Neighborhood Dive: Sunny Isles Beach, Miami’s new billionaire playground

abmiami | June 19, 2017 | Miami Real Estate

Clockwise from left: Porsche Design Tower, the skyline, Trump Royale and a rendering of Turnberry Ocean Club (Credit: ArX Solutions)

What do a Mexican mogul, a medical billion CEO and a venture capitalist have in common? They’re all new condominium buyers at Sunny Isles Beach, a tiny barrier island town chock-full of branded condo concepts that is fast becoming one of Miami-Dade’s most expensive places to buy a home.

The island was founded in 1920 by a private investor named Harvey Baker Graves, who envisioned Sunny Isles as America’s answer to Venice. Six years later, the “Great Miami” hurricane laid waste to Graves’ plans. Over the next six decades, developers came in and turned Sunny Isles into a sleepy tourist town. During the 1950s and 1960s, more than 30 motels opened along Collins Avenue, including the first two-story motel in the U.S., designed by famed architect Norman Giller.

After residents voted to incorporate Sunny Isles in 1997, the small village became a magnet for residential developers, who gobbled up the old motel properties and cashed in on the real estate boom of the early 2000s. Among the builders to introduce luxury high-rises was Dezer Development, which signed licensing agreements with the Trump Organization …read more



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