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


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.


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South Florida’s Luxury Housing Market Is Changing Short-Term Renting For The Better


With the arrival of summer, many snowbirds have departed to head north for the warmest months of the year. But that beautiful condo in Broward or Palm Beach counties need not stay vacant until their returns. The rise of the sharing economy has made it easier than ever to turn a well appointed second home into a working asset and income stream.

There are many platforms to choose from when it comes to short-term rentals. Talk with friends who are renting their condos and chances are they’re using HomeAway, Airbnb or ThirdHome. Of the current major players, HomeAway has been around the longest, since 2004. Currently, it operates 50 websites with more than 2 million vacation rentals globally. In the United States, VRBO was its most notable acquisition in 2006, and Expedia purchased HomeAway in 2015 for nearly $4 billion. Homeowners pay a subscription fee to be listed on the site, or they can choose to pay a percentage of the rental fee for each booking.
Airbnb launched a decade ago in San Francisco and is the most popular platform among millennial travelers, thanks to its handy mobile app and marketing campaigns encouraging travelers to live like locals. Both guests and hosts pay a service fee with each booking and hosts can also offer excursions—such as a food tour or glassblowing lesson—to guests, of which Airbnb also takes a commission. More than just a rental platform, it’s a travel lifestyle brand, going so far as to launch a print magazine in partnership with Hearst last year.

The rise of short-term rentals can pose safety concerns for permanent residents in larger buildings.
As opposed to Airbnb, where spare bedrooms and urban apartments are frequently listed, ThirdHome focuses exclusively on luxury properties. Listings in this home exchange club average $2.4 million and must be valued at a minimum of $500,000 to be accepted. Real estate developer Wade Shealy founded the company in 2010, starting with 120 properties, and now the site has more than 10,000 homes available to rent. Homeowners need to be approved for membership, and they then list the weeks their home is available for other members to use. In this home exchange model, homeowners are not paid in cash but instead receive credits when someone uses their home that they can then apply to stay in other homes when traveling. ThirdHome charges members an enrollment fee as well as a fee per stay, although renters can avoid fees associated with listing their home by depositing two weeks into the exchange.

Because ThirdHome is truly a house swap, it avoids some of the local tax and lodging regulations that have gotten HomeAway and Airbnb into trouble in various cities, including Miami. “With the exchange, when you invite a guest to stay at your home, you are inviting a guest—not a renter,” says ThirdHome CEO Shealy. “Think of it as similar to hosting a friend.”
The rise of short-term rentals can pose safety concerns for permanent residents in larger buildings, not to mention that some commercial landlords have used Airbnb to run illegal lodging businesses while dodging taxes. Last May, Miami-Dade County passed new Airbnb tax regulations to legitimize the platform, and within the first several months had collected more than $2 million in taxes. The new ordinance also addresses many of the safety concerns, as hosts must register for a certificate of use and vacation rental license in addition to screening for sexual offenders. Hosts are expected to be available 24/7 to handle guest issues and must maintain a register with dates and names of all guests.

Although there are a lot of options out there, many developers still firmly believe that the risks outweigh the rewards when it comes to short-term rentals. In Fort Lauderdale, X Las Olas is a new riverfront project by Property Markets Group that’s slated for completion in 2020 with two apartment towers and 1,200 residential units. Their lease will explicitly forbid short-term rentals and management plans to monitor listings on sites like Airbnb and serve notices of lease violations if owners are caught.

“Transient roommates and short-term residents disrupt the sense of community we foster,” says Brian Koles, the director of brand experience at PMG. “There are also security risks with unvetted individuals entering residents’ personal spaces, using our shared spaces, and attending community events.” Likewise, new projects like Akoya Boca West in Boca Raton and Paramount Miami Worldcenter will not allow short-term rentals. Prices for condos in both of these properties start at close to $1 million.

Milushka Alvarado is all too familiar with the restrictions on rentals. The Ecuador native owns units at Centro in downtown Miami and Axis in Brickell in addition to her primary residence. “I can’t rent those on Airbnb, VRBO, or anything other than a yearly rental,” she explains. “I got a realtor and rented them out, but I’d love to rent it out through other means and be able to use the apartment for myself or for my family and friends when they’re in town.”

