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In sunny Miami, green and sustainable equals a million-dollar lifestyle – Cityscape investigates.

November 2015

As opportunities to buy increase in Miami – which has become a major market for luxury condominiums – developers offer more and more amenities to attract the big-ticket buyers. The selling point for Miami as a whole is the lifestyle made possible by the year-round warm climate and miles of beaches. But as land on the beach becomes more and more expensive and less and less available, development turns to space within the city, near but not on the waterfront, and, in response to increased competition, marketing offers newer amenities.

What these newer amenities have in common is the lure of sustainability, the appeal of a greener lifestyle that may not be immediately obvious to a buyer of an apartment in a 50-storey tower who experiences the outdoors from a high balcony and cannot enter or leave without riding in a superfast elevator.

Brickell Heights’ rooftop herbs

Brickell Heights from the Related Group – South Florida’s largest developer – comprises two towers of 47 and 49 floors with 690 luxury condominiums. It’s been called “the fittest building on the block” because of the enormous three-storey 50,000 square foot Equinox fitness club and a separate Soul Cycle facility for disciples of spinning. But that’s not all.

Along with five rooftop pools, a tanning deck, clubrooms, a media centre, and a business centre, there are murals by Argentinian artist Fabian Burgos adorning the structures designed by Arquitectonica, the Miami-based world-renowned firm. That takes care of business, personal fitness and culture. For sustainability, there will be a community herb garden on the roof of Brickell Heights tower 02 designed by seed to table pioneer Dylan Terry, owner of Ready-to-Grow-Gardens, who has created gardens for restaurants, schools, and museums in South Florida. No renderings yet to show the herb garden.

Gardening in the air above the 47th floor should be an incredible experience, not available to the general public, but there for the residents of this luxury project. Both Brickell Heights towers are due to be completed in 2017. Tower 01 will include 350 units on 49 floors while Tower O2 will have 332 units on 47 floors. Condominiums range from one to four bedrooms with prices from USD 400,000 to more than one million.

Biscayne Line’s waterfront walks

As The Related Group puts up more tower projects, it is also behind the attempt to create Biscayne Line, a 12-mile unobstructed walkway along downtown Miami’s waterfront that will link several Related projects and allow them to be marketed as offering open public walking space. Although developers have been required by law to allow for a minimum of 20 feet of land for waterfront access since 1979, in reality much of it remains inaccessible to the general public. This is perhaps the most ambitious initiative to create active public spaces in a city that needs them.

The plan is to transform existing areas and create options like boardwalks and floating docks where access doesn’t exist. The goal is an unobstructed pedestrian-friendly walkway that connects downtown Miami to the northern neighbourhoods while providing the community with greater waterfront access. The Related Group took the first step with the opening of IconBay Park in Edgewater, a waterfront sculpture park that connects to the IconBay condominium development. The next addition to the Biscayne Line will be along the Paraiso community now under development on Biscayne Bay, through which The Related Group will add 500 feet of pedestrian-friendly public waterfront access.

 cassa brickell’s rooftop vegetables

Like Brickell Heights, cassa brickell is on the outskirts of the Brickell district that is expanding fast as construction space disappears. The boutique condominium project from TSG Paragon Development and joint venture partner The Solution Group is located in the neighbourhood west of Brickell Avenue known as the Brickell Triangle. The offer for future residents combines the friendliness of a suburban neighbourhood, the sophistication of downtown life, and an overall sense of community that binds them together. The area has also caught the attention of other developers and will soon be home to a five-star hotel from the Intercontinental group.

The developers say cassa brickell is the only authentic boutique development in the Brickell Avenue-downtown Miami area and will nurture a community built on an active style of living. The chic, urban-style building designed by architect Ponce de Leon has 80 units and 21 floor plans, making a variety of choices available to buyers. Also speaking to its boutique nature will be singular amenities that include Miami’s only rooftop vegetable garden, a rooftop open kitchen, pool, vertical garden and fitness centre, as well as an on-site collection of original works of art.

“This one of a kind project incorporates all the great ideas seen currently in other international destinations like London, Paris, New York, Bogota, Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo,” said Camilo Lopez, CEO & Managing Partner of The Solution Group. “Hopefully, once people start living at cassa brickell, it will inspire them and encourage them to be more active and connected to the arts, nature and the community overall.” More than 80 percent of the units that sell for USD 415,000 for one bedroom to several million for the “air houses” that include space for a private garden and small pool are under contract. Residents can move in next summer.

PARAMOUNT Miami World Centre’s soccer field

PARAMOUNT is the first tower to go up in the 30-acre mixed use Miami World Centre, the city’s largest development. Within 60 storeys, PARAMOUNT will have 473 bay and city view residences that like cassa brickell are being marketed to international buyers. However, Paramount is offering a unique amenity tailored to a sustainable lifestyle, a soccer field, one of the first in a high-rise development in the U.S. The soccer field or pitch will be part of an outdoor sports complex on the 9th floor that includes tennis courts, a running track, yoga deck, and basketball court. Inside are a state of the art fitness centre and a boxing ring.

The soccer field wasn’t an afterthought. Developer Daniel Kodsi says, “The world’s number one sport is coming to PARAMOUNT Miami World Centre. We are including amenities for families who wish to live in the core of downtown Miami but also want plenty of green space to play.” Peggy Olin Fucci, President and CEO of OneWorld Properties, the exclusive broker for the tower project, explains, “An amenity like the soccer field really catapults PARAMOUNT Miami World Centre into a league of its own,” and adds, “We have already received tremendous feedback from South American, European, and Asian buyers.”

Designed by architect Elkus Manfredi with a team of Miami-based associates, PARAMOUNT Miami World Centre will be an elevator ride from the retail, restaurants, office space, parks, galleries and nightlife planned for the cosmopolitan project that, according to Kodsi, “will be nestled in the heart of what is set to be the very best new shopping, entertainment, and dining district.” Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s will anchor the retail component. Condominium apartments range from 1,300-2,300 square feet and are selling for USD 910,000 to 1.6 million, but future residents will have to wait until the second half of 2018 to move in and test that soccer field.