A Preview of 500 Brickell

May 20, 2008 by Lucas Lechuga

500 Brickell brokers party

Last Thursday night, I attended the brokers preview party for 500 Brickell. It was great to be in the company of the one or two Realtors left in Miami. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. The place was actually pretty packed. The wine was flowing and the hors d’oeuvres were everywhere. The picture above was taken from the rooftop pool on the 42nd floor.

Jorge Perez at 500 Brickell party

Jorge Perez attended the party. Jorge gave free copies of his newly published book “Powerhouse Principles” and stayed around to sign books. Above, Jorge is doing his rendition of “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley. I’m joking. Actually, he was thanking his staff and everyone involved in the 500 Brickell project.

500 Brickell lobby

I was actually very impressed with the amenities at 500 Brickell. It’s definitely a very “hip” building. That’s the word that kept coming to mind for me at least. Here you see the lobby of the east tower at 500 Brickell.

500 Brickell sports room

This is a shot of the Sports Bar room at 500 Brickell. The room also has a billiards table and a bar with flat-screen TVs which you’ll see below.

500 Brickell sports room

Another shot of the Sports Bar.

500 Brickell spa

The spa was very nice, complete with a steam room and sauna.

500 Brickell hot tub

A shot of the hot tub in the men’s spa room.

500 Brickell theater

I’m kicking back in one of the reclining seats at the back of theater room watching “Bourne Ultimatum”.

500 Brickell fitness center

Above is a shot of the fitness center. This is one amenity area that didn’t quite impress me. I found it to be rather small to accommodate the residents of the east and west towers at 500 Brickell.

500 Brickell halo

The all-famous halo at 500 Brickell. I was laying back in a lounge chair as I took this shot. It was kind of trippy. I felt like I would be beamed up to the Related Group mother-ship at any moment. I spoke with an architect who worked on 500 Brickell who mentioned that the scattered windows running down the sides of each tower were to resemble water running down. I thought that was pretty interesting.

500 Brickell kitchen

The kitchens were nice but they’re identical to the kitchens that you’ll find in the “Sky Residences” at Plaza on Brickell, so they were nothing new to me. Each of the condos at 500 Brickell comes with a Jacuzzi tub in the master bath that are the same, or at least resemble, the ones found in the “Sky Residences” at Plaza on Brickell as well.

500 Brickell shower 00 liine

The floor plans were pretty spacious and the bathrooms in most of the lines were rather large. However, the group I was with did find a major flaw in the 00 line of the east tower. The shot above is of the shower. Take note of how narrow it is. A slender lady in our group entered the shower and pretended to wash her hair. She couldn’t lift her elbows without hitting the glass. The 00 line does have the best views of all the 1 bedrooms at 500 Brickell but anyone looking to buy a condo in the 00 line should take note of the shower. You’ll definitely need to open up the space somehow. The showers in the other lines didn’t seem to have this problem.

500 Brickell south view

The view to the south of Brickell at dusk was pretty killer. However, there is an office building currently under construction that will block much of this view. If you look closely, you can see the construction cranes in the foreground of the picture above.

500 Brickell north view

A view to the northeast. The view of the Bank of America building directly to the north was also a nice sight, although you can’t see it in this picture. Personally, I much prefer the northern view at 500 Brickell over the southern view.

500 Brickell east view

Here’s a shot of the east view. I thought Icon Brickell would block most of the views to the east at 500 Brickell but, as you can see, you still get nice views of Biscayne Bay and Brickell Key. Obviously, you do see Icon Brickell to the side but the visual distraction isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

By the way, a few of you mentioned that the illuminating halo in the middle of the two towers might shed unwanted light into the condos residing on the interior of the condo development at 500 Brickell. I made sure to take a look at one of those condos to see if that was true. The halo didn’t shine a bit into the unit that I was in that night. There might be a few units where this might be a problem but I’m sure it’s nothing that some blackout shades can’t resolve.

