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Condo Rankings Updated

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Just wanted to let everyone know that I updated the Condo Rankings page late last week.  It had been around 9-10 months since I had last updated the page so it’s something that was long overdue.  I only adjusted the location and risk scores and left the other columns untouched.  Santa Maria still ranks #1 with an overall score of 9.2.  Feel free to submit your own scores for each building by clicking on the “Rank Building” links.

26 thoughts on “Condo Rankings Updated

  1. Lucas,

    We aprreciate your hard work, but skyline brickell scoring above icon? That building is awful, has cheap finishing and, unfortunately, is one of those new buildings that just look good from the outside. Do agree about santa Maria. Still the best by far in Brickell.

  2. The rankings presently are very appropriate and pretty unbiased. Even though I would have liked the location scores for Q,18 & Opera to be higher than 7 (It definitely will be when the Biscayne Blvd from 15 st to 36th st will be unrecognizably transformed in a year or so).
    Also the risk score for 1800 should have been better than 7.
    But overall it is the fairest assessment of all new construction in the market right now and is not a whimsical random number but a very transparent and well thought out one.

    Any reason why Midtown 4 risk factor is so drastically different from Midtown 2?

  3. Think you screwed Ten Museum on the rankings with generic, developer-special, cookie-cutter projects like Marina Blue and 50 Biscayne ranking higher. You gave it a 7 for views while 900 Biscayne & Marina Blue have 10 & 9.5, yet they have the same views! Ten Museum views are better because of the double height windows, no?

  4. The whole thing seems way too subjective to have any true value. Among several other statistical flaws, how do you quantitatively measure “views” and “quality”?

  5. Yeah, Met 1 has a 2.5 for WF…when it is closer to the water than 900 Biscayne. Seems like this is way too biased. Maybe a bit more explanation on how some of these numbers came to be?

    BTW, where is Epic in this list?

  6. SouthBeacher,

    Ten Museum Park does not have the same average view as 900 Biscayne Bay and Marina Blue. Every unit at Marina Blue has a direct bay view. Only the 01-04 lines at Ten Museum Park offer that.

  7. Lucas,

    How do you explain the grades for skyline brickell beating so many other better buildings?
    Everyone knows that they only have location in their favor.
    The building is awful: it looks cool from outside, but go visit that yourself and you will see what I mean.
    And what about brickell on the river north and solaris ranking above axis? I am really clueless about this. It does seem like a personal opinion thing.

  8. Does anyone know anything about Paramount Bay? I’m interested on this building, but I haven’t heard abouth what is going on in there.

  9. southbeacher, drew, joel maher, carlos,
    first read how these conclusions have been made before asking such questions. click on the link Lucas provided.
    Met1 is a land locked building. It is irrelevant how many meters it is away from the waterline. All around Met1, there are other plots. Even if we assume that Met 1 is located on a plot more south like Epic and be on the water, it will still get a 3.5 as it is next to Miami river and not the bay or the Ocean.

    I personally think (and also many others I spoke to) said that the beauty of 1800 Club is that it is not on the waters edge but located on a beautiful park which is on the waters edge. I would not have been as passionate about 1800 Club if it was just another bang on waterfront buildings like Jade or Star lofts or Onyx. In my book, 1800 Club waterfront score should have been 10 and not 7.5 due to the unique waterfront park in front of it. But Lucas does not seem to think so. But I respect his position. Nothing in life is perfect and some of his criteria is subjective. But overall it is a very fair assessment and the most unbiased in the market.

    One thing I would rather him add to the criteria is the amount of HOA per/sf in each building. A low HOA in proportion to the amenities offered indicates a well made building with low overheads, a financially healthy and well managed building with a good and effective board.

  10. Axis should be a lot higher — certainly higher than Latitude or Avenue, for example. It’s in the heart of MBV with incredible views and direct access (ie next door) to mass transit. And the units are much better than, say, Avenue — have you actually been inside the Avenue units?

  11. More troops is still alive! (and probably a homeowner in Axis?)
    Axis has both Metro Mover and Metro Rail. But having 2 transit stations was not one of the criteria for Lucas rankings.
    Some people will say Epic should get top points because they have Area 31 or Latitude saying they are close to Finnegans and so they deserve a better ranking.
    At this rate, this argument becomes endless, no one will ever be happy. I myself am not happy regarding the scores my building got in terms of Location, average views, risk factor, quality and waterfront. But the next best thing I can do is to start my own blog and give top marks to my building in every category and also add a criteria “distance to the nearest Salad Creations” and other self serving yardsticks. But then no one other than myself would be reading that blog – right?

