Developers Of North Beach Condominium Project Say It Is Nearly Sold Out
By Leslie Kraft
Developers of a residential community considered key to the master plan for revitalizing North Beach say the project is nearly sold out.
North Beach Development Corp. officials said they expect their plan for a renaissance of the northern area of Miami Beach to gather momentum.
The Collins, a 239-unit condominium, will be one of the first residential projects to be completed in North Beach in several years and is crucial to a proposed master plan for the area – set for consideration by Miami Beach officials within two to three months, said Cristina Fernandez, marketing director for the North Beach Development Corp. The group, which helped write the master plan, is a membership organization made up of residents and area merchants.
"As it becomes obvious that more people are to move into North Beach, businesses have begun to emerge," she said. "Both the new residential and commercial aspects of the community are expected to accelerate the North Beach renaissance. We have never had so many residential projects being built as we do now. Businesses and restaurants are seeing that and they are coming as well."
Under way in the North Beach area – the northern end of the City of Miami Beach from 63rd Street to the city boundary at 87th Terrace – are high-rise residential communities Ocean Blue, The Carillon and The White Diamond. North Beach’s first oceanfront single-family home project, Altos Del Mar, is also being built, said Ms. Fernandez.
More than 80% of the residences at The Collins, a 15-story condominium at 6917 Collins Ave., have been sold, developer Karlton Properties said. The Collins, which is a renovation of a building designed in 1970 by renowned architect Morris Lapidus, will be one of the first new projects completed in North Beach, set for build-out by March 2004.
"Our pricing – between $250,000 and $550,000 – was key to our sales success," said Frederic N. Karlton, a principal of Miami Beach-based Karlton Properties. "The North Beach area is one of the last stretches of Collins Avenue that isn’t yet sold out and we could see that the area was ready for a comeback."
North Beach, long considered the neglected portion of Miami Beach, has begun to revitalize its core with the creation of the Byron Carlyle Arts Center and the renovation of North Shore Park and Ocean Terrace Bandshell and Park. The area’s development agency said future plans for the town center include renovations of building façades with an emphasis on the area’s 1950s architecture style known as Miami Modern, pedestrian-friendly transportation, waterfront cultural activities and restaurant and retail recruitment.
"The best thing about the area is that by mixing the older properties with new concepts and amenities we are able to offer affordable beachfront property," said Eric Shepherd, president of WSG Development, which is building 220 condominiums and 151 condo-hotel units at the former site of The Carillon hotel. "With all the construction going on here it is clearly the next hot area."