The Wrap: OKO Group seeks variances for Missoni Baia in Miami, mapping the priciest homes for sale in Miami’s top 8 suburbs…and more


Renderings of Missoni Baia

1. OKO Group seeks variances for Missoni Baia in Miami [The Next Miami]

2. Mapping the priciest homes for sale in Miami’s top 8 suburbs [Curbed Miami]

3. Lucky’s Market gets ready to open its second South Florida store [SFBJ]

4. Visit Florida, Pitbull pull plug on tourism partnership [Tampa Bay Times]

Sean Stewart-Muniz


Brazilian soccer pro Douglas Costa buys Jade Signature pad

Rendering of Jade Signature (Inset: Douglas Costa via creativecommons)

Rendering of Jade Signature (Inset: Douglas Costa via creativecommons)

Brazilian soccer pro Douglas Costa took a break from speeding down the field for Germany’s Bayern Munchen to pick out a ritzy condo in Sunny Isles Beach.

Developer Fortune International Group announced Thursday that Costa, whose contract with the German team is worth $33.84 million, paid $4.53 million for a pad with ocean views at the under-construction Jade Signature.

The flow-through unit has three bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a private elevator and large terrace. With 2,921 square feet of interior space, Costa’s purchase price breaks down to just under $1,551 per foot.

The deal was handled by listing agent Sandra Chartouni of Fortune International Realty.

According to the developer, Costa was sold on the unit, in part, because Jade Signature is designed by Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed his team’s stadium, the Allianz Arena.

Recently, the Brazilian winger faced a major upset when he was forced to pull out of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro due to an unhealed thigh injury. Since scoring his $33.84 million, five-year contract with Bayern Munchen in 2015, he helped the team win its fourth straight Bundesliga league title.

Jade Signature, which sits on one of South Florida’s largest underground garages at 16901 Collins Avenue, is headed toward completion early next year. Suffolk Construction is the general contractor for the 57-story tower, where prices for its 192 units range from $3.9 million to $33 million for the penthouses. According to the second-quarter ISG Report, the tower is 90 percent sold. – Sean Stewart-Muniz


Fishing Hard Bottom Inshore

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Grassflats aren’t the only game in town.

Slow dropoff, mostly sand or grass, may yeild to isolated hard bottom offshore.

Most of us think of “hard bottom” as a term relevant only to those who chase reef species like grouper

and red snapper far offshore. But along broad stretches of Florida’s coast, fishing hard bottom is also an effective inshore strategy for trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, tarpon, black sea bass, sheepshead, mangrove snapper-and even, yes, the occasional keeper gag.

Inshore hard bottom occurs wherever the strata of sand that makes up the Florida peninsula is uncovered, revealing the limerock underlayment that’s common in many areas. On this rock, an assortment of corals and shellfish make up the base of the food chain, drawing baitfish, crabs and other edibles, which in turn attract the gamefish.

Specifically, some of the areas I’m familiarwith include the South Shore area of Tampa Bay, and numerous outcroppings running roughly from the north end of Anclote Key all the way around the Big Bend area into the Panhandle. (To get an idea of what this terrain looks like, visit St. Martin’s Reef some time when you’re in the waters north of Anclote-it’s basically an outcrop that’s pretty much fully exposed on big spring low tides.)

These locations are not all that obvious, and do not appear on all charts-it’s necessary to find them by putting in the time, easing along at slow speed in 8 to 15 feet of water with an eye on the sonar. Any of the hard, thin lines that indicate hard bottom, or any squiggles, rises or drops are worth investigating with a few casts.

Often, when you get over a larger spot on a calm day, you can hear the “Rice Krispies” crackle of snapping shrimp and other denizens of the rock bottom-it’s a dead giveaway. It’s also sometimes possible to see the change in bottom terrain when the water is clear-and it seems to be getting clearer every year in some areas such as Tampa Bay. The hard bottom areas typically look pale green, compared to the darker green of those covered with grass

Trout are among species found at such oases.

In spring, summer and fall, the areas sometimes hold evident schools of bait, including threadfins and scaled sardines, pinfish and occasionally needlefish and balao. When the bait is there, you can almost be sure of action, but even when it’s not, there are usually a few big eaters loafing below.

Standard operating procedure is to gear up with a lure that’s adequate to hit bottom easily at the speed you happen to be drifting. A soft swimbait or plastic-tailed jig of 3⁄16 to 1⁄4 ounce will be best on most days, but on windy days you might do better with a 5⁄16- to ½-ounce head. Add a sliver of fresh-cut shrimp to the hook and you’ll increase the number of bites, though if there are many pinfish around, they may drive you crazy. On calmer days, slow-sinkers including plastic shrimp are hard to beat. If macks and blues are around, a small chrome spoon or crankbait will connect when worked rapidly.

