Pavilion from the Ocean

Pavilion from the Ocean

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This forum, by owners for owners, provides useful information for owners to view and discuss.

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Does an owner have the right to access records of the association?


Section 718.111(12) of the Condominium Act and Rules 61B-22.002, 61B-22.003(3), 61B- 23.002(5) and 61B-23.0021(13) of the Florida Administrative Code provide guidelines for the maintenance and inspection of the association's official records. Florida law requires that condominiums maintain the official records of the association within the state for at least 7 years. The records of the association shall be made available to a unit owner within 45 miles of the condominium property or within the county in which the condominium property is located. However, such distance requirement does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium. Please refer to the back of this information sheet for a list of records the condominium associations must maintain.


An association must make its books and records available to a unit owner or the unit owner's designated representative within five working days of the owner’s written request. If an association fails to provide requested records within ten working days after receipt of a written request, the association is presumed to have willfully failed to comply with the law. The association's noncompliance entitles the unit owner to seek actual or minimum damages. Section 718.111(12)(c), Florida Statutes provides for minimum damages of $50 per calendar day, for up to ten days, beginning on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. Such damages must be awarded by a court of law. A unit owner who prevails in court may also recover reasonable attorney's fees from the person in control of the records who knowingly denied access. The failure of the board to allow inspection of books and records constitutes a dispute for which a unit owner may either file a complaint with the Division or petition the Division for mandatory


By Eric Glazer, Esq.
You have all heard the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Apparently, The Florida Legislature overlooked this concept when it recently passed a bill which authorizes owners in community associations to vote by e-mail in their elections and for other unit owner votes.

In condos, H.O.A.s and co-ops, the association may now conduct elections and other unit owner votes through an internet-based online voting system if a unit owner consents, in writing to online voting and if the following requirements are met:

1. The association provides each unit owner with:
(a) a method to authenticate the unit owner’s identity to the online voting system.

(b) For elections of the board, a method to transmit an electronic ballot to the online voting system that ensures the secrecy and integrity of each ballot.

(c) A method to confirm, at least 14 days before the voting deadline, that the unit owner's electronic device can successfully communicate with the online voting system.

(d) For elections of the board of administration, able to permanently separate any authentication or identifying information from the electronic election ballot, rendering it impossible to tie an election ballot to a specific unit owner.

(e) Able to store and keep electronic votes accessible to election officials for recount, inspection, and review purposes.

           Finally…..To initiate this process, a resolution of the Board of Directors is required.

Free Condo Workshop

Condominium Elections, Rules and Official Records/Board Member Certification

Hosted by the City of Miami Beach and presented by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Condominiums, Bureau of Compliance.

Monday July 20th 2015
3 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Miami Beach City Hall
1700 Convention Center Drive
Commission Chambers, Miami Beach.


Housing is on the 'verge of a breakout'

Existing home sales surged to a 5 ½-year high last month as more first-time buyers loaded into the market. And with housing stocks near multiyear highs, some traders think there's no sweeter place to put your money.
"I think housing stocks are names you should continue to own here, especially in the face of wages improving and jobs growth," David Seaburg, Cowen and Co.'s head of sales trading, said Monday on "Power Lunch."
According to Seaburg, with an improving economic backdrop and rate increase in the "foreseeable future," the housing market should continue to see buyers piling in. "There's going to be a lot of people trying to get ahead of this rate hike," he said. "And more importantly, I think that when jobs do improve, they've been very concentrated to the cities. I think that will spread out a lot more and it's going to spur a lot of demand in suburban-type areas for housing."
Technical analyst Todd Gordon agreed that there's a solid foundation in the space. "We're seeing great relative strength" compared to the broader market, said Gordon, also on "Power Lunch." The homebuilders ETF, which trades under ticker symbol XHB, is already up 9 percent year to date, while the S&P 500 has risen 3 percent in the same period. "We look to be on the verge of a technical breakout."
The XHB has rallied more than 38 percent from its October low to its March high, but since then has settled into a trading range. Now that the ETF is testing the top of that range at $37.25, any break of that level could mean significant upside, said Gordon.
"The space looks good technically and I think there's a pretty good tail wind behind this sector right now," said Gordon, founder "We'll look to play this to the long side."

