Something is Missing from Miami Condo Tower

Something is Missing from Miami Condo Tower

Residential News » Global Property Beat | By Kevin Brass | June 25, 2013 8:24 AM ET

The most distinctive feature of a 37-story tower under development in downtown Miami is the element missing from the design--a parking garage.

Centro Lofts, which is in the pre-sale phase, targets a young, hip, car-less buyer -- a new clientele for developers in Miami's car-centric downtown. These urban dwellers are more accustomed to mass transit and biking, developer Newgard Development Group hopes.

"It shows how the city has matured," said Alicia Cervera, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate, which is marketing the project. "Downtown is a viable neighborhood."

WPC News | Centro Lofts in MiamiThe 352 units in the tower range from 500 square feet to 1,100 square feet, priced from under $200,000 to $450,000. Removing the parking garage from the design was a key factor in allowing the project to hit the low price point, said Newgard managing director Harvey Hernandez.

"The savings to buyers is substantial," Mr. Hernandez told WPC.

Removing the parking garage will also cut condominium association fees by about 30 percent, he said. There is also the environmental benefit of removing cars from the project, which can spur the development of more mass transit options in the area.

"We felt it was the right thing to do," Mr. Hernandez said.

As an alternative to on-site parking, the developer is partnering with Car2Go, which offers cars for rent by the hour. The site is close to outlets for Miami's fledgling mass transit system, and, if residents must use a car, there is a nearby public parking garage and valet service. And there is a bike-sharing program. The project's advertising slogan is, "Feel the Street at Your Feet."

"The younger buyer is attracted to urbanism," Mr. Hernandez said.

With interiors designed by Yves Béhar, founder of fuseproject, marketing materials describe Centro as "inspired by next-generation urban living for modern city dwellers." To help appeal to the younger set, the design features wired work stations around the building, a rooftop pool and several social areas, including a "skyline residents' lounge."

The project officially launched sales in April and about 180 of the units have been reserved, the developer says. Buyers represent Miami's common mix of international and local second home owners and investors.

"It offers a price opportunity that is very unique," Ms. Cervera said. "It's an entry level luxury project."

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