May 22, 2018
Five-star living at luxury branded residences are hot properties to own for those who desire the best in everything from “starchitecture” to top interior design to five-star service to numerous luxury amenities.
Affluent buyers happily pay anywhere from $2.3 million and up at the Four Seasons Private Residences Fort Lauderdale to upwards of $21 million for a penthouse at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach in Miami. The luxury branded residence business model varies from condominiums as part of a luxury hotel to adjacent villas and homes.
Take that luxury living experience and marry it with top global hotel flags. Marquee names in the luxury branded residence market include Four Seasons, Montage International, The Ritz-Carlton, One&Only Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood Hotel Group and W Hotels.
Listen to Adam Ducker, managing director at RCLCO, a national real estate advisory firm. “The ultra-luxury residential condominium market is going strong. The hotel brand attached to this product is a guarantee for a high level of service and quality which adds value for these buyers,” Ducker said.
Attaining this level of wealth and having the time to enjoy it is a motivator. “The affluent customer who has raised their family and now has the time to access top quality properties in prime locations is willing to pay handsomely for it,” Ducker adds.
The Ritz-Carlton brand appealed to C. Hunter Milborne who recently purchased a two-bedroom plus den condominium at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach. Located between the Atlantic and the Intercoastal it is slated for completion in mid-2019. The 212 residences are priced from $2.5 million to $5.8 million with the penthouses starting at $21 million.
“We looked at a number of projects in South Florida and we loved the views and this location. Since it is managed by The Ritz-Carlton, we know we can expect that excellent level of ongoing service and amenities,” Milborne contends. As president & CEO of the Toronto-based Milborne Group, Milborne has over four decades experience marketing and selling new luxury condominium and resort projects in Canada.
According to Edgardo Defortuna, president, CEO and founder of Fortune International Group, developer of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach, sales there are brisk. “Our project is approximately 70% sold. This season we are seeing buyers from the Northeast, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, and Chile.” Defortuna points to an increase in domestic buyers due to people “looking to take advantage of tax reform by relocating to Florida, particularly from California and New York.”
Montage International founder, chairman, and CEO, Alan Fuerstman, has grown the Montage Hotel portfolio and real estate collection to five award-winning properties and residences in Beverly Hills, Deer Valley, Utah, Laguna Beach, Calif., Kapalua Bay on Maui and Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina.
Montage Los Cabos, the company’s sixth location, opens later this month in Mexico. Montage Residences Los Cabos offers two-and-three- bedroom residences starting at $2.7 million. Montage is also in development in Northern California’s wine country in Healdsburg, opening in two years.
Fuerstman is a long-time enthusiast of ultra-luxury branded residences. “I will not develop a Montage Hotel without a Montage Residence. It doesn’t work out financially to deliver that level of quality, service, and amenities by just developing a stand-alone hotel. You need the revenue from the luxury branded residences to make the numbers work,” Fuerstman explains. “We also don’t develop with a cookie-cutter approach. Each Montage property reflects the local environment and lifestyle.”
Montage’s individuality is what sold James Turner of Lakeland, Florida to Palmetto Bluff Residences in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, located beside the Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort. “We were the first to buy there in 2016. The architecture is very much like what you find in Charleston, which we love.” Turner, a retired Publix Super Market executive, owns a 3,100 square-foot single-family home on one acre. The design of the 35 furnished residences is “Lowcountry inspired.” Currently, one 3,095 square-foot residence is for sale through Montage, priced at $1,980,00.
The Four Seasons Private Residences Fort Lauderdale started construction last month. Priced from $2.3 million, there have been over $100 million in pre-sales with 40% of the units under contract, according to Louise Sunshine, strategic advisor for Fort Partners, the project’s developer.
The ocean-front 22-story tower offers 90 residences and 130 guest rooms, ranging from 780 square feet to over 6,000 square feet. Three two-story residences are designed with 20-foot ceilings to enjoy the view of the Atlantic in this ultra-luxury offering. Occupancy is expected for late 2020.
“We have exceeded $2,000 per square foot in some of the sales which represent two times the sales price ever recorded for a Fort Lauderdale luxury condominium with the exception of one other area property,” explains Sunshine. “At our groundbreaking, the mayor said that the Four Seasons is contributing to make Fort Lauderdale a global destination,” Sunshine recalls.
The Four Seasons is an internationally known ultra-luxury brand with the cache, amenities, and services to attract that high net worth individual who defines the luxury branded residence buyer.
Living the five-star life appeals to those who can easily afford the price tag.