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Tags:  Murano condominium, Murano at Portofino Condo, miami beach condominiums, South Beach Condos, South of Fifth Neighborhood

As a former resident and owner at The Murano, I've experienced intimately this very special boutique luxury building. Located at the Southernmost western end of South Beach, right where government cut intersects with the island of Miami Beach. As the name implies, The Murano at Portofino was inspired by the beautiful Italian blown glass. The architecture of the Murano condo building very much echoes this, with unique green tinted windows and curved glass throughout.

A few of the reasons why the Murano's price points have barely been affected by South Florida's real downturn:

- An exceptionally well managed property with a long-time on-site management staff that takes pride in working at THE premier Bayfront building in South Beach. From the moment you enter the reception area, the valet staff, the concierges, and front desk staff are almost always impeccable and provide first class service to residents and their guests.

- A boutique property with owners that are incredibly loyal and proud of the building. Consisting of only 187 individual condominiums, this fosters a sense of intimacy and friendship among residents. There is a very active social committee that hosts several resident-only parties during low and high seasons.

- The Piaggia Beach Club, which hosts various ultra-chic parties around a salt water pool. The Piaggia managment and staff are professionally trained in the South of France. The ambiance, food, and service at this beautiful beach club is unique to The Murano at Portofino (note that guests are always welcome).

- The building was completed in 2001, with relatively few condo units subject to the kind of speculative buying and selling that occurred during the real estate boom and bust cycle of recent years.

- Low maintenance dues for a luxury building, with an annual budget surplus, almost no delinquency rates, and a very strong reserve fund for replacing equipment and impeccable maintenance of common areas.

- A first class & expanded / remodeled gymnasium, spa, and main lobby. Also, the fresh water main pool deck (facing Biscayne Bay) is one of the most beautiful and impressive in all of Miami Beach.

- Two sunken, 24 hour lit tennis courts. As a matter of fact, these are so impressive that the building is home to serveral current and former ATP ranked tennis players.

- A contemporary and consistent interior design throughout the building- with plenty of Murano glass pieces to highlight the architectural uniqueness of the building.

- High-end contemporary cabinets and fixtures in all of the condo units. These include Poggen Pohl Kitchens, Miele Appliances, Subzero refrigerators, and expansive floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass doors.


Tags:  South of Fifth Condominiums, Miami Beach Apogee Condo, Apogee South Beach, miami beach condominiums, South Beach Condos

Widely considered the highest end ultra-luxury condominium building in all of Miami Beach, Apogee's past 90 days of closed sales demonstrates the enduring strength of the overall South Beach condo market. This was the last, and highest end, condominium building completed by the Related Group in 2008. Despite the severe real estate downturn of the past few years, sales data for the Apogee in the past few years, and most especially recently, is further evidence that premier waterfront properties continue to draw buyers willing to pay a premium price for the right location, amenities, and especially in a boutique ultra-luxury building.

A particularly noteworthy sale at Apogee is highlighted below. This condominium, although spectacular with many ultra-luxury features and amazing views of Fisher Island, Government Cut, the Ocean, and the city of Miami Beach, was sold "Decorator Ready" but still needed to be finished out with flooring, window treatments, paint, etc.

apogee south beach condosapogee condos south beach

Apogee #1801- High floor Eastern Exposure corner condominium with four bedrooms / four baths estate in the sky type residence. The extra large living room even has a fireplace! Large master suite with midnight kitchen. Media room and outdoor kitchen. Top of the line line appliances, exceptional woodwork in closets, sunken bathtub/ rain showers. Panoramic views of Fisher Island, Atlantic Ocean, Government Cut, South Beach. 2400 sf wrap-around terrace. 2.5-car enclosed private garage.

Sold Price: $5,900,000
Original “For Sale” Price : $6,795,000 (5/2009)

Original “Sold” Price (7/2008) : $5,390,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
Interior S.F.: 4,154 ($1,420/SF)
Total S.F.: 6,554 ($900/SF)
Closed Date: April 16, 2010
APPRECIATION from Previous Sales Price in 2008: 9.5%

Below are the last 90 days worth of closed sales data from the entire Apogee Condominium Building:

Apogee South Beach Condos


Tags:  Continuum South Beach, continuum miami beach, Continuum North tower condos, South of Fifth Neighborhood

For the next few weeks, I'd like to highlight the significant sales movement that we are seeing in the premier luxury waterfront condominium buildings in the South of Fifth Street neighborood in South Beach. The most sought-after buildings in this highly desireable area are the Continuum North and South Towers, The Apogee South Beach ultra-luxury condos, The Murano at Portofino, The Murano Grande, and finally Icon South Beach. Below are the past twelve months closed sales (and two pending sales) for the Continuum North Tower, which was completed in 2008. Many (subjectively speaking) consider the North Tower to be a slightly more desireable due to it's finishes, better overall attention to details by the builder, and a few of the more modern "smart" building amenities that were not available when the Continuum South Tower was completed in 2001.

