Market Stat Monday: Epic Residences
To answer a reader request, this week we are going to look into one of the Downtown area’s most luxurious and appropriately-named buildings… Epic Residences. For those who don’t know, Epic Residences and Hotel was built in 2008 by Ugo Colombo. It is known for level of service, fantastic layouts, luxurious finishes, Epic pool parties and the famous restaurants, Zuma and Area 31.
It is not uncommon to bump elbows with celebrities at the property on any given weekend. Some of the celebs who have dined or partied onsite include Kardashians, Madonna, Miami Heat players, Glenn Close, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Will Smith, Lenny Kravitz, David Beckham and a host of others. The food and cocktails are top notch as well. The decor and cuisine are sophisticated with views of the Miami River and docks large enough to house some of the largest yachts known to Miami. Mark Cuban is known to dock his 288 ft “Fountainhead” yacht here.
One of the things that I love about the design of Epic is that there are two entrances. One for the residences and a separate entrance for the hotel and restaurants. Residents receive all of the same service as the hotel guest, but don’t necessarily have to be bothered by the people coming and going. As a resident you are able to set up a charge account and order room service from either restaurant, or to go to the pool and enjoy cocktails and pool food. The Exhale Spa is also onsite, and is continually one of the top-rated spas in the area.
Despite the service and luxury, Epic is not without its problems. They are currently in the midst of a construction project that started as a standard repainting of the building, only to end up as a reinforcement of the balconies and a litigation claim against the developer. I personally interviewed the building manager after reading the claim (back to my real estate geekiness), and was reassured that the reinforcement does not reflect any danger to the residences, just that if they didn’t go ahead and do the work now, it would be a problem later on. They want the developer to pay for the repair, so made the lawsuit. Buildings are typically victorious in these types of claims, so I anticipate everyone will be just fine in no time. The repairs are a bit of a nuisance, since the balconies need to be partially covered for a few weeks, but the repairs are nearly complete.
Another tough pill to swallow for Epic residents is the new neighbor. It was recently announced that Aston Martin Residences, a 66 story behemoth of a tower will be built on the lot neighboring Epic to the East, distorting the views from some of the units. Ideal for Epic? No.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say what I’m pretty sure everyone has been thinking about Aston Martin. It probably won’t happen anytime soon. This is the developer’s first go-round at building a Miami tower, the design of the tower is ambitious (with an underground parking garage on a bayfront lot) and the market is not very strong right now for pre-construction buildings that are still in the conceptual phase. Anyway, let’s stop talking about the neighbors.
Epic Residences Sales Statistics
When we look at these statistics, we are going to leave out the penthouse levels and riverfront townhomes, since those are considered outliers. As of today, there are 64 available sales listings, or 18% of the building. 20 of the available listings have a South view of the Biscayne Bay, Miami River and Brickell skyline. Those are listed at an average of $701/square foot. There are only 3 units available with a North view of Downtown Miami, listed at an average of $556/square foot. The East and West corners each have 2 listings, priced at $1,050/square foot and $905/square foot respectively.
The last 5 months have brought only 7 closed sales in the project, 2 of which were townhomes. That gives us 46 months of inventory, which is alarming. I feel like many people are in a panic over the new tower, because so many of the active listings have the water view and all of the non-outlier sales this year have had a North view. They are selling at an average of $456/square foot and the sellers who are finding buyers are accepting 93% of their asking price, on average.
Epic Residences Rental Statistics
The rental market at Epic is refreshingly healthy! There are only 18 active rentals as of today that are unfurnished and only 9 are not townhomes or penthouses. They average in price of $3.28/square foot.
We have additional good news for the Epic rental market. So far in 2017, there have been 18 closed unfurnished rental deals, 13 of them have been non-penthouse and non-townhome units. That means that there is only 3.5 months’ of inventory available on the market. This makes it a super healthy rental market! The overall rented price of the units that found tenants was $3.11/square foot and the owners only negotiated to 95% of what they were asking for.
Another interesting fact I noticed from the values of the rented apartments is that again we are seeing that the corner units are the least expensive per square foot in the building. the 9 South facing units averaged $3.52/square foot, the 11 North facing units averaged $3.17/square foot, the 2 East corner units averaged $2.96/square foot and the 1 West corner rented for $3.12/square foot.
As for the sales market, I anticipate an uptick of deals once the litigation is settled and financing is once again available. I can’t think of a new project that is under construction that would be in direct competition with Epic the way that some of the Brickell buildings compete against one another. Epic is Epic and that is that.
What are your thoughts?