Enter a new property rethinking rentals in a whole new way: Smart Brickell. Santiago Vanegas, developer and founder of Habitat Group, says the property will embody three primary tenets: smart design, smart technology and smart use. He considers the new mixed-use residential project that’s friendly to short-term rentals one of his greatest career milestones thus far.
“We want to lead the pack for futuristic living in [South Florida] and provide a smart solution to residents and guests who frequently travel back and forth for work and leisure,” Vanegas says.
Alvarado wasn’t in the market for a third apartment, but she was intrigued when a friend told her about Smart Brickell. She’s purchased a unit in the project’s first tower with delivery planned for the end of 2020.
“I love the flexibility with Smart Brickell,” she says. “I can block out dates on my own for when I want to use the apartment.” The apartment is smaller and less expensive than the other two she owns, but it comes fully furnished and finished, which Alvarado found appealing. “Right when the apartment keys are handed to me I can start renting,” she says.

With three towers, Smart Brickell will have a total of 170 condos and 150 hotel rooms operated by Habitat Management, a subdivision of Habitat Development. Condo units are priced from the low $300,000s to around $600,000 with one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging from 558 to 1,117 square feet. More than half of the units, spread across all three towers, will be available for home sharing through Airbnb. Homeowner documents specifically outline short-term lease options, allowing owners to rent out their units up to 24 times annually. This newfound flexibility has been appealing to both local and international buyers. South Florida has been a longtime hub for international buyers, but many of the existing luxury buildings are rigid in their use policy.
A key tool in bringing the vision for Smart Brickell to life has been Pillow, a well-funded short-term rental management start-up. “Our partnership with Pillow allows residents the ability to securely allow others to lease their unit with ease,” Vanegas says. “It’s super convenient and a smart utilization of space.”

Pillow’s software provides transparency and control over short-term rental services for the entire building, from managing occupancy rates to knowing which units are being rented out at what times. Short-term renting becomes less of a burden for on-site property managers with their automated turnover tools. Plus, landlords can limit the number of nights or percentage of the building that can be rented at any given date, quickly see which guests are in residence and easily contact residents and guests.
Pillow is currently working with 8,000 units across 25 cities in the United States including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas. Greystar and Lincoln Properties, the two largest property managers in the country, both use the rental management service.

“We see short-term rentals as a standard amenity for the future, one that all tenants will want,” says Sean Conway, CEO and founder of Pillow. “We’re a high-value perk for potential renters, giving owners a competitive edge.” With more urban residents traveling for business, Pillow anticipates a future of more digital nomads.
Smart Brickell is being built from the ground up with home sharing in mind. And while the property will be Pillow’s first client in Miami, the technology has already begun working with an apartment building in Fort Lauderdale called The Exchange Lofts.
At The Exchange Lofts, Conway says that residents using Pillow are making an average of $1,500 each month. “The Exchange Lofts has quickly become one of the high performing buildings with Pillow,” he says. The property has high booking rates thanks to amenities like a rooftop pool, full gym and convenient downtown location. “The Exchange Loft residents can now pay for a weekend jaunt to Miami Beach or the Florida Keys by opening their home.”

Over the next year, Pillow hopes to roll out new features including a rent guarantee program. “Our data algorithms are able to provide a daily rental income guarantee to residents depending on the location, apartment type and occupancy rates,” Conway explains. “Let’s say a resident is gone 72 nights a year (six nights a month) and Pillow will backstop with a guarantee of $100 per night ($600 a month).” Thus, residents who might be paying $3,000 in rent per month will be effectively paying $2,400 each month.
“The residential landscape is constantly evolving, and residents are seeking a more convenient and affordably priced option while still living in the heart of a major downtown area,” Vanegas says. “South Florida has seen a growing number of residents traveling back and forth for work and leisure, and developers need to accommodate the needs and wants of those residents.”
It remains to be seen if Florida’s wealthiest homeowners are willing to trust strangers in their pied-à-terres, but developers like Vanegas have a chance to prove the viability of a new business model. If it takes off, the concept of smart living could spread up Florida’s coast—and throughout the country.

