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South Beach Vacation + Bargain Condos = Miami Condo Investments Tour

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I’ve been kicking around this idea in the back of my mind for quite some time.  I guess the timing just never felt right.  Prices have now fallen to a more realistic level, however, and it may be time to at least discuss the idea to see if there would be any interest.

I’m proposing to hold a two-day tour of Miami and South Beach condos in June of this year.  The tour would focus on the best condo deals in Brickell, Brickell Key, Downtown Miami, the Arts District of Miami and South Beach.  The objective would be to educate nonlocal buyers, who may not be familiar with the various neighborhoods and condo developments, but may have an interest in buying here at some point in the future.  It’s also an opportunity for local buyers to take a first-hand glimpse into the best condo investment deals in Miami.  Weather-wise, June may not be the best time of the year to visit South Florida, but I expect the deals at that time to be even better than they are now.

The condo tour would be held on a Friday and Saturday, in which time we would visit 10 buildings and about 30 condo units.  The tour package would include a 3-night stay at the Loews Hotel, a 4-star/4-diamond oceanfront hotel in South Beach; 3 breakfasts; 2 lunches; and the 2-day chartered bus tour.  The cost would be $900 for one person or $1,500 for 2 people staying in one room.  The 2-day chartered bus tour would also be open to local buyers who do not require hotel accommodations at a rate of $300 per person.  To those who close on a condo that was placed under contract within 3 months of the tour, I would credit half the cost of the condo tour package at closing for those requiring hotel accommodations and the full cost to those paying the $300 rate.

I’d love to get your feedback about this idea, and I’m open to suggestions regarding the buildings that will be included in the tour.  Please add your thoughts in the comments section and use the second poll below to vote on the buildings that you’d like to see on the tour (you may select multiple buildings when voting).  I’m hoping to get around 20-25 interested parties in order to set this plan into motion.

[poll id="7"] [poll id="5"]



139 thoughts on “South Beach Vacation + Bargain Condos = Miami Condo Investments Tour

  1. A fabulous idea as by the time June rolls around The Great Depression Two will be in full swing.

    And the sheep keep coming.

    The Smart Money doesn’t ride the bus.

  2. Wild Bill still says Miami Condos are not investments. They are declining assets.

    Can I finance the $900? I was thinking maybe a no doc loan. Cash back at closing maybe? Can you add a Duck Tour? http://www.ducktoursmiami.com/pages/the_show.htm

    Wild Bill is going to have his own tour. Around the county clerks office. Going to research all the liens and foreclosures on these buildings.

  3. Hi Lucas, I would like to join you on the condo tour. We plan to buy a condo, this year. Let me know if you need a bus for the tour. We own tw0 new 36-passenger vehicles.

  4. I would but for that money I am planning on buying a two two at the Icon once Jeorge files banctruptcy

  5. Ace and Wild Bill, Don’t you guys ever know when to shut up?
    Remember, you are only guests on this blog. So behave like a good guest. Lucas is your host and he is giving you a platform to air your views. By disparaging your hosts business proposal, which makes a great sense for non Miami buyers, you are only projecting how ill mannered you guys are.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Even though I am not in the market for a condo, I would absolutely love the idea of taking this tour with Lucas. I would have got the first hand opportunity to interact with the man himself and see some buildings I have not yet visited. But unfortunately, Jun-Jul-Aug, I am held up in NY. Nevertheless I love Lowes Hotel, my favorite location after Tides/Victor. So a 3 night stay with breakfast and lunch for $900/pp and $1500/couple is not a bad deal at all with or without the tour.

  6. In 100% buyer’s market…I am not sure why someone would agree to spend $300 so a real estate agent can show him condos. Lucas…you should be paying prospective cash buyers, not the other way around !

  7. Mr. Lechuga,

    I think it’s somewhat of a nice thought of you to show some of these building.

    You’ve told us what the $900. is for but the $300. includes just the showings and the bus ride?

    Well regardless I hope you’re successful in your proposal.

  8. Mr. Lechuga,

    I think it’s somewhat of a nice thought of you to show some of these buildings.

    You’ve told us what the $900. is for but the $300. includes just the showings and the bus ride?

    Well regardless I hope you’re successful in your proposal.

  9. AJ,
    I feel slighted that you asked only The Ace and Wild Bill to shut up.

    Muir, member of the Smart Money.

    Lucas,
    I’d tag along in my car and would be very amicable to contribute a fair amount for lunch, say $50.
    But I also, as a member of the Smart Money, do not ride the bus.

  10. You were a bit late to catch up. In any case if it makes you feel better, oh shuddup.
    I can offer a few whippings too if you like.

  11. Kevin,
    I thought of it too. Then I realized that for a 2 day bus trip you got to pay for the bus, driver, fuel, parking etc. There are 2 free lunches in the package during the 2 day bus rides. Even though Lucas did not specify, I believe the lunch will be for everyone during the lunch break and not just for those taking the hotel option. So $150/day for a expert guided tour of Miami condos with Lunch is not a bad deal. In any case, this is a good deal for out of towners with limited knowledge of Miami condos. May not be so attractive to a local.

  12. condo swindlers said: “I would but for that money I am planning on buying a two two at the Icon once Jeorge files banctruptcy”

    ROFLMAO – You made my day!

  13. “Smart Money” =”No Money”.

    I think the tour is a good idea. The $300 charge is also a good idea to keep the rif-raf out. Can you imagine how many “Smart Money” guys you would have on the bus if the tour was free? If you are even somewhat interested in buying a condo then the $300 could be a wise investment.

  14. “The $300 charge is also a good idea to keep the rif-raf out. Can you imagine how many “Smart Money” guys you would have on the bus if the tour was free?”

    That was outrageously hilarious – “Real Money” speaking.

  15. Hi Lucas, It is a great idea. I would add some sort of a seminar though when after viewing condos every participant will be presented with some sort of materials and financial analysis of the project and etc. May be I’ll call you and advise you how to organize it professionally. Why do I dare even to give my advice? For several years I conducted business consulting seminars for overseas executives as well as some real estate forums in different US cities.
    I would rent a conference room in the hotel and give an introduction and etc. Too many details to mention here. If that goes successfuly you will be surprised how many people would want to come and take part in it. Alot of people have some sort of a desire to participate in buying discounted real estate but are afraid due to the lack of knowledge how to do the analysis of buying a property. I would invite a title co and an experienced mortgage specialist who would be able to give mortgage options and etc.

    If you do it on a professional level when all aspects of buying real estate are included then your charge of $300 or $1,500 is justified.

  16. So we pay YOU so that you can sell us a condo and make commission? Two days on a bus doesn’t cost $300. It’s $60 if you fill the bus up.

  17. AJ,

    You shouldn’t throw too many bricks when you yourself live in a condo glass house.
    Remember, by next year the “rif-raf” will be your neighbors who bought at $85 per square foot.
    Just saying.

  18. I think this blog has gotten to the point where people should no longer be able to respond to theards. You guys act little like kid’s who have nothing better to do so you come on this blog to live your delusional life.

    Lucas, I like the idea and what lara said about the conference is a good idea as well. I think it will be good for out of towners (which is the intended audience) and not for locals. If you need help organizing let me know.

