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At One Thousand Museum, architect Zaha Hadid’s 61-story creation in downtown Miami, the duplex penthouse will have 360-degree views and a private elevator to the building’s helipad. Plaza Construction will build the penthouse, with Hadid flourishes, to the owner’s specifications, a sort of custom mansion in the sky.
All for a cool $49 million. The 16,220-square-foot gem is one of a handful of new penthouses listing for $25 million or more that are once again raising the bar for luxury living in South Florida. From Miami to Sunny Isles, developers are gambling that global high-end buyers will line up for the sort of opulence and starchitects once reserved for New York or London.
“Developers have been smart in shooting for the stars,” says Mark Zilbert, president of Brown Harris Stevens Zilbert in Miami. “We are entering an era where the very best in Miami will always have a buyer.”
The record $60 million purchase of a duplex penthouse in Miami Beach at Faena House by hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, which closed in September, set off the latest round of bold designs and pricing. Griffin paid $10 million over asking for the penthouse, after combining it with a lower unit. It has eight bedrooms and a 70-footlong pool on its 9,900-square-foot terrace.
That deal, which went into contract more than a year ago, was thought to be the last of its kind at that moment. The Miami condo market has cooled as currency prices have dropped around the world. But capital flight from some countries, especially among the billionaire set, has continued to sustain purchases of exclusive sky-high abodes. A six-bedroom penthouse with a cantilevered glass pool that listed for $55 million at the Mansions at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach reportedly went under contract last year, for an undisclosed amount.
Other preconstruction penthouses seeking at least $25 million include a $41 million duplex penthouse at Echo Brickell, designed by Carlos Ott, which features 28-foot ceilings and a 30-foot pool and four hot tubs; two triplex penthouses at Turnberry Ocean Club in Sunny Isles Beach selling for $35 million each, with 20-footby- 60-foot pools; and a $33.5 million penthouse at the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach, which will feature an elevator that delivers cars to their residences, along with “sky garages.”
Not all the penthouses are jumping off the shelves, of course, and developers have to be careful not to overreach, cautions Oren Alexander, a broker at Douglas Elliman who handled sales at Faena House. Despite the Porsche Design Tower supposedly having more than two dozen billionaires as buyers for its 132 units, the penthouse has hung around the market for three years.
At One Thousand Museum, the penthouse is being upstaged, in a sense, by Hadid’s aquatic center and sky lounge, which will sit atop the duplex, close to the helipad. Still, marketers are confident the unique design elements and exclusivity will lure the right billionaire buyer when it’s completed (if all goes to plan) in 2017.
“This is a building that will be highly photographed upon delivery,” says Sabine Otamendi, director of international sales for ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. “Just like Antoni Gaudi’s buildings are photographed in Spain.”.