New Owner Plans New Life for $300M Miami Condo Development

Miami--New owners iStar Residential and ST Residential have stepped in with plans to reposition and relaunch the upscale, 340-residence Paramount Bay in downtown Miami.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Writer

Miami–The collapse of the housing market a few years ago took a toll on many a condominium builder across the country, and the company behind the development of the upscale, 340-residence Paramount Bay in downtown Miami was no exception. However, it’s a new day and new owners, iStar Residential and ST Residential, have stepped in with plans to reposition and relaunch the $300 million property.

Paramount Bay, the development of which was completed by Royal Palm Miami Holdings L.L.C. in 2009, sits empty, peering down over Biscayne Bay in Miami’s Edgewater district. With the developer plagued by financial woes and unable to pay back an iStar mortgage loan, the asset was placed into receivership by a Miami Dade Circuit Court on May 6, 2010. A consensual foreclosure by iStar and ST Residential led to the team’s acquisition of the property’s title on May 10. Now, iStar and ST Residential are positioning Paramount Bay to make a new splash in the Miami condo market.

The new owners plan to initiate an aggressive sales and marketing plan, to be orchestrated by Fortune International, and put the finishing touches on the 47-story building. Comras Co. has been tapped to lease the ground-level restaurant and retail space. The timing may very well be just right for the luxury condominium destination to get off the ground.

“In the first quarter of this year, the number of condo transactions was up 91 percent,” Ralph De Martino, residential president of the Miami Association of Realtors and president of Ocean International Realty, tells MHN. “There are a lot of people looking for property right now. In desirable areas, there’s demand and people are paying money. They’re not afraid to buy in these areas because they know the bottom has already happened.” The fact that the project, designed by architectural firm Arquitectonica, already has Fannie Mae financing approval won’t hurt sales either.

While iStar and ST Residential will be starting from square one in terms of securing buyers for Paramount Bay’s premier residences, it is unlikely that they will market units as a steal-of-a-deal just to bring the building to maximum occupancy.  “I know the new owners are not going to slash prices to sell quickly because they have new money in the project,” De Martino says. “They’ll price according to the market and prices are low. It’s a great time to buy. Paramount Bay is a great project and it will do very well.”

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