  19. Raffi,
    I think you’re absolutely right..

    Bmw M3,
    Here’s your answer
    To those who close on a condo that was placed under contract within 3 months of the tour, I would credit half the cost of the condo tour package at closing for those requiring hotel accommodations and the full cost to those paying the $300 rate.

  20. Muir, not sure what your talking about but since lately you have absolutly nothing worth contributing to the blog you probably don’t know what your talking about either.

  21. Let’s run the numbers on the top pick on this post. We can go through the liens, foreclosures, interest payments and maintenance fees. Handle it from a mathematics point of view.
    Many authors have stated that condominiums are not good investments. Just need to go the library to confirm what I’ve been saying.

  22. Agreed that there have been a lot of nonsense posts lately.

    Lucas,

    Rather than turn off comments, can we turn on the “thumbs up thumbs down” rating system? It looks like its already there anyway and it may help the crowd self-edit all the nonsense posts. I’ve seen it work reasonably well in other blogs.

    Doc

  23. Lucas…this is a great idea. I would not mind paying 300 bucks to see what is available in the Brickell/Sobe area.

    It would not hurt to advertise in places with high tourist foot traffic like cocowalk , lincoln road, etc. If you do it right, the income from the tourism portion will be better than the sales commission from closed deals.

  24. I guess I should have mentioned that I’m not making one penny from the actual tour. I don’t have the time to coordinate everything that would be involved in order to plan and schedule this type of event.

  25. Like I said, anyone who is serious about spending 2,3,400K+ on a condo shouldn’t mind spending a few hundred bucks and a few days doing a guided tour of deals are available in the market. Depending on the date I might sign up for the complete package even though I have no intent of buying a condo. I’ll get a couple days in miami and get to first hand view of these infamous condos.

  26. makes me think re #30
    Yes, agreed and makes sense.
    If I were an out of towner, I think that $300 is a good deal (IMHO)
    Moreover, it’s silly to think that Lucas can make a living with tours.
    It’s a good PR gimmick and for the not very sophisticated, it actually may be a good thing because I’m sure Lucas will find them a better deal than 95% of the other brokers out there.
    Let me be very clear, and I hope Lucas reads this; if I could not dissuade a friend from buying, no matter what, I’d send him/her to Lucas.

    Raffi,
    I see schizophrenia here.
    It’s obvious that Doctor, GN and AJ are the same person without his/her meds.
    Others like you are just into sadomasochism (not that there is anything wrong with that)

    The Smart Money believes that the best investment for some are 20-100 hours with a psychiatrist.

    Muir.

  27. I miss Mark (and all associated entities)
    I loved his alpaca stories.
    Hope he comes back.
    (I don’t think he’s here. Is he?)
    I am not as witty as Mark with his alpaca-wool-grows-best-in-East-facing-condos-hence the premium.
    Or granite countertops-to be used for alpaca slaughter meat-in non-premium West facing units.
    If he is here, I hope he remembers that all it takes is changing the IP address on his router, but I’m sure he knows that.

  28. Miami2009,

    “I actually like the idea of a tour. Not sure if I want to ride a bus however.”

    ditto! Hence I posted earlier I’d pay $50 for lunch.
    Took a bus tour in Jupiter Island/Tequesta—–> not a Smart day.
    ___

    Think the big fat investor two rows down who decides to pass gas and having to hear two nitwits discuss the market.
    Definitely, Muir left his Smart Money card home that day.

    The Smart Money learns.

  29. Muir u said “I see schizophrenia here.” what are u talking about? I only use one name, and it’s the same one I’ve always used. look at your frantic posting, the only schizo I see here is you.

  30. Thanks AJ!!

    (re post #38)

    Look forward to arriving some time within next 18-24 months.

    (re post #39)
    Enjoy it! They think I’m Mark.

    Raffi,
    Relax, take a deep breath. Really, it’s ok.
    Really.


    Muir, Smart Money doesn’t ride the bus or the seminar.
    For a real life seminar go to the 9th floor downtown Wed, Thurs & Fri.

  31. What is REALLY interesting is that the GOVERNMENT will need to substantially increase taxes thanks to the TRILLIONS in additional debt piled on by socialist democrats. We can argue about the politics BUT one thing that can’t be argued against is that taxes…..AND THIS INCLUDES REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAXES……will have to substantially increase over the next 10 years and possibly beyond. Do you REALLY think only the high income earners will foot the bill? Think again, assets will also get higher taxes too! Sorry AJ, but you’re not even more underwater. Income taxes, estate taxes, property taxes (esp. on more expensive properties and non-primary residences), sales taxes, all will go up, uP, UP. You get what you vote for and the government debt will absorb a lot of work and wealth. This will drive down after tax dollars available for home purchases and hence will drive down prices even more…….

  32. What did W C FIELDS say? “theres a sucker born every day”, or in 2009 “theres another fish waiting to bite”. The bus trip to nowhere is great for the uninformed, just reel em in…………..

  33. Lucas,

    I think this is a great idea. When I came down here a year ago, I had an agent drive me around for two days looking at rentals. All I remember thinking to myself is that she was using an awful lot of time and gas to show me around Miami…because that is basically what it was, a tour and an education. And it was a rental, so she wasn’t exactly making a significant commission.

    Thinking back on it, I definitely would have paid for that experience and assistance.

    Good luck.

  34. completely off topic…

    what norman braman wasn’t able to kill, sarnoff and spence jones happily delivered the coup de grace. let’s see if the marlins are really serious and try to go elsewhere…i don’t think they will in this current environment.

  35. A realtor in Las Vegas was doing the bus thing last summer. He picked people up in Orange county, drove them the 300 miles to Vegas on Saturday and returned Sunday night. I think he charged $99 and you got a room at an off strip hotel and some chips and a bbq party on Sat. night. He took them to foreclosures.

  36. Lucas,
    I’d love to do the tour but I have a commitment in June. Is it possible to do it in July or August? August would work better for me.
    Thanks

  37. For far less than the pocket change of $900.00 here’s how The Smart Money operates.

    In an air conditioned fully stocked Limousine supplied by the Concierge at the Ritz or any Five Star Hotel we tour the Banks not the Condos because we’ve found that the best deals are obtained through negotiations with the owners IE: The Banks.

    The Smart Money rides in style waving at the rif raf on the bus as we cruise on by to riches.

  38. Lucas,

    Any time you try to plan a big event in Miami that includes locals, things tend to go FUBAR very fast.

    Why don’t you do something like this instead. Shoot for several smaller more intimate tours that would make logistics much easier. Drop the hotel part and let people contact you that might be interested in a tour or allow an area to post some interest and when you can get 5-6 parties that can commit to a certain date, rent a stretch limo and show them around. I’m sure the more intimate nature will give you a much better chance at securing a future client and also it would be much easier to tailor the trip on the fly to meet specific requests to see certain condos, etc.

    Running around with 20 individuals/couples on 1 date I think is more for a party rather than being serious about doing business.

  39. Price sounds high, but it is otherwise a great idea for us out of towners. We Huskers travel with some of our animals at all times. Will there be room for a small pig and one bull with only a slightly bad temperment?

