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Networking with Associated Builders and Contractors at Mary Brickell Village

footer_logoProminent business and community leaders were in attendance at a business networking event hosted by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

ABC President & CEO Peter Dyga and Regional Vice President Carlos Carrillo welcomed members, builders, contractors and friends who exchanged contact information and industry anecdotes in the Emerald Isle-inspired ambiance at Fado Irish Pub in Mary Brickell Village. The event was sponsored by OHL/Arellano Construction, Cellucrete and E.F. Alvarez

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Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 72 chapters help members win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. ABC’s membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors of the industry.


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Supermix Supplies Ready-Mix Concrete For Brickell CitiCentre and Margaritaville projects

ABOUT SUPERMIXSupermix, Inc. has been serving the construction industry in South Florida for 24 years. It is today the largest independent producer and supplier of concrete products in the State of Florida, currently covering the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie.


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Nine at Mary Brickell luxury condominium under construction & slated for May 2014 completion

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The first collaborative effort by industry powerhouses Starwood Capital Group and LYND; Sales led by Fortune International

Nine at Mary Brickell Village, a new luxury condominium located in the heart of Mary Brickell Village at 999 Southwest 1st Ave., will include 390 elegantly appointed residential units and rise 34 stories to overlook the neighborhood’s culinary, nightlife and retail scene. Slated for completion in May 2014, Nine at Mary Brickell Village will be brought to life by industry powerhouses Starwood Capital Group and LYND, with sales led by Fortune International. Equity financing for the project is being provided by New York-based BlackRock, on behalf of an institutional investor.

“After a year of planning, we are excited to bring this project to market,” says Michael Lynd, Jr., CEO & Chief Investment Officer of San Antonio-based real estate firm LYND, most recently credited for the highly successful EnV development in Chicago. “Our team is as strong as any in the country and we are excited for the opportunity to deliver a long-anticipated, first-class residential experience to the heart of Brickell. Mary Brickell Village is one of the most unique environments in the country, with its mixture of cultural, dining, shopping, nightlife, and fitness activities, as well as its proximity to mass transit. Our research indicates that these urban locations appeal to a wide variety of households with families, empty nesters, and young professionals choosing to live in this type of 24-hour atmosphere. This is the next generation of living.”

miami cover w“This is the perfect opportunity to create a premier luxury condominium that embodies the vibrant soul of Miami,” says Ken O’Neill, Senior Vice President of Starwood Capital Group. “We are very excited to be partnered with this talented group of developers and investors with the common goal of creating an iconic residence for the thriving neighborhood of Mary Brickell Village.”

Standing as the only residential tower in Mary Brickell Village, Nine will feature units starting from $300,000. There are 30 available floor plans for units, which will be sold in one-, two-, or three-bedroom formats, and ranging in size from 744 to more than 2,098 square feet (69 to 194 square meters). Residences will boast beautifully appointed kitchens with stainless steel appliances, 9- to 11 foot ceilings, quartz countertops and backsplashes, designer fixtures and hardware, oversized mirrors, spacious walk-in closets, and large soaking tubs.

Nine will deliver a unique residential lifestyle experience and, in today’s competitive market, this development reflects a higher level never before seen in the lively Mary Brickell Village,” says Edgardo Defortuna, President and CEO of Fortune Internationalwhich will launch sales in August 2013. “We expect the project to be extremely attractive to downtown professionals seeking a high-rise setting in the heart of Brickell and surrounded by authentic Miami attractions.”

Nine at Mary Brickell Village will offer a variety of social amenities, including: an expansive one-acre, lushly landscaped recreation deck with pavilions and intimate cabanas; media lounge; pool deck with heated resort-style swimming pool; fitness center equipped with a wide range of Precor equipment including cardio machines with integrated touchscreen televisions; and state-of-the-art videoconferencing room. The pet-friendly project will also include a dog run on the eleventh floor of the building. A secret zen garden with tranquil landscaped walking paths, intimate seating areas and dining tables will also be featured on the building’s eleventh floor in a one-acre private park dedicated to lounging, socializing and enjoying quiet moments alone. On-site security will be present, as well as concierge services that will include the arrangement of limo and town car transportation, housekeeping, laundry, dry cleaning, personal fitness trainers, poolside massage, and pet care. Covered parking and valet services will also be available.

Owners of Nine at Mary Brickell Village condominiums will enjoy use of the private Grand Bay Club of Key Biscayne, adding private beach club amenities to their already luxurious urban oasis. The Grand Bay Club offers a tropical retreat and access to exclusive oceanfront cabanas with service stations, a poolside tiki bar, a variety of swimming pools, and superb indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.