Publication: Gold Coast’s Fort Lauderdale
Title: South Florida’s Luxury Housing Market Is Changing Short-Term Renting For The Better
Author: Amber Gibson
Date: July 3, 2018

Millennials Lead Population Boom in Miami


Visionaries area taking advantage of a booming population, thriving services and comprehensive code while the opportunity lasts. Santiago Vanegas, partner at Habitat Group, predicts his upcoming three-part project Smart Brickell will be one of the few upcoming condo, hotel and commercial projects to rise. Smart Brickell is to break ground this winter, with completion set for 2020. Mr. Vanegas says supply for newly completed buildings such as the SLS Lux Brickell and Brickell Heights is running relatively dry, leaving his project and the Brickell Flatiron development to absorb remaining demand.
He said, “It’s a fantastic opportunity to make an investment on Brickell because the land is gone. There is not going to be more cycles in the future. Compared to downtown, you have land for more than 50,000 units. You have a lot of potential supply in downtown. Same thing in Edgewater. But not in Brickell.”
The lack of new options and competition works to his advantage, he says: “In the next cycle, Brickell is going to be very difficult to generate more supply. That means the price should go up.”


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


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.”

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Residencias con Altura


Las comodidades de un hotel ya no solo son prioridades para los turistas, sino que en ciertos mercados las personas buscan los servicios y las atenciones propios de un hotel para vivir de manera temporal o permanente. A continuación, los clientes que las demandan, los sitios predilectos y un par de proyectos.

Lo que comenzó como un proyecto de conversión en Miami Beach en los años 80 se ha convertido en una tendencia inmobiliaria global. Este tipo de residencias atrae a muchos compradores que buscan intercambiar su segunda vivienda por un estilo de vida confortable, con una ubicación metropolitana y comodidades de lujo. Todo ello muy comprensible, pues los servicios hoteleros se van diversificando cada vez más con el fin de atender las necesidades cambiantes del mercado.

Según Santiago Vanegas, presidente de Habitat Group, una compañía que opera hoteles con actividades en Miami, la tendencia fue popular a finales de los años noventa, pero ahora está regresando. “Actualmente, la sociedad busca la eficiencia y la vida inteligente. Al respecto, los proyectos que desarrolla nuestra compañía en cuanto a residencias hoteleras han capitalizado la oportunidad de ofrecer todo lo que necesita el residente para vivir, trabajar y disfrutar en un solo lugar”, puntualiza Vanegas.

Para Vanegas, Miami es una de las principales ciudades del mundo en la que es común encontrar condominios con componentes hoteleros. El centro de Miami y Brickell han visto el lanzamiento de unos cinco nuevos proyectos en los últimos seis meses, incluido uno de esta organización. “Desarrollos de este tipo son claves para crear una ciudad global porque ayudan a fomentar el turismo y los negocios internacionales”, añade Vanegas.

Publication: Revista Catering
Title: Residencias con Altura
Author: Mónica Silva Saldaña
Date: June 2018
Link: PDFCatering Colombia- Residencias con Altura – June 2018 NEW

Smart Brickell, la inteligencia se confabula con el diseño en Miami


Smart Brickell, la inteligencia se confabula con el diseño en Miami

Santiago Vanegas, director general de Habitat Development Group, devela los secretos de su nuevo proyecto urbano en la vibrante zona miamense de West Brickell

Ya se conocen los detalles del nuevo proyecto de Habitat Development en West Brickell, se trata de un edificio de uso mixto con tres torres de 50, 60 y 70 pisos, que conformarán un complejo de 150 viviendas en cuya base se ubicará un moderno hotel.

El diseño de Brickell Smart es obra del arquitecto Hernando Carrillo, quien dejó en manos de Arquitectónica el interiorismo y el diseño de los muebles, mientras la idea de la fachada proviene de la firma Gensler, una compañía inglesa de renombre internacional.

Santiago Vanegas, presidente de Habitat Group, conversó con DIARIO LAS AMÉRICAS sobre su experiencia, expectativas y particularidades de su nueva construcción.
Brickell Smart, como su nombre indica, será un edificio inteligente con un presupuesto de $100 millones que estará ubicado en 229 SW 9th Street en Miami, en el área conocida como West Brickell. Sus creadores apostaron por el concepto inteligente asociado al diseño, la tecnología y al uso de las unidades.