  40. Renter Tom – Do you really think that our taxes will go up because of the “socialist democrats”? You need to give the pills back to Rush. The stimulus package is the only hope that the U.S. has to inflate its way out of a debt problem. It’s as simple as that. Sure taxes will go up by +7% per year, but so should wages and property prices. This is why real rates are now so high, but it still makes sense to buy the biggest piece of property (that you can afford!) and to fix with a 30 year mortgage. That’s what the U.S. is doing to the Chinese. We’re going to inflate our way out of this mess which the rascally republicans got us into.

  41. Check this out. First it was Greenberg Traurig and now it is Deloitte. Met 2 will soon be a successful office building. I love it, I love it, I love it. Now I wish some non law firms and financial firms also sign up for this project. Looks like Met 2 is all set to become the No1 office address in Miami and a very prestigious one too. Step aside Brickell, your time has come and gone.
    Great news for Epic, Met 1, One Miami. If you work in Met 2 and live in any of these 3 buildings, you are just an elevator ride away from your work. For the rest of the buildings in Downtown, Park West and Pace Park, it is a short Metro Mover ride away. I have a very strong feeling that this building will fill up with top class firms in no time before the Jan 2010 opening date. That also might stimulate demand for Epic and Met1. Jcrimes, start looking for deals in Epic and gables look for deals in Met1 before this ultra chic office tower opens up for business next year. Honestly!

    http://www.miamiurbanlife.com/forum/topics/met-2-rises-and-lands-deloitte?xgs=1

  42. Anyone familiar with Ocean Blue in Miami Beach? Prices are getting realistic and just a short walk to the beach.

  43. Grant
    “Renter Tom – …The stimulus package is the only hope that the U.S. has to inflate its way out of a debt problem. It’s as simple as that.”

    brilliant!

    “… but it still makes sense to buy the biggest piece of property (that you can afford!) and to fix with a 30 year mortgage.”

    brilliant!

    ” We’re going to inflate our way out of this mess which the rascally republicans got us into.”

    Yeap!

    ____

    I like RT’s alter ego.
    Nice one RT.
    I don’t buy this guy being real.
    AJ is a stretch, but I realize he does exist.
    Fes up, who invented “Grant?”

  44. AJ said: “I have a very strong feeling that this building will fill up with top class firms in no time before the Jan 2010 opening date. That also might stimulate demand for Epic and Met1. Jcrimes, start looking for deals in Epic and gables look for deals in Met1 before this ultra chic office tower opens up for business next year. Honestly!”

    At THIS MOMENT, Met2 is doing better than the other new office structures. But, unlike NYC or L.A. where you can find comparable replacement tenants for the Class-A buildings left behind by the firms which move, in Miami, filling 200,000 sq.ft. of Class-A space in the firms’ “old” buildings just shifts the burden of empty space “down the street”….

    Also, prior to popping the Champagne corks to celebrate the lease signing, check to “fine print” for exit contingencies. Obviously, in this environment and with multiple new towers, you can bet there are pages full of “exit” contingencies. Honestly!!

  45. I AM ALL FOR IT, AS LONG AS YOU COVE MY COSTS, ITS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST,
    SINCE U WILL BE GETTING FAT COMMISION IF I DO BUY SOMETHING,
    AND BROKERS ARE CALLING ME EVERY DAY TO SHOW ME THESE PROPERTIES, WHY AM I PAYING 900 AGAIN???

  46. Yeah, there is a chance that firms down the road (across the bridge from Brickell) might move down there. But who cares. Downtown condos will eventually cannibalize the people living in SFH and other far flung areas of Miami if no fresh immigration of people to Miami continue. So will the Metropolitan, which might become the most prestigious office address south of Manhattan. If no new firms open their office in Miami, the existing ones may gravitate towards the new it girl in town. Bottom line is that Downtown condos benefit. Sure someones gain is someone else’s pain. But that is life.

  47. One tenant renting two floors is not news. Many other companies such as the Miami Herald and Macy’s have recently fired downtown workers. Bayside Marketplace isn’t even paying full rent to the city and is currently for sale. Downtown business have already fired several hundred people. Relocating law offices is not going to spur growth in a downtown condos. Many of these lawyers laugh at the stupidity of condos. They spread the work to clients and other educated people and the entire market will collapse. Only the Carleton Sheet sand Donald Trump types are interested in condominiums.

  48. AJ
    spence jones and sarnoff have effectively killed off the marlins stadium

    as for finding deals in met 1 and epic…there’s no rush.

    finally, as for met 2 becoming the premier office space, my understanding is that a significant amount of the space is devoted to one or two hotels in the space. GT is taking 3/4 floors while deloitte is at most, 1 floor in the building. that said, i think the met 2 folks are already 60% preleased for the office space. as for the hotel component of the project, that’s a pretty risky affair based on the fact you have four “premium” hotels in the vicinity – epic/viceroy/intercontinental and mandarin

  49. From Daily Business Review “Inside Track” – March 4, 2009

    Looks like Big Gorge has a few (more) detractors out there…..

    http://dailybusinessreview.typepad.com/insidetrack/

    *********************************
    Father, son say Related forged signatures to keep deposit on Trump Tower

    Trump At a time when Related Group is struggling to pay down debt, the giant condo developer has become a magnet for lawsuits by unit buyers looking for any strategy to get their deposits back.

    Now Ken Borinsky and Mark Borinsky, a father and son who are trying to recover more than $200,000, are claiming the Related Group forged their signatures on a pre-construction contract for a condo at the 271-unit Trump Tower II in Sunny Isles Beach.

    The lawsuit says Related is guilty of civil theft, fraud and violating the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

    The lawsuit also names developers Donald Trump, Michael Dezer and Gil Dezer as defendants. They are Related’s partners in the Trump Tower project. The Borinskys are not claiming the Dezers or the real estate mogul and TV reality show star knew or participated in forgery or fraud, said Fort Lauderdale attorney Joseph Altschul. His firm, Joseph E. Altschul, represents Borinsky.

    The lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on Feb. 26.

    Betsy McCoy, Related Group’s associate general counsel, said her company had “extensive discussions” with Altschul before he filed the “frivolous” suit. She said the facts and documents do not support the lawsuit’s allegations.

    “For various reasons, some buyers are trying to walk from their contractual obligations without consequence,” she said. “This is an example of one of the new and outrageous strategies. Civil RICO is a serious allegation made without legal or factual basis.”

    Altschul said the Borinskys want to recover a $205,580 deposit they made in March 2005 to buy the unit. The suit claims that 10 months after signing the contract, the developer sent them an amended floor plan showing that a private entrance to an elevator had been eliminated, the master bedroom had been reduced in size by 27 percent, a second bedroom had been downsized 19 percent and the den by 18 percent.

    The Borinskys didn’t accept the revised floor plan and demanded their money back, according to the suit. The Borinskys say Related representatives told them the deposit would be returned when construction was completed. They asked again in mid- 2008 that the money be returned, as construction was nearing completion, but were rebuffed.

    The developer said there was “no legal basis” to cancel the agreement and faxed them the amended floor-plan containing “forged and/or copied signatures … in hopes of convincing them that they had approved” the amended floor plan, according to the lawsuit.

