Winter is upon us, but Fortune International Group’s Jade Signature tower in Sunny Isles Beach is just beginning to “blossom.” At the beginning of December 2017, a giant kapok tree was installed at the entrance of the condominium tower under the watchful eye of landscape architect Raymond Jungles, signaling the building’s countdown to completion, a return to Sunny Isles’ roots, and the culmination of a developer’s obsession for perfection. On an even grander scale, the planting is part of an effort by the developers to reintroduce native and naturalized species to the surrounding environment. From 11:59 p.m. Saturday evening (December 2, 2017) into the early hours of Sunday morning, the massive, 65,000-pound, 38-year-old kapok tree was planted at the base of the tower. The tree is symbolic of the singular vision behind Jade Signature, an innovative collaboration between Raymond Jungles and a trio of industry titans: luxury real estate leader Fortune International Group, Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, world-renowned, award-winning Parisian interior design firm PYR, led by Pierre-Yves Rochon.

“We turned to Raymond Jungles and his team to create a landscape that would work well with the surrounding waterfront setting,” said Edgardo Defortuna, President and CEO of Fortune International Group. “Naturally, Jungles is a mastermind in conceptualizing designs that are sustainable and unique. The kapok tree, which thrives in the tropics, will be the finishing touch of this beachside oasis and a local landmark in and of itself.”

The kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) is a species that was sacred in ancient Mayan culture, revered as a source of strength and resiliency. Known for living for hundreds of years and capable of reaching extreme elevations (some have been recorded at heights of 250 feet), the tree’s unmistakable silhouette is defined by an umbrella-shaped crown made of numerous branches and arranged in horizontal tiers. As conveyed by Raymond Jungles, the implementation of grown trees, such as the kapok in this case, has immediate benefits, including erosion control, drainage improvements and an enhancement of native ecosystems. Because of the way the architects have positioned and oriented Jade Signature, the building will be bathed in an abundance of sunlight – a welcomed change from surrounding buildings that have large zones of shade. In addition, the developers hired French engineering firm Bouygues Construction (the same team behind the excavation of the Port of Miami tunnel) to dig 50′ underground for the implementation of a concealed, 400-space parking garage, a first in Sunny Isles. This innovative design has thereby allowed the team to plant more vegetation at the surface of Jade Signature and offer a seamless connection from Collins Avenue to the beach.

“In the case of Jade Signature, it was pretty easy to conceptualize and implement a landscape design because of so many of the wonderful spaces the architects created,” added landscape architect Raymond Jungles. “The tower is going to offer, what I believe, will be one of the best amenity packages I’ve ever seen…and certainly one of the most dramatic and well-designed. I think Jade Signature is really going to be a trendsetter.”

Jade Signature is located at 16901 Collins Ave. and was designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The tower feature 192 flow-through units with pricing ranging from $3.9 million and 1,581 SF for a 1 bedroom + den with 2 baths to $33 million for a 5 bedroom, 6,407 SF penthouse. Jade Signature will also features lush, landscaped grounds with beach access, a beach grill, resort style amenities including a lagoon style pool, fitness center and spa, wine cellar, library, teens lounge, 24 hour concierge and valet along with more five-star amenities that buyers demand in such a high-end, luxury building. Jade Signature features views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Intracoastal Waterway.