Malaysian Group Plans 2 New Condo Towers For Greater Downtown Miami

Malaysia-based Genting Group, one of the world’s largest casino operators, plans to develop two new, highrise condo towers with 1,000 units in Greater Downtown Miami.

The condo towers – part of a proposed $3 billion mixed-use resort and entertainment complex on the current Miami Herald headquarters site fronting Biscayne Bay – could be completed as soon as 2014.

“The initial plans – which still require governmental approval – for the proposed Resorts World Miami project are extremely ambitious,” said Peter Zalewski, a principal with the Bal Harbour.   “For context, think of the design of Greater Downtown Miami’s largest new project ICON Brickell– three towers sharing a massive amenities deck – and double it for the Resorts World Miami project. On a unit-count basis, the ICON Brickell with nearly 1,800 units would be one-third of the size of the 1,000 condo units and 5,200-hotel rooms planned for Resorts World Miami.”

The proposed Resorts World Miami project – for which the land has already been acquired for at least $236 million – calls for a casino component combined with retail, restaurants, and convention center space.

The speed of the Resorts World Miami construction schedule depends on whether the Florida legislature and the state’s Gov. Rick Scott agree in the 2012 session that begins in January to permit three casino sites in South Florida with two properties in Miami-Dade County and one in Broward County as is being currently proposed, according to the Miami Herald.

“If nothing happens [with gaming] it would be the biggest tragedy when unemployment is so high and here you have something that could create immediate jobs,” Genting Group’s Chairman KT Lim told the Miami Herald. “I strongly believe this can be the agent of transformation that can turn Miami into a real city.”

Genting is not the first development group to plan new highrise condos in Greater Downtown Miami.

At least three projects have been proposed – with one tower already under construction – with a combined 700 units in Greater Downtown Miami in 2011.

Overall, developers – with the Resorts World Miami condo towers – are proposing to construct seven new projects with nine new towers and nearly 2,350 new units, according to the Preconstruction Condo Projects list.

The new highrise condos are proposed for South Florida despite 5,400 units still remaining unsold from the real estate boom that began in 2003 as of June 30, 2011, according to a recent report.

In Greater Downtown Miami, the number of unsold developer units totals 2,300 condos in a 60-block stretch from the Julia Tuttle Causeway south to the Rickenbacker Causeway, and Interstate 95 east to Biscayne Bay.
At the current 2011 sales pace, South Florida’s unsold developer units would be sold out in 2013. In Greater Downtown Miami, the unsold developer units are on pace to be acquired by the third quarter of 2012, according to recent reports.

South Florida’s decreasing unsold condo inventory is spurring investment in former development sites throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

At least 11 transactions for vertical condo development sites have occurred in Greater Downtown Miami in 2011.

In total, nearly 125 development sites exist in the Greater Downtown Miami market that is comprised of the Brickell Avenue Area, Downtown, and the Biscayne Boulevard Corridor, according to the Miami Herald.

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