Developer Has Lofty Goal For South Beach Project
By Marilyn Bowden
Developers of the Gramercy and Absolut South Beach Lofts say they hope to recreate the loft concept with a new project in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.
Paolo Scattarreggia said he and partners Andres Leiser and Eric Harari have formed Trilogy Development Group to put up a seven-story, 73-unit loft-style residential building at Northeast 26th Terrace and Fifth Avenue that he characterized as more like a true industrial loft.
"People here tend to call everything with a high ceiling or no partitions a loft," he said. "With few exceptions, there is nothing that resembles what people who come here from out of town would call a loft because downtown Miami does not have an industrial history leaving buildings to be converted. We are trying to recreate the true industrial loft, but with a Miami flavor."
On the industrial side, Mr. Scattarreggia said, that means units will have 16-foot cement ceilings, concrete-block walls and exposed ducts, pipes and beams.
The Miami flavor is in the amenities, he said – stainless-steel kitchens, conventional bathrooms with oversized showers, a rooftop lap pool, a hot tub and fitness center overlooking the bay and floor-to-ceiling, hurricane-proof windows leading to balconies with a water view.
"We are just one block from the water," Mr. Scattarreggia said, "and the buildings in between are owned by the Jesuits, who are not interested in selling. So the views are secured."
The building, designed by architect Charles Benson, will convey a feeling of industrial chic, he said, with decorative roof metal stacks and exterior pipes. It will be top-lit at night. Its two ground floors will be devoted to parking. The five double-height residential stories will make it the equivalent of a 12-story building.
"In this area, developers only need to have one parking space per unit," Mr. Scattarreggia said, "but we think that once this area is built out, there won’t be room for street parking. Since most people have two cars, we are looking ahead and planning enough parking for 80% of our tenants to purchase an extra parking space at low cost."
The average unit is 850 square feet, with terraces for nine penthouse units, he said. Prices range from $310,000 to $410,000.
The developers say they are confident Absolute Bay Lofts will be popular among those who know a real loft when they see one.
"We think we can offer them something quite unique," Mr. Scattarreggia said. "It’s a great location, with easy access to South Beach and the rest of the city."
Trilogy is taking reservations now, he said, and some potential buyers fit the target profile.
"We have an artist from Spain," he said, "who wanted to be in the arts district, but not too far west. This is the kind of buyer we are building for."
While some of the plans for the foundation have been approved, a spokesperson for the city’s building department said others need to be resubmitted.
"It’s in the process," she said.
Mr. Scattarreggia said financing is in place, and he hopes to begin construction in July or August if permits are in hand by then, with completion in the fall of 2006.Details: (305) 673-3303 or absolutebaylofts.com.