Luxury Housing’s Latest Trend: ‘Limited-Edition’ Residences

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Louis Birdman and Gregg Covin enlisted the help of Zaha Hadid, to design a $300 million high rise that will rise up over Biscayne Bay, her first skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.

However, rather than section off hundreds of studios and one-bedroom apartments,  the Miami-based developers plan to do something less conventional. They plan to  offer massive luxury spreads with enough square footage to compete with standalone  mansions.

“We are a very limited-edition building,” Birdman says of the project, which will break  ground once a round of financing is complete. “We are not a small building, but we are  small in terms of the number of units.”

One Thousand Museum Tower’s smallest units are half-floor apartments that  encompass 4,600 square feet and start at around $4.9 million. The full-floor units will  run upwards of $15 million and a duplex penthouse spreading across 11,000 square feet will likely have an asking price of $30 million.

The luxury units will have private balconies, 10- to 20-foot-high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling  windows and access to the extravagant building amenities including rooftop helicopter  pad, a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, valet parking and “security” concierges.

Multi-family construction in the U.S. has picked up steam again. However, rather than  building low- to mid-range housing for the majority of the population, more developers  are creating boutique housing, creating ultra-high-end condo buildings with extra spacious, amenity-laden units promising a high degree of exclusivity.

They are being called “limited edition” residences. Developers like Birdman and Covin are focusing on this niche market because it translates into significantly more money for their efforts. “It’s a trend we saw in the marketplace of downtown Miami,” states Birdman. “Units over 3,000 square feet are bringing a premium of almost double over average-sized units of 1,100 square feet.”

Other developers in the Miami area are catching on to this trend. Boutique hotelier Ian Schrager is promoting The Residences at the Miami Beach Edition, a luxury hotel-condo hybrid in Miami Beach made up of 26 “limited-edition” condos sprinkled across the top floors of the existing hotel and in a new neighboring tower.

The residences, which are planned to be unveiled next year, are designed by architect John Pawson and will include “outdoor rooms” that include private pools, dining areas and pergolas.

Only seven weeks after the condos were first offered for sale, more than half of the 26 units, which are priced 200% above the local market, had reportedly been sold, for an average of $3,000 per square foot.

Just down the street, One Ocean is being developed by Related Group. The South Beach boutique building will house 46 condos and four villas. Basic units are 3,000 square feet and average $1,500 per square foot.

Adding to exclusivity Related Group’s billionaire chief, Jorge Perez, has brought on a variety of high-profile designers to contribute to the new building including architect Enrique Norten, interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg and landscape designer Enzo Enea.

Michele Oka Doner, whose public art installations are featured in the New York subway and several airports, will design the floors. Artist Jose’ Bedia will design the entrance gates.

“There’s a group of buyers that are really not looking to buy into big buildings,” says Carlos Rosso, president of Related Group’s condo development. “Northeasterners especially that come down every year demand big space when they come to Miami, so apartments are getting bigger and bigger.”