    Hundreds of condo buyers who signed pre-construction contracts before the housing market crashed in 2007 are suing to recover their deposits from developers, including Related, which built close to a dozen condo towers across South Florida.
    *********************************

  50. jcrimes,

    GT is taking 4 floors. Deloitte is taking 2 floors with an option for 1 more.

    New office buildings of similar quality (i.e. Four Season & 1111 Brickel Avenue) sold out before opening day.

    Met 2 commercial space should be at 80-90% occupancy by the end of 2010, thus, making it a profitable venture.

  51. RAM
    there’s something like 2M of comm’l space coming online in the next two years. not to mention, stanford is about to give up 75k sq ft. you can be sure GT is getting a sweetheart deal on its space (. same for deloitte. to compare the four seasons/1111 brickell ventures to today’s comm’l market is not accurate. moreover, the comm’l space may be a profitable venture…but let’s see how the hotel component holds up.

  52. jcrimes,

    Your numbers are not accurate.

    Stanford Financial has less that 32,000 sq.ft. on the 21st floor of One Miami Center. The lease expires in 8 years. And should be tied up in different courts for several years.

    Many commecial projects have been cancelled / postponed. There are not 2 million sq. ft. of space coming online in the next 2 years.

    The GT and Deloitte deals were executed at competitive pricing for Miami commercial space. Not sweetheart deals.

    The hotel component will probably depend on tax incentives, financing, cost controls and market conditions.

  53. This two day tour sounds very smililar to a time-sharing selling scheme……it will never work…..I would first qualify my clients as for the area or location they require (near the beach, on the beach, downtown,etc.) then their individual requirements (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc.) and their budget. Create smaller groups (6-8 persons) and group them together with their similar wish lists. Pick them up at south beach and have a maximum 2 hour tour with a limo and forget lunch or accomodations..drop them off at the starting point and let them soak in the scene of south beach….DO NOT CHARGE FOR THIS SERVICE !!!!!

  54. I see boundless optimism, the joy of capital and endless possibilities.

    Miami “The Fair White Goddess of Cities” Miami Daily News 1924

    Miami “_______________________” Miami Herald 2011

  55. Miami2009,
    Not sure what information you are looking for but, Ocean Blue is a cute building up there on Collins and 76th. The couple of units I saw were very nice inside and the balconies were very spacious. There are a lot of things to do in the area.
    Check it out…I liked it, just too far from my job.
    Good luck.

  56. NJHandyGirl,
    Thanks for the info. I may check it out next time in Miami. I usually don’t stay that far north, but I like the idea of being close to the beach. I have been looking in Brickell, Park West, Downtown, etc.

  57. jcrimes,
    I don’t know how you came up with 2 mil sq ft of commercial space. Yes, if you include planned projects such as City Square, Bayview Market etc. Even though they are classified as commercial space, they are not office buildings and no one knows if and when they ever get built. The Met is racing towards completion and also there is no such state of the art office building anywhere in Miami.

    If you are only considering strictly office buildings, there is nothing on the horizon except the Metropolitan. At least until the Empire World Towers get built by 2016. Ram is absolutely correct when he says Met will be 90% occupied by the opening date sometime by the end of 2010.

    wild dude, Macy’s workers don’t work in an office building.

  58. RAM/AJ
    sorry…but you’re both wrong.

    see the DBR’s article from feb 23, re: bilzing cancelling it’s newly signed lease at brickell financial centre…i’ll do you a favor and give you the direct quote

    “Nearly 2 million square feet of office space is set to be completed in Miami next year, at a time when companies are downsizing, rental rates are falling, and vacancy rates are on the rise.”

    this isn’t about what’s “planned”…it’s what’s already out of the ground, topped off and being finished.

    as for stanford and it’s space being tied up for several years in the courts…not sure why you say that RAM, but in any event, you don’t know what you’re talking about. court appointed SEC receivers have the right to terminate leases immediately. so…it’s as good as gone. stanford didn’t own the space, so creditors won’t be vying for it. for those that are curious, i’ve been told the space is now empty. more importantly, the space is not 32k sq ft. nor is it 75k sq ft. it’s actual 90k sq ft!!!! see the dbr article from feb 26 (aptly titled “Stanford’s exit from Miami Center could plague troubled market even further”). again, i’ll do you the favor and give you the quote:

    “The company’s more than 90,000 square feet in Miami Center that’s likely to hit a market already facing a glut of office space. ”

    finally, i know a senior attorney at GT that helped with the lease at met 2…if you think that an anchor tenant like GT didn’t get a sweetheart deal to move its entire office to a new location (in downtown no less!!!), i don’t know what to say.

  59. jcrimes said: “finally, i know a senior attorney at GT that helped with the lease at met 2…if you think that an anchor tenant like GT didn’t get a sweetheart deal to move its entire office to a new location (in downtown no less!!!), i don’t know what to say.”

    I know what to say. It’s another Kool-Aid hangover or the droning echo of the gunshots of the latest Park Place drive-by! Either way, it’s just more noise. NO large firm is going to the elective expense of moving up the street in this economic environment without some MAJOR INCENTIVES!

  60. First I’d like to say that this is a great idea Lucas. Way to be innovative during a tough time. Like someone else mentioned, charging money keeps the free loaders from going and keeps only people who are truly interested in buying something. The price tag is definitely worth it for serious buyers.

    Secondly, AJ there’s 2 more office buildings under construction and set to be delivered in 2010 in Brickell. Brickell Financial Center and 1450 Brickell Ave. Not 2 mil sf but pretty close

  61. “The price tag is definitely worth it for serious buyers.”

    And your job is_______ ?

    a. Real Estate agent
    b. Appraiser
    c. Mortgage broker
    d. court jester

  62. these people in starbucks that go barefoot with feet on the chairs are realy
    annoying, must be a health hazzard, i hope the 5 homeless people in here most of the day complain

  63. I am barefoot!
    Alas, the Smart Money does not pay $4.50 for a latte.

    He does pay $1650 rental for a unit that sold for $450K pre-construction in 03, enjoys the marble, granite and both balconies (East and North) from the 19th floor.

    Muir, proud member of the Smart Money

  64. jcrimes, juan,
    yeah, two more new office buildings in Brickell, not exactly exciting news. Downtown does not have a class A1 office building and as such Met will be more appreciated where it is sorely needed than a Brickell location. I do not look at the entire office district as one. Often in New York, Midtown, downtown and Jersey City financial centers are completely independent of each others fortunes. One or two would be thriving while the other is languishing. You pay a premium for one while the other goes abegging. Met 2′s fortunes will be independent of other office space in Miami solely due to the fact that there is no such building or space in Downtown and the downtown location is fantastic. The biggest advantage of them all – not having to cross the darn draw bridge which opens ever so often. If I were the head honcho of a company, I would definitely consider that factor while scouting for a location.
    As far as sweet heart deals are concerned, it is irrelevant how GT signed the lease. My strong belief is that Met 2 will be almost fully occupied irrespective of if there is other office space around. The developers should indeed give some sweetheart deals initially to lure in everyone. When the leases expire in 5-10 years, they can renegotiate depending on the market conditions then.

    In anycase, the reason I brought up an office tower Met 2 so much in a condo Blog is because I think it will seriously affect the fortunes of Epic and Met 1 (one Miami is already fully sold).

