Dezer, Trump plan second Sunny Isles project
By Sherri C. Ranta
Donald Trump and New York colleagues at Dezer Development are planning a second condominium project in Sunny Isles Beach.
"Trump will definitely be involved" in the new project, said Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development, a New York firm that owns an estimated 49 acres on Sunny Isles Beach.
Dezer and Trump are building the $600 million Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences on 11 oceanfront acres in the Miami-Dade County city.
Trump and Dezer are looking for another partner, and real estate experts say Miami's Related Group is at the top of the list. The Related Group is one of several companies Mr. Dezer is considering, he said, but no deals are signed.
The new 1,000- to 1,200-unit project has been in the works for several years. A formal announcement is expected in the next few weeks.
The proposed three-tower oceanfront project is expected to sit on the southern end of Sunny Isles Beach on contiguous sites from 16001 to 15811 Collins Ave. that now include a vacant parcel; Veradero I and Veradero II, two older condominium buildings; and a Days Inn.
Dezer began buying units in the Veradero buildings several years ago and reported a complete buyout of Veradero II in September 2003. Dezer swapped its 2-acre Driftwood Hotel for the Days Inn, officials said at the time.
Related Group President Jorge Perez said in April that negotiations under way with Dezer but did not mention Mr. Trump.
A venture by Related Group, another major developer on Sunny Isles Beach, and Dezer would not be new. They joined forces to develop Ocean IV, the fourth Related tower there under the Ocean name.
Construction is under way on the first Dezer-Trump project on Collins Avenue between 180th and 182nd streets. The project is about 85% sold out, Mr. Dezer said.
Mr. Dezer has hinted that a third, more elaborate project, could be in the works for the sites of the Gold Nugget and Thunderbird motels - properties his company owns.
The redevelopment of Sunny Isles Beach will push the city's tax base to about $5 billion in a few years, according to city officials.
Developers such as Michael and Gil Dezer, Donald Trump, Jorge Perez and Edgardo Defortuna are leading the way. They are buying up and knocking down 1950s- and '60s-era motels and constructing high-rise luxury condominium towers.
Dezer Development and Mr. Trump's newest project at the southern end of the city will come at the loss of two older condominium buildings, Varadero I and Varadero II, and possibly the demolition of a Days Inn motel. Developers say they expect a formal project announcement in a few weeks.
Dezer officials began buying units in the condo buildings a few years ago. But the work was slow, officials said, one closing at a time.
Residents in at least one condo building - Varadero III, a low-rise building next to luxury residential high-rise Acqualina, under construction at 17875 Collins Ave. - did not sell when Acqualina developers tried to buy them out, said Peter Fragos of Turnberry International Realty.
"They bought their units for $20,000 in the 1980s. They own them outright. Why sell?" he said. The offers, up to $150,000 each, he said, don't cover costs to buy new construction on the beach - cost that is relatively low compared to South Beach standards.
Since incorporating in 1997, Sunny Isles Beach officials have approved new development regulations that encourage developers to build tall, thin buildings to preserve beach access and view corridors.
Two oceanfront towers at the $600 million Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences will rise 55 stories. The first project of the Dezer-Trump partnership is about one-third complete. The condo-hotel tower is open. Construction is under way on the second tower, and groundbreaking on the third tower is expected by the end of the year.
Dezer Development and Mr. Trump's second project is expected to include a third developer - possibly the Related Group of Florida. Collaboration between Dezer, one of the largest landowners on Sunny Isles Beach, and Related Group would not be new. The two are building Ocean IV, a 286-unit condo south of Related Group's sold-out Ocean I, II and III towers.
Fortune International Realty is another Florida developer expanding its reach to Sunny Isles Beach. Construction is under way on two projects, 248-unit Jade Beach, 17001 Collins Ave.; and M Resort Residences, 18683 Collins Ave., a 25-story, 210-unit condo-hotel.
Fortune is building Jade Residences at Brickell Bay, a 48-story, 326-unit project under construction east of Brickell Avenue in Miami.