Why Luxury Branded Developments Work in Miami
The Related Group’s Jon Paul Perez and Dezer Development’s Gil Dezer share the story behind their 308-unit Residences by Armani/Casa condo tower in Sunny Isles Beach.
When iconic brands shake hands with real estate developers, there’s no limit to what they can achieve. The Related Group and Dezer Development partnered with fashion designer Giorgio Armani, architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli and Swiss landscape architecture firm Enzo Enea to build Residences by Armani/Casa, a 308-unit luxury tower on the sands of Sunny Isles Beach in Miami. Recently, the developers paid off a $315 million construction loan to Wells Fargo and the 56-story building is nearing its planned $1 billion sellout.
Residences by Armani/Casa received its temporary certificate of occupancy and the first residents are ready to move into what the developers call a building that radiates opulence. Units range between 1,800 and 6,000 square feet, with prices starting at $2.9 million and going as high as $17 million. In an interview with Multi-Housing News, The Related Group Executive Vice President Jon Paul Perez and Dezer Development President Gil Dezer reveal details about the ultra-luxury condo project and their collaboration with the iconic brands.
What’s the vision behind this project?
Perez: This building is the perfect combination of high fashion and five-star services and amenities, allowing homeowners to be immersed in luxury and enjoy ease of living. Our vision was to deliver a product that not only resonates with admirers of the Armani brand, but wows buyers with something they’ve never seen before and serves as an exemplar in the condo market.
What is the current status of the development?
Perez: The project is now complete and move-in ready. Most of our homeowners are currently building out their units and we will also be offering turnkey residences later this spring.
What features set Residences by Armani apart from other Miami developments?
Perez: The amenity spaces cover 35,000 square feet and are easily among the project’s most remarkable qualities. They sprawl two full floors and are entirely designed and furnished by the Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio, helmed by Giorgio Armani himself. Each area radiates opulence, from the Privé lounge on the lobby level, to the two-story spa with indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. Other standout common spaces include a private bar and restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center with yoga and Pilates, a club-inspired game room with billiards, dedicated children’s room, old Hollywood-inspired movie theater, private cigar room, temperature-controlled wine cellar and more.
Tell us about the most challenging aspects of the development.
Perez: Designing a project of this caliber involved ensuring every intricate detail upholds the standard and quality that the Armani brand and both development teams embody. Achieving the level of precision and luxury we set out for was no easy feat, from the custom grand doors that just barely graze the ceiling to the Italian-imported fabric wall coverings in lieu of wallpaper. Finally seeing it come to fruition was an extremely proud moment for all teams involved.
Residences by Armani/Casa is now debt free. What can you tell us about financing such a project?
Perez: This is a tremendous milestone for our team and is a key indicator of the project’s rapid sales success so far. Paying off this loan so quickly is not only unique, but it also shows the importance of a harmonious partnership, from developers to designers.
The property recently received its temporary certificate of occupancy. How did that impact sales?
Dezer: Now that the building is tangible and our buyers and prospective buyers can physically tour the building and see the quality, we’ve seen a huge wave of sales from the U.S. and across the globe. We’re nearing 90 percent and we’re on track toward the planned $1 billion sellout.
This project is among the last by Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli, the mastermind behind iconic buildings around the world. Tell us about the features of the tower that best illustrate Pelli’s architecture and design style.
Dezer: Cesar Pelli and his firm are renowned for their skyscraper designs and for creating distinct structures that stand out among the skyline. This is the first feature at Residences by Armani/Casa that screams Cesar Pelli. The others are the tower’s glassy and silky form and the glass façade designed to blend into the ocean below. Pelli is known for his striking works, which seamlessly integrate into their surroundings.
How do you expect this project to impact the Miami condo market as a whole?
Dezer: The success of Residences by Armani/Casa and our Porsche Design Tower demonstrate that luxury branded developments do help differentiate from other luxury offerings on the market. Buyers, particularly in this market, have increasingly high standards of design and leisure.
What other distinctive projects is Dezer Development pursuing?
Dezer: We’re very bullish on Sunny Isles Beach. In fact, we just got approvals to build what could be the tallest tower in Sunny Isles Beach. We are also working on plans for the Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach, but our main focus right now is to sell out the remaining units at Residences by Armani/Casa.