  65. AJ
    one miami is fully sold…and now has a ton of units for sale…and a bunch of foreclosures…and spiking HOAs. hardly a success story.

    as for your statement “two more new office buildings in Brickell, not exactly exciting news,” well, i was responding to your initial comment “If you are only considering strictly office buildings, there is nothing on the horizon except the Metropolitan.” you were flat out wrong in making that statement as my prior post suggested. as for it just being “two more new office buildings” sorry, but this isn’t new york. 2M sq ft of additional space in this city is a huge deal. coming online in this market is even a bigger deal. ask any comm’l leasing agent at CBRE. understand, we don’t have big banks down here. we don’t have law firms with 500+ attorneys and support staff here. we don’t have consulting shops with 2000 people here. we have small companies and small outposts of int’l firms/co’s and that’s about it. that’s not going to change going forward.

    as for sweetheart deals…uh, let’s see if the developers are still around in ten years (fyi GT wouldn’t sign a five year lease). you tend not to stay in business long if you operate continuously at a loss. and as i stated before, the hotel component of met2 is the biggest part of the project. i think the dbr did a good job last week of explaining the dangers facing high end hotels located in downtown miami in this market. i’m not going to repeat that argument here. i will note that RAM’s statement “The hotel component will probably depend on tax incentives, financing, cost controls and market conditions.” hmmm….i’d say the last point, perhaps an attenuated reference to REVENUES, is probably the most important thing to any company, let alone a hotel.

    frankly AJ, and with all due respect, i think you’re out of your element when you talk about comm’l office space down here (you seem to suggest that outside of met2, downtown doesn’t have any A1 comm’l office space – wrong again). seriously, just leave this topic alone.

  66. EPIC

    Considering that Epic was promoted as a condo/hotel share program doesnt that preclude anyone from obtaining a Fannie Mae approved mortgage – whose new guidelines state that no more than 20% of any projects total square footage can be used for non-residential? And wont this de-value units there?

  67. Ace, are you actually retarded or do you just come across that way on blogs? I happen to know who you are and being “the smart money” would mean you actually have money. When someone lives with there mom, it usually means they don’t have any money. Does your mom charge you $125 per ft to live in the guest room.

  68. Have no idea about Ace.
    If true, that could be sweet (depending on Mom) and the upside in savings huge ($1.25 * number feet of living area per month.)

    Speaking for Muir, we prefer the present arrangement rather than ex-wife.

    However, following up on your logic; let’s say a drunk stumbles out of a bar, points to the sky and says “It’s daytime! Sun is out!” Does that make the drunks’ statement false?
    In other words, regardless of the source, the $125 per sq ft prediction seems a very logical one. As was mine on the 23rd Feb for DOW 6000.

    Face it guys, +$125 per ft = not Smart Money.

  69. Muir, please stop hugging The Ace’s nuts and trying to emulte his smart money schtick….It’s becoming so annoying.

  70. Come on! Don’t be down :-)
    Stock Market is at 1996 levels.
    Real Estate in South Fl is at 2003 levels.

    Eventually, Real Estate in South Fl will be at 1996 but the Stock Market will rebound.

    Muir, member of the Smart Money

  71. The problem is all inside your ARM
    She said to me
    The answer is easy if you
    Take it logically
    I’d like to help you in your struggle
    To be free
    There must be fifty ways
    To leave your Condo

    She said it’s really not my habit
    To intrude
    Furthermore, I hope my meaning
    Won’t be lost or misconstrued
    But I’ll repeat myself
    At the risk of being crude
    There must be fifty ways
    To leave your Condo
    Fifty ways to leave your Condo

    You just slip out the back, Jack
    Make a new plan, Stan
    You don’t need to be coy, Roy
    Just get yourself free
    Hop on the bus, Gus
    You don’t need to discuss much
    Just drop off the key, Lee
    And get yourself free

    She said it grieves me so
    To see you in such pain
    I wish there was something I could do
    To make you smile again
    I said I appreciate that
    And would you please explain
    About the fifty ways
    Fifty ways to leave your Condo

    She said why don’t we both
    Just sleep on it tonight
    And I believe in the morning
    You’ll begin to see the light
    And then she kissed me
    And I realized she probably was right
    There must be fifty ways
    To leave your Condo
    Fifty ways to leave your Condo

  72. Every day I get in the queue (too much, magic bus)
    To get on the bus that takes me to you (too much, magic bus)
    Im so nervous, I just sit and smile (too much, magic bus)
    Your house is only foreclosure mile (too much, magic bus)

    Thank you, driver, for getting me here (too much, magic bus)
    Youll be an evictor, have no fear (too much, magic bus)
    I dont want to cause no fuss (too much, magic bus)
    But can I buy your magic bus? (too much, magic bus)

    Nooooooooo!

    I dont care how much I pay (too much, magic bus)
    I wanna drive my bus to my baby each day (too much, magic bus)

    I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it … (you cant have it!)
    Thruppence and sixpence every day
    Just to drive to my baby
    Thruppence and sixpence each day
    cause I drive my baby every way

    Magic bus, magic bus, magic bus …

    I said, now Ive got my magic bus (too much, magic bus)
    I said, now Ive got my magic bus (too much, magic bus)
    I drive my baby every way (too much, magic bus)
    Each time I go a different way (too much, magic bus)

    I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it …

    Every day youll see the dust (too much, magic bus)
    As I drive my baby in my magic bus (too much, magic bus)

  73. Mr. Lechuga,

    I think this is a fine idea – bravo. My wife and I have been pondering a move to Miami for years, but settled for Washington DC but to my job. Now that my tour is wrapping up here, we both want to move to the Miami area for several reasons – namely the lack of snow and ice! We will be unable to take this tour in June as I am leaving for TDY once agian, but perhaps you can summarize some of your findings on your blog. I am a big fan of what you have done with compling the statistics and displaying a greater amount of detail of the choices available. Thank you for this site and the energy you put into providing people information for the various buildings and areas. I look forward with great anticipation the result of this project, as well as our move to MIA next year.

    Sincerely,

    Michael

  74. Look at this gem:

    “Jobless rate jumps to 8.1 percent in Feb., highest since late 1983; employers cut 651,000 jobs”

    Like I have said all along, we haven’t seen the effects of this in the condo prices, so we are still going down!

  75. Hugo,
    It’s even simpler than that.

    If the S&P, DOW and NASDAQ are in 1996 levels why would anybody on Gods Earth think that Real Estate will not also end up at 1996 prices?

  76. Post 91 & 92:

    We are glad to see that it’s not only The Smart Money that understands why $125.00 per square foot is not only likely but is a certainty.

    We are also glad to see that The Who & Simon & Artgarfunkel are card carrying members of The Smart Money.

    The Smart Money.

  77. It seems like no one wants to comment in here anymore as ONE person, who appears to be either drunk or high on drugs, has Hi-Jacked this forum. What a shame.

  78. Kramer,

    (re:#96)

    Nope.

    Ain’t just one person buddy.
    It’s kinda this way: YOU are in the MINORITY.

    Get it?