Continuum South Beach North Tower Condo

The Continuum is a one of kind luxury waterfront condo community with twelve acres located directly on the Ocean at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach. Featuring two oversized lagoon pools, the largest private fitness facility in Miami Beach, two sunken tennis courts, a private lap pool, a private restaurant, and many other amenities, click here for more information about The Continuum North Tower.

The Sales Data for the past twelve months is listed below:


Tags:  Miami Beach Events, estefan fund raising south beach, star island miami beach

Obama Star Island Miami Beach FundraiserGloria Emilio Estefan Star Island Miami Beach

President Barack Obama will be hosted by Gloria and Emilio Estefan on April 15, 2010 at their Miami Beach home for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. Over the past thirty years, the Estefan's have been huge benefactors to the local community, along with their Star Island neighbor Rosie O'Donnell. They have been tireless fundraisers for many great causes and to a variety of charitable organizations. Most recently, Emilio and Gloria Estefan held one of the largest rallies ever in little Havana to protest the human rights situation in Cuba, and over the years they have been major benefactors to Miami's exiled Cuban community.

The $30,400-a-couple cocktail reception is reported to be the Estefans' first political fundraiser for the Democractic National Committee. Both Gloria and Emilio Estefan strongly believe in giving back to their local community, and have expressed their gratitude and patriotism on countless occassions. Obama will also attend a fundraiser at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami that same day. It should be noted that Gloria performed at the inaugural festivities for President George W. Bush in 2005, following Mr. Bush's 2002 appointment of Emilio to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts. The local Miami Beach community is very grateful to have them as neighbors and citizens!


Tags:  Bentley Bay Miami Beach, miami beach condominiums, Icon South Beach, South Beach Condos, Continuum South Beach, South of Fifth Miami Beach

Over the past week, I had the opportunity to take out two ready, willing, & highly qualified (cash contracts) Miami Beach condominium buyers to see The Continuum on South Beach, The Murano at Portofino, Icon South Beach, and The Bentley Bay. It was a shocking experience, in more ways than one.The purchasing criteria:Price point of $1 Million - $1.5 Million for a waterfront two bedroom condominium with water views. There are well over one hundred (100 +) individual condominiums to choose from that easily meet this criteria on the market for sale.

The first impression that I was left with was the complete lack of professionalism (negligence is a better description) on the part of a large number of listing Agents and/or Brokers. Disconnected phones, incomplete and inaccurate information on Multiple Listing for the condos that are on the market, voicemessages saying that the agent is out of the country / unavailable and NOT to leave messages, no voicemail pickup at all in two cases, no response to multiple voicemessages and emails, and sometimes a response days later that a showing can be arranged perhaps once per week. Also, we experienced agents not showing up for appointments or having to pick up keys at an office located over 10 miles away! I was left wondering if the individual condominium owners realize how poorly they are being represented in a BUYERS market.

That being said, I was also impressed that only a very limited number of these waterfront condos are priced to sell. The vast majority of the 100+ initial condos that showed up in a property search, with the above mentioned criteria, are overpriced and nowhere near the market / appraised value. In each of the buildings- there are only a few condos that are truly worthwhile and that a buyer would give serious consideration to making a reasonable offer. I'd like to highlight a few of the deals that were the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack:

Continuum South Beach - South Tower #2301
Asking Price: $1,395,000
Comparable Sale #1901 : $1,160,000 (Short Sale)
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 3
Interior S.F.: 1,591 (Asking $876/SF)
Comparable Sold Date: March 10, 2010

Continuum North Tower - #1704
Asking Price: $1,395,000
Comparable Sale (#1204) : $1,250,000 (8/2009)
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 3
Interior S.F.: 1,491 (Asking $935/SF)
Comparable Sold Date: August, 2009

Bentley Bay Miami Beach - South Tower #1201 (Short Sale)
Asking Price: $870,000
Comparable Sale #1801 : $755,000 (Foreclosure Sale)
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 4
Interior S.F.: 1,994 (Asking $436/SF)
Comparable Sold Date: December, 2009

Icon South Beach - Condominium Unit #1106
Asking Price: $695,000
Comparable Sale #1706 : $725,000
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Interior S.F.: 1,452 (Asking $478/SF)
Comparable Sold Date: March 19, 2010

Global Sales Data Source: Southeast Florida Regional MLS


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