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98 Comments on "A Preview of 500 Brickell"


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Anonymous
No Cup Holders
8 years 4 months ago

No cup holders attached to the chairs in the movie theater lounge!
No Ping-Pong table in sports bar! I will pass!!!

Anonymous
Raffi
8 years 4 months ago

Everything looks pretty nice, I’ll have to go and check out the units now that you gave us this tease.

Anonymous
Mr. Waverly
8 years 4 months ago

Where’s the doggie grooming salon and massage room?

Anonymous
Linda
8 years 4 months ago
Lucas, Your blog is great and so informative On an unrelated note, I was wondering if you have had a chance to tour Met 1 since the closings began? I hear appraisals are coming in quite low even for the most desirerable tower and lofts units on the curve with unobstructed water views. The people I have heard from who have either taken the building tour or completed a walk-through are quite unhappy with the final product that was delivered. Seems like another bate and switch from what was originally indicated. Low quality finishes and sub-par finishes were the opinions… Read more »
Anonymous
urbanite
8 years 4 months ago

lucas, would also like to get some updates on quite a few of the other towers that have come online within the last few months…….ie. Wind, Avenue on Brickell, Midtown 4, 1800 Club, Quantum on the Bay

Anonymous
JR56
8 years 4 months ago
linda i personally havent been inside met 1 .. but i would imagine that appraisals are not meeting standards. i know of a person who bought a 2 story 1 bedroom loft unit for 359,000 back in 2004 with only 920 sq ft. that is crazy high priced. now imagine a split floor plan that way how small it looks. that is why location is good as investment purposes but as end users you should really try and stick with a reputable developer. related group has consistency delivered on their promises in each of their buildings and delievered high end… Read more »
Anonymous
JR56
8 years 4 months ago

by the way the loft unit was floors 6 and 7 (two stories) facing the water or epic phase 2 if it gets built

Anonymous
Raffi
8 years 4 months ago

JR56, Thanks for the pics, I haven’t been inside met 1 but have been curious about it. It looks very modern and sleek inside. The units look like just about every other layout in Miami but I gotta say I’m impressed with all the other stuff.

Anonymous
Kyle
8 years 4 months ago

Beautiful building for a strong, beautiful city!

Anonymous
bc
8 years 4 months ago

Isn’t there an office building go up right next door to 500? Possible taking away many views.

Anonymous
Un-Related
8 years 4 months ago

bc asked: “Isn’t there an office building go up right next door to 500? Possible taking away many views.”

Think nothing of it……that’s only the South views!

Doesn’t scratch the surface of the scam these “I wanna be Trump” shysters pulled off when the INTENTIONALLY MISLED people by FAILING TO DISCLOSE “THEIR” ICON plans and CHARGING EAST VIEW BUYERS A $45 sq. ft. “premium” for something they would “steal”….after thaking the “second” deposits.

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago

I really like the pool and I thought the finishes were very nice. Lets see how the appraisals come in and how the closings go. There is so much inventory coming to Brickell

Anonymous
urbanite
8 years 4 months ago

This building really seems to stand out…many amenities, good finishes, etc…..compared to a lot of what’s in Brickell, this building really stands out and should do well. As an end-user, I would want to live there….

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 4 months ago
you know…are any of these amenities really worth the price of admission? i mean, for a guy like me that works 8:30 to 7 and stumbles home, most of the stuff would rarely get used by one jcrimes. couple that with the fact that when i do have free time, some turd will screw up the theatre system or trash the weight room, and what benefits do i really ever get out of any of these amentities? do people actually use all this stuff? my take is that if i’m not using it, i don’ t want to pay for… Read more »
Anonymous
walk-run investors
8 years 4 months ago

Heard there are lots of buyers running away from Epic final deposit due. What do you hear.
Give us the scop when you get back from doing the beat.

Anonymous
The Ace
8 years 4 months ago

Yawnnnnnn.

Wake me know when these Condo’s hit $125 per sq ft.

