Groundbreaking for Design District residential project set for next month
By Susan Stabley
Groundbreaking for the Design District's newest residential project, Blue, is expected Nov. 15, said project manager Paul Murphy of Miami-based Hyperion Development Group.
"We're days away from permits, and all our fees have been paid," Mr. Murphy said last week.
The 36-story sculptured glass structure designed by Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica is expected to rise on 1.9 acres at 60 NE 36th St. and include a restaurant.
Sales reservations are being converted into contracts, Mr. Murphy said, with 60% of the project's 330 units sold through Aventura listing broker International Sales Group. Preconstruction prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. All units will face Biscayne Bay with a glass skin on the north, east and west sides.
Hyperion CEO Thomas "T.J." Jermoluk said sales are targeted to single professionals working downtown who want to avoid heavy traffic and invest in a growing neighborhood.
"We are trying to aim it at a more full-time stable population, not really the third- or fourth-home crowd over on the beach," said Mr. Jermoluk. "If you can get in now at the $300 (a square foot) and ride that wave up, you are not only going to have a great place to live but a good investment."
Mr. Jermoluk said he envisions the area near the Blue development at 36th Street and Biscayne Boulevard to transform into a posh, urban setting within 10 years as similar buildings rise. The neighborhood now is dotted with older homes, restaurants, drugstores and gasoline stations.
Other upscale residential projects in the area such as Quantum and Ice are expected to bring in more than 10,000 residents, he said.
"I'm a big believer, having seen different area go through this, that with continued economic growth in the area and South America that Miami is going to continue to grow," he said. "And people are going to want an urban experience as in New York, San Francisco and Denver."
Units - except custom-designed penthouses - range from 830 to 2,070 square feet. Alison Spear, owner of firms in New York and Miami, will be the interior designer. Blue's landscape architect is Curtis & Rogers Design Studio, and Charleville Development Corp. has been tapped as general contractor.
Financing has been arranged, but Mr. Murphy declined to identify the lender because a deal had not been signed. The project is to be finished in December 2005, he said.
City documents estimated the total cost of the project at $72 million. About 129 workers will be employed for construction, and the project will result in the creation of about 14 permanent jobs. Blue is expected to generate $1.1 million annually in tax revenue, of which $450,000 will go to the City of Miami.
Jim Clark, a founder of Netscape Inc., is a partner in Blue.
The team has another project in the works - a 50-plus-story tower called Mist that will be reviewed at the city's next planning and zoning hearing Oct. 23.
Mist is planned to have a similar design and price range as Blue and be located on Biscayne Boulevard overlooking the bay near the American Airlines Arena, Bayfront Park and the Greater Miami Performing Arts Center.