Marina Blue Through the Eyes of a Professional Photographer

May 22, 2008 by Lucas Lechuga

Marina Blue lobby

About a month ago, I shared a bunch of pictures that I shot while touring Marina Blue. Someone left a comment remarking that my amateur eye didn’t fully encompass Marina Blue in all its glory. I think you will all agree, after viewing this post. Fortunately, the people at Posh Condos were nice enough to share with me some professionally shot photos that they had someone shoot for them. They agreed that I could share these amazing pictures of Marina Blue with my readers, so enjoy!

Marina Blue lobby

The lobby seating area at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue orange chair

The hallway to elevator core 3 and the beautiful orange round-chair at the end.

Marina Blue elevators

A shot of elevator core 1 at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue sky lounge

The entrance to the Sky Beach Fitness Center on the 14th floor at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue cardio room

This amazing view should inspire quite a few to get their cardio workout in each day.

Marina Blue hot tubs

The two hot tubs at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue sunrise pool

The sunrise pool at Marina Blue and the Downtown Miami view.

Marina Blue poolside lounging area

The poolside eating area off the club room. The barbecue grills aren’t installed yet but they will be.

Marina Blue poolside lounging area

The poolside lounge area at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue rock garden

The rock garden at Marina Blue. I never knew rocks could look so beautiful.

Marina Blue putting green

The putting green. I think there’s about 5 holes in all.

Marina Blue poolside round chairs

A shot of the circular beds off the sunset pool at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue sunset pool

The sunset pool. You can work on your tan all day until the sun fades into the horizon. The sand volleyball court was being set up the last time I was on the pool deck at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue finished condo unit

Most people hate to see an unfinished unit with concrete floors. Above, you’ll find a finished condo at Marina Blue with painted walls, flooring, baseboards and window treatments. The view is killer even from this condo on a relatively low floor. Last week, I got a rental listing on the 5th floor and received an offer that was accepted after just one showing. All Marina Blue condos have a direct water view.

Marina Blue kitchen 12 line

This is the kitchen at Marina Blue from a 12 line unit with tiled floors. The 12 line is a 2 bedroom/2 bath corner unit with direct views of Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach from the living room and master bedroom and views to the north and west from the kitchen and second bedroom.

Marina Blue east view

A sick view to the east at Marina Blue.

Marina Blue Biscayne Boulevard south view

A view down Biscayne Boulevard. Yes, the traffic may be congested at times, although you don’t see it in this shot, but isn’t that what urban life is all about? I honestly can’t wait for there to be more traffic in Park West, Brickell and the Arts District. The infrastructure will follow.

I’m originally from Chicago. A few years before I left Chicago, nobody wanted to live south of Congress. The infrastructure wasn’t in place at the time because there wasn’t much interest to live there from young professionals. Now, it’s a totally different situation. Development has pushed more south with each passing year and what was formally known as the “hood” has become a place that young professionals actually enjoy living.

There’s no doubt that the same will happen with Miami. Six months ago, I used to show condos at Loft 2 and 50 Biscayne and hardly anybody lived there. Now, the foot traffic that goes through the lobby of each building each hour is incredible. I showed a condo for sale at Loft 2 this evening and I couldn’t believe how many people actually live there now. It was a sight to see! It’ll definitely take some time for the market to digest the new inventory but, when it does, Miami will be hot again!!!

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127 Comments on "Marina Blue Through the Eyes of a Professional Photographer"


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Anonymous
wheeler dealer
8 years 4 months ago

VERY VERY NICE. Lucas we all enjoy your Blog a lot .Keep up the amazing work.I will be in touch as soon as the price’s DROP a bit more.Like a lot of others ….I feel that we are going to see Major price drop’s in the near future. Thank you again.

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 4 months ago
Lucas I think you’ll agree that the difference between printers row and the south side of chicago growing up so fast when compared to these neighborhoods in miami is that the job market for twentysomethings in chicago was/is significantly better than miami. not to mention, what made those neighborhoods grow up was also the fact that prices reflected the reality of the neighborhood. i don’t think you can say this in any sense for the so-called “park west” neighborhood or the biscayne corridor. yeah, there’s some deals (e.g., loft I and II) but what about the rest of the buildings?
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago

I took some pictures of the Moon Rise over the Atlantic from the Balcony of 1800 Club. I used a Canon 95 for that. Pretty basic camera. Some of the shots are astounding. enjoy.
http://picasaweb.google.com/biscaynebay/1800MoonriseOverTheAtlantic