    Muir, ONE member of the Smart Money

    p.s. I could almost feel sorry for you.
    But trust me, that is not the emotion.
    You deserve it.

    p.s.s. Maybe you want to just read the front page of today’s Herald, don’t spend the whole 50 cents, just read the first page headlines as you go along your way through Publix or whatnot.

    Some people!

  79. Phil, re:#97

    I hope it doesn’t get to that.
    Not even I would like to see that happen.

    I am a bear at this time, not a nihilist.
    I would prefer sanity, not utter destruction.

    It would be nice to have a real economy based on producing goods and services, not producing fake financial instruments that are sold to pension funds and Iceland.
    Then we could all move forward. Lucas would provide a service, all of us would be happier. (IMHO)

  80. Muir(Mark)

    First of all I am not yer “buddy”. And just to prove how stupid you are and probably why your wife left you – everyone – read his post #78. Anyone who is familiar with all of these buildings – 03 pre-c0nstruction – north balcony and an east balcony – granite marble – 19th floor etc. We now know exactly what building you live at and even the floor and apartment number. Bingo!!! Checkmate!!!

  81. Kramer, I agree. Some dirt poor boys with no money and all the time on hand want to regurgitate utter crap and it is becoming pretty tiring. Even Renter Tom is staying away even though it is his ilk that is destroying this blog.

    In other thoughts, the RE market usually does well when Stocks are doing poorly. They do not necessarily follow each other. People are coming to terms that Dow will hit bottom at 6000 and will stay there for a very very long time. Anyone who got out when Dow was 11K or 10K or 9K or 8K will be putting some of that money towards RE. That is the only sure bet. Oil, gold, corn, copper are all going to come croppers too.

  82. Really Karmer?

    You are infantile.
    What building of the 50 dozen buildings?
    Maybe I had the year wrong, did I say 03, ooops, meant 05, oh sorry meant pre-construction sales started in 02 and building opened in, oh, I forgot, I think it was 05, or was it 06?

    Really and seriously, your IQ must be around 90.

    AJ,
    For months you have been just dribbling rubbish, but I like you :-)
    Besides, all in all, you’ll be ok, since you paid cash for your condos. You’ll be a lot poorer, but ok.

    But….
    “Anyone who got out when Dow was 11K or 10K or 9K or 8K will be putting some of that money towards RE. That is the only sure bet. Oil, gold, corn, copper are all going to come croppers too.”

    New prescription?
    I posted your post in some blogs. It’s a hoot!

    Muir, Smart Money member.

  83. “Anyone who got out when Dow was 11K or 10K or 9K or 8K will be putting some of that money towards RE. That is the only sure bet. Oil, gold, corn, copper are all going to come croppers too.” AJ

    Cost to log into Miami Condo Forum, free.
    Reading AJs posts. Priceless. :-)

    Smart Money approves of free entertainment.

  84. Too late Muir er I mean Mark. You have been tagged and busted. But I promise not to divulge where you live if you apologize to me. LOL!!!

  85. It is a given that some of the highrises in downtown Miami will transform as hotel/lodging bldgs driving down the hotel rates in miami to ~50-70/night. The dreams of renting out l empty condos will not make sense to lots of developers as rents get too cheap. Besides, rentals bldgs deteriorate & depreciate very fast.

  86. Kramer,
    My name is Muir, in real life.
    Feel free to post my name address and social security number if you wish. You have my permission.

    But, what you can not do is change reality.

    Read today’s Herald, 1 in 5 mortgages are either late or in foreclosure.
    ONE in FIVE.
    The S&P, DOW and NASDAQ are today at 1996 levels, another fact.

    And here is your nightmare: Real Estate at 1997-99 prices.

    Muir, Smart Money member.

  87. AJ #101 – Too funny. I’ve been traveling to a few warmer places. Unlike you who is a nonwealthy wannabe snob, I don’t list my travels and pooh pooh people. Your analysis of stock prices is wrong as usual. So far, the macro economic picture has unfolded as expected but at a slightly accelerated pace. I spoke to one of the Trump Tower people today and there are only 6-8 units being occupied in the second tower with maybe 2-4 car requests a day for the valets…. The flight from owning these things is amazing…and the wealth destruction beyond expectations which will further obliterate demand for condos. It is hard to be this pessimistic, but it is what it is. The ramifications of the traditional lending standards will continue to hammer condos and more bankruptcies will follow for sure as the last hope gets beaten down. Just saw the Gulfstream Park owner going BK to reorganize their debt load….good luck with that as gaming revenues plummet with higher unemployment and wealth evaporation. Two months into 2009 with constant nonsense from DC has eliminated the stability and certainty needed to direct this economy forward. When a plane is in a tailspin, the last thing you need is for someone to keep rearranging the flight controls.

  88. I just don’t understand. Please educate me. What recession are people talking about?
    1) The other day I went to the mall on a saturday, there was no sale or liquidation or no such thing and I had to look 20 minutes just to find a parking spot!
    2) Thank god, but my biz is as good as ever if not better.
    3) In my Jan-Feb Travels, Every leg of the journey, the planes were completely full. I almost always get upgraded as a frequent flier but this time I travelled economy on one long haul sector as they said each and every business class seat was booked by paying customers!!!
    4) I spoke to my friend in Miami who works with Jetblue and he said that every flight into Miami from everywhere is chock a block full.

    I do agree that some midwestern towns are devastated by this R. But life seems pretty “normal” in traditionally happening towns like LA, NY, Miami. If not, it is not showing. At least not to me. May be I am hanging out in the wrong places (or right)?

    OK, from all the miserable talk that is happening here, I was actually hopeful that I can snag a place for cheap in Miami from Apr 15th to May 31st.

    Firstly, I was not planning to stay in a hotel but when checked, shitty roach infested 100 year old tiny hotel rooms are still asking for $150/night. Good ones are $300 and up.

    I was checking the Craigslist for a studio or even a guest BR in someones 2/2 for a price of $1000/month and there is absolutely nothing in any decent building. So obviously people are doing good I guess.
    Just look at this short term listing in 1800 Club. This guy is renting out a very small 2/2 for about $1000/week and $3500/month. From the guest comments, his place is being picked up very well and as per the charts, March is almost completely booked.

    http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p164638

    So tell me WTF is happening?

  89. AJ,

    Is the 1800 Club a condo/hotel? If not code enforcement should be contacted by the condo board. The I.R.S. also needs to be paid. Nightly rentals in a condo is not a positive thing. It ranks neck and neck with the common areas being used to film adult films.

  90. As some one living on a different continent, who has previously visited Miami to check out condos and found it near impossible to arrange/ find interested agents/ get viewing appointments and who knows little about the individual buildings i think that this idea……….. is GREAT. Im sure you would sell this out to people from the Middle East and the Far East in minutes.

    A workshop day on tax/finance/foreclosure etc wld also not be bad, you could have a lawyer giving advise on trusts etc.

    Infact im sure you would find bulk buyers from middle east and asia if there were ‘good deals on the table’. I often thought it must be easier to sell US property to non US citizens right now….

  91. It crossed my mind. But this is not the time to hold someone’s feet to fire. Anything to pay that HOA and Taxes etc in these difficult times. Even though I do not approve of this at all, I am not going to rat anyone out. When things get better overall, it will be another story. But some people are really bold. I am just amazed how this gentleman is able to pull this off as 1800 board is extremely strict. If they come to know about this, it will be stopped in a heartbeat (they immediately impose hefty fines and even deactivate FOB keys of any violators of house rules).

