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Developers, Brokers Pursue Wealthy Art Buyers During Miami Art Week

It’s that time of year: Developers and brokers throughout the Miami area are once again tapping into the art world in the hopes that wealthy buyers will open up their wallets to purchase real estate.

The goal for most real estate firms is to expose the wealthy art aficionados to projects and properties, and follow up with potential buyers later.

Major real estate players, who happen to be art enthusiasts, are also hosting events that aren’t real estate related. Downtown Miami and Wynwood landowner Moishe Mana will have his annual birthday bash at the former RC Cola Plant in Wynwood, on Wednesday from 9 p.m. until “late,” according to the invite.

And Related Group CEO Jorge Pérez, an art collector who has long incorporated art into his projects and is the namesake of Pérez Art Museum Miami, is hosting buyers and brokers at El Espacio 23, Pérez’s personal art gallery in Allapattah, this week at a series of daily events for contract holders.

“We rarely see sales happen this week, but the follow-up is extremely strong,” said Nick Pérez, senior vice president at Related. The firm is also hosting events showcasing artwork at its projects’ sales centers, including at Casa Bella by B&B Italia in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District.


“Once you have a very high-end, captured audience like you do, then exposing them to the different developments or properties you’re selling is a no-brainer,” said Daniel de la Vega, president of One Sotheby’s. “For the most part, it’s about exposure.”

For the majority of developers, it’s all about getting in front of the right type of buyer.


Source:  The Real Deal


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Miami’s Art Basel Returns With Real Estate Fanfare

It’s all work and all play for Miami’s real estate developers this week. Art Basel Miami Beach is back and that means there are parties to attend, art to marvel at, and most importantly, deals to be made.

The prestigious modern art fair, canceled last year due to the pandemic, returns this week with all the surrounding spectacle. Over the years, the event has burnished the Magic City’s image from party town to highbrow cultural center (with a lot of highbrow partying mixed in). Not only do attendees fill up hotels and restaurants, but rich buyers and investors also make an appearance, providing local developers and agents opportunities to broker deals.

Each year, thousands descend onto Miami for the week of Art Basel, turning the city into a hedonistic paradise. Hotels have filled up at top dollar. (Good luck getting a room at any establishment this week.) Sought-after restaurants are packed or closed for private events that boast A-list celebrities. (The Red Rooster is set to host a soirée for designer brand Ferragamo.) And world-renowned artists offer concerts for the lucky few. (Cardi B and Lizzo are said to be performing at exclusive Miami Beach hotels this week.)

There’s no better advertisement for the city.

“I use Basel as a showcase for Miami and all of our businesses,” said Miami-based developer Camilo Miguel Jr., CEO of Mast Capital, which is developing high-rises in Brickell and Miami Beach. 

For real estate executives, Art Basel is as much about play as it is about work. Miguel has a ticket to the fair, where he plans to meet potential investors.

“While we’re walking around, looking at art — we’re talking about art, obviously — [but] we’re also talking about the markets and where there are opportunities,” he said. 

The event provides a rare opportunity to get close to moguls and top business executives. Deco Capital Group is developing a waterfront mixed-use project in Miami Beach, a mere mile from the convention center. The firm’s founder, Bradley Colmer, hopes to meet a buyer for the 15,000-square-foot luxury penthouse apartment, or a tenant to fill the development’s 32,000-square-foot office, say the head of a hedge fund perhaps.

“Can those kinds of meetings happen in the absence of the type of environment that Art Basel creates? Yes, they can, but it requires a little more effort,” Colmer said. 

While talks usually begin during the week of the fair, deals rarely close during that timeframe, both developers agreed.

The residential market is another story. Art buyers and onlookers may also want to snap up a residence. It’s no coincidence that Carlos Rosso, former president of the Related Group’s condo division, launched his first project since leaving the firm, the 228-unit Standard Residences in Midtown Miami. The developer hosted a mid-day cocktail party for brokers and potential buyers at The Standard Spa hotel in Miami Beach.

This year’s edition also marks the return of international buyers, with some brokers looking with apprehension. Earlier this fall, President Biden lifted all restrictions for vaccinated travelers after a 19-month ban. During the hiatus, residential real estate prices have soared thanks to domestic buyers flocking to the Sunshine State.

Douglas Elliman’s Dina Goldentayer, one of Miami’s top luxury residential brokers, sees this week as a ”litmus test” for foreign appetite.

“When they were here two years ago, a house they liked for $7 million is now $12 [million]. Are they going to act or are they going to have sticker shock?” the realtor said.  