“El mercado necesita cada vez más unidades de menor tamaño”, explica Vanegas. Por ello diseñamos apartamentos de una y dos habitaciones, de 600 y 800 pies cuadrados respectivamente, unos 150 pies más pequeños que los tamaños promedios de los condominios de Miami”, argumentó el empresario colombiano.
El minimalismo es una tendencia que cobra fuerzas en los diseños actuales. Se busca reducir los espacios para hacerlos más eficientes y lograr precios de venta y alquiler más asequibles.
Por ello las viviendas de las tres torres se venden completamente equipadas, con muebles diseñados y fabricados por Arquitectónica que, con su sello inconfundible, crear espacios confortables y harmónicos dentro de cada propiedad.

Desde el punto de vista tecnológico, Brickell Smart se adelanta a edificios similares existentes hoy en el mercado. Los apartamentos estarán equipados con un sistema domótico inteligente que controlará la eficiencia energética de las unidades y permitirá regir de forma remota y por mando de voz los aires acondicionados, encender y apagar las luces, subir y bajar los estores de las ventanas para regular la entrada de luz.
En esta fiesta tecnológica no podía faltar Alexa, cada unidad estará provista con una asistente de Amazon, que ayudará a su propietario con los controles de la casa, la música y su agenda.

En general en Miami, uno de los grandes inconvenientes a la hora de comprar un apartamento en un condominio son las regulaciones de las asociaciones de vecinos. Muchas de ellas no permiten el alquiler de las propiedades o los limitan a una o dos ocasiones al año. En Brickell Smart será diferente. “Estos apartamentos, gracias a la flexibilidad y alternativas, tendrán un aprovechamiento inteligente. Quienes lo compren lo podrán elegir vivirlos o alquilarlos en diferentes variantes. Hemos logrado, gracias a las nuevas normativas legales, que se puedan alquilar hasta 24 veces al año, en rentas de corta o larga estancia. Son los dueños quienes decidirán cómo quieren usar su propiedad. Cuando los tengan desocupados, podrán tranquilamente optar por inscribirlos en la plataforma Airbnb y así obtener un retorno adicional”, argumentó.
Habitat Hotel, la división del Grupo dedicada a la explotación hotelera, será la encargada de dirigir el hotel que ocupará los primeros pisos del edificio con el nombre Smart Brickell Hotel.

“Hemos creado un programa llamado “lease back”, dentro del cual Habitat Hotel alquilaría durante dos años a un precio preferencial las unidades de los propietarios que así lo deseen. Pagaremos $2.200 por las unidades de un cuarto y $2.700 por las de dos habitaciones, independientemente de su ocupación o no”.

Las comodidades
El edificio, que otorgará un espacio de parqueo por unidad, tendrá unas zonas comunes espectaculares. En el octavo piso de la primera torre habrá dos piscinas, unas terrazas ajardinadas en áreas recreativas y un gran spa de 3.500 pies cuadrados. En la segunda torre, en el piso 24, se dispondrá un gran salón de eventos y un moderno gimnasio. En la tercera, se ubicará un restaurante colosal, un lounge bar y una preciosa oficina de espacio compartido con 3.200 pies cuadrados.
En la planta baja, al nivel de la acera habrá un coffee shop, una guardería infantil, una oficina inmobiliaria y un restaurante orgánico. En el lobby y en la terraza de amenidades se podrá alcanzar señal WIFI.
Precios y mercado meta
Al hablar sobre las ventas el licenciado en Economía por la universidad colombiana de Rosario aclaró: “Tenemos un contrato de venta exclusiva y marketing con Cervera Real Estate, la compañía número uno en este tipo de mercado”.

