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U/C: Everglades on the Bay

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Related Urbanplanet.org topics: [ South Florida P&C: Everglades on the Bay | ]

Miami growing up, up, up

Major Mexican developer plans twin tower project

Ed Duggan

Everglades on the Bay, an 870-unit downtown high-rise condominium, will soon replace the Everglades Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami.

Twin 49-story residential towers and 69,000 square feet of commercial space will combine a central Miami business location with Biscayne Bay views. The Wachovia Center is the tallest downtown building at 55 stories.

The developers say the project will help meet the city's goal of creating an urban habitat with a mixture of residences, shops and nightlife.

"It's a unique and special piece of property that could spark massive pedestrian activity in the area," said project architect Julio Diaz of Coral Gables-based Fullerton Diaz.

There's plenty of competition, though.

Developers have announced plans for more than 6,400 units downtown, not including projects north of the under-construction performing arts center or south of the Miami River.

"It's a major project, but we are not afraid of its size," said Jacobo Cababie, CEO of developer CABI, the U.S. subsidiary of Mexican-based GISCA. "It takes the same amount of time to pull permits, get approvals and so on for 800 units or 200 units. Only the sellout is much bigger."

He estimates sellout between $270 million and $280 million for condominiums, flats and lofts priced from $169,000 to

$1 million-plus, and averaging $300 to $500 a square foot.

Cababie and his brothers, Elias and Abraham, each own a third of the Everglades deal through interlocking corporations, according to public records.

GISCA has been Mexico's largest developer for the last 10 years, according to CABI's public relations firm.

Not everyone sees the project as a slam-dunk.

"I am cautious about it," said Philip Spiegelman, president of Miami-based International Sales Group, a real estate selling company with an international brokerage organization that is not affiliated with the project.

"Many developers from other states and countries have found that they can't do business here as they did elsewhere," he said.

Previous work in Aventura

CABI points out that it is doing four projects: The Parc at Turnberry Isle, Country Club Center in Aventura, and two joint venture deals with Aventura-based Turnberry Associates: Turnberry Village and Turnberry Ocean Colony in Sunny Isles Beach.

"CABI started the Parc at Turnberry Isle by themselves," Spiegelman said. "They found they were not as savvy as they needed to be and I heard they brought in Turnberry. The rest of their residential projects will be joint ventured with Turnberry as well. Now they are on their own with the Everglades project. From what I understand, they have a lot of money, but it takes more than money alone to successfully complete a major project. I remain cautious."

According to a project overview filed with the city, the Everglades marketing thrust is toward the middle market purchaser.

The first tower's groundbreaking is estimated for November or December, depending on presales. Completion is estimated for 2006, with the second tower one to two years later.

Marka-Tech, an independent real estate marketing and sales organization, is selling the Everglades units. Nick Grossi, a former executive with the International Sales Group, heads the 15-month old Aventura-based firm.

Up to 433 direct employees will be hired during the Everglades construction phase, with a permanent staff of 29 after completion for ongoing maintenance and facility operations.

Annual real estate tax revenue is projected at $5.4 million.

The 3.6-acre site was acquired in May for $21 million. It is just opposite Bayfront Park on Biscayne Boulevard, home to the 376-room Everglades Hotel, a 1926 structure that will come down before construction begins.

The Everglades on the Bay will be Fullerton Diaz's largest residential project to date based on the number of units, Diaz said.

Little historical value

"We are fortunate that the hotel has little redeeming or historical features. We looked into that aspect very carefully in our due diligence," he said.

Luck may have played a part in that.

Up until a 1960s modernization removed it, a Giralda tower crowned the hotel. It was a copy of the original tower in the Plaza del Triunfo in Seville, Spain, originally a Mosque minaret that was later converted into a bell tower.

An unusual feature of the planned twin towers is an "invisible" eight-story parking garage with 1,003 residential spaces. The garage exterior is faced with residential flats and lofts to hide the garage interior. An additional 143 spaces are allocated for the commercial portion.

The garage will be topped with an amenities center with a 15,000-square-foot health spa with treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and plunging pool. Outside is a lagoon-style morning pool with a bar overlooking the bay, a lap pool and an afternoon, or quiet, pool.

"The towers are set back and slim, with the lower floors clad in granite and limestone," Garcia said. "The developers wanted a unique and elegant building and they aren't stinting on quality."

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Miami continues to amaze me. It seems so unrealistic to have so many skyscrapers coming on line, especially since 9/11. At this rate, Miami's core will be as dense as they come.

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Miami tower growth has been insane over the last couple of years. It's been very amazing. Great city, getting better. More power to them.

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Good news for Miami. The city always amazes me with the number of new towers always going up.

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yeah this is cool I'm so happy that they are getting so many new towers can't wait to see it in 10 years

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What will Miami's population be after all of the construction is finnished. Will it ever be more than Jax. I know Jax is 758sq miles, but besides that?

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Without consolidation, the CITY of Miami, will never catch the CITY of Jacksonville in population. Its not like Miami is booming and Jax is losing population. At its current growth rate, Jax's population increases by a little over 100,000 residents every 10 years.

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a rendering of the twin towers........

coverimage.jpg

hello guys I just joined your forum!

I hope to bring you news from Miami as developments unfold with the current boom in my city.

As for the population question between Miami/Jax the city is only 35 square miles and it is finally growing adding about 12,000 since 2000 but will never catch up with Jax.

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Welcome to the forum Bobdreamz, its great to finally have another Florida forumer here at SSA. I look forward to hearing more info and seeing more pics of Miami's boom.

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Welcome to the forum, Bobdreams. Thanks for the rendering.

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Very nice looking rendering. The views from the top will be amazing.

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Thanks for all of the welcoming remarks!

I've posted this in other forums as well but hope you guys don't mind.

another update...this is from downtown miami.com so the pics may not always show up...

first is an updated rendering of our newest twins ....the 49 story towers of Everglades on the Bay....

aaf.jpg

the MIST towers...they will be 55 stories/600+ ft. and are designed by Arquitectonica...the American Airlines Arena sits across the street which they also designed.....very striking buildings and they are set to break ground soon.

The founders of Netscape are financing these buildings by themselves.

aal.jpg

Brickell City Center...a 50 & 42 story mixed use project on Brickell Avenue in the heart of our Financial District.....

abb.jpg

and now the most exciting project by far is the Miami River Village being developed on land formerly owned by the FEC Railroad...the view looks north from the Miami River towards the Dade County courthouse......

abh.jpg

comments please!

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Now those are soem nice buildings I mean maimi is booning with new buildings it's wonderful

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Just wondering, when all these condo are completed, and there is not much of office in downtown miami compared to condo, where are these people going to work? Are they going to drive to the sub to work?

Since most of them are rich people, maybe they dont need to work.

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There's a couple of office projects under development, but like you said, most of the people buying these condos don't need to work anyways.

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There's still tons of people commutting to downtown and brickell though. I don't know that they're the people buying the condos, but just the same, if you don't think people work downtown you haven't experienced rush hour in Miami.

Hopefully with people moving back east, they will relocate or initiate new office space downtown.

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