, glass, natural stone, LED lighting and more. I do see a few differences in clients who come from South America. They need service quarters for their nanny. Handheld shower devices are very important for foreigners as well as combo toilet/bidets. All our clients – regardless of where they come from – are very interested in space maximization so that’s a priority for me. They are paying a very high price per square foot when they buy into some of the world’s most luxurious towers in Miami so there is no reason to waste space. For example, we often remove traditional bidets, consolidate a bidet with the toilet and in the new void, we build a linen closet. There are many ways to add storage space in condos. It is all about being creative.

SPACiO Design Build Spends a Day at Sea with the US Navy

As SPACiO Design Build continues to evolve and adapt to Miami’s ever-changing real estate market, Brian Nisula discovered new ideas for growing the business in an unlikely place…an aircraft carrier. When he was nominated through the Young Presidents’ Organization to attend the Leaders to Sea Program, he didn’t expect a day at sea with the US Navy to open his eyes to new ways of thinking about SPACiO Design Build’s future. We sat down with Brian to learn more about his adventure at sea and find out what inspired him the most about the program.

Q: How did the Leaders to Sea Program shape your perception of our military including our Navy?

Most Americans, including myself, don’t really know what our military does on a daily basis or how hard our troops work. The Leaders to Sea Program aims to change that by inviting community leaders to learn about the Navy and help foster citizen awareness and understanding of the Navy’s role and need in general. My involvement with the Young Presidents’ Organization, a global network of young chief executives with 24,000 members in more than 130 countries, led to the opportunity.

We started the day with a C2 Greyhound transport plane flight off the coast of Southern California to the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean that was in training to be deployed. You don’t realize how big these carriers are until you’re on one. There are about 5,000 people living on the ship, taking a tour of one is like visiting a small town.

I now have a better understanding of what it means to run a tight ship. There is no room for error when you’re in the middle of the ocean. The level of effort it takes to run an aircraft carrier is immeasurable. It was an enlightening experience to see the US Navy in action and their dedication first-hand.

 Q: What takeaway from the tour will you apply to your endeavors to continue SPACiO’s positive growth trajectory?

As a general contractor, the US Navy’s efficiency and resourcefulness are two takeaways that I can relate to. In our business, our goal is to provide a superior level of quality, professionalism and responsiveness while meeting budgets and deadlines. I was amazed by the Navy’s innovative and efficient approach to running the ship smoothly. There are so many moving parts on a ship this large. They all have to work together in order to sail forward. As SPACiO grows, taking on more projects and hiring more teams, it will be important for us to focus on increasing our efficiency and becoming more resourceful. It will be more beneficial to our clients and our employees.

Let me give you an example. On the carrier, there’s an officer called the Handler. He’s responsible for positioning all the ships and planes on the deck of the aircraft carrier. He developed a system for managing the flight deck by building a model for himself using materials from a craft store. His innovative approach to managing the flight deck is a great example of how to be efficient and resourceful by thinking outside the box. After watching him and other crew members operate in terms of their efficiency, anything can be achieved with the proper organization and training.

Q: What do you want to share with readers about the US Navy?

I want people to know how hard our military works to protect our freedom. Everyone on the ship is working more than 14-hour days; yet, every crewmember is dedicated and does their job with pride. After seeing the rigors of their training, I would be more inclined to reach out to former military personnel to join the SPACiO team.

Behind the Scenes: Building Out Miami Beach’s 321 Ocean

What a treat it has been building out a luxury condo at 321 Ocean, an exclusive collection of 21 luxury residences in South of Fifth, one of Miami Beach’s most upscale neighborhoods. One of the things we love about our job is having access to some of the world’s most exquisite residential developments. Early this month, we had to say goodbye to the building after completing the build-out of our client’s unit in just 12 weeks. The work was completed on time and on budget.

The work consisted of installing flooring, trim window coverings, staircase handrails, mill work and more. Our favorite part was building a beautiful wine cellar. Our client chose hardwood floor throughout the condo and very neutral finishes and colors.

Overall, this is one of our best projects because working together with the client we were able to plan it well and execute it without a hitch!

Looking forward to our next build-out!

Transforming History into Lolo’s Surf Cantina

Building out Lolo’s Surf Cantina located inside the Marriott Stanton South Beach provided us the opportunity to do what we love best: breathing new life into amazing historic buildings.

Turning a portion of the Marriott Stanton into Lolo’s – a bistro serving inspired Mexican cuisine – was an experience that enriched our team’s craftsmanship.

Lolo’s is a concept by Plan Do See, a global hospitality brand based in Japan, and Richard Ampudia, the renowned “Godfather of Mexican Street Food.” Ampudia has made his mark in many popular NYC restaurants over the years such as La Esquina, Café Habana, and Bar Bruno.

As the general contractor, we were entrusted to transform the space into a Baja-Style, Mexican eatery while preserving a historic three-story building.

Our previous work renovating and repositioning the hotel helped us to create the blueprint for building out Lolo’s, which required a phased demolition process. We demolished everything in the interior of the property and were able to preserve the perimeter walls. At that stage, you could look up three stories and glimpse the sky.

The repositioning of the historic property required a sequential floor-by-floor rebuilding of the building’s skeletal system to accommodate two new full-service restaurants – including Lolo’s – and other amenities, including a new spa, gym, public restrooms and other guest features for the existing hotel. Those features were required to complement the newly remodeled lobby, meeting rooms, two pools decks and other amenities SPACiO had previously renovated. Due to the building’s designation as a historic building, we also worked diligently with the City of Miami Beach to protect the historic façade.

We couldn’t have accomplished our goals without our team’s vast wealth of construction knowledge, commitment to quality and ability to quickly meet the final inspections. It was our honor to transform the Lolo’s concept into a reality and deliver a top-notch Mexican eatery to Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.

Stay tuned as we are building out additional restaurants at the Marriott Stanton South Beach (a secret sushi restaurant and an American bistro). Names will be revealed soon! Be the first to know by following us on all of our social media channels.