Miami condo king Jorge Perez is betting big on Fisher Island

Jorge Pérez bets on Fisher Island with new sales of luxury apartments

Just off the coast of Miami Beach, on exclusive Fisher Island, there is a crane at a construction site. This is the last land available for development and an unlikely bet for luxury real estate at a time when the real estate market appears to be in freefall.

Jorge Perez, also known as “the king of Miami condos,” and his related group are behind the 10-story, 50-unit project that has a $1.2 billion asking price. They paid $122.6 million for the land, at the top of the market.

Units start at $15 million. The project includes a $90 million, 15,000-square-foot penthouse and a $55 million ground-floor villa with a half-acre backyard. The building will also have its own mega-yacht cut-off. Sales just started last month.

“Almost 30% of the units are spoken,” Perez said. “We’ve done over $300 million in contracts, and we haven’t really done any marketing. However, if the market slows down a little bit, we’re in a lucky position.”

Buyers are required to pay a 50% non-refundable deposit for pre-construction sales.

Perez said the first buyers are from Brazil, New York, Canada, Mexico and Israel. He said he is seeing much more domestic interest than in the past, as Miami has traditionally been a haven for foreign investors. It seems to echo throughout the city.

View from South Florida

“Miami is an internationally focused market (80 to 90 percent international), but it changed during the pandemic,” said Danny Hertzberg, a luxury real estate agent at Coldwell Banker and the Jills Zeder Group. “We will continue to have that domestic demand for fiscal reasons, but at some point political instability or a weaker dollar will pull. [international] people inside.”

Miami has been an outlier in the recent decline in both home sales and prices, with prices still quite strong in the city. The high end, however, has not been so resilient. Pending sales of homes priced above $5 million fell 89% in December from a year earlier, according to Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal firm.

“But the one thing to keep in mind for Miami is that inventory is down 60% since the pandemic, so what’s different is that inventory is extremely tight,” Jonathan Miller noted. , general manager of the company. “This throws out a lot of conventional wisdom about pricing.”

Miller added that the Fisher Island project, “may not sell in five minutes, but it’s not out of the question even in this market.”

The property and its location are unique. Fisher Island is an ultra-exclusive 216-acre community, accessible only by ferry or yacht and open only to residents, their guests and guests of the small luxury hotel located there. The last condo to sell on the island last year went for $40 million, according to a Related Group representative.

Hertzberg said Perez’s new building “checks a lot of boxes” for wealthier buyers who have a new mindset since the start of the pandemic.

“They want amenities, privacy and security. That’s a big factor there. They want convenience. There’s a private school. Their own restaurants, their own grocery stores. A private beach,” Herzberg said.

He also noted that instant admission to the golf club for residents is a big draw. He said there is a five- to seven-year waiting list in greater Miami to join a golf club.

“I’m sure they will sell. The question of when is what happens in the economy and how aggressive they are on pricing,” Hertzberg said. “If I was betting, they’d be top of the list. It just has the right elements for the economy and the world we’re in.”

What the future may bring

Perez, who has developed hundreds of properties in South Florida and weathered the huge condo crash of the Great Recession, didn’t seem at all worried about the future of his new venture.

“Yes, the market across the country has gone down, especially in luxury units, but we’re finding that in the enclaves that we have, like Fisher Island, we’re still seeing a great level of interest from those people who they can afford the best.” Perez said.

However, he worries about the broader economy and the broader real estate market.

“Of course, it bothers me. It bothers me every day. I wake up every day thinking you know what’s going to happen in the economy,” Perez said. “We’re thinking that interest rates and inflation have pretty much peaked. In my view, we’re going to have a year to a year and a half, two years. And we’re prepared to weather this storm if it does. happen.”

If Perez gets $90 million for the penthouse, it will be the most expensive condo for sale in all of South Florida.

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