Anonymous
Miami2008
8 years 4 months ago

Marina Blue looks great! I will definately check it out next time I’m in Miami. What’s going on at 900? No units listed on MLS…

Anonymous
kim
8 years 4 months ago

AJ: beautiful pics. Also, as an aside — I appreciate your viewpoints on the Miami market in general (although I seldom agree with your points). As you’ve come to realize, this blog is fairly bearish, and more importantly, the most well-reasoned and intelligent metric-based arguments presented are usually bearish. Again, I value dissenting viewpoints, and I’ve learned the most from reading articulate points/counter-points that your comments generate. Keep it up…

Anonymous
RCR
8 years 4 months ago

Great Blog!

Differing points of view and fortune telling helps make it great!

Anonymous
Terry
8 years 4 months ago

Great pics Lucas. But is the sand from the skybeach gone already and replaced by tiles ?
Awesome building. I am still interested to buy there but when prices will drop a bit more…

Anonymous
RoxyMIA
8 years 4 months ago

wow, nice pics of marina blue. i love that building. i stil think all in all, location, amenities, price it is the best value on that row. i am looking to rent in the bldg for a bit and decide to buy maybe early next year. ps i just made one of the pics my desktop wallpaper. too cool

Anonymous
Miami2008
8 years 4 months ago

Have to agree the amenities look great. I have been in Ten Museum, 1800, Emerald as well as others and must say Marina Blue looks like it has the best amenities of the bunch.

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago

Lucas,

The photos are AMAZING! The only shot missing is a night shot. Marina Blue looks beautiful when most of the unit lights are on since it’s all glass. It really lights up the Miami skyline! I’ll try to get a shot soon when I drive by.

Meet the neighbors at Marina Blue:
http://www.miamiurbanlife.com/group/marinablue

Anonymous
scepticalbutamused
8 years 4 months ago

Lucas,

It all looks great until a hurricane knocks it all down like bowling pins. I guess its all how you assess risk. So until then, count me in! Where can I put my deposit?!!

Anonymous
notscepticalandnotamused
8 years 4 months ago
May 23 (Bloomberg) — Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell in April, matching a record low and signaling no let-up in the housing recession. Purchases declined 1 percent to a higher than forecast annual rate of 4.89 million from 4.94 million in March, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median price dropped 8 percent from April last year, the second- biggest decline. Defaults on subprime mortgages have prompted lenders to restrict credit, while falling property values have given buyers who are still able to get financing reason to delay purchases. Mounting foreclosures will… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
8 years 4 months ago

All these condos are nice enough, the question is are there enough buyers under strict ( ie. normal/responsible) lending standards.

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago

Terry,

No, the sand is still there. The volleyball just hadn’t been set up yet. You can see the sand in the lower right-hand corner in the picture below.

Roxy, drop me an email when you’re ready to rent.

Anonymous
Mo
8 years 4 months ago
The way things are looking, I am pretty sure we will see all condo prices in Miami cut in half from now at the least. That is unless hyperinflation kicks in. Govt is printing money so prices don’t have to fall too far in nominal terms, but they are actually accelerating! Note that most housing metrics don’t include condos which have much worse numbers. We are 0.3 months of supply away from an all time high from 1982. It jumped last month to 11.2 (11.5 is all time high). We will easily see 12 months of supply blowing away the… Read more »
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago
Hi Kim, I am glad you liked the pics. Some are shaky due to the long aperture setting. I have been a sailor for 10 years and seen some of the most incredible sun/moon rises and sets at sea. But this one took my breath away and I just started clicking till my battery ran out. regarding your other comments, Pls read this I posted in this blog but on a different thread. Might be relevent; “Ok, I am not talking about the entire Miami Market in General. Sure enough, some Miami river condos with shitty views to the west… Read more »
Anonymous
Eddie
8 years 4 months ago
What I think we’re seeing at this point is that many owners who are on ARMs (or worse yet, IOs) are just waiting to see how things pan out over the next 2 years, counting on rentals to cover much of their outlays. If things don’t recover, they will just walk away, down their initial deposit + whatever extra the rents didn’t cover. This is something I’d do as an owner as well. My payments are currently low (due to the ARM or IO loan), so the spread on the rent is not so bad. Owners with higher fixed mortgage… Read more »
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago

Sorry Eddie,
Q and 18 are teeming with people.

