Starwood Capital, DYL Development Group link up to sell 300 condos
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
To sell the remaining 300 condos at 459-unit condominium Infinity at Brickell, the developer and lender have brought aboard a local realty firm to attract the much-coveted foreign buyers.
DYL Development Group, the developer, and Starwood Capital Group, the lender that acquired its construction loan previously owned by the failed Corus Bank, have retained Miami-based Fortune International Realty to sell the 56-story condominium's remaining units, with most priced from $200,000 to $400,000.
"Before, we had an internal group doing sales," said John Yanopoulos, DYL Development's CEO. "To expand and reach a broader market, we integrated our team with Walter's team."
Walter Defortuna, Fortune International Realty chairman, said the firm plans to execute the same strategy as in the 1060 Brickell condominium, where it sold 350 remaining units in less than six months.
The secret to its success: a strong network of international brokers and buyers.
For some condo towers, this buyer segment is representing more than half of the sales.
The strategy is "aggressive marketing with foreign buyers, who are the majority of the market today," Mr. Defortuna said, "the ones who have the capability of paying cash."
The firm is working to close 10 to 20 original contracts, but for the remaining units it seeks international buyers, he said, particularly from the "countries aggressively buying in Miami."
These countries include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.
Infinity at Brickell at 1300 S Miami Ave. is selling flats, lofts and one- to three-bedroom units that range from 600 to 2,000 square feet.
These units are priced from $200,000 to close to $1 million — about half the original price tags. A unit selling in the $200s per square foot today was initially priced in the high $400s.
"We have a lot of units below or close to the $200,000 market, which is extremely affordable for the quality and the location of the building," Mr. Defortuna said. "We think the area we are in today is the most desirable inventory."
To market the property, Fortune is working with its 700 sales associates, affiliate offices and international broker network as well as organizing events and presentations to expose potential buyers to the Brickell condo.
This year, Fortune also began handling condo sales at Icon Brickell's Towers 1 and 2, part of a luxury three-tower complex on Brickell Avenue where international buyers have a strong presence.
With Starwood stepping in as the new lender, Mr. Defortuna said the developer has been able to "renovate the common areas to bring it [the condo] even to a higher level."
DYL is making improvements to the lobby, pool deck, club house and valet area, Mr. Yanopoulos said.
About 120 to 140 condos closed before Fortune took over the sales two months ago, selling 60 units so far.
The goal is to sell the leftover inventory in less than two years, Mr. Defortuna said.
Some of Infinity's foreign buyers plan to live in the units part time, while others are buying as investment, renting them now with the aim of later reselling at a profit.
The reason they are buying: "Miami became cheap compared to South America," he said. "In the 30 years we've been doing this, that hadn't happened. Today, buying an apartment in Buenos Aires is more expensive than in Miami."