Yacht Club Struggles With Extensive Repairs

Yacht Club at Portofino, Miami Beach

At last night’s Association Board meeting, Hector Dejesus Guerra from Karins Engineering Group delivered a sobering report to the Yacht Club Board and residents in attendance outlining some $10,000,000- $12,000,000 worth of repairs required to fix the ailing building. “We’ve been working on this project for over two years” explained Guerra, originally engaged in 2011 to investigate water intrusion issues. After extensive examination and destructive testing, Karins identified the intrusion via failed sealants around sliding doors and windows, decayed stucco, improperly installed expansion joints, deteriorated pool deck planters, failed balcony railings, and balconies designed or altered with inadequate drainage. Coming on the heels of a special assessment for failed HVAC risers and a contentious hallway renovation project that’s been years in the making, residents were left speechless. “How are we going to pay for this?” asked a concerned resident. Mark Kassis, the … [Read more...]

Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin Rock Miami Beach Yacht Club

Tom Cruise South Beach

Landlords at the Yacht Club in South Beach are licking their chops in anticipation as more than a dozen deals are getting inked to lease apartments for the cast of this summer’s “Rock Of Ages” movie production starring Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin. No word yet as to weather the two stars will be staying there, but that hasn’t stopped residents from guessing which cast members they’ll be bumping into on the elevator or poolside. New Line Productions, who is signing as tenant, is mum on who the actual inhabitants will be. No neophyte to fame, The Yacht Club, located in front of the Miami Beach Marina, has been the backdrop or hosted the cast of many productions, including Miami Vice, Up In The Air, and CSI Miami. The filming is to start immediately and should continue through the summer. Tom Cruise has been cast as the rock star Stacee Jaxx, and Alec Baldwin will play Dennis Dupree, the owner of The Bourbon Room. Julianne Hough has the female lead of Sherrie Christian and Amy … [Read more...]

20 Foot Shark Threatens Divers Off Miami Beach

Shark on South Beach

This 20 foot shark was spotted circling divers 100 meters off the shoreline of Miami Beach on Wednesday morning during a routine miamibeachcondosfl aerial photo shoot. If you look carefully, you can see the dive flag between the boat and the shark. You can also see  the last diver as he prepares to enter the water, while our circling plane draws attention to the yet unnoticed shark! Although no casualties were reported, this is a vivd reminder to those swimmers who enjoy distance swimming far from shore that they are not alone! Shark attacks are actually very rare in South Florida. … [Read more...]

Will Fannie Lend A Hand In Miami Beach?


I received a call from Julie Mc Gauldie last night, the Fannie Mae SAD (Special Approval Designation) liaison at the Continental Group spearheading Fannie’s push to assist financially shell-shocked Miami Beach condos. We’d been talking about the Yacht Club at Portofino in particular, and other Continental managed buildings in general. As the pre-eminent Miami and Miami Beach condo management purveyor, Continental was contacted earlier this year by the Fannie Folks to help coordinate Continental-managed at-risk buildings develop a business plan to work through their “crisis mode”, and in doing so, obtain the SAD, which relaxes traditional lending requirements. “The good news”, said Julie, “is that the Yacht Club is not at risk, and does not require special assistance. We have other buildings that aren’t so fortunate.” Julie went on to talk about some of the nightmares we’ve all read about: foreclosure-riddled buildings sucking the life and money out of the … [Read more...]

Is Downtown Miami Ready For More Condos?

Ocean One

In a seminar hosted by Condo Vultures’ principle Peter Zalewski last night at the downtown Marriott, Isos Y. Stamelos-Monroe, Director of Acquisitions for Skyline Equities Realty, gushed about the proposed Sky Palace condominium development scheduled to break ground within two weeks at Mary Brickell Village: “we were turned down by 55 banks before we found a domestic hedge fund willing to underwrite the project!” exclaimed Isos. One might think that logic would dictate keeping the boat in the harbor rather than sending it out into a turbulent crowded sea against ominous headwinds, but Isos labeled it’s development “a perfect storm”, citing absorption of existing Downtown Miami condo units, low development costs, a great product, successful pre-sales and anticipated lack of competition down the road. According to Zalewski, 70% of the 22,229 condominium units constructed in Greater Downtown Miami since 2003 have been sold, and current absorption rates are at 720-730 units … [Read more...]

Foreign Investors With Cash Are King

Confidence is beginning to find its way back into the Miami Beach Condo Market. Sales of condominiums increased 81% statewide this January over last January according to Florida Realtors, with a 14% decrease in the average sale price. Foreign investors with cash appear to be leading the pack, giddy about exchange rates and reluctant to miss their opportunity to find a warm place in the sun. All-Cash transactions were up to 26% in January over last January’s 18%, according to NAR, and Canadians alone were responsible for 30% of all purchases last year in the sunshine state. Other big buyers were from Western Europe and South America. The perception is that the perfect storm of low mortgage rates, a wide range of inventory, and attractive prices may not last forever, and foreign investors seem to be less concerned with hitting the exact bottom than buying on the up-tick, where prices can move quickly. The Federal Reserve’s 1.25 trillion program to buy up mortgage securities … [Read more...]

Condo Sales in Downtown Miami Are Increasing

There's light at the end of the tunnel for Miami Beach Condo sales according to a special report by Michelle Kosinski of the "Today Show". Two thirds of the new downtown condos have been sucked up in a buying frenzy created by developer fire sales. Nobody is making any money off these sales, but inventory is disappearing, and it's not only investors buying, but a wide range of foreign soon to be residents who can't resist the incredible prices. At the rate they're selling, stability may return to the Miami Downtown Condo market sooner rather than later. Watch the video below: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy … [Read more...]

New Park at South Pointe, Miami Beach

South Pointe Park

Earlier this year, Miami Beach's South Pointe Park re-opened, after a two year $22.4 million renovation. The main walkway is twenty feet wide and extends westerly along Government Cut from the now closed pier, past Smith & Wollensky's and the Apogee where it turns North and joins the Marina walkway. (It's illuminated at night by special light deflection towers to minimize the impact on nesting turtles) There's Meandering Pathways through spacious lawns of Papalum grass (think golf course) interactive water spray area (seen above), two children's playgrounds featuring Oceanside themes, and an observation deck (seen below) where the decks structures mimic cruise ship chimneys. There's also a native beach area and beautiful flora. World-renowned landscaped architecture firm Hargreaves Associates designed over 25 varieties of trees and 34 different types of shrubs, accent plants and ground cover. Whether you're on a picnik, a stroll, rollerblading or walking the … [Read more...]