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South Florida Sun Sentinel

Enjoy the high life in these new towers that offer hotel rooms and condos

By | NEWS

Also in Miami, developer Habitat Group recently started demolition of two apartment buildings near the downtown to make way for three interconnected towers of homes and hotel rooms. Known as the Smart Brickell project, it is designed to have 150 hotel rooms and 170 condos, said Santiago Vanegas, founder, CEO and president of Habitat Group.

More amenities are usually offered at a hotel than in a standard condo, so combining the two gives residents the best of both worlds, Vanegas said.

“You could call the front desk to the hotel for room service from the coffee shop or the bar,” Vanegas said of the condo residents.

Vanegas said some buyers might be hesitant to buy in a condo or apartment building with a hotel component because they feel they can lose privacy to tourists who share the amenities. He said that concern is usually abated with private elevators, and security systems to ensure that the condos remain sealed off to hotel guests.

“They love it,” he said of the condo residents. “That’s the market. It’s an alternative.”His condos will start in the $300,000s.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-hotel-condos-combo-trend-20181030-story.html

Developer has big plans for towers, hotels, apartments near downtown Miami

By | NEWS

A developer plans to knock down old duplexes to build condo towers and hotel rooms near Miami’s downtown.

Santiago Vanegas, CEO of Habitat Group, is behind multiple projects he says will expand his presence throughout Miami’s urban core. He said he needs to move quickly because land is running out.

 

“Big developers or big players must buy complete buildings to knock down middle-size buildings to make new projects because there is no land available in the Brickell area,” he said. “That’s why we made a very aggressive investment strategy.”

His projects include:

Apartments: An $11 million project known as East River Living is being built on empty land at 39 NW Seventh Ave. It will feature 34 rental apartments (studio, one- and two-bedroom units) and amenities such as a pool and gym. Units will range in size from 500 square feet to 850 square feet, and prices will start at $1,300 a month.

Completion of the eight-story rental apartment building along the west side of the Miami River is expected in the third quarter of 2019.

“It’s very attractive for the people who work on Brickell,” he said, because it’s a five-minute drive away.

Condo and hotel towers: His three-tower, $60 million Smart Brickell project will break ground by year’s end at 229 SW Ninth St.

The first tower — Smart 1 — will have 24 floors, with 50 hotel rooms on the second through eighth floors, and 50 condos on the ninth through 24th floors.

Two duplexes on-site will be demolished by the end of the month, and construction is expected to begin in February, he said.

The Smart 2 tower will have the same configuration of 24 floors of hotel rooms and condos. Two duplexes will be demolished by the third quarter of next year, and construction is expected to begin by the end of 2019.

Smart 3 will have 50 hotel rooms and 70 condos in a 26-story building. Three duplexes in its path will be torn down.

The towers will share amenities: Tower 1 will have a spa; Tower 2 will have an event room; and Tower 3 will have office space and restaurants. All of them will share a pool.

Homes generally will start in the $300,000s and top at $600,000s.

The hotel rooms will make up the Smart Brickell Hotel, which is Vanegas’ company’s brand. Vanegas said he has built four other hotels in the last eight years surrounding Brickell Avenue and Little Havana.

More hotels: Vanegas has more in the works. He said he is planning two other hotels, with 57 units each, about three blocks away at 239 SW 12th St. He bought that land earlier this year, and the hotels are in the zoning approval process.

More apartments: About two weeks ago, he closed on land at 143 SW Ninth St. that now has a 39-unit apartment building. Within two years, he said, he plans to build a 36-story project: a 108-unit condo tower, a hotel with 60 rooms, plus 12,000 square feet of commercial space.

 

Read the full article:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-miami-hotel-chain-apartments-20181015-story.html

 

