Grove Condos Regain Pass Price Peak
By Vanessa Zambrano
While prices of Coconut Grove condos have risen to the point that they’re usually selling for $600 to $800 per square foot, new preconstruction development in the Grove has hit almost $1,000.
As single-family properties’ prices are harder to grasp, real estate agents who sell and rent properties there agree that homes have regained their pre-crisis value and that the area has remained a stable market and a family-friendly place to live.
Those agents refer to location, charm, nature, closeness to the bay, good schools and safety as the main points that keep Coconut Grove at high value.
Of the two types of residences in the Grove, condo and single-family, said Jorge Brugo, president of Axis Real Estate and Grove resident, “inventory is more limited on condos; they are mostly on the waterfront.”
The Grove at Grand Bay is one of the many new preconstruction projects in Miami but the only new luxury condo under development in Coconut Grove. The two-tower project is expected to be completed next year where the Grand Bay Hotel used to be on South Bayshore Drive with 22 stories each, as the project’s webpage states.
While the sale price per square foot is usually around $600 to $800 in Coconut Grove condos, Mr. Brugo said, the Grove at Grand Bay is reaching about $1,000 per square foot.
Coconut Grove has always been seen as a very exclusive area due to its location and its parks, said Vicencio Colmenares, realtor at GZI Real Estate Sales and Marketing. “Investors have always been looking into it, but now it’s attracting more attention, as seen with the new project.”
As much as Brickell has been growing in attracting businesses, the Grove is very sought after by families in search of a more relaxed lifestyle, Mr. Colmenares said.
That’s when single-family houses come in. “Inventory is higher if someone is looking for that kind of property,” Mr. Brugo said.
He added that Coconut Grove — as well as Key Biscayne — stayed in better shape after the economic crisis hit than other parts of Miami-Dade County. Also a resident of the area, he said that it’s a stable and safe market to settle down in because as the values of homes in other parts of South Florida were decreasing by 60% in 2008 and 2009, Coconut Grove properties only fell about 40%.
“People also come looking for the best school system in the area,” said Mr. Brugo, who moved from Key Biscayne when his children started high school. Charming architecture, nature, location and personal safety are also on his list of reasons why he enjoys living with his family in the Grove.
In just the past six months, five Coconut Grove properties have been marketed with an asking price of more than $2 million, 44 properties sold and closed for more than $1 million and 44 for prices ranging between $500,000 and $999,000, said Santiago Villegas, senior realtor at Fortune International Realty and longtime Coconut Grove resident.
The Grove didn’t suffer as many foreclosures as other areas and prices have definitely picked up in all South Florida, including Coconut Grove, he said. “The price descent was gradual, but the climb has been vertiginous.”
The area is more affordable than Key Biscayne, and very similar in prices to Coral Gables, Mr. Villegas said. But it has certain differences from the Gables: the Grove is more heterogeneous, he said. “You can have a $700,000 home across from one worth $2 million. The Grove is a melting pot of everything that makes up Miami.” He said that immigrants as well as American-born residents go to the area in search of properties.
As someone who has lived in the Grove for more than 20 years, Mr. Villegas agreed with Mr. Brugo that the benefits of living in Coconut Grove are many, including good schools, good quality of life and safety. “As Miami has evolved, the Grove remains tranquil, like the city used to be.” To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.