Younger buyers drawn to Miami’s active high-end market

The calls come every week from luxury home buyers, and most of them start out the same way.
“I’ve been talking to my accountant,’’ the callers say, many from tax-heavy states like New York and California, “and they tell me it’s time to become a resident of the state of Florida.’’
The recent wave of high net worth buyers has sparked a boom at the top end of the Miami real estate market. A recent study — the Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report — showed that outside of New York City, Miami is the country’s busiest locale in the million-dollar-plus market.
Often, it is also just a matter of dollars and cents. There is no state income tax in the state of Florida, which saves high-end buyers a fortune in taxes alone. This favorable tax environment is a huge draw for buyers from the Northeast and California.
“The taxes on inheritances and estates are very high in some states, like California,” says Duff Rubin, regional senior vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Southeast region in Florida. “Florida is one of the most attractive places to live from a tax perspective, so we get quite a few people who decide to live here for at least six months and a day each year. People are saying, ‘I want this money to go to my kids instead of to pay taxes.’”
We know we have it all here — the great Miami lifestyle, a favorable tax environment, tropical weather and an abundance of choices for the perfect place to live. Affluent buyers from all over the world want to be here and their presence has been a true driver in the luxury market.
What’s different today from the past is that high-end buyers now are considerably younger than they once were. They’re not waiting until they retire or sell a business to move to South Florida any more. Many are coming to live here permanently and are bringing their businesses with them or starting new businesses in Miami.
The work-life balance has become increasingly important to the younger demographic who have flocked to Miami, the city that embodies this equilibrium. Advancements in technology, transportation and communication make it easier for these young executives to conduct business worldwide while enjoying Miami as their home base.
This immigration of young and successful professionals willing to pay top dollar has undoubtedly affected the real estate market, and their impact will continue to thrive as they do. Their real estate purchases will follow the same upward trajectory as their careers, as the successful young executive who has a home on 100 feet of water will want to be on a guarded island with 200 feet of water next, and so on and so forth.
Younger buyers also do not plan to live in the same home for 20 or 30 years like their parents did. One of the most illuminating statistics from the Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Market Report is that 73 percent of those under age 35 say that they expect to buy a home in the next 12 months, which is a dramatically different percentage compared to other age groups surveyed in the study. Only 49 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds, 26 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds and 11 percent of the over-65 group expect to purchase a home in the same time period.
The younger, affluent buyers in the luxury market want brand-new, modern, technologically equipped turnkey products, as do the foreign buyers. Developers saw this trend and reacted quickly to accommodate the needs of this new buyer demographic. As the presence of South American buyers has decreased, this younger, successful domestic buyer has stepped in to make a major impact in the luxury segment.

Developers plan condo-hotel project for Mid-Beach

Developers are planning to turn one of the last vacant pieces of land in Mid-Beach into a 70-unit, low-rise, condo-hotel.
“It’s a neighborhood with a lot of the infrastructure for tourism,” said Flavio Rossato of developer Domus Group, which is partnering with Urbis Real Estate on the project. “There are restaurants, convenience stores, easy access to the beach. But it’s much less crowded than the area around Lincoln Road.”
The fully furnished units will be studios with 385 square feet and one-bedrooms between 460 and 500 square feet. They will range in cost from $260,000 to $400,000. The project is called 6080 Collins Avenue Beach House.
Domus has developed residential and hotel properties in Miami and Buenos Aires.
So far, most buyers are investors looking to rent out the units as hotel rooms, with many based in Latin America, New York and Canada, Rossato said. One-bedrooms will likely rent for between $160 and $350 per night, depending on the season.
The four-story, $30 million project has an address at 6080 Collins Ave., across the street from the beach. Amenities include maid service, a swimming pool, valet parking and a gym. Eskape Collection will manage the hotel.
But services and amenities in general will be limited in a bid to draw younger, more cost-conscious visitors.
“Millennials just want to pay for the services they use,” Rossato said. “They don’t want to pay for a spa if they don’t need it.”
Construction will start in the fall and the project will open by the first quarter of 2017.

Celebrate sea turtle season

Celebrate sea turtle season by helping keep our sea turtles and their hatchlings safe! 