While Miami this year has rebranded itself as a nascent business hub, attracting high-profile companies, many credit Art Basel for starting the trend back in the early aughts. Thanks to the art fair, which held its first show in 2002, the city has gained a reputation as a cosmopolitan destination with serious cultural offerings, no longer just a place for beach bums to sunbathe. Following the success of Art Basel, competing shows, such as Art Miami and Red Dot, have sprung up. In response, the city’s hospitality scene improved to cater to a high-end clientele.

None has benefited more than South Florida’s real estate industry.

“[As] more Picassos have been sold in Miami, the price of real estate has gone up,” said Rosso, who’s developing a condo in the city. “Miami, after so many years of coming down to buy art, becomes a possibility of a place to live.” 


Source:  Commercial Observer


Wynwood Just Got A Little More Vibrant

the gateway at wynwood_mural 3As the The Gateway at Wynwood building nears completion, the long-awaited exterior garage cladding, which depicts a vibrant mural, has been fully installed just in time for Art Basel next month. Additionally, the rooftop deck has been completed and signage is going up around the building.

The Class A office building, developed by R&B Realty Group and designed by renowned Miami architect Kobi Karp, has helped turn Wynwood into a mini-city.

The office building, which found inspiration in Wynwood’s innovative spirit and modern vibe, will allow Wynwood’s new residents to walk to their offices and shops without having to get in their cars. Wynwood, which used to be home to neglected warehouses, is seeing a construction boom of condos and apartments and, now, office buildings as well.

The Gateway at Wynwood offers about 195,000 square feet of leasable Class A office space and nearly 25,900 square feet of prime street-level retail space at the intersection of Wynwood and Midtown. This summer, R&B Realty Group announced the building’s first office lease signed with biotech company Veru Inc. The eight-year, 12,155-square-foot lease will serve as the company’s global headquarters and triple Veru’s current office space.


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With Discounted Lease, Art Basel Return Targets Safety

Art Basel Miami Beach plans to return this year after its 2020 cancellation because of the pandemic.

The art exhibition that started in Switzerland in 1970 and has spread around the world, becoming one of Miami Beach’s most important yearly events, is coming back to the city with “robust measures to create a safe fair environment,” said an outside spokesperson.

Art Basel events contribute $400 million to $500 million annually to the economy of Miami Beach, according to a memo from City Manager Alina Hudak to commissioners. This year, organizers of Art Basel will pay a discounted $100,000 fee to the Miami Beach Convention Center to use its venues. That’s $691,000 less than Art Basel’s regular yearly contract with the Convention Center, according to the memo.

This year’s dates are Monday, Nov. 29, to Wednesday, Dec. 1, for the Meridians, Vernissage and other private exhibitions, which are by invitation only. Art Basel’s public exhibition days, which will have a limited number of tickets available beginning in October, will be Thursday, Dec. 2, to Saturday, Dec. 4.
“These adjustments allow us to better control occupancy in the halls and ensure a smooth operational delivery of the show,” said Art Basel organizers in a statement to John Copeland, director of cultural tourism at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

According to Mr. Copeland, the total capacity of attendees has not yet been determined by organizers.

“Directors of Art Basel remain fully committed to staging the show with the greatest number of galleries possible, based on any capacity or space restrictions imposed by the Miami Beach Convention Center or local protocols,” Mr. Copeland said. “October public ticket sales will be closely watched along with the response to VIP previews and special events to evaluate any last-minute changes.”

The Conversations Program will return this year, said Mr. Copeland, but no further information is yet available.

“The health and safety of our staff, exhibitors and visitors remains our primary concern and we are taking the situation very seriously,” the outside spokesperson for Art Basel said for the organization. “We are working closely with the relevant authorities, as well as following international public health recommendations, to ensure we deliver a safe show for our galleries, partners and visitors in December.”

Art Basel plans to continue its Online Viewing Rooms it started in 2020, with online catalogs and its podcast Intersections, bringing together artists, designers and collectors to talk about their love for art.


Source:  Miami Today


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Developers Push The Art Basel Crowd Toward A New Miami Neighborhood

Miami Art Week’s center of gravity moves every couple of years—pulled at one moment by the gritty muraled walls of Wynwood, at another by the gleaming shops of the Design District.

But during this year festivities, a new neighborhood that’s been overlooked by the artistic glitterati is seeing a flurry of activity.

Allapattah, nestled just west of Wynwood and north of Little Havana along the Miami River, is known for its Dominican community and grain warehouses. It’s now the home of two major art complexes—the 100,000-square-foot Rubell Museum that opened on Dec. 4 and the new El Espacio 23 experimental art center developed by billionaire real estate magnate Jorge Pérez to exhibit his private collection and to develop artists in residency.