    But the discussion is not how one guy is renting his flat by the week (there are hundreds of them in that website from every building) but how come I never seem to get a deal on a short term stay for accommodation in Miami with all this “glut”?

  92. I am also requesting the fellow bloggers to leave this issue alone. Yes it is unfair when compared to others like me who lease it long term as per the house rules, pay requisite fees, do all the required paperwork, pay taxes on the rent to the govt. and then some one makes double of what I make by sidestepping the rules.
    If the board finds out about this on their own so be it. But please do not take it upon yourself to do anything about it. There are flats like this in every building flagrantly flouting the rules and why only make this person an example. At least not now.

    But I still like a take on the original subject. I can get a decent hotel room in Times Square for $100 but I can’t even get a shitty rat hole in Miami for less than $150. It is really baffling and frustrating.

  93. One other thing…. I cant hold back any longer.

    Ive been reading this this forum for about a year now and I feel I have to say something…

    Real ‘Smart Money’ doesn’t jump on a forum to rub peoples faces in the fact that their investment has depreciated (im not from Miami neither have investments there), I would call that Smart Ass Money (the Money bit being questionable), in fact Smart money skims through forums while doing research and often doesn’t comment at all.

    Real Smart Money (the genuis kind) probably shorted the Dow at 13,000 points, bought Gold on a 3/1 margin at 500 a ounce and is now considering if it’s the right time to buy and entire building or plot. Real Smart Money owns companies or Invests in new upstarts – probably now looking at Green startup companies in cali.

    You guys can sign your name as Smart Money, but from what you write clearly you have not done the following:

    Made a million through business, Made a million through real-estate, Made a million through stocks -And made the gains stick, even if you do that your still not a ‘ big high and mighty person’ but you can call yourself the smart money – to yourself!

    Do that, then you’re the ‘smart money’ do that and you will probably to busy with investments to write disparaging remarks about other peoples investments that you didn’t buy into at the time probably because you couldn’t raise the funds – a fact that may remain the future.

    BTW if your thinking about investing a few 100k on a ‘punt’, and you think your agent will show you a great deal, 300usd or 1500usd is nothing other then a good investment.

  94. We the Smart Money agree 100% with Post #114 and therefore we respectfully request that those of you who call yourself The Smart Money or associate yourselves with The Smart Money kindly refrain from doing so, this includes Post #114.

    The one and only: “The Smart Money” <————Original!

    $125.00 Per Square Foot.

  95. lol, dont worry i would never associate myself with ‘The Smart Money’ but i will call out people who reveal in other peoples misery and are generally all style and no substance when i see it. I will go back to being a passive observer now. . .

  96. One last, last point, just because an ‘out of towner’ rides a bus to undertake a property tour, it does not indicate their entrance into the market, rather it indicates they are undertaking R&D, with a view to possibly buy if there is an outstanding deal (which can occur before an over all bottom) or to just understand the various options and then go back to waiting for the right time to enter the market.

    A good tactic might be for these tours to be advertised overseas through other real-estate companies in other countries…

  97. Muir re: #100

    I too think it would be great to have a “real” economy again based on real goods and services, and we will definitely get back to that eventually.

    Studying the DOW and S&P charts….there just does not seem to be any consolidation/resistance pattern really until around 4,000. It would not make sense but fear could cause a drop that low…which would be about 73% off it’s high of 14,000. Naturally it would spike quickly from a low that deep….but I would not assume 6,000 is the floor.

    I hope you are right that we are at the bottom (stocks)…but I just don’t see it based on technical chart patterns and indicators.

    Phil

  98. AJ
    Please stop creating so many different entities.
    You can do better than 300ktoblow (12:20 and 12:22)
    Although I’ve often wondered if you were not someone’s alter ego.

    _____
    _____

    Frankly AJ I do not think ANY wealthy people read this forum.
    Why would they?
    Also, you seem to think any one of us could influence the market. That’s delusional.
    Jorge Perez’s many millions will not change the market, not even 100s of Billions from the Treasury will change this market.

    You seem to think it’s some sort of a shouting contest, it isn’t. This market will do what it will do and doesn’t care about you or me.
    And right now, this market is going down baby, down.

    Muir, still member of “The Smart Money”

    $85.00 Per Square Foot

  99. Phil,

    I do not know where the bottom is but expect it to bounce in the bottom for a while.
    Have no idea when inflation will kick in; it will, I just don’t see it any time soon. Certainly not this year.
    But eventually inflation will be back and prices will go up in nominal terms; however, in inflation adjusted dollars, I do not see prices going up for years.
    Since I’m all cash or physical gold, I must convert at some point.
    If S&P go bellow 6000 I will start to buy SPY and at some point would not mind being all in.
    I do not know how low SP can go, I follow the trend and will not mind buying a little “too late” it beats buying too early any day.
    If it goes to 4000 (and others think this is possible based on the them buying puts at bellow 300 SPY) then it is probably for real.

  100. “In other thoughts, the RE market usually does well when Stocks are doing poorly. ” (#102)
    “I just don’t understand. Please educate me. What recession are people talking about? “(#109)
    AJ,
    from the first post, you need to realize we are in one of only a couple of legitimate deflationary periods-the other being the great depression. Neither RE nor stocks will do well while the deflationary pressures are great. The market moves faster than RE, which is why it has dropped so quickly. But RE is certainly following a downtrend with no signs of reversing, and only minor signs of slowing-which it inevitably will after sustaining such losses to date.

    comments on recession are a bit odd coming from a person knowledgeable about events around the country. you will see the effects of the recession for many quarters to come. unemployment will top 10%, but unofficial unemployment (inlcuding illegals, underemployed, hopeless, etc) is already high and headed higher-a really terrible number i am afraid. and to top it all off, when you do get a new job, expect a pay decrease of anywhere from 10% to 30%. This is the final nail in the coffin of the deflationary spiral, and it is occurring. bankers, mortgage brokers, RE agents, etc all are taking significant pay cuts if they are able to find another job.

    the slow drop in hotel rates, rental rates and sale prices is not the result of demand. these properties cannot be sustained at lower prices because the cost of leverage to own them is too great. people are reaching the point where they will either rent/sell at a level which covers the cost of ownership, or let the property be taken over by the bank. the days of taking a dime here and there to stave off foreclosure in the hopes a recovery occurs to bail them out are ending. the delay tactics have become the domain of those living in the units, not investors.

  101. gables, very reasonable explanation. Thanks for attempting to answer a genuine question while 10,000 others are just sitting on the sidelines. Are they bored, jaded or what, I don’t know, Or as Kramer said are they simply put off by a few stuck records repeating the same crap ad nauseum?
    On another note, One guy thinks all the posters other than him/Ace/RT are me! Am I flattered or what. I am not that important dude. The only person who knows the truth is Lucas as he knows all the IP addresses and I am not asking for a certificate of authenticity from him. I can proudly say that I have never posted with an alias in the past 1.5 years while I was active on this blog.

