Developer Cuts Travels Short To Work On Gables Condos
By Suzy Valentine
After three years of cruising the Mediterranean, a Miami developer is returning to construct a Spanish-style project in Coral Gables.
Phillip Yaffa, who worked for 18 years for Florida East Coast Realty under the leadership of Tibor Hollo, set sail from Miami on May 2, 2002. In February, he returned on a winter break from Turkey and decided to re-explore construction.
Mr. Yaffa said the City of Coral Gables is to grant a final approval so a deal can close within 60 days on almost an acre at Majorca Avenue and LeJeune Road.
He and business partner Louis Imburgia have hired Coral Gables-based Dellin & Pratt as architects and Beauchamp Construction to build the 36-unit, six-story Casa Majorca.
Mr. Yaffa plans to oversee the financial and marketing aspects while Mr. Imburgia will act as general contractor.
Prices range from $550,000 to $650,000 for the 32 condominiums and four 2-story townhouses. The average size of a unit is 1,500 square feet.
Groundbreaking on the Mediterranean-revival style project should start in late January 2006, said Mr. Yaffa, after which 14 months of construction is to follow.
"There are some smaller units on that site," he said, "which have yet to be demolished."
Mr. Yaffa said he had decided to cut short his Mediterranean travels five months ago when he saw the development potential in Miami.
"My girlfriend Lisa Assalone and I had planned another year in Europe," he said, "and a further five years in total. When I saw the opportunities, I asked my first mate whether we should come back and she agreed."