An eight-figure deal with Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani has meant brisk sales for the Related Group and Dezer Development.
The developers struck a deal last year worth tens of millions with Armani to bring the fashion mogul's luxury brand and style to their 60-story tower in Sunny Isles Beach, a competitive market with power players willing to make hefty investments.
Their project will rise just as New York-based Property Markets Group strengthens its foothold in South Florida's luxury sector by securing a $126.8 million construction loan for its 47-story tower, The Muse, on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach.
"We really come out with the product itself," said Gil Dezer, the developer who envisioned an Armani-branded product after staying in the designer's luxury hotel in Dubai. "We know what's out there in the market, and we make sure we're better."
For Related and Dezer, name recognition was an important part of the marketing for the Residences by Armani/Casa, minutes away at 18975 Collins Ave.
The two veteran developers made multiple visits to Milan and wrangled a who's-who of leaders in interior design and art, creating a roster of Swedish landscapers, Italian sculptors and Cesar Pelli, the famed architect of the World Financial Center in New York.
And then there is Armani himself, who spent nearly 18 months handpicking amenities and design elements for the first U.S. real estate project bearing his name. His team will design all common areas in the tower, the building exterior and unit layouts.
"It's a lot of money, but at the same times it brings a lot of value," Carlos Rosso, president of Related's condo development division, said without giving a specific dollar figure. "People appreciate the value that Armani brings. It's crucial for us to differentiate ourselves. We always partner up with the best in class, and Armani is best in class, best in style."
He's also among the most expensive.
As with Armani's haute couture, Residences by Armani/Casa aren't cheap.
When sales launched six months ago, units commanded $1,000 per square foot, starting at $1.3 million. Since then, prices pressed upward. Buyers now need at least $1,300 per square foot, or $2 million to $10 million, for a home in the beachfront tower.
Related Condominium Development president Carlos F. Rosso
"That's a good sign," Rosso said. "It shows how the building has appreciated and how well the project has done. Early buyers got appreciation from the get-go."
At these rates, the Dezer-Related venture will yield an estimated $950 million for 307 condominiums that attracted bankers, hedge fund managers, Latin American investors, buyers from the northeastern U.S. and millionaires from around the world.
Buyers have reserved more than 84 percent of the inventory with plans to begin converting to contracts next month and occupancy by March 2018.
The developers paid "well north of $90 million" to buy out condos on the 3.1-acre site in a deal that gave them control of more than 300 feet of beachfront property and one of the last remaining developable waterfront parcels in Sunny Isles Beach. They plan to demolish the existing structure by March 1.
"The market is strong, as we've proven by the sales," Dezer said.