Designers Create Model Units at Marquis Residence

The 67-story Marquis Residences, a late--2000s Miami condo development, has undertaken a novel twist on standard apartment staging by forming partnerships with design firms to help sell the property's remaining residences--and it seems to be working.

Maimi—The 67-story Marquis Residences, a late-2000s Miami condo development, has undertaken a novel twist on standard apartment staging by forming partnerships with design firms to help sell the property’s remaining residences—and it seems to be working. Nearly 80 percent of the units have been sold, some of them recently after design teams went to work on them.

The Marquis Residences building, a glass-and-steel structure that includes 292 residential units as well as a hotel, is located in downtown Miami. New York-based developer Africa-Israel USA completed the property in 2008, ahead of the contraction in Miami’s condo market due to the international credit panic and recession late that year.

Earlier this year, Marquis had design firms Artefacto, Tui Lifestyle and Modani create model units at the property. According to Wendy Marks Pine of Cervera Real Estate, the sales director at Marquis Residences, not only has each completed model unit sold within days of being on the market, but they have helped to sell similar units in the building, some sight unseen.

The first partnership was with Artefacto to furnish Residence 4801 in April 2011. That particular unit has sold and there have been 14 other sales based on that model alone, Pine says. Recognizing the demand for additional units, Marquis asked Artefacto to design more units, including two three-bedroom apartments, 4401 and 3601, both of which sold quickly. Also, Artefacto recently completed Penthouse 6307, which is available for $2.49 million.

Later in 2011, Tui Lifestyle designed two units at Marquis. Upon completion, units 3503 and 4804 sold to two separate buyers in Brazil, sight unseen, both via Marquis’ Sage iPad application. Using the app, buyers were able to view an overview and history of the property and the amenities, location maps and information on surrounding neighborhoods. Finally, Modani, a design house with collections ranging from Neo-Baroque to Zen, furnished 3502, a two-bedroom unit that was purchased soon after completion.

The sales come at a time when the condo market in Florida is regaining some strength. According to the Florida Association of Realtors, 7,098 condo units sold statewide in August 2011, compared to 6,041 units in August 2010, or an increase of 17 percent. The statewide existing condo median sales price in August 2011 was $91,100; in August 2010 it was $81,500. According to the National Association of Realtors, the national median existing condo sales price was $167,500 in August 2011.

The units at Marquis, of course, sell for a good bit more than median prices, either state or national, and appeal to an affluent clientele not hurt so much—or at all—by the recent hard times. Many buyers are Latin Americans benefiting from the relatively weak U.S. dollar verses a number of currencies, especially the Brazilian real.