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Nine at Mary Brickell Village will be adjacent to the upcoming Brickell CityCentre, a mixed-use complex co-developed by the owners of Bal Harbour Shops, which is expected to include nine acres of upper-tier and premium luxury shopping, restaurants and hotels. Residents of Nine will be offered a mix of nightlife and restaurant options. Nearby destinations include the Four Seasons Hotel, Viceroy, Cipriani, and Katsuya, located in the upcoming SLS Hotel. Elevators will whisk residents down to the epicenter of Mary Brickell Village’s shops and restaurants such as Perricone’s Marketplace, Rosa Mexicano and The Oceanaire Seafood Room, which complement other high-profile restaurants in a neighborhood that is currently experiencing phenomenal growth. Residences will be in walking distance to the Metrorail and Metromover Brickell station, and will have access to Publix Super Market and the L.A. Fitness health club, both located at the base of the building.

Behar Font & AssociatesPA, is the architect of record and Nick Luaces Design Associates is the interior design firm.


Thank you to our friends and sponsors Supermix and OHL USA

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Top Builders Talk About The ‘Bust,’ The New Boom


Rebeca C. Trujillo | Editor

In only its second edition, the University of Miami Real Estate Impact Conference has already become one of the area’s major forums, attracting the industry’s most engaged —and engaging— executives as speakers and panelists (indeed, all of South Florida’s top builders were in attendance again this year), as well as a substantial and varied audience, anxious to hear how these developers are transforming the “bust of 2007” into the “boom of 2013.”

Stephen Ross and Jorge Pérez
Stephen Ross and Jorge Pérez

Hosted by UM President Donna Shalala, who was introduced by Stuart Miller, president of Lennar Homes, and the university’s Schools of Architecture and Business Administration, the conversation generated during the conference’s Keynote Session confirmed just how damaging the 2007 downturn was for the afternoon’s panelists —and for most builders throughout the United States— and uncovered their strategies for recovery and, better yet, for a more enduring success.

“We never imagined that 95% of the buyers would walk away (and not close, during the crisis), even with a financial and legal responsibility” — Jorge M. Pérez, CEO, The Related Group

On the ‘hot chairs’ were Stephen M. Ross, chairman and founder, Related Companies, and Jorge M. Pérez, chairman, CEO and founder, The Related Group. Mssrs. Perez and Ross began a partnership 30 years ago developing low income housing. The company has evolved to become one of the largest, luxury high-rise developers in South Florida and other U.S. and international markets.

“Our company’s staying power is possible because of good selection of our people. They make all the difference,” said Ross.

For Pérez, who was a municipal planning official when he decided to “hang up his shingle” and join Ross, it’s the “attention to details, top design and craftsmanship that have made Related a builder to trust.”

Stephen Ross, Jorge Pérez and Alan Ojeda
Stephen Ross, Jorge Pérez and Alan Ojeda

“We started with low income housing were the margins are low and that taught us to watch every penny. This mentality came specially useful in the real estate crisis after 2007. We have studies that include scenarios like ‘what if 10 or 20% of the buyers with a financial and legal responsibility don’t close?,’ but we never imagined that 95% of the buyers walk away, even with a financial and legal responsibility. We have been hoarding cash and we had to write a lot of checks to get our of the crisis.”


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According to Stephen Ross, “when the recession hit, we wanted to keep the employees that we had invested in and keep them employed, so we decided to go international. The Middle East and China were some of our first destinations.”

“China has proven to be a very frustrating experience for us since the central government controls everything and nothing gets easily done” —Stephen M. Ross, Chairman/Founder, Related Companies

Pérez mentioned that he, on the other hand, focused on Latin America and India.

Frances Sevilla Sacasa with Stephen Ross
Frances Sevilla Sacasa with Stephen Ross

“We went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to cater to Americans wanting a second home. We built Icon Vallarta, which sold well. We were able to sell initially for more than 30% off the local prices. Then the market went sour. We still own land in the area.”

Pérez confirms that his company is now launching projects in Brazil and strongly recommends “a local, honest partner in order to proceed.”

But when the South Florida real estate boom went bust in 2007, he claims “it was Latin America which made a difference. Although I know the (Latin American) market, we underestimated it. Buyers began buying our condos with a large deposit and several installment for preconstruction units. Then, we said, why don’t you finance the construction? Now foreign buyers pay for up to 85 percent of a building without the need of the bank.”


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