Shopping center and Manhattan commercial office space owner Sam Tawfik purchased the one- and two-bedroom and penthouse units in two buildings off Biscayne Boulevard for between $260,000 and $1 million.
Paying $327 per square-foot, the developer likes the short term appreciation in the burgeoning Midtown Miami neighborhood he compares to SoHo of the early 1990s where artists scooped up lofts for $50,000. Those homes today are worth upwards of $3 million.
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"This is the time to be a New York seller and a Miami buyer," said developer Sam Tawfik, who owns commercial property in Manhattan and shopping centers in the tri-state area. "The upside is better and competition less intense in Miami. Every hedge fund and international investor wants to buy in New York. Midtown is like a mini-boomtown."
Saddled between the Design District that attracts luxury retailers Hermes and Cartier and the warehouse-heavy Wynwood Arts District area, Midtown has plots of land left to develop and a growing demographic of young artists looking to pay less in home prices than South Beach, typically double in cost.
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“I think to be a mover and shaker in Miami with a New York get it done mentality can be very profitable,” Tawfik said. “This area has a cool demographic. It’s chic and sophiticated but not pretentious. You can feel the energy on the streets like it felt in SoHo or Tribeca 20 years ago. Look at those places now.”
Tawfik already rented most of his one and two-bedroom homes ranging from $1,700 to $3,000 per month.
"The goal was to buy units that have the highest end user demand and appreciate in value the quickest," said Chad Carroll, Tawfik's agent and Douglas Elliman Florida director of luxury sales who moved from New York City four years ago to take advantage of Miami opportunities. "The penthouse market is on fire right now in Miami which is why we included a few of those in our package.... We anticipate Sam making a solid 35 percent return on his investment within three years."
Tawfik isn’t the only snowbird flocking to Midtown. Shimon Bokovza, founder and CEO of Samba Brands Management which owns Sushi Samba, opened Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill a few blocks from Tawfik's purchase.
"Not only will Midtown become a huge housing community for thousands of people, but also a major mid-priced retail market," said Bokovza, who chose Manhattan based-architect and design team Cetra Ruddy to design the space. "The neighborhood is already known for its community feel, art scene and local flavor."
New Yorker Tony Goldman was an original investor in Miami's Design District. One of SoHo's earliest pioneers and property owners, Goldman, recently deceased, is a legendary neighborhood builder. Tawfik feels safe following his lead, and he likes the weather.
"This is American Riviera," Tawfik said. "It's 80 degrees outside. People think this market is all about the foreign buyer. New Yorkers love it here, too."
Big Apple developer iStar Residential has two buildings currently selling in Miami. Ocean House, in the red hot lower South Beach neighborhood of South of Fifth,is a boutique building with four of 18 units remaining. Ranging from 4,500 to 7,000 square-feet, prices are more than $7.5 million for each home.
Paramount Bay, closer to Midtown on the waterfront near Wynwood, is designed by rockstar Lenny Kravitz’s Kravitz Design Inc. with a facade by Miami-based Arquitectonica, the same group who designed the master plan and structures on the Long Island City waterfront for T.F. Cornerstone. Over 316 homes have been sold since last year with 30 remaining units starting in price of about $700,000-plus for a one-bedroom.
“You’re right in the middle of all this new energy at Paramount Bay,” said Anthony J. Burns, senior vice president heading up iStar’s Miami developments. “All of these neighborhoods now have strong infrastructure for residential living. They’re not just barren strips of urban land anymore. South Beach might be the 800 pound with the beach and nightlife, but you can find great value near Midtown.”
By Jason Sheftell / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/new-york-real-estate-buyers-flock-miami-article-1.1224639