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Veteran Developer Margulies Revives Plans For Waterfront Condo Tower
Veteran Developer Margulies Revives Plans For Waterfront Condo Tower
Published on 8/2/2011 5:52:00 AM

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After three years of waiting, veteran condo developer Martin Z. Margulies, who has constructed ultra-luxury towers in some of Miami-Dade County’s priciest neighborhoods, is preparing to relaunch his efforts to build a waterfront project in Northeast Miami-Dade County.

Margulies, who developed the Bellini condo in Bal Harbour in 2004, the Grand Bay Towers in the Key Biscayne in the late 1990s, and the Grove Isle complex in Miami’s Coconut Grove in the 1980s, has launched presales on a purported $100 million tower with 70 units in the Williams Island neighborhood of Aventura, according to the Miami Herald.

The initial presale prices at the Bellini At Williams Island project average about $544 per square foot with individual units ranging from $425 per square foot to nearly $744 per square foot, according to marketing literature.

Prospective buyers are being asked to put up a 30 percent deposit - in phases - into an escrow account during the construction process. None of the escrow funds are to be used for the construction, and are scheduled to "held in an interest bearing account," according to the marketing material. 

Plans call for the Bellini At Williams Island project to be delivered by July 2014 in a submarket to the west - across the Intracoastal Waterway - of the barrier island city of Sunny Isles Beach, according to the literature. is scheduled to profile the latest condo trends in the second quarter of 2011 in the seven largest coastal markets in the tricounty South Florida region of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

As of the week of July 21, the Condo Vultures® Market Intelligence Report™ has been publishing a seven-part weekly series analyzing new condo sales trends in Greater Downtown Miami, South Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, Hollywood / Hallandale Beach, Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach, Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach, and Downtown West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island.    

Margulies, who is internationally known for an extensive art collection, plans to launch the initial construction of the proposed project with 180,100 square feet of salable space using a "private lender" to jumpstart the development, according to the press report.

As of Aug. 2, 2011, no financing instrument has been recorded against the 68,000-square-foot development site where the Bellini At Williams Island project is slated to be constructed, according to Miami-Dade County records. 

This is not to say that the project will be self funded.

The Bellini At Williams Island presale construction contract states that the “seller may borrow money from lenders to construct the condominium.”

A Margulies-controlled entity, Bellini WI LLC, purchased the Bellini At Williams Island development site for an undisclosed amount from Minto Communities LLC in January 2007, according to the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser's Office.

Some four months later, a notice of commencement for construction was filed, clearing the way for foundation work to begin in the second quarter of 2007, according to Miami-Dade County records. 

Construction was eventually put on hold in "2008 when the recession hit," according to the press report.

The proposed Bellini at Williams Island condo tower is now being revived at a time when the number of condos - especially newer units created during the real estate boom that began in 2003 - on the market in Aventura has been steadily declining.

As of Aug. 2, 2011, there are about 975 condos available for purchase on the resale market in Aventura. An additional 300 units are under contract waiting to transact, according to an analysis by the licensed Florida real estate brokerage CVR Realty™ that has worked with a different Margulies-related entity but is not involved with the Bellini At Williams Island project.

It is worth noting that the resale market for newer condos built since 2003 has declined to fewer than 250 units on the resale market and an additional 80 units under contract waiting to transact in Aventura, according to Florida Realtors association data. 

Buyers have acquired more than 730 resale condos in Aventura in the first seven months of 2011 after purchasing more than 1,030 units in the city in 2010 and more than 980 units in 2009. 

The number of resale transactions involving newer units built since 2003 is on the rise in Aventura. 

In the first seven months of 2011, buyers purchased 171 newer condos in Aventura at an average price of $246 per square foot. In 2010, buyer acquired 214 newer condos in Aventura at an average price of $243 per square foot. A year prior in 2009, buyers acquired 207 newer units in Aventura at an average price of $265 per square foot, according to the data.  

To the east, the situation in Sunny Isles Beach - an oceanfront city on the barrier island - is showing signs of improving. 

Between April and June of 2011, developers sold 150 newly created condos in Sunny Isles Beach, and in the process reduced the remaining unsold inventory from the South Florida real estate boom to 851 units within the city's boundaries, according to a new report.    

As of June 30, 2011, less than 14 percent of the nearly 6,400 units created in Sunny Isles Beach since 2003 remain unsold and in the control of the original developers, according to an analysis based on the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Sunny Isles Beach™

At the current second quarter of 2011 sales pace of nearly 50 condos per month, the unsold developer units in Sunny Isles Beach would be absorbed in less than 18 months, according to an analysis of Miami-Dade County records. 

Despite the amount of unsold units still remaining in Sunny Isles Beach, developers are achieving strong prices for the condos that do transact. 

In the second quarter of 2011, developer units in Sunny Isles Beach sold for an average price of nearly $500 per square foot, according to an analysis of Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser Office records. 
Sunny Isles Beach is a 40-block stretch from the city of Golden Beach boundary south to Haulover Beach Park, Biscayne Bay east to the Atlantic Ocean. Sunny Isles Beach is divided up into three neighborhoods separated by causeways: North, Central, and South.   

Developers created 27 projects with nearly 6,400 units in the Sunny Isles Beach market since 2003. Prior to the boom, developers had built nearly 60 projects with nearly 12,000 units in Sunny Isles Beach, according to the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Sunny Isles Beach™.  

It is important to note there are various stages to a residential real estate transaction in South Florida.  

A transaction begins when a property is made available for sale and ends when a title is conveyed from one party to another party as a result of the recording of a deed with the local government. 
As part of the process, a property typically goes under contract and into a due diligence phase by which a deal can be canceled. 
The new condo sales report is based on completed transactions where a deed is recorded and taxes paid as a result of the sale. 

Condo Vultures® LLC is a real estate consultancy and marketing company based at 1005 Kane Concourse, Suite 205, Bal Harbour, Florida, 33154. You can reach Condo Vultures® LLC at 800-750-0517. 

Don't forget to sign up for our weekly Market Intelligence Report™ for detailed condo reports to stay informed on the latest market trends and to find out about our various Condo Vultures® Seminars. Looking for a property at a deep discount? Take a peek at the Vultures Database™ or view our Video Library. Looking for bulk projects direct from developers or lenders? Visit the Condo Vultures® Bulk Deals Database™. Our new books, the Official Condo Buyers Guide to Miami™Official Condo Buyers Guide To South Beach™Official Condo Buyers Guide to Sunny Isles Beach™Official Condo Buyers Guide to Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach™Official Condo Buyers Guide to Hollywood / Hallandale Beach™Official Condo Buyers Guide to Downtown West Palm Beach™, and Official Condo Buyers Guide to Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach™, are now available. Want to see every foreclosure filed in South Florida since 2007? Check out our Foreclosure Database™. 

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