Did you know that sea turtle season in Miami Beach is from April 1 - October 31? 

Sea turtles nest on our beaches annually and they need our help with making it back to the ocean safely. Remember to never touch or harass a nesting sea turtle or hatchling and to keep a distance from any marked nests on the beach.   If you encounter an injured sea turtle, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by calling 1-888-404-FWCC.

The presence of artificial light from properties near the beach disorients nesting adults and hatchlings. It is important to turn off all unnecessary lighting or keep the blinds closed at night. It is also recommended to install tinted glass or shades on all windows and glass doors facing or within line-of-sight from the beach. 

Any lights located on the exterior of a beach side property can also be modified or replaced to decrease disorientation and improve nesting habits through the installation of indirect low profile lighting fixtures and bulbs. Existing fixtures can also be shielded or repositioned so that the point source of the light or any reflective surface is no longer visible from the beach. 

For more information on sea turtles or sea turtle friendly lighting, please contact Yani Pineda (; 305.673.7010). Click here to learn about the Environment and Sustainability Division!


Phil Collins Buys Miami Beach Mansion Once Owned by Jennifer Lopez for $33 Million

A Florida mansion once owned by pop star Jennifer Lopez has sold for $33 million to another musician: rocker Phil Collins.
The seven-bedroom house has about 200 feet of waterfront on Biscayne Bay and a view of the Miami skyline, Mr. Gonzalez said. Mr. Gainor purchased the house from Ms. Lopez in 2005 for $13.9 million. He said he spent about three years gut-renovating it and lived there for about seven years, but decided to sell because he is moving to the West Coast.
The Mediterranean-style home, built in the late 1920s, measures about 12,100 square feet and sits on over an acre. In renovating the home, Mr. Gainor said he tried to keep “a lot of the same look and feel from its original state” in the exterior, but the interiors are European contemporary in style.
The home had been on an off the market for several years. It initially came on the market in 2010 for $29 million, but was most recently listed for $37.5 million. “We took our time selling it, looking for the right price and the right buyer,” said Mr. Gainor.

Miami Beach visitors have their pick of new (and old) hotels

Miami Beach, long known for its independent boutique hotels and Rat Pack-era resorts, has ushered in a new breed of arrivals.
Since late 2014, six branded hotels — encompassing about 1,600 rooms — have opened along Collins Avenue, some as recently as last week.
The new offerings include luxe high-end lodgings such as eco-conscious 1 Hotel South Beach and the posh Miami Beach Edition as well as, most recently, the youth-focused (and mid-priced) AC Hotel Miami Beach and Aloft South Beach.
“We think it’s a great thing that Miami Beach will now have even more diverse offerings of hotel product,” said Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. “I think now the portfolio of Miami Beach is diversified, is well-rounded and will increase the overall attractiveness to the travelers at large in any demographic.”
Miami hotel consultant Scott Brush said hotels such as the AC, Aloft and Hyatt Centric, which also opened recently, fit into the “upper midscale” market that bankers are eager to finance.
The most recent properties are located west of Collins Avenue and off the beach, so developers haven’t paid a premium for waterfront property. Most of the sites were not being fully utilized: The AC was a contractor staging area for construction at the Miami Beach Edition across the street and had a future as a parking lot; the Hyatt Centric housed an old apartment complex, and the site of the Aloft, which housed a ramshackle motel, was originally intended to become high-end condos until the economic downturn hit.
Even if they don’t have direct beach access — or, in some cases, beach views — all of the newest hotels feature pools and will have on-site bars and restaurants.
While there are some differences between the three new brands, the hotels are all trying to appeal to modern travelers who embrace technology, crave social opportunities and have a deep interest in using hotels as a launch point to explore the destination.
“In Miami Beach, you have either really high-end properties, or you have almost hostel- type properties,” he said. “And there’s not much in the middle of the market. Things in the middle of the market have done very well.”
Developers say they saw a need and moved to fill it.
In addition to Florida resident rates, discounts for staying more than one night and resort credits, the hotel also partnered with Travelzoo to offer a package with rates starting at $155 a night for weeknights in June and early July. That rate will also apply for any day of the week between Aug. 16 and Sept. 30, with a waived resort fee and valet parking and breakfast included.

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We heard it through the grapevine...

