Buyers want a Miami lifestyle in architecture: panel
To break up the monotony of glass and steel in his next condo tower, developer Gil Dezer will spend the extra money to create a spectacular design element.
Son Dezer Development is partnering with Bentley to build the Bentley Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, which will be the luxury automaker’s first residential building in the world.
During an architecture panel Thursday night, Dezer revealed one of the features of the project, triangular windows fastened together to resemble diamonds, which increased construction costs by more than $ 10 million.
“We had to go ahead and do a ton of testing and really create [the windows] because it’s never been done before, ”said Dezer. “It costs me $ 12 million to $ 14 million more” than if he installed standard three-foot-wide condominium windows.
Dezer was one of five speakers on a panel on the impact of architectural design on the Miami real estate market, moderated by Amir Korangy, president and publisher of The real deal. The event was hosted by Paulo Bacchi, CEO of Artefacto, in the new Coral Gables showroom at the upscale furniture store at 101 South Dixie Highway.
About 500 attendees filled the 40,000 square foot building, sipping champagne and mingling with furniture displays. The evening ended with a samba group and dancers on stage.
Besides Dezer, president of Dezer Development, the panel included Edgardo Defortuna, president and CEO of Fortune International Realty; Daniel de la Vega, President of One Sotheby’s International Realty; Francisco Llado, director of DOMO Architecture + Design; and Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida region.
Korangy stressed to panelists a perceived lack of originality in recent designs for modern condominiums and mansions in Miami. “I’m starting to see it repeat itself,” Korangy said. “It’s getting saturated. It is starting to look the same, even for new homes. I love new Miami homes with the flat roofs and windows.
These elements are replicated in Miami’s luxury market, Korangy added.
Panelists insisted that developers and architects create residences that are in high demand by luxury buyers, but which also incorporate design elements that create a distinctive home.
Llado, whose company specializes in custom mansion design, said developers, architects and brokers deal with very sophisticated buyers who tell them what to do. “Our homes have changed from 10 years ago, when it was a quick spec, white painted stucco house,” Llado said. “Now they want wood outside, marble, Raymond Jungles [landscaping] outside, and inside, I want Artefacto.
De la Vega said the differences are subtle when it comes to the contemporary box structure with large glass treatments of modern mansions. “We got a little bored with that,” he said. “We’re starting to see more organic architecture; more textures and more patterns. This is what all buyers demand from us.
“People are looking for a lifestyle,” Defortuna and de la Vega said, and others agreed.
In his dealings with buyers, Defortuna said they were more interested in simplicity, quality and attention to detail than a very heavy design. “They want spaces that can be used,” he said. “These are not large spaces that are not in use, especially in buildings with hospitality services… You can have a party with a guest chef for 12 of your best friends or best couples. This is what they want. “
Parker said buyers wanted a modern white-box home with floor-to-ceiling windows so they could let more light into the home and take advantage of South Florida’s subtropical climate. “When you talk about buyers coming from out of town, they want to enjoy the indoor and outdoor experience,” Parker said.