Nov 04 2019

The Starchitecture Real Estate Market Isn’t Cooling Down in Miami

Residences designed by famous architects are faring well over both the short and long term




Miami, the city that hosts Art Basel and has its very own Design District, is certainly an apt gauge in terms of current trends. And if its real estate market is any indication, commissioning a big-name architect to design a building is still a good way to sell units.


As a recent Miami Herald story indicates, buildings designed by famous architecture firms like (Bjarke Ingels GroupHerzog & de MeuronFoster + Partners, and more) over the past decade are thriving—suggesting that so-called starchitects continue to be the key to selling buyers on high-priced development projects.


“The projects that associate great development and great architecture and very well-known designers are the ones that do better in the short term and the long term,” Edgardo Defortuna, president and CEO of Fortune International Group, whose Miami luxury projects include a Herzog & de Meuron–designed building, said to the Herald. “They hold their value better and they’re more recognized. They have better resale values than the project next door that didn’t have [a pedigree].”


Sales data on new developments backs up Defortuna’s perspective. Ritz Carlton Residences Miami Beach, designed by Piero Lissoni, has already sold 70% of its residences at $1,200 per square foot, despite only acquiring its Temporary Certificate of Occupancy in August. One Thousand Museum, a downtown Miami luxury development designed by the late architectural legend Zaha Hadid, has sold $300 million worth of ultra-luxury residences.


Soon enough, living in a name-brand building won’t be the sole province of Miami’s one percent, either. Ingels is currently at work on a 1,200-residential-unit mixed-use development in Allapattah dubbed the Miami Produce Center, which would partly function as a co-living space. A mixed-use Yotel residential development created by design firm Stantec—with units starting at $300,000—is also in the works for 2021.


Beyond these aforementioned developments, there are even more projects from acclaimed designers in the Floridian city’s pipeline. Meaning, the use of starchitect names in Miami can attract buyers even amid the ongoing fluctuations of the real estate market. So with more and more new developments competing for attention, don’t be surprised if the signature of a visionary architect or designer continues to be a key differentiator of monetary success.


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