Five years ago, nobody wanted to live up between 60th and 70th streets on Collins Avenue, but today the area has about 2,400 units planned or currently under construction. Between La Gorce Palace, the Blue and Green Diamonds, Canyon Ranch, The Bath Club, Akoya, and Aqua, it’s a very high concentration of first-class projects.
Tell me about some of the area’s important upcoming projects.
Canyon Ranch, which features an 80,000-square-foot spa, is really fueling the neighborhood; billionaires are buying units there. About 80 percent of the first phase of the project was reserved in the first three weeks, before the sales center even opened. Right now, you’re looking at about $700 a square foot, although the numbers should reach well past $1,000 as the project progresses. When the condos were first introduced, you could have bought in the high $500’s, but now we’re looking at minimum $600,000. The Bath Club’s pedigree and history makes it a signature project, and Craig Robins is really gearing Aqua toward the art crowd. Akoya is major player, just by the sheer number  of units there. At 48 stories, it’s the tallest building in Miami Beach.
What makes this stretch of Collins Avenue so special?
Those blocks are in the early stages of being designated part of a historic district, much like the Art Deco District. Its formal title will be the “North Beach Resort Historic District,” and much like in South Beach, residents will enjoy a lot of federal tax incentives once their properties are on the national register of historic places. It will be cheaper for the owners to rehabilitate them, which will result in a general improvement of the area.
What is undervalued right now?
The Blue and Green Diamonds. They had some developer hiccups, and values were a little less than stellar. Right now I have a three-bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse with direct ocean views on the 41st floor for $1.35 million. It averages out to be about $675 per square foot, which is incredible for a penthouse.
Has the Miami Beach bubble burst?
I don’t see it bursting. On the contrary, I see the market improving. Right now, Wyclef Jean, a major record producer, is on the verge of buying the Paris Theater from Eugene Rodriguez for probably about $7 million. Wyclef already owns a house at 57th and Pinetree, and it could sell for about double what he paid for it. All of Miami has an incredible energy. You’re going to do well. Everything sells at a premium, and when it comes up in the market again, it sells at a premium again.