Las unidades de una habitación tendrán un precio inicial de $300.000. Los precios de los apartamentos de dos habitaciones irán de $390.000 hasta los $450.000.
Los compradores interesados deberán pagar el 10% al reservar, 10% al reservar el contrato, 10% al comienzo de la obra, 10% cuando se llegue a la planta 17, y 10% al llegar al tope. El resto se pagará al cierre, con la entrega de las llaves de la unidad.
El joven constructor evitó ser políticamente correcto al expresar que “el mercado meta de una construcción en Brickell desde hace muchos años son los inversionistas extranjeros. Las compras en preconstrucción son activos para inversionistas de todo el mudo y especialmente de Latinoamérica, sobre todo aquellos que aspiran a tener un refugio de inversión sólida”.
Pero nuestro objetivo indirecto es el inquilino que va a pagar la renta a ese inversionista. Y ese es el joven ejecutivo de Brickell, el millennial que desea pagar una renta de $2.000 al mes en un área vibrante de la ciudad y anhela vivir en una vivienda que tenga incorporada toda la tecnología domótica del momento. También nos dirigimos a toda aquella persona con espíritu millennial que desee vivir en un entorno moderno.
Los propósitos

Indiscutiblemente en un proyecto de esta envergadura hay mucho retos y propósitos. Son muchas las personas que forman el equipo y para cada cual la terminación de esta obra tendrá diferentes significados. No será la misma lectura para los arquitectos, los constructores, los proyectistas, la gente de marketing o para los realtors.
“Nosotros llevamos 15 años trabajando en el área, estamos aquí desde la pasada crisis inmobiliaria. Hace 10 años hicimos los Habitat Residence. Hemos visto con complicidad y admiración desarrollar West Brickell. Por eso sentimos una mezcla de satisfacción y orgullo por poder entregar un modelo de construcción que el área está necesitando”, explicó.
“Realmente no creo que este sea el mayor de nuestros retos, tampoco creo que sea el más futurista, pero estoy seguro que marca un hito, constituye la transición de un tipo de construcción estándar a los proyectos inteligentes”, amplió.

“Y por otra parte, es un edificio que se adelanta a un ciclo del mercado. Es sabido que en Brickell no habrá nuevos productos en 2020 y 2021. La última obra de la actual etapa constructiva termina con el magnífico edificio Flatiron, que se entregará el año próximo. Eso nos coloca a la cabeza del próximo ciclo constructivo en esta área, que comenzará con las entregas de nuestros productos en 2020 y 2021 para privilegio de nuestra firma”, concluyó.

Publication: Diario Las Americas
Author: César Menendez
Date: June 1, 2018

A Close Look at Miami’s Smart Towers


A Close Look at Miami’s Smart Towers
Santiago Vanegas, CEO & president of Habitat Group, talked to Multi-Housing News about the company’s project taking shape in the Brickell neighborhood.

One of Habitat Group’s latest developments, dubbed Smart Brickell, is the first of its kind in the firm’s portfolio. Located in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, the condo project includes a hotel component and will combine elements of smart design, smart technology and smart use across 170 residences and 150 guest rooms.
The three towers will also feature 30,000 square feet of retail space. Smart Brickell is slated for completion in 2020, with prices for fully furnished condos starting in the low $300,000’s.
Santiago Vanegas, CEO & president of Habitat Group, spoke to Multi-Housing News about the company’s Smart Living Philosophy and the way it is incorporated into the mixed-use project. In addition to high-tech design features such as Nest thermostats, Amazon Echo/Alexa home and personal assistant, and a concierge app, Smart Brickell will allow owners to rent out their apartments through the use of Airbnb.
What is the vision behind Smart Brickell and what separates it from other downtown projects?
Vanegas: Smart Brickell’s goal is to set the new standard of living in Miami through our Smart Living Philosophy, where every aspect is designed to enrich and energize your lifestyle by designing apartments that offer flexible usage, unique and modern design and smart technology features.
What can you tell us about the demographic you are targeting with Smart Brickell?
Vanegas: Smart Brickell will be a place for working professionals and seasonal residents. It is also the ideal location for the business traveler. Not only is the development less than 10 miles from the airport and within walking distance of several other modes of transportation, but it also offers you the option to rent your apartment multiple times a year through platforms such as Airbnb, adding value to your investment while you are away.
What are some of the functions, amenities and apps that make the project smart?
Vanegas: The move-in ready residences allow for flexible usage. Each space has been created to take advantage of every square foot while addressing a bold and modern aesthetic. Units will be delivered fully finished and furnished and feature city-view terraces with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and kitchens fully equipped with Bosch appliances and ItalKraft cabinetry.
The units at Smart Brickell are delivered fully equipped with smart, Wi-Fi enabled features, including a Nest thermostat, LIFX Wi-Fi enabled LED smart bulbs, Amazon Echo/Alexa home and personal assistant and a concierge app allowing residents to request services from the comfort of their smartphone.
Residents will also enjoy building amenities such as an organic café on the ground level, an amenity deck with a landscaped recreational area and expansive terrace, resort-style pools, a spa and wellness center, a fully-equipped business center, a Sky fitness center located on the 25th floor, a rooftop lounge bar and Wi-Fi throughout the lobby and amenity deck. The unique combination of flexible usage, architectural design, integration of smart technological features, central location and resort-style amenities are what make this project the gateway to the future of smart living.
How does Smart Brickell fit into the scenery of Miami’s Financial District?
Vanegas: Smart Brickell offers a solution to those who work in Brickell. Time is very valuable and the project will allow residents and guests to optimize their time by providing a place where they can live, work and play. Smart Brickell is near some of the most notable businesses in the financial district. It will also offer a space for business owners and employees to collaborate in shared spaces, cafés and other areas on the property. There is a need for more mixed-use developments in Brickell and Smart Brickell is filling that need.
Which are some of the companies contributing to this development?
Vanegas: The project is designed by well-known architect Hernando Carrillo with concept and branding by Gensler. Residences will be delivered fully furnished and finished with interiors designed by Arquitectonica.