We hear that Valet parking after the first car is going up to $120 a month.  More than a 118% increase.

Miami Beach condos owned by convicted mobster hit auction block

Three luxury condo units owned by convicted loan shark Mel Cooper go on the auction block Thursday following the bankruptcy of a company he owns.
After a legal feud with his son, the one-time mob associate has lost control of the three apartments at the Fontainebleau II, a luxury condo tower nestled in South Beach’s Fontainebleau resort complex.
Live bidding will start at $660,000 for a studio and $1.63 million for a package deal that includes a one-bedroom and a studio. The auction will take place at 12 p.m. at two locations: the Holiday Inn near the Fontainebleau and the U.S. bankruptcy court in New York City.
Don’t come to gawk and think you can sneak in a bid: Deposits of $40,000 are required for the studios and $60,000 for the one-bedroom.
Cooper was convicted in federal court in 1985 for a loan sharking operation that prosecutors said was linked to the Gambino and Colombo organized-crime families, and served about eight years in prison. The case was part of a crackdown on mobsters by then-U.S. attorney Rudy Giuliani.
After serving his time, Cooper was involved in several different businesses, including a long-distance phone company. But he stayed out of the headlines until 2004, when he sued a former girlfriend to recoup the money he spent on her before she dumped him — $392,000, including interest — according to a report in the New York Post.
During Miami’s real estate boom, Cooper wanted a piece of the action.
In 2005, he bought two units at the Fontainebleau II for a combined $1 million. His son David bought a third for $440,000.
According to bankruptcy filings, Cooper rented out the units as hotel rooms, which the Fontainebleau allows. But management at the resort at 4401 Collins Ave. had been holding onto $700,000 Cooper earned because he and his son were fighting over who actually owned the units.
With no income coming in, Imperial and Cooper filed for bankruptcy. A trustee appointed by a federal court in New York will handle the auction.
Cooper could not be reached and his attorney, Alan Stein, declined to comment. In court documents, Cooper denied a creditor’s charge that he had been an “organized crime boss,” although he admitted that he had done time for a felony conviction.
New York-based Maltz Auctions is in charge of the sale. Richard Maltz, the firm’s president, said he didn’t know about the units’ shady past. But he said the hotel rental program would provide a “very strong revenue stream” for buyers. Studios are going for about $450 per night this summer.
Will the publicity of the units’ mob ties help draw more bids, a reporter asked?
“No comment,” Maltz replied.

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Pollo Tropical in South Beach sells for almost $5 million

A South Beach property that’s been home to a Pollo Tropical since 1994 sold for about $4.92 million on Monday — roughly the price of 616,000 chicken-and-rib platters at the popular, Latin American-style fast food joint.
The restaurant sits on a busy corner at 15th Street and Alton Road. 
“It’s very visible and there’s a lot of walking traffic and cars going by because it’s on the way to Lincoln Road,” said Benjamin Silver, a broker whose team at Marcus & Millichap handled the sale.
The 15,700-square-foot lot is well suited for more extensive commercial or residential development, Silver said. But Pollo Tropical has 18 years left on its below-market-rate lease at the building.
The chicken restaurant pays about $22 dollars per square foot in rent — two to three times less than the going rate for that part of South Beach, according to Silver.
That means the buyer, a Latin American-based investor whom Silver did not have permission to name, will have to be patient.
“They’re buying it as a long-term play,” Silver said. “There’s significant upside in terms of the potential for increasing the rent or redeveloping the property.”

As waterfront land dries up, developers rush to Miami River

June 07--The Miami River -- once a polluted, industrial backwater known as a favored route for smugglers -- is today teeming with developers who want to build on what is practically the city's last remaining waterfront land.
"It's the new waterfront for Miami," said Nelson Stabile, a principal at the developer Integra Investments, which invested in two vacant river lots during the recession and flipped them at a profit of more than $21 million last year. "If you want to be near the urban core of Miami, it's becoming impossible to find waterfront properties."
Near the delta where the river meets Biscayne Bay, developers plan to build ultra-luxury condo towers with units at multimillion dollar price points rivaling waterfront Brickell and Miami Beach. Further inland, large mixed-use projects and rental buildings are being designed for locals amid the boatyards, shipping terminals and bait-and-tackle shops of what has long been a "working" river.