  12. drew, I agree with you. Even Lucas mentioned that quality is the most difficult to rate and took him the maximum time. I think 80% of the buildings are constructed to the same lousy standard. 10% are substandard and 10% are solid as a tank.
    Maybe Lucas should not try to quantify quality. No one is a structural engineer here. But then again, it is Lucas’s privilege.

  13. The problem is that if you look at Lucas standard for quality it has nothing really to do with quality. I mean how does an large open layout factor into quality. Let’s be honest here, the average buyer isn’t concerned with the structural integrity of a high rise. It not like were comparing single family homes and are worried about a faulty foundation. These buildings will either outlast all of us or be renovated. Quality should be about the quality of the finishes and workmanship in the units and public spaces. This is fairly objective and doesn’t matter if the building 5 or 25 years old.

    Amenities should be another category and ranked in consideration with HOA fees. Adding all these things into one category and you end up with a ranking that many have pointed out is pointless.

    “First most, I took the quality of the building into account along with the amenities offered.”

    “Some people love the stability, larger floor plans (in most cases) and historical significance of older condo buildings.”

    “Meanwhile, I think most people, at least the buyers I have encountered, love the freshness of a brand new building. If you’re the type of buyer who appreciates the positive aspects that an older building affords, then you’ll definitely want to adjust my score upwards for this category as well.”

  14. Proud renter, AJ, proud renter. But in the course of looking for our unit, the missus and I looked at several buildings all over Brickell. Some were nice and well-located with easy ingress/egress (Axis and 500 for example), and some were not (TMP and Avenue come to mind).

    I’m not sure what Lucas’s rankings are based on. Subjective reputation I guess. Bottom line: I saw a lot of these buildings. I went inside the units (not just the common areas). I have some expertise in this area. Anyone who would choose Avenue over several of the buildings liksted below it is simply not paying attention.

  15. Then why didnt you like Infinity? The building looks funky, awesome rooftop pool and sundeck, same exact location advantage as Axis.

  16. One of the big issues I have with Lucas’s system is the category of “views.” It’s a huge component of his system, as it should be. Here’s why it’s wrong: Lucas invariable gives the highest scores to units with views of the water. In fact the closer to the water the building is, the higher the ranking. It’s simplistic as hell. City views — particularly views facing west — get almost no credit in his system.

    Here the thing: the city view (and particularly the western view) is often the very best. True, during the day, a view of blue water is nice. But I’m not home during the day. Neither is anyone else who actually works in an office. I’m home in the evening, when the city lights are out and the sun is setting — and the water turns absolutely black and utterly boring.

    The view of the the western skyline from our 35th floor unit is unimpeded with floor-to-ceiling windows. We see spectacular sunsets every night and a panoramic view of Miami. It’s stunning, truly. Yet our buildings gets a “4” in Lucas’s ranking system.


  17. moretroops,
    agree with you. i’ve watched many sunsets from the bay side of sofi, with the city skyline framing the setting sun. absolutely gorgeous. then at night you see the city skyline-twinkling stars everywhere. not sure if downtown and brickell can provide similar views to sofi. but viewing just the water is boring at night after a while. i want to live and see an urban setting. otherwise i will move to a place farther north on the beach where the units are cheaper but buildings isolated.

  18. gables, downtown Miami viewed against the backdrop of biscayne bay from the vantage point of SOFI or West avenue is unparalleled. There is no such view any where else in the World I can think of. But we are talking about views from Downtown in all directions. Not views from SOBE.

  19. Ilya, With all due respect, I don’t think so. Icon Brickell needs to price itself much lower than now to attract buyers. Prices have to fall to below $300 or below $250/sf to even elicit a second look from most buyers.

  20. Infinity IS open…. developers have up-ed the price floor to ~250/foot. They literally won’t accept any offers below that. They let a few units go for under 200/foot but those deals seem to have passed

  21. What developers will “literally accept” is subject to radical change, haven’t we learned that by now? Icon will accept what the market will bear, period.

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