Publication: MHN – Multi Housing News
Author: Timea Papp
Date: May 3, 2018

Condo Developers Use Techy New Weapons In The Amenity Arms Race


As developers at the top end of the residential market know all too well, amenities can often make the difference in courting the small demographic that can afford the most extravagant residences. The result is an arms race among building owners to provide truly unique services and offerings — in this day and age that translates to the liberal use of technology. Property Markets Group, for example, is testing out a smartphone app for residents to access building and concierge services at its recently opened Echo Brickell condo tower in Miami, The Real Deal reports.

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Through the app, residents can order food and beverages from eateries in the building, delivery services such as flowers and dry cleaning, or repairs from the building handyman. PMG has also enlisted wellness celebrity Deepak Chopra to integrate healthy living technology into some units at its Muse development in Sunny Isles Beach. Other developers in the area have opted for a more personal touch. KAR Properties has hired vacation planner-to-the-stars Mariela Dobrova as the “lifestyle curator” for residents at One River Point, a condo tower in Downtown Miami that has not yet broken ground. Dobrova will work directly with residents, even before a sale has fully closed, to plan both vacations and social activities within the city. Echo Brickell also has brought on Brian Koles as a “brand and human experiences director”; he will also help with the aforementioned app. Koles described his job to TRD as helping residents live “the most ‘Instagrammable’ life possible” by putting together personalized experiences meant to be envied, like beach massages or VIP tickets to local events. At The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach developer Lionheart Capital will include a floating helipad for residents to land in a helicopter before being boated back to their condos on shore, and a Frauscher luxury yacht with a dedicated butler available for residents to rent. That said, the cutting edge is not just reserved for the richest of the rich. The latest tech advances have allowed high-end condo owners to venture into short-term rentals. Habitat Development is among a small subset of companies bucking the trend of condo buildings discouraging its residents from renting out their units. At Smart Brickell, Habitat is building fully furnished apartments that owners will encourage residents to rent out via integrated technology that connects to apps like Airbnb. Owners of the units, which will also be fitted with Nest and Echo smart home devices, have the option of allowing Smart Brickell’s management to handle such short-term rentals. Representatives for Habitat said that more than 60% of buyers at Smart Brickell, where condos range between $300K and $500K, have expressed interest in the short-term leasing option. Units across Miami worth more than $600K are still heavily restricted to Airbnb and its ilk, as developers expect such wealthy residents to balk at the idea of strangers renting out their swanky pads.

Publication: BisNow
Date: April 2, 2018
Author: Matthew Rothstein

The residential developments reshaping Miami’s skyline


This summer, the Habitat Group will break ground on Smart Brickell, a mixed-use development that pairs private residences and retail outlets with healthy diners, rooftop garden, and a battery of eco-friendly and teched-up features.

Publication: Wallpaper
Date: April 4, 2018
Author: Daven Wu