Miami's Condo Craze Burns Out on Strong Dollar

The sales office for condominiums at Miami’s Brickell City Centre attracted more than 100 visitors daily last year, with prospective buyers crowding in and snapping selfies beside a scale model of the $1 billion project.
Now, the flow of people has trickled to about a quarter of what it once was.
“Buyers are asking really good questions” instead of rushing into deals, said Stephen Owens, president of the U.S. unit of Hong Kong-based Swire Properties Ltd., the developer of the 9-acre (3.6-hectare) condo, hotel, office and shopping complex. “Two years ago, it was, ‘Where can I sign?’”
Downtown Miami’s luxury-condo boom -- fueled by buyers from Latin America and Europe willing to pay half the purchase price up front -- is becoming a casualty of the year-long climb in the U.S. dollar. Diminished purchasing power and rising prices are holding back the overseas investors that make up the bulk of sales at new towers, cooling a frenzied market.
In response, developers are delaying projects, lowering down-payment requirements and turning their focus to Americans.
“We’ve seen a very strong shift in the last year in the dollar -- it has literally pushed whole countries out of the marketplace,” said Kevin Maloney, founder and principal of Property Markets Group, which is developing Echo Brickell, a 57-story luxury tower that will have a shark tank in the lobby.
“We look around as real estate guys and say, ‘Jeez, who is our buyer?’” he said. “Now you are going to allocate more of your dollars to domestic United States.”

One Tower

Developers have broken ground on more than 7,600 new condo units since 2011, when construction resumed after the last crash, according to a report scheduled for release next week by the Miami Downtown Development Authority. After starting 16 major downtown towers in 2014, builders began work this year on just one. Sales of new condos slowed and prices flattened in the first quarter, the report showed.
More than 3,000 condo units planned for construction are at risk of delay, said Anthony Graziano, senior managing director at Integra Realty Resources Inc., which prepared the report. He estimates that international buyers account for as much as 95 percent of downtown’s new-condo market.
“We’re basically going to be in a period of slower growth for the next year, year-and-a-half while the market stabilizes,” Graziano said. “I characterize it as a healthy correction.”

Falling Currencies

South Florida had a higher share of international homebuyers than any U.S. market last year, led by purchasers from Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, according to a survey released in April by the Miami Association of Realtors. Those countries, along with Russia and parts of Europe, have seen their currencies plunge against the dollar amid political and economic unrest.
Aaron Drucker, managing broker for Miami-Dade County at Redfin Corp., said condo prices in the downtown area may fall 1 percent to 3 percent in a “mini-correction.”
During visits to six sales offices last week, agents mostly outnumbered buyers. Developers are seeking to lure visitors with glitz, piping dance music onto the sidewalk, setting up lounge chairs overlooking the water, or offering valet parking. The sales office at the Brickell Flatiron is also an art gallery designed by artist Julian Schnabel.

Miami-Dade property values up 8.6 percent

Property values surged 8.6 percent across Miami-Dade last year, priming local governments for a windfall in tax revenue in 2016 and offering another measure of a surging real estate market.
New estimates from the county’s Property Appraiser detail the second housing boom under way along the coast, with waterfront cities posting some of the largest gains. Sunny Isles Beach took the top spot, with a 15.7 percent gain. No city saw more valuable new construction than Key Biscayne, which recorded an additional half-billion dollars’ worth of real estate when 2015 began.
Suburban jurisdictions saw less explosive growth, and some Miami-Dade cities fell well below the average. And the countywide total is still about 7 percent below the peak set in 2009. But with property values countywide beating forecasts for 2015, Monday’s report details the fiscal breathing room that a seller’s market can provide.
“We’re seeing a lot of new construction all over,” said Pedro Garcia, the county’s elected property appraiser. “It really was not a surprise. We saw it coming.”
The higher values could put pressure on some elected leaders to roll back tax rates in order to keep actual tax bills from rising next fall. In Miami-Dade, budget officials had forecast a 5.5 percent in taxable value countywide for the 2016 budget year. Existing properties saw their taxable values increase 7.3 percent. An added $2.7 billion worth of new construction boosted the gain to 8.6 percent.

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