Home-sharing option is a growing cash cow for multi-unit developers, owners

By | NEWS

South Florida real estate agent Sara Dorfman hit the jackpot this month when she arranged the sale of a multi-unit complex in Fort Lauderdale’s Victoria Park for $1.65 million. The chief selling point: The property was set up for vacation home rentals. And the buyer is eager to continue that business.
“We see more investors who are looking to do things this way,” said Dorfman, who works for Native Realty. “I call them the savvy investor.”
On a grander scale, home sharing is becoming an attractive option for South Florida developers who are installing liberal rental programs for would-be residential owners, including partnerships with Airbnb, the third-party booking company, and Pillow, a short-term rental management service that serves as property manager and listing expert for residents.
A sampling:
Newgard Development Group, which recently completed The Gale Residences on Fort Lauderdale Beach, entered into a partnership in October with Airbnb, the San Francisco-based, home-sharing company. Under the deal, Newgard intends to build a 324-unit rental complex in Kissimmee. Owned by Newgard, it will operate under the brand, “Niido Powered by Airbnb.” Niido would allow renters to lease their units on Airbnb for up to 180 days a year. Money earned would be shared between the renter and Niido.
YotelPad Miami, a luxury high-rise under development in downtown Miami near Bayside, expects to give buyers and investors the option to lease out their units without any restrictions.
Developer Santiago Vanegas, president of Habitat Group, is building a high-rise called Smart Brickell in Miami’s Brickell Avenue financial district. Owners will be allowed to sub-lease their units with the help of Pillow.
A joint venture between Urbis Real Estate and Domus Group, led by Flavio Rossato and Pablo Hoberman, is developing a six-story project at 6080 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, with a home-sharing component for owners.
“Historically speaking, a lot of people have had their second homes here since before the internet,” said Tom Martinelli, public policy manager for Airbnb in the Southeast. “If it’s a home or in a multi-family building, owners are getting smart to optimize their asset” so they can retire earlier or make additional income.
“Developers are seeing these trends and catering to this market as well,” Martinelli said.
But traditional hotel operators take a dim view of the home-sharing phenomenon, particularly through the increased use of multi-unit properties. They assert that the business distorts the playing field in the favor of Airbnb and its homeowner partners. Home sharing, they argue, has ballooned into a full-blown, multimillion dollar business, and is no longer just a side hustle for moms and pops in search of extra income.
“These are not people bringing someone into their spare bedroom to make a few extra bucks,” said Troy Flanagan, vice president of government affairs/industry relations for the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
“You’re seeing the conversion of residential quality of life into a tourist hotel,” he said. “That’s something the local governments have to take a close look at.”
A 13-city study by the hotels arm of CBRE, a national real estate services firm, leaves no doubt that the home-share business is booming, driven in large part by multi-unit residential complexes. The study — which included Miami and tracked the numbers of hosts, units and revenue between October 2014 and September 2016 — found that revenue generated year over year by Airbnb hosts almost doubled in 2016. And the multi-unit hosts were the fastest growing segment of the business in terms of numbers of hosts, units and revenue generated in 2016, the study found.
Hoteliers argue that many home-share operators don’t register with their cities as required, don’t collect and pay tourist and sales taxes, and don’t follow rules of the road set by local governments.
But Airbnb says it is making a proactive effort to collect taxes through agreements it has struck with counties and states. On June 8, it announced that it delivered more than $12 million in tax revenue to Broward and Miami-Dade counties during the first year of tax collection agreements with both jurisdictions. The agreements were signed in April 2017. Palm Beach County does not have a collection agreement with Airbnb.
Around the country, some local governments are taking drastic actions against home-share operators.

Last Wednesday, the Boston City Council voted to forbid investors from engaging in home sharing, triggering a bitter rebuke from Airbnb.
“The new ordinance unfortunately creates a system that violates the privacy of our hosts, and prevents Boston families from making much-needed extra income in one of the country’s most expensive cities,” said Airbnb spokeswoman Crystal Davis in a statement.
After Airbnb came on the scene, many local governments created ordinances mandating the registration of operators and rules of conduct.
Miami Beach is looking to impose tougher requirements on how properties are advertised.
Fort Lauderdale is considering additions to an existing code that governs vacation rentals. According to the city, the majority of complaints received by its staff stem from noise, parking and the number of people who occupy rental units at any given time.
In a set of recommendations issued last month, the staff urged that the maximum number of occupants approved by the city should be included in vacation rental lease agreements. It also recommended that guests of rental occupants be required to leave the premises by 9 p.m., or go indoors. The commission has yet to act on the recommendations.
South Florida developers who allow multi-unit owners to engage in short-term leasing say there is a rising demand for home-sharing among owners. Besides, they say, their partnerships with Airbnb actually ensure that local rules are followed and that taxes are collected.
David Arditi, founding principal of Aria Development Group, developer of the YotelPad project, said his high-rise’s home-sharing option is an outgrowth of Miami’s diversity.
“We acknowledged that, especially in downtown Miami, a large part of the ownership universe is not local,” he said. “It resides out-of-state and overseas. Absentee owners use their home several months over the years, and the ability to offer the buyer universe a flexible rental option is ideal. We know people want it. We know people like it. We said, ‘Why not be proactive about it?’”
“In our case, owners will have the ability to have their home professionally managed and administered through a program through Yotel or agents or services like Airbnb,” he said.
Harvey Hernandez, founder and owner of Newgard, and a co-founder of Niido, asserted that his firm’s partnership with Airbnb is a way to ensure that local rules governing rentals are enforced.
In addition to Newgard’s home-sharing project in Kissimmee, The Gale Residences Fort Lauderdale Beach is being marketed as a “flexible living” complex with a managed rental program that encourages tie-ins with Airbnb.
“It’s a way of allowing the activity in our properties and provides the opportunity to our tenants to basically monetize that asset that they lease from us when they’re not using it,” Hernandez said. “Instead of fighting the activity, we are controlling it.”
“We’re … making sure the municipalities get their taxes, and making sure everybody registers,” Hernandez said . “If anything, we see ourselves as a solution to the problem.”

Read the full article:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/real-estate/fl-bz-airbnb-properties-hot-commodities-20180606-story.html