The Rubell Museum, set along abandoned rail tracks, houses 40 galleries in six former industrial buildings less than a mile from the original Wynwood home outgrown by what was previously known as the Rubell Family Collection. An empty parking lot was transformed into a garden filled with rare and threatened plants native to the Everglades and Florida Keys. Inside, the vast rooms are connected with a long artery of a hallway that culminates with Keith Haring’s painting of a heart.

Works acquired by the Rubells very early in artists’ careers, including Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still (#21) (1978) and Jeff Koons’s New Hoover Convertible (1980), feature prominently in the inaugural exposition, as does an immersive work by Yayoi Kusama called INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM — LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER (2017).

The warehouse was purchased for $4 million in April 2015, according to property records.

“Art transforms neighborhoods” says Mera Rubell, a former teacher and the matriarch of the family clan that collects art and invests in real estate. “There are always frontiers. You just have to go there.”

Just several blocks west in Allapattah, El Espacio 23 is a 28,000-square-foot arts center designed to serve artists, curators, and the general public with regular exhibitions. Its inaugural exhibit—“Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest in the Jorge M. Pérez Collection”—features more than 100 works curated by Bogota-based Jose Roca and explores themes that include identity, public unrest, and marginalized peoples.

“I could not do this in Wynwood; it would be twice the cost, at least,“ he says, noting that Allapattah was located centrally in terms of employment opportunities and industry. “Wynwood is already changed. You couldn’t be showing this,’’ he adds, sitting just a few steps from Estudiante, a David-sized statue by Spanish artist Fernando Sanchez Castillo. It depicts a student being searched and humiliated by police. “There’s just too much traffic of another type. I needed to find a place that was affordable and central.”

A Changing Neighborhood

As Allapattah emerges to attract galleries and artists, Pérez says he is aware of many of the issues that can emerge as neighborhoods change and says the area could be important for the development of affordable housing. He’ll be bidding on 18 acres the city will put up for sale; although he doesn’t say what he eventually wants to do with the area, affordable housing is on his mind.

The Rubells bought the warehouse that makes up their museum for roughly $53 per square foot five years ago. Today, asking prices for industrial warehouses in the area range from $200 to $350 per square foot, according to Diego V. Tejera, a commercial real estate consultant specializing in Allapattah.

“Now you have prices that are really high and there are no buyers willing to pay them,” he said. “All this past year very little transacted. People were waiting to see how all this pans out. With the grand openings of both of these venues, you are going to see more interest in the area.”

“The affordable rental market is extremely strong,” he explains. “If I could build any amount of rental building at rents that people can afford, they would be 100% occupied all the time. The problem is that we’re building a lot of rentals that people can’t afford because of land prices.”

Plus, Pérez acknowledges, profit plays a factor. “Developers make more money the more expensive the product they build, so there’s been a tendency to build towards the more expensive product, and I think the needs are in the lower-price product,” he explains. “We have to rebalance, and we’re doing that.”

Experts in affordable housing are wary of the addition of glamorous arts spaces to the area. “There is absolutely a cost, and the cost is people being forced out of their neighborhoods, and the sort of ethnic and cultural vibe of a neighborhood gets completely transformed,” says Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement at the University of Miami. “Even just looking at Allapattah, there’s been a tremendous increase in the average home value in the last five years.”

Most residents of Allapattah don’t own their homes or businesses, Bachin says, and the number of LLCs that own parcels in the area dramatically rose in the past two years.

The Effect of Higher Property Values

“It’s actually beneficial for an absentee landlord to not invest in the property, because if they think that they can actually sell the property, then the gain will be that much greater. It’s really detrimental to the residents who live there, who don’t own their property, as well as to the business owners, the mom-and-pop stores who most likely don’t own their building.

“There’s a great deal of concern of the impacts that that kind of massive development has on these working class communities of color—in the case of Little Haiti, obviously, a large Haitian-American community, and in the of Allapattah, a large Central American community,” she explains. “We know, for example, historically in cities across the country, that when art spaces, studios, and galleries move into a neighborhood because it has cheaper rent, that is a harbinger of gentrification.”

Pérez’s Related Group is involved with the redevelopment of Miami’s Liberty Square, which is the largest redevelopment of public housing in the southern United States. While his art spaces will undoubtedly make real estate in the Allapattah neighborhood pricier, Pérez says he wants to use them to confront the issue of home prices head-on.

“Housing affordability is one of the biggest issues that we have, in order for there not to be a complete displacement as neighborhoods change,” he says. “There are many things that the private sector and the public sector can do, and exhibitions like this, I hope, will make everybody think about it.”


Source:  Bloomberg

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