Anonymous
Once again
8 years 4 months ago

I agree Condo market should be realisticlly priced from $125 – $200 a square foot.

$200 being the best of the best buildings.

Anonymous
carbonblackcab
8 years 4 months ago

Jcrimes: I agree. If I am not using it, I dont want to pay for it.

Also, hardwood floors in the gym…that is a bad idea. I am sure maintaining those floors will be tough.

I think there is segment of the population that would be impressed with the TV on the wall and other superficial stuff, but it does nothing for me. I would rather they spend the money on landscaping and the upkeep of the building.

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 4 months ago

Lucas
i never realized…you still have your fin300 book from professor oltheten?

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago

I don’t think I had Oltheten. The name rings a bell though. I can’t remember who I had for Fin300. I never went to many of the lectures though. I’d pick up the syllabus, memorize the book material a few days before the midterms and finals and then ace the exams. Lectures never did much for me. I remember information much better after reading it.

Anonymous
Alan Ragsdale
8 years 4 months ago

Hey Lucas,

Great post. Thx for the pics…the building looks great…can’t wait to move in!!

Anonymous
JR56
8 years 4 months ago

the building IMO does look nice, however i really have nothing to compare it too. i havent been into many condos that have been recently completed.. how does this building compare to the likes of 50 biscayne, avenue, axis, etc..? the finishes and overall product?

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago
Past week there were 3 good news from different sources 1. Wall St Journal says The economists are scratching their heads and wondering ‘what the hell happened to the recession?’ Wachovia put the odds of recession to 45% from a high of 90% just in April. People are saying there may never be a contraction even though we might chug along at an aneamic growth rate. 2. AP reported that this summer might be the best of times for wall street to come. 3. Fannie Mae will start buying mortgages with a 97% loan to Value ratio. 4, housing rescue… Read more »
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago

500 Brickell common areas look cheap and cheesy to me, The Gym looks ghastly. I am looking through a set of eyes that saw the absolute best in Q and 1800. So I use these two buildings as the Gold standard. Only 900 Biscayne and Asia surpassed Q and 1800. Met 1 kind of matched them. Every other new building fell flat on their face. I will reserve my judgement until Marquis, Paramount Bay, Epic open up to declare victory for Q and 1800 (I do not have much hope for Icon Brickell either).

Anonymous
Hecky
8 years 4 months ago

The guillotine has not fallen, yet.

Anonymous
Criterion
8 years 4 months ago

AJ, I think you should take those “PAIRS OF EYES” and perform Lasik on them. 1800 is one of the worst new bldg in Miami. Common areas are really Hialeah like. I do concur with you that Asia and 900 are so far one of the best new buildings that just came on-line. Their developers did not nickel and dime, and knew what they were doing.

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago
Criterion, Wow, With a stroke of a pen (or a few taps) you disparaged a million people living in Hialeah! Where do you live? “Worst new building”? Maybe you have an axe to grind with 18. This is the first time I heard anything as bizzare. Gym is great and probably the only other gym with such views are the one in 50 Biscayne. The pool deck and the bay side verandah is to be seen to be believed. It reminds me of resorts in Acapulco or cancun. The lobby is so beautiful and ultra chic. Show me such in… Read more »
Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 4 months ago
AJ the fact that wall street might have a good summer doesn’t mean anything for the housing market in miami. making a killing on commodities and short strategies doesn’t change the dynamics of the ABS market. in any event, your economics are off 1. you’re assuming that inventory will be stagnant for the next 3-5 years and that people won’t try to sell the units they own, which of course, will add to the inventory figures. 2. you assume that demand for all of the inputs will continue to grow. if that’s the case, and i’m an investor that owns… Read more »
Anonymous
joe
8 years 4 months ago

nice building. bad location. they building brand new building in the front and so much traffic coming from downtown and across that bridge.

this is truth. bad location

Anonymous
Liz
8 years 4 months ago

hmmm..

for a building within walking distance of grocery stores, office buildings, restaurants and with views of the river and bay, I find it very “interesting” that joe would think this building is in such a “bad” location…

Sounds like someone’s got a bone to pick…perhaps Joe can’t close and is going to lose his deposit….

