Ocean Insiders Blog

 
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Whiteman Family Development proposed a $200 million plan yesterday to ramp up the retail at Bal Harbour Shops.

The 450,000-square-foot shopping center north of Miami Beach – which was last year named the world’s most productive shopping center, measured by sales per square foot – would gain 250,000 square feet of retail space by 2016. The space would include 100,000 square feet of department stores and more than 20 specialty retail shops. Neiman Marcus would expand and a third anchor store would be added, joining Neiman and Saks Fifth Avenue. While they’re at it, they will also build a new 60,799-square-foot church for the Church by the Sea next door.

Matthew Whitman Lazenby, president and chief executive of Whitman Family Development, presented two sets of redevelopment plans to the village of Bal Harbour for review. The owners brought aboard a team of architects to conceive of the master plan: Raymond Jungles Landscape Architects, Zyscovitch Architects, Leo A. Daly Architects and consulting architects Maria Sellek and Mark Hampton.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

The Golf Grill on Fisher Island has re-opened!Stop by and delight in Chef Ron's delectable cuisine. From crispy Asian rock shrimp to the Link's salad and the famous Birdie Wrap.The Golf Grill offers a beautiful view of Fisher Island's golf course. Aside from delicious lunch dishes the Golf Grill offers breakfast on Saturday and Sunday's.

Hours:

Thursday-Sunday (lunch) 11:30am-3pm

Saturday & Sunday (breakfast) 8am-12:30pm

 

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

If there’s a real estate comeback kid, Fisher Island is a definite contender.

When the housing market imploded six years ago, the exclusive enclave had a longer fall than nearly all of Miami’s other neighborhoods. It lost its position as America’s most expensive zip code, an honor awarded by Forbes. The median sales price of its palatial homes plummeted, from $2.6 million in March 2007 to $1.88 million in August 2009. Dozens of homeowners found themselves facing foreclosures. As if that weren’t enough, a nasty fight for its undeveloped land broke out.

But the man-made barrier island, reachable only by boat, toughed it out, and it is clearly climbing out of its deep hole.

The 216-acre haven — named for Carl G. Fisher, the wealthy auto-parts manufacturer who was the first to develop it — hasn’t reclaimed the zip-code title, but Forbes has deemed it the wealthiest place to live in America, putting the average net worth of taxpayers at an eye-popping $57.2 million. The median sales price now stands at nearly $3 million, and homes seized by lenders are finding buyers, 80 percent from overseas.

And a handful of longtime residents are deciding the market is just too good not to take advantage of it.

Hedge-funder Jeffrey Camp, 44, has listed his five-bedroom condo, with maids’ quarters, for $6.2 million — nearly $4 million more than he paid for it a decade ago. The price factors in the property’s ocean views and simply the aura of the island.

About 80 percent of Fisher Island’s 150 permanent residents — the population jumps to 600 in the winter months — own another home or two or even three.

Of the 20 percent who have their primary residence on Fisher Island, many come from other countries. At the elementary school, for example, classes are taught in three languages — English, Spanish and Mandarin.

Besides breathtaking views and a sense of calm, the island has an ultra-private club and resort. The heart of the club — a hotel, a spa, restaurants, a marina, beaches, a golf course and tennis courts — was once the home of William Kissam Vanderbilt, of the railroad barons, who traded Fisher a luxury yacht for the island in the mid-1920s. Over the last couple of years, the club spent $60 million on restoring the Mediterranean-style mansion and improving its grounds.

Much interest from abroad in the last five years has come from Russians and citizens of the former Soviet states. And a Russian and natives of Georgia, a former Soviet state, are the ones in that ugly feud over vacant lots.

The undeveloped space belongs to Fisher Island Holdings. What’s in dispute is who owns the company: the estate of a late Georgian billionaire named Arkadi Patarkasishvili, or Joseph Kay, Patarkasishvili’s half-cousin and business advisor.

In 2008, shortly after losing his bid to be Georgia’s president, Patarkasishvili died unexpectedly. Kay took over Fisher Island Holdings and filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in New York against Patarkasishvili’s widow and a former business partner, Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, accusing them of poisoning Patarkasishvili.

The Russian buyers have helped shrink the island’s supply of homes from 170 at the peak of the downturn to fewer than 60 now. And developers are taking notice of both the foreign demand and the dwindling inventory: Fisher Island Holdings, for example, wants to build twin 10-story towers along Government Cut, the shipping channel between the island and the Port of Miami; the 180 units — 90 in each building — are expected to bring an average of $20 million each.

Camp is confident that most buyers interested in Fisher Island are truly looking for a wonderful place to live, not a fast way to make a buck. “Going into the recession, a lot were speculators,” he said. “The recession cleared them out.”

Credits to the The Real Deal. Story by Emily Schmall

 

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Four new cranes big enough to handle new super-sized cargo ships have been delivered to the port of Miami in preparation for the opening of an expanded Panama Canal.

The expansion will nearly double the canal's cargo capacity and the size of the ships that can pass through it. The project is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Monday that the four new cranes will ensure that Miami's port will be able to handle the larger vessels.

Port Director Bill Johnson says the port aims to double its cargo traffic over the next several years.

The port also has two other cranes that can accommodate the larger ships. The newer container cargo ships are nearly double the size of older vessels.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/08/3676770/4-super-sized-cranes-arrive-at.html#storylink=cpy

You can get a great view of the cranes from the golf cart path on the Bayview side of the island.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Value of the Right Sales Price

With rising home prices on Fisher Island there are 5 important factors to consider when deciding your listing sales price:

- Historically low inventory levels

- Recent comparable sales

- Location on the island

- View from the unit

- Special features of the unit

Last year, listings were selling on average after being 6 months on the MLS. This was unheard of 2 years ago.  

This coming season, if the listing has the 'Right Sales Price' we estimate it'll take 3 months to sell. We recently had one of our listings sell within 24 hours of being listed! 

Adjusting values to reflect the changing market conditions is key to selling your home in a timely fashion. 

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

4622 Fisher Island Drive just sold for $2,100,000.

The Harborview unit is 3/3 and 2,744 square feet.

It is bright and sunny. It is one of the few 3/3.5 cathedral ceiling units. It is an intimate well managed and well kept association in the island. Seldomly there is one in the market. It comes with 2 huge storage rooms, 2 parking spaces and 2 golf cart spaces.

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