drive around Miami and you’ll be dazzled by an array of luxury car brands in abundance that you won’t find anywhere else. And now these brands are also found in the Miami skyline.
In recent years, elite automakers have teamed up with condo builders to create luxury branded residences, complete with flashy amenities and extravagant services.
“Cars are a big part of people’s lifestyle in Miami,” said Jon Mann, a realtor with the Jills Zeder Group, which has sold units at the Porsche Design Tower and Aston Martin Residences. “These brands are looking for ways to stand out and feel even more special to high net worth individuals who have the resources to buy anything… They want to create a closer connection with this customer base.”
In Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, Italian automotive design firm Pininfarina’s 1100 Millicento was the first of the brand towers, with Pininfarina-designed scarlet red interiors mirroring the looks of Ferraris and Maseratis. Next is the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach in 2017, followed by the Aston Martin Residences, which are slated to open later this year in downtown Miami. A tower designed with Bentley is set to open in 2026, also downtown.
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Fast car makers need to design for a rapidly changing market. As Miami condo developers seek to differentiate their residences from their competitors, these partnerships have helped make their towers stand out from the crowd.
“Miami is a mature market where everything already exists,” said Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development, which built the Porsche Design Tower and works on the nearby Bentley residences. “Everyone is looking to differentiate the product.”
Designed to “Enjoy your toys”
As the purchasing power of buyers in Miami has increased, so has their propensity to purchase special and rarefied properties.
“It was always ‘location, location, location,'” Mr Mann said. “Then the developers started to focus on the technology to create a kind of separation between them. And then they added star architects. Now it’s iterating towards the brands.
Branded residences have been around for years. Most are collaborations with hotels, such as the Ritz Carlton Residences, with locations around the world, or the Waldorf Astoria towers in Manhattan. According to a Knight Frank survey of more than 900 clients worldwide, approximately two in five prime international buyers say they would be willing to pay extra for a branded residence.
Automotive brands are relatively new to the game, and it makes sense that they chose Miami, a city with an international reputation for luxury cars and culture. Beyond its white-sand beaches and expansive coastline, Miami is one of four cities that hosts the Art Basel art fair, is home to its share of Michelin-starred restaurants and, as of 2022, had entered into a 10-year contract with Formula One to host the Miami Grand Prix.
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“More and more every day, Miami is becoming one of the most relevant cities in the world,” said Alejandro Aljanati, chief marketing officer of G&G Business Developments, which builds Aston Martin residences downtown, where condos cost between $1.5 million and up. of $59 million. “Miami is the Monaco of the Americas.”
It also has a long-standing reputation with international investors, primarily from Latin America and Russia, who appreciate having a second home where they can safely display their money.
“In Latin America, you definitely don’t want to show off your wealth for security reasons,” Mann said. “Some of these people from Venezuela or Colombia – where you have to go around with bulletproof glass – are here because they have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their success in business and not have to worry about safety.”
As Mr. Aljanati says, “Miami is a city where you can enjoy your toys.
These branded residences are built for this. Residents of the Porsche Design Tower have the option of purchasing additional garage space with windows facing the ocean. At Aston Martin Residences, purchasing certain top-floor penthouses will also earn you a limited-edition car.
With each new tower, the list of amenities apparently grows. Car lifts – new when Mr. Dezer introduced them in the Porsche Design Tower – are now a design feature for both Aston Martin Residents and the future Bentley Tower. The Porsche Design Tower has full-size swimming pools on each balcony. Aston Martin residences include access to an exclusive marina for superyachts. At Bentley Tower, residents can entertain their guests at the Whiskey Bar or Cigar Lounge.
Each residence is designed to mimic the experience of owning one of these luxury automotive brands. At the Porsche Tower, owners might recognize the faint scent of the car’s interior as it is diffused throughout the lobby. At the Bentley Tower, the exterior is clad in the diamond pattern that owners might recognize from the stitching on the seats. At Aston Martin Residences, the building is designed to mirror the curves of the sports car.
“When you open the door of an Aston Martin, it multiplies your senses,” Mr Aljanati said. “The smell of leather, the woody touch of the doors, it encompasses your mind. This is exactly the philosophy, in terms of emotions, that we reflect with Aston Martin residences. »
Homes tailored to Miami’s unique lifestyle
For some shoppers, however, it’s not so much brand loyalty that attracts them.
Joey Goldman, co-chairman of Miami-based Goldman Properties, bought a 6,000-square-foot condo in the Porsche Design Tower three years ago and made it his family’s primary residence.
Although he lives in a Porsche building, Mr Goldman is more likely to be seen zipping around town in his Rolls Royce or Cadillac Escalade. He says he loves cars – as well as the storage space the building provides – but more than that, he loves the privacy and convenience of accessing his car from his own apartment.
“The Porsche Tower is really the only building I’ve found where you can have a house-sized apartment with an ocean view, with a pool on the balcony and a garage in your living room,” he said. said Mr. Goldman.
“My wife and I can go out to dinner with our daughter. She can fall asleep in the car. We drive home, press a button, the elevator takes us to the 50th floor and we can just carry our daughter straight to bed,” he said. “You live in a beautiful, high-rise, highly secure building, but it’s like having a garage like you’re on the ground floor.”
For car collectors, rarity is paramount. Buyers feel the same about their residences in these towers.
“These buyers want something that looks like a piece of art or jewelry,” Mann said. “It’s a unique and rare item that they can use and enjoy on the beach.”
And that’s why Mr. Goldman says he can’t imagine selling.
“It’s unique in the world,” Mr. Goldman said. “I really feel so lucky.”