Lucas should post the closing rate for May, it is almost due now (wow, I am almost demanding that Lucas keeps us posted as if it is our right and it is his duty! but seriously, I want to know the latest closing rates of condos).
Q and 18 supposedly are close to 70-80% closed (not verified). Upto 40-50% of both these buildings are occupied by either the owners or renters.
You are spot on about the Opera Tower though.

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago

Great pictures. That having been said, I have a fantastic 1 BR on the 34th floor at preconstruction prices. Any takers? Thought so. It doesn’t make sense to buy now as an investment and it doesn’t make sense to buy now to live there.

Anonymous
JL
8 years 4 months ago

hill, From a preconstruction perspective, what made you go for Marina Blue versus the other condos?

Anonymous
JL
8 years 4 months ago
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago

Nice article but nothing new. A 5th grader with decent math skills can tell you that. Owning a condo in Miami has never been about positive cash flow. If anyone thoght otherwise, they are not investors but just fools.

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago
Anonymous
DLJ
8 years 4 months ago

AJ

Don’t forget line 2 at quantum. I own a unit in that building and you can get the exact bay view shots form that line that you took from 1800 club.

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago

AJ,

The closing rate post will be up either tomorrow or Sunday.

Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 4 months ago

I guess I am smart money…. :-)

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago
Thanks Lucas, Looking forward to your beatiful graph and table for closing rates. Finally speculation can be put to rest. Very interested to know where Q, 18, Marina Blue stack up. DLJ, yes line 2 in Q is also excellent. My only issue is that the bed room has a bigger and wrap around balcony than the living room. But some people might like it that way. Another fantastik thing in line 02 is the window in the bathtub of master BR. I can only imagine singing in the shower while looking at the blue biscayne bay! With 1400 sf… Read more »
Anonymous
Mo
8 years 4 months ago

AJ, the reason you can’t find those units is because there are 80 of them in all of miami. At any one time very few specific units are available. The supply of greater fools must be exhausted. Be patient.

Anonymous
carbonblackcab
8 years 4 months ago

Good article on “renting in miami” in the WSF: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121155568660617563.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Anonymous
lara
8 years 4 months ago

AJ,
soon we will be neibours since I am buying in Q a pretty unique loft. It is the only loft of that type in the building- 16ft.ceiling. I always loved lofts. They give a completely different feeling of space.
The terrace is small and sq.ft is small but because of the height it makes it very desirable and also has direct bay views

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago

Congratulations lara, You now have the front row seat to the world! From your loft you can see Dolphins, manatees, footballers, soccer players, playful dogs, picnickers and ofcourse the view. Dont forget to send me an invite for your house warming party!

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 4 months ago

Infinity on brickell seems to be a first class building. I love the way it looks and the amenities look great. There is no buzz at all about the infinity on this blog. Anyone knows anything about completion, closings, prices etc?

Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 4 months ago
I always like all the talk about building amenities….but, the question is will you actually use them and are they worth paying for…esp. if you only use the building part year but have to pay for full year amenities. It is like paying for a full year gym membership but only use it 1-2 months out of the year. Plus, by owning in a building with a lot of amenities you HAVE to pay for them regardless of whether or not you like them or use them. I would rather have a building with low dues, not extravagant amenities and… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
8 years 4 months ago
Tom brings up an interesting point. How much could you be able to slash the HOA in a building like say 500, if you took out the pool (kept it to a lounge area), gym. sauna etc and kept it barebones to housekeeping and doorstaff. Since 500 is in the city, I assume you can get public parking garages nearby and drop valet? Anybody like to hazard a guess on how low HOA can go or is the hurricane insurance the 800 lb gorilla and all the other items inconsequential? My point is, outside of Florida, there are a lot… Read more »
Anonymous
Mo
8 years 4 months ago

No one wll be able to afford these HOAs once the real layoffs start. The value of these condos will be $0. You will only pay HOA since it is sometimes as much as a normal rent – $1100.

Anonymous
Nervous Renter
8 years 4 months ago

Although rents will fall, it still puts the renter in a precarious position, if owner can’t float debt and goes into foreclosure… what are the rights of the renter in this situation? I imagine a sharp increase of landlord foreclosures, as rents decrease.

Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 4 months ago

I researched my landlord, deed, etc. before renting…. Choose not to rent a different reason since there was something unusual with the deeds. Do your DD ahead of time….