It doesn’t hurt to keep a big topwater handy to lob over the area, particularly where you see bait on top. Big trout and sometimes tarpon will grab these lures, and occasionally species you don’t expect to hit topwaters, including mangrove snapper and gag grouper, will come up to slam them. (Where there’s a gag, there’s an actual rock or ledge below, so you’ll probably need some 50-pound-test braid to have much chance of getting these guys to the boat.)

Drop a GPS marker on each spot where you get a flurry of action, and soon you’ll have a “milk route” to run on these inshore areas, just like offshore reef anglers do. One of the nicer things about these spots is that most are rarely or never fished, which means that the fish are big, dumb and hungry-just the way you want them. FS

First published Florida Sportsman July 2016


The Wrap: Zika politics in Miami translates to lots of talk but little action, why some CRE owners are skipping hurricane insurance…and more


Downtown Miami skyline (Credit: Miamiism)

1. Zika politics in Miami translates to lots of talk but little action [Miami Herald]

2. Why some CRE owners are skipping hurricane insurance [GlobeSt]

3. Hyde Beach House to break ground shortly in Hollywood [Curbed Miami]

4. Metrorail is too costly for Miami’s future [Miami Today]

Sean Stewart-Muniz


Greek Salad and Lobster

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When it comes to cooking Florida lobster (Panulirus argus, Caribbean spiny lobster) there are two simple rules. The first: Don’t over-season. The second: Don’t overcook. A dusting of salt and pepper on split lobster tails followed by a quick trip to a hot grill or broiler is sufficient. Florida’s spiny lobsters

have a unique flavor, generally a bit stronger than the large-clawed northern lobster (Homarus americanus, American lobster), and one that doesn’t need to be enhanced with gooey sauces. Simply dipping a chunk of tender Florida lobster into melted butter makes for a happy mouthful!

With your lobster cooked and ready to eat, the next decision regards a simple side dish. And while slaw and French fries may come to mind, how about something lighter-and cooler-for a late summer lunch or dinner? A tasty Greek salad is a good substitute for the cabbage and making it with potato salad adds a bit of starch to your plate.

Greek salad is lettuce-based, dressed with good olive oil (buy extra- virgin from the Mediterranean), red wine vinegar, and the chef’s choice of toppings. The potato salad component is “native” to Tarpon Springs, where it was introduced over a hundred years ago by the Pappas family.

To me, Greek salad isn’t Greek salad without the potatoes! FS

Greek Salad

Lettuce (iceberg or romaine), cut into wedges Ripe tomato, cut into wedges

Cucumber, sliced or cut into sticks

Salonika or pepperoncini peppers

Sliced pickled beets

Kalamata olives

Feta cheese (from Greece!), crumbled

or chunks

Dried oregano

Olive oil and red wine vinegar

Greek Potato Salad

(4 to 6 servings)

6 to 8 Yukon Gold potatoes

1 medium red onion

Olive oil and red wine vinegar

1-2 tbsp. mayonnaise

Peel and rinse the potatoes. Then, using a very sharp knife or a mandolin slicer, cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch slices. Separately, peel and cut the onion into similar slices. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add the potato slices to the water and cook until they’re just barely done. It’s important to retain the shape and some crispness of the potatoes. You don’t want to make “mashed” potatoes! Remove potatoes from the water, drain and rinse with cold water. Dry the potatoes with paper towels. Very carefully, with a rubber spatula, toss the potatoes and onions with the oil, vinegar and mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Dress the lettuce with olive oil. Then add the vinegar, to taste. Toss and plate alongside or over a serving of potato salad. Top with olives, cheese, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and beets. Sprinkle with oregano before serving.

First published Florida Sportsman August 2016


Miami Beach fined short-term rentals $1.6M over the last five months

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales, Mayor Philip Levine, and an aerial view of Miami Beach

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales, Mayor Philip Levine, and an aerial view of Miami Beach

The city of Miami Beach is sending a message to those breaking its short-term rental violations: pay up.

From March to mid-August, fines issued by the city for short-term rental violations total $1.59 million, according to a letter to the Miami Beach City Commission from City Manager Jimmy Morales. Those fines start at $20,000 for first-time violators, then double, and then triple for subsequent violations.

City and county leaders have grappled with issues related to short-term rentals. In Miami Beach, city code allows for vacation and short-term rentals (less than six months and one day), in certain zoning districts. But, they are banned in all single-family homes and in a number of zoning districts. See a map here. Fines previously ranged from $500 to $7,500 but rose after the commission voted to increase them in December.