Anonymous
Un-Related
8 years 4 months ago

Liz,

You are either a RCRS shill or a wannabe condo-liver who could not afford a deposit.

Your: “with views of the river and bay” may have been true of the literature, however, Related charged some of us app. $50,000 for “those views” and then announced that ICON across the street.

So, unless you have a “skin in the game’, PUT A CORK IN IT!

Anonymous
Grant
8 years 4 months ago
AJ makes some good points so let’s not beat him too badly. If you presume that we’re in the last throes of the low inflation age then he actually makes some great points. I take his point to be the following: Real estate has historically acted as a net real return performer and thus a hedge against inflation. As all the various construction inputs costs for building new condos go up, the cost of an existing condo should go up as well. So buy your inflation hedge now, but do it in the right location and for the right price.
Anonymous
bubbleRefuge
8 years 4 months ago

AJ makes some valid points. I’ve been a huge housing bear but I think the national housing market has bottomed. California
sales increased 25% month over month. National housing inventory has appeared to have bottomed. I think Inventory will get burned off very fast as prices drop even here in south florida.

Having said that, as an asset class, miami condos are generally a bad investment. Carrying costs are just too high in most cases and overbuilding is driving down rents.

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 4 months ago

Liz
what grocery store are you referring to that’s in walking distance? are you talking about the CVS?

Anonymous
Mike K.
8 years 4 months ago
I think you guys are missing the point. Of course sales will begin to increase as prices decrease. But you have analyze quality vs. quantity. Most of these sales are ‘FORECLOSURES.” On paper, transactions are up, but the prices are DOWN. Foreclosures are bringing down prices b/c all comps are affected. There are still many risks to this market: With oil making a new high at 132.08 today…we appear to be entering a higher inflation. Inflation will lead to HIGHER INTEREST RATES…and make it harder to buy a home. Bankers Assoc reported that mortgage applications were down -7.8%. In regards… Read more »
Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 4 months ago

bubbleRefuge – The large majority of people buy real estate by taking out a mortgage. Banks are not very willing to lend in the Florida market and we are seeing the effects of that now and will continue to do so as prices continue to slide substantially through this year and most of next year. I figured I am saving$30K-$40K by renting, not including the price declines. Might be a good time later this year to buy a nice new luxury car…

Anonymous
bubbleRefuge
8 years 4 months ago
I know every bear argument ad infinitem. I don’t think prices have bottomed. They will continue to drop. However, inventory is starting to tighten and it will tighten much faster than it grew. As far as the economy, it also has appeared to have bottomed in Q1. Exports are exploding and keeping the economy afloat. Inflation is ripping. Although its tough to predict, if wages rise, as they should in an inflationary environment, then everything has to go up with it. Rents and yes real estate prices. Having said that, prices will continue to drop for condos in miami for… Read more »
Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 4 months ago

bubblerefuge
what’s the basis for your statement that inventory will tighten much faster than it grew? i don’t see it happening. especially if we’re entering an inflationary time. the fact is people can’t afford today’s real estate prices let alone an increase in prices (which btw, i don’t agree with your statement that RE prices in this current market will rise if we enter an inflationary period).

.

Anonymous
RCR
8 years 4 months ago
How on earth is inventory going to tighten in the forseeable future? How many moving ans do you see pulling up to these new buildings. There was incredily low real demand (end users) in the first place and now that element will be sitting on the sidelines a very long time. True inflation (how it effects you and I) is going through the roof and is historically combatted one way – raising interest rates. Everyone has been looking at the last few years of near historically low mortgage rates. When rates rise as they are bound to, the unaffordable small… Read more »
Anonymous
perez
8 years 4 months ago

What ever happened to those bulk buyers I’ve been hearing about for a couple of years. They were suppose to come in, buy in bulk, and drastically reduce our inventory levels.

