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Front Page » Top Stories » Toronto Developers To Look For Highrise Tips In Miami

Toronto Developers To Look For Highrise Tips In Miami

Written by on March 25, 2004

By Susan Stabley
The builders behind a high-rise boom in Toronto will take a look at Miami’s skyline next week.

More than 50 members of the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association are scheduled to be here Wednesday (3/31) through April 4 to tour the area and meet with local developers. Among projects they are scheduled to visit are Four Seasons Hotel and Towers in Brickell and Metropolitan Miami downtown.

In Miami Beach, the Toronto homebuilders will look at the Murano, The Residences at the Bath Club, Canyon Ranch and others.

A private panel discussion for the Toronto homebuilders hosted by Miami Today is scheduled for noon April 1 at the Miami City Club in the Wachovia Tower in downtown Miami. Michael Lewis, publisher and editor of Miami Today, will moderate the discussion. Scheduled panelists include Clay Wilson, executive vice president for BankUnited; Willy Bermello, architect, developer and president at Bermello, Ajamil & Partners; and Lissette Calderon, developer of Neo Lofts.

The Toronto contingent wants to see how Miami real estate is sold and marketed, scope out the different types of structures being built and get an overall feel of the South Florida market, said Suzanna Cohen, spokeswoman for homebuilders group.

"Miami has a booming high-rise market," Ms. Cohen said.

Much of the high-rise surge in Toronto has been fueled by a large number of first-time homebuyers choosing condos, she said. Downtown living has become more popular there, and studies show it’s less expensive to buy a two-bedroom unit than to rent, Ms. Cohen said. She said mortgage rates in Canada are at historic lows.

Last month, 3,708 new homes and condos were sold in the Toronto area, according to the association. Five-year mortgage rates are 0.75 percentage points lower than at the end of last year, the group reported. According to The Canadian Press, major national banks dropped rates March 16.

Ms. Cohen said Canadian condos are not commanding prices as high as Miami’s.

The association travels to a different area in North America each year to learn from its trends in high-rise development, Ms. Cohen said. Members have visited Vancouver, Boston and Chicago, she said.

The visit will benefit Miami builders, said Toni Pacelli-Hinkley, executive officer of the Builders Association of South Florida.

"This is a great way for our high-rise council members to network and exchange ideas with other people in the industry representing a different area of North America," she said. "Canadian real estate investors have been coming to South Florida for quite a while now. This is an opportunity to look at what’s on the skyline from Fort Lauderdale to Miami."