In 42 of the 106 cases cited in Morales’ letter, short-term rental advertising companies, including Airbnb, and, were also fined. At least two code enforcement officers are dedicated to short-term rentals, Morales said earlier this year.

Julian Johnston, a luxury broker in Miami and Miami Beach, said the increased fines have affected the luxury rental market in Miami Beach. He said the typical single-family home renter is a large family, up to 15 people, that doesn’t want to stay in a hotel, or celebrities looking for privacy.

“The short-term rental market is moving off the beach,” Johnston, head of Calibre International Realty, told The Real Deal. ” You can’t advertise anymore.”

Among the violators? Real estate investor/developer Jon Shields, architect Robert Swedroe, New York investor Simon Itah, and a number of LLCs.

Reed Zaroff, a veterinarian and real estate investor, owns the five-bedroom, 3,588-square-foot house at 244 West Rivo Alto Drive. Zaroff has been fined repeatedly by the city for illegally renting out his waterfront home: on May 21 for $20,000, June 15 for $60,000 and June 16 for $80,000. Jamey Kolka, CEO of the luxury vacation rental company SoBeautiful Lifestyle, was also fined $60,000 in June. His company was also fined $20,000 in May for the same home.

In all, the Venetian Islands house has racked up $260,000 in fines.

1545 Meridian Avenue

Rental listing for 1545 Meridian Avenue

At 2502 Prairie Way, Monsant LLC and Innove Investment Group LLC were fined twice at $20,000 a pop for the unlawful advertising of a short-term rental and for illegally renting the house, a four-bedroom, 3,469-square-foot house that was built in 1950. It’s listed for sale, asking $1.95 million.

And still on the market for rent is the six-bedroom, 3,400-square-foot townhouse at 1545 Meridian Avenue. The city fined Daniel Sehres $20,000 in March, $40,000 in May and $60,000 in August – totaling $120,000. A Trulia listing shows it’s available for rent for $5,500 a month.

The house at 2232 Alton Road amassed fines totaling $205,000 during the month of May. Airbnb, Miami World Rental LLC and Gleason Properties LLC are the violators, according to the city’s list of rental citations. (The eight-bedroom, 7,400-square-foot house has been described as a former home of Jackie Gleason, but his family disputed it.)

For Airbnb, Miami is one of its biggest markets. In 2015, more than half of Florida’s 16,100 Airbnb hosts were in South Florida, including nearly 8,000 hosts in Miami/Fort Lauderdale. A report released in July shows the short-term rental giant grew by 120 percent in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Among the concerns of residents, municipalities and hotels are regulating and taxing short-term rentals, especially in a municipality like Miami Beach were zoning will likely remain unchanged.

The first round of appeals for violations is scheduled for a special master hearing on September 19, according to public documents.

Airbnb could not immediately be reached for comment.


Related, partners close $132M construction loan for Auberge Fort Lauderdale

Rendering of Auberge Fort Lauderdale and Jorge Perez

Rendering of Auberge Fort Lauderdale and Jorge Perez

The developers of Auberge Beach Residences & Spa Fort Lauderdale closed on a $132 million construction loan, the Related Group told The Real Deal. 

Related, along with its development partners Fortune International Group, Fairwinds Group and a firm led by Carlos Mattos, obtained the financing from TPG Real Estate Finance, a nontraditional lender. Related has worked with the firm in the past on projects that include SLS Lux Brickell Hotel & Residences.

Buyers at Auberge include Dan Marino, Moss & Associates CEO Bob Moss, Related CEO Jorge Perez and Mattos, a Colombian businessman and Miami real estate investor. Mattos, Fortune and Fairwinds together are 50 percent partners on the project, and Related holds the remaining 50 percent, a spokesperson told TRD.

Related is among the most leveraged borrowers in South Florida real estate. So far this year, the developer closed more than $780 million in construction financing for projects like the Residences by Armani/Casa (along with Dezer Development) and GranParaiso.

The 171-unit Auberge Fort Lauderdale beachfront development will include two glass towers, a wine room, Auberge restaurant, and a spa. Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates and Meyer Davis Studio are handling Auberge’s design.

Related is delaying construction of Auberge’s sister development, Auberge Residences & Spa Miami, amid a slowing luxury condo market. While sales are ongoing for the Miami project, Related will likely push construction back to at least the end of 2018, sources told previously told TRD.

And Broward typically lags behind Miami in terms of sales. At Auberge in Fort Lauderdale, the north tower is more than 90 percent sold and the south tower is about 30 percent sold, according to the developer. Remaining units range from $1.4 million to $9.9 million. They will be completed between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018. Construction began in November.