Anonymous
8 years 4 months ago
JL, Insurance on the exterior of the building is the 800 pound gorilla. It represents a huge chunk of the monthly maintenance fee. After the last hurricanes in 2005, the government stepped in and set a cap on how much insurance companies could raise insurance costs per annum. As a result, insurance companies have increased the cost of insurance to the allowable maximum per year to help recoup their losses in 2005. That’s why maintenance fees have continued to increase each year. It has nothing to do with the amenities. It’s bull shit if you ask me. Insurance companies make… Read more »
Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 4 months ago

Lucas – You need to research what insurance is…. if you think it is a scam, then buy some insurance stock and get in on the scam. Insurance is actually a competitive business which explains why they have to raise rates after a major disaster since they didn’t collect enough upfront because of the competitive pressure to keep rates low. You can always self insure for most things…. Just my two cents on the matter.

Anonymous
DUDE
8 years 3 months ago
I agree with you, Lucas, all the way. Insurance companies are like the mafia. On another note, My building has this new fangled cable company called HOTWIRE and I noticed they are entrenched in a few other new condo buildings (Quantum, Wind etc.). This company is horrible, evil and completely incompetent. I think the they are paying off the condo associations to be the only provider of cable, internet and phone service. I have had nothing but problems with this company, I was wondering if anyone is having problems with them too. If they have a contract for your building… Read more »
Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 3 months ago

Dude – Sometimes developers grant exclusive contracts to these companies in exchange for wiring the building up for free and/or other remunerations. So, at this point, the HOA’s hands are probably tied.

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 3 months ago

Dude,
Sorry to hear that Hotwire sucks in Quantum. 1800 club has a company called TCE and they are excellent. never a problem with phone, internet and they are always avilable 24×7.

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 3 months ago
Hi JL, 1. A gym and a lounges are fixed assets and do not have recurring expenditure unless something breaks. 2. Pool, steam and sauna does have a minor recurring expenditure every month but spread over all unit owners, it is a pittance. 3. Buildings like Q and 1800 have free valet. Some others charge for it. It is possible for the valet to pay for itself by charging. I heard sometimes it is as much as 85% HOA dues goes for insurance and only 15% for other expenses! So there is little wiggle room there to control costs by… Read more »
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 3 months ago
Lucas hit a raw nerve in me when he talked about the insurance. That is my biggest pet peeve. Tom, do you work for an insurance company? it is unforgivable to defend those bloodsucking leeches. They found every excuse and loophole in the book to deny coverage to the home owners who lost everything in Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005. If they are covered for wind damage, they claimed it was flood damage to deny coverage. If they are covered for flood, they said it is wind damage to deny coverage. So why the %&*#@ should we pay any premiums… Read more »
Anonymous
Renter Tom
8 years 3 months ago
AJ – Nope, don’t work for an insurance company. The problem with insurance companies is NOT the rates, but the CLAIMS. They try to get out of coverage on the claims end to deny coverage. So, I totally agree with the denying coverage, but I disagree on the rate end. If you think the rates are not in line with risk, then buy some insurance company stock and get in on it. You forget that insurance has to cover the common areas….. so those common area might be more expensive then you realize…. Remember, insurance is a contract, READ your… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
8 years 3 months ago
AJ, in terms of downsizing amenities reducing HOA, the cost savings I was thinking was in terms of the insurance overhang. ie. Hurricane Insurance is one thing, but you also have liability insurance for the building and in particular, places like pools and gyms. I imagine insuring gyms, pools and saunas (slip and fall) are quite expensive items for a condo far outstripping any maintenance costs. It’d be interesting to get some hard numbers on this. What would you save in terms of maintenance and insurance if you stripped away a lot of the “normal” amenities in most buildings. The… Read more »
Anonymous
Mr Waverly
8 years 3 months ago
Maintenance fees are now factoring into affordability. Along with values and taxes increasing 100% over the last few years, the maintenance fees have also increased by as much as 100%. Management companies have become increasingly LAZY, adding incompetent staff with a third world standard and renewing vendor contracts at above average yearly increases. Values will be controlled by demand and the economy, the taxes will be controlled by value (look out local government who now has every possible relative on the payroll. “sure, you can be the manager over the people who manage the paper clips) and finally maintenance will… Read more »
Anonymous
bc
8 years 3 months ago

Has anyone seen Caribbean lately? I was outside it today and the pool area looks nothing like the brochure or model. I didn’t see the waterfall from the pool with the shallow wading pool. Plus, they put a gigantic wall of seagrass and trees planted directly in front of pool area blocking the view.

Anonymous
GW
8 years 3 months ago

it wasn’t all Continental fault remember board members signs the checks.

Anonymous
Mr Waverly
8 years 3 months ago

GW
Very correct about BOD. Zero experience and matched incompetence.

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