News and trends in real estate and architecture.
The strip of Collins Avenue above South Beach gets a serious shot of luxury as two projects move in.
Ian Schrager and Alan Faena have a thing or two in common: they are both real state developers, hotel pioneers who have merged high art, world-class culture and sexy nightlife.
And they are both changing Miami. Each has a stunning new real estate development on the Collins Avenue between 24th and 44th Streets, an area that, until recently, has been a quiet residential corridor acting as a drive for tourists cruising from the W South Beach or the Setai to the Fontainebleau or Soho Beach House.
Shragers's The Residences at the Miami Beach Edition (2901 Collins Ave.) comprises 26 condos located atop the hotel brand that Schrager has created with Marriott, a resort that features a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant.
A stone's throw away sits Faena House (3201 Collins Ave.) 47 residences that are part of the Faena District. It includes a hotel, marina, and three other spaces: an arts center, shopping area and parking garage.
Both men are armed with sales teams of brokers who know New York as well as Miami.
Shragers, who's opened everything from New York's Studio 54 to Miami Beach's Delano, says: “There is a number of shifts that Miami has undergone. A lot of sophisticated people are here, caused in part by Art Basel. When you get a sophisticated international buyer, they are used to spending that money to live in a sophisticated place. And Miami has become that.”
Schrager has added to the Edition alabaster-glass bathroom partitions, open Bulthaup kitchens, bleached-teak flooring and hotel services.
“Having apartments as part of a hotel really brings added value because you're offering a tremendous amount of amenities.
There are only two things you can offer: product distinction and services. If you can offer both, that's an unbeatable combination. You don't have to have your own housekeeping staff. You get everything with the hotel: we'll clean, we'll babysit, plan your parties, set up dinner parties from the restaurant. You get everything a great hotel has and also have the benefit of your privacy”.
Faena House is similar. He also has a Faena District in Buenos Aires where he turned the formerly grimy Puerto Madero area into a vibrant neighborhood by building apartments, an art center, and a hotel.
“I saw the building” Faena says “an abandoned factory. I realized the place was great. Everybody was thinking it was impossible and nobody would come but I created the most expensive real estate in Argentina, the best neighborhood in Buenos Aires”.
Architecture is the first form of art. The art is moving north. Miami beach is all about art, culture, diversity. You are constantly going to see Miami selling more products, provided that they are selling distinctive products.