Miami—Lionheart Capital has announced plans to develop The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach. Located on seven acres on the shores of Surprise Lake in a tranquil area of Miami Beach, the amenity-laden, LEED-certified 126-residence property will blend the legendary service of The Ritz-Carlton with the modernist vision of celebrated Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni.
“We had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy an exceptional existing property in the heart of one of the most desirable single family neighborhoods in Miami Beach,” Miami-based Lionheart Capital CEO Ophir Sternberg tells MHN. “The building height and structure allowed us to design residences that give owners the opportunity to be part of a low-density residential neighborhood, but with the advantages of condominium living. Couple this with the location on Surprise Lake, and the site must certainly be one of the best in Miami Beach.”
Ritz-Carlton is the manager of another of Lionheart Capital’s projects, The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singer Island, Palm Beach, Sternberg reports. “We are so impressed with their service ethic, their management style and their impeccable manners that they were a natural fit for our next project,” he adds.
The initial challenge confronted by Lionheart Capital was rezoning the site from hospital-institutional to residential use. The rezoning required a variance, as well as essential community support. “Many times, this is very difficult, especially in a high-end single-family residential area like this one,” Sternberg says. “Fortunately, we experienced one of the most amicable and respectful collaborations between a developer and community in expressing and addressing all of our various needs. Because of this, we got our variance at its first public hearing, which is unheard of in Miami Beach.”
Another substantial hurdle facing the developers was that the structure is made up of four inter-connected buildings constructed over a quarter-century’s time.
Redesigning a building intended for institutional use to house the highest end of the residential market proved “an interesting proposition,” Sternberg recalls.
“In the end, we accomplished this by completely demolishing all remnants of the old building. We have left only the concrete slabs and columns in our quest to make these beautiful homes . . . To the neighborhood and anyone who uses Surprise Lake, it turns an institutional building that was an eyesore for decades into a beautiful glass-and-concrete structure.”
The lakeside promenade and old-growth landscaping of the Ritz-Carlton Residences will also add substantially to the neighborhood and the property’s own curb appeal, Sternberg notes.
“Residents will experience a low-rise community that offers the best of condo living, [with] no maintenance [and] luxury-living amenities,” he says.