Could anyone identify any building were this has happened?

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago
Hi Perez, The bulk buyers are still waiting and may keep waiting. Jack McCabe started a vulture fund in 2004 and yet has to make a substantial purchase, unless he already did but cannot disclose due to confidentiality agreements between the developers and the Vulture funds. What surprises me the most is that, all that apocalytic scenarios predicted have not materialized. take recession for example. i am still waiting for it. Population explosion is so rapid that traditional recession cycles are either not occcuring or very truncated. In Miami, there is no panic selling fire sales of condos are going… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
8 years 4 months ago

AJ said;

“In Miami, there is no panic selling fire sales of condos are going on. ”

Give it another year when a chunk of the looming inventory actually comes online. Related having problems with their closings could be a nice trigger for panic.

Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 4 months ago
Ummm, the banks and mortgage holders are panicking…and are overwhelmed with bad loan issues. There is a very serious problem with what people and banks thought the mortgage notes were worth and their actual worth. The full ramifications have not been felt yet. Many many many people seem to have invested in non-primary residence real estate property who are “at the margin” and are holding on as best they can. But the simple and undeniable fact is Florida residential real estate is in a historic decline in values from the bubble peak. Money magazine recently came out with a prediction… Read more »
Anonymous
perez
8 years 4 months ago

gas prices and airline prices are and will continue to affect the 2nd home market. Every trip down costs that much more, people are more likely to stay home or near home, besides they have that much less disposable income.

Miami will continue to be a desirable destination, I just think people will cut back and come a lot less, to the point it doesn’t make sense to buy, just rent a vacation home or stay at a hotel instead.

Anonymous
Un-Related
8 years 4 months ago

As for 500 BRICKELL? An update which portends some unpleasantness!

Having been assigned early June closing dates, I asked for an early “walk-through” and my requested was rejected out-of-hand!

Then, I requested a five-minute “walk-through of the corresponding “demonstrator” units the brokers saw. They plicks never even gave me the courtesy of a return phone call!

I guess spending $750,000 with these “nice people” doesn’t get you to first base.

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago
Hi JL and Tom, What I am trying to say is that we have to look at Miami market with in a different perspective. 20,000 units coming on line seem daunting but it is only one part of the story. Firstly any idiot who borowed money to put down payment on precon deserves what he/she got. They have no business to invest here in the first place. In fact it is not called investing it is called gambling. Investing is something you do with your spare cash or savings. Not by borrowing and speculating with it. As I said before… Read more »
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago
Just to make myself clear so that people do not misunderstand me, I am not advocating everyone to close and carry regardless. Only under following circumstance. If all of below are satisfied; 1. You invested in a great building with excellent amenities. 2. Building located in a good location 3. Your unit has a water view. 4. You have the means to carry the unit for the next 4-5 years with out resorting to borrowing or struggling. 5. If you can rent the unit to cover 50-60% of the carrying costs, it is great. Even if you cannot rent, are… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago

Lucas, Thanks for the picture update of 500 Brickell! I wish I could have made it to see for myself.

Anonymous
Mike K.
8 years 4 months ago
AJ, How can you advocate entering an investment that only cover’s “50-60% of the carrying costs?” Are you trying to argue it’s a prudent investment strategy to purchase assets that have Negative Cash Flow. Definition of INVESTMENT: the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit. Why would I invest now if I can only cover 60% of my carrying cost? Who would buy a stock, or bond, or any other investment for that matter, if I told you were Guaranteed to lose money on this for the next 3-5 years; with… Read more »
Anonymous
Julian
8 years 4 months ago

AJ – sorry, your argument doesn’t stack up. Infact it’s nuts.

I would fit all your criteria and wouldn’t close unless you mugged me at gunpoint and drove me to the Title company.

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