  102. If you guys don’t want to talk about Miami RE, how about some movies? I saw the first half of Cocaine Cowboys last night and will finish the rest tonight. What a fascinating movie about the excesses of Miami in the 70′s. You all should watch it. Anyone else seen it?

  103. AJ, that movie is quite hilarious if it weren’t for the fact it is based on the true lives in Miami! to an extent, i see many similarities between the drug years in miami and the financial years which are just ending. the violence may be less, but the corruption and dealmaking which occurred over the past decade probably rivals the business dealings of the 70′s and 80′s.

    i have been told by many people the construction boom during that era was fueled by illegal drug money. in a similar manner, how much of the current construction was fueled by illegal money? constructing a 50 story building is probably a fantastic way of laundering cash.

  104. How true. I was just thinking about the same thing yesterday. The similarities between the late Seventies construction boom and the current one are striking. The main Character John was saying how they purchased houses, buildings, thousands of acres of land with all that drug money and how there were 23 building cranes on the skyline at one time (that was a lot then). The current construction boom is not fuelled by kosher money either. The money lent by Lehman etc for the construction is also kind of blood money after the fact – in the form of loss of livelihood and savings for millions of people around the World.

  105. well, if the drug cartels were placing their money in RE it shows just how retarded they are. you want to launder, use a cash business, not a friggin illiquid asset such as real estate…jesus, this is criminology 101.

    as for a recession in miami AJ, i’m not sure what circles you’re rolling in, but the folks i deal with are hurting; and the people below them are getting crushed. yeah, this is anecdotal, but i’d note joblessness in florida is over 8%, the foreclosure/default situation is only accelerating and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

  106. Aj, what everyone is talking about is 1 out of 5 people in florida not paying their mortgage. If you are so deluded as to think this will have no effect on home prices, I feel sorry for you.

  107. ‘Please stop creating so many different entities.
    You can do better than 300ktoblow (12:20 and 12:22)’

    Yet you then make back to back posts…..

    Thats quite a point you make, will you also be pointing out spelling mistakes…. yawn.

    Anyway, the reason im back is Ace saying 125psf, can you put this in context, specificly, interested in what you think the South Beach (sea view) psf could go it. In a reasonable building. 125psf is a bit arbitrary…

  108. $75 per sq ft is what Miami condos will soon be worth. We are looking at a period of 5 years (at least) thru which prices will slide and slide and slie. Once the food riots and civil unrest get underway…yes in Miami…you’re are going to see prices come off faster than clothes off a hooker.

  109. jcrimes,
    the illicit money does not go into buying condos. even if it did and they lost 20%, would not be a terrible cost for laundered money. there is a price to pay for laundered money.

    usually the money is involved in materials and construction, with the firms doing the work also being owned by the money laundering entities. the money is usually not invested in the property directly. RE construction is just a conduit for the money flow. successful completion of the construction project can have little to do with successful laundering of money.

  110. gables
    it shouldn’t go into buying condos. that would be the dumbest play. as for your other hypo…problem is when you have something like that, there’s a massive paper trail. e.g., in using a contracting business as a front requires goods to be purchased from third parties etc. stuff gets documented and in the end, what was supposedly “inputted” simply doesn’t add up to what was actually needed.

    sadly in my days of practice i never did crim law (big regret – seems like a blast)…friend does (he’s no roy black…but he’s well on his way) and he fills me in how his clients try to clean their money. best way to do it (his opinion) if you have massive cash flow (i.e., drug money) use offshore havens along with legit businesses in third world countries, set up shells, and then use the structure to pay you a “salary.” not infallible, but harder case to prove if the usao ever chases you. the ongoing kuehne case describes some of the above elements.

    alright back to miami condo investing (unless gables has something to add on this).

  111. gables,
    I just want to commend you for post #121. It was articulate and patient.

    AJ,
    You’re right, gables post was a more proper response to your question.
    But jezz AJ, gables has the patience of a teacher; that just isn’t me, I admire his post, but I can not post like that, to me some things are just too self-evident.
    Obviously, I am wrong.

    During the 70s-80s there was a lot of drug money in Real Estate and yes, jcrimes is correct it was a dumb move.

  112. 300ktoblow,

    Ok, my bad, you’re real.
    It was fishy the back to back under two names.

    Anyways, I’m not Ace, but your question —>”Anyway, the reason im back is Ace saying 125psf, can you put this in context, specificly, interested in what you think the South Beach (sea view) psf could go it. In a reasonable building. 125psf is a bit arbitrary…”

    Seems pretty self-evident that some units will sell for +$300 psf.
    My guess, many units will sell +$200 even when a “depression” is officially declared (which will happen)
    But, many more units will in Miami will sell for $-85 psf.
    There have been many posts by others of the reasoning for various numbers.
    There have been long posts with lots of numbers to show what something would need to sell for in order to see a modest 3% return.
    If you would like I can dig those up.
    But there’s a short answer.
    What will the PE of the condo?
    The psf will be —-> income- expenses = 3% of cash price.
    Income assumes rented 50 week a year.
    Expenses are HOA fees + expected special assessments + taxes.
    Based on various real life condos and changing expected rate of return (maybe 3.5%) you get a psf price.
    We’ve done this ad nauseam here.
    Of course, luxury units Historically have fetched a premium and always have had a slightly worse return (thus typically high end luxury Real Estate fetches 150x monthly rent versus 100x for more modest dwellings, I hate the monthly multiplier, just using it as an example.)

  113. RE: the Baja story, anyone paid money for a name deserves what they got. Same goes for projects in Miami too. Lesson learned – never pay for something you cannot see, feel and touch. period.

    Talking about Mex, with all the hullabaloo over the drug voilence going on there, don’t you think Miami will get that extra boost from the spring breakers? May be that’s why the airport arrivals are thick and the hotels rates still absurd.

  114. AJ
    RE Good quality low priced hotel for your stay in Miami
    “Yes you Can” with attribution to the new pres-by using Priceline Name Your Own Price hotel website.

    First check Biddingfortravel.com and you will see that recent winning bids in DT area include Marriott Biscayne Bay for $90-Hyatt for $55-60..

    Hey in a S L O W economy it works many parts of the globe as I just stayed in blustery LON for $63 in Kens High St neighborhood.

    Finally if BFT info helps you find that $240 room for $80 or so please JOINN BFT-it’s easy-and post your unique results to create info trail for next user..

  115. We The Smart Money profusely apologize for overstating the value of Miami Condo’s at $125.00 per square foot owing to the fact that Unit 2214 at The Club at Brickell Bay sold for $122.00 per square foot.

    The Smart Money

  116. Well, I spoke to someone that works at one of the larger South Beach hotels last evening. Every week for the past few weeks there have been out of the blue firings, esp. supervisory staff and maids. Chop chop chop…… Bookings must not be that great then. I know several people in the major hotel/resort business……discounts, discounts, discounts, and March bookings are not good while Jan and Feb held up but only with discounts. Even hefty discounts might not spur enough bookings during the slower seasons to warrant staying open, downtime for renovations?

    Many college kids aren’t going to exotic places for vacations, they are going home to try and earn a few extra bucks.

    Any pretense that these projects are doing well is false, the facade is quickly falling as BK leaks in the shadows.

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