Pavilion from the Ocean

Pavilion from the Ocean

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By Jan Bergemann
Enacting a bill allowing associations to pay board members for their “services” will definitely attract more candidates for the next annual meeting with elections. But would that be the kind of candidates we really want?
Let’s make no mistake: There are already too many board members who are serving for one reason only: POWER HUNGER!
Now we are discussing to add another motif for owners running for office: GREED?
Personally, I don’t think it’s a great idea to even consider paying board members.
I might consider changing my mind if this plan comes with the requirement of a license and the removal of the “Business Judgment Rule” defense for board members.
People who get paid for their “work” should as well be held liable for their actions – not being indemnified no matter what serious and/or costly mistakes they are making.
Payment is only a good idea if you have qualified people you are going to pay.
But board members who are in office motivated by POWER HUNGER and/or GREED are definitely not the folks owners want to see on the board as officers. Their motivation alone prevents them from serving the community in the best interest of the association members.

Home of late celebrity skin doctor Fredric Brandt sells for $2.9 million

Brandt committed suicide in his Coconut Grove home in April
The home housed an impressive art collection
It sold for $578 per square foot

The Coconut Grove townhome of the late celebrity dermatologist Fredric Brandt sold for $2.9 million on Tuesday.

Brandt, whose client roster included Madonna and Kelly Ripa, took his own life at the home in April. He had lived there for 15 years.
Fredric Brandt. Miami Herald file
The three-story, four-bedroom home, at 3521 Bayshore Villas Dr., Miami, sold for $578 per square foot, a record sale for Bayshore Villas, an exclusive waterfront community in the Grove. Brandt paid $712,800 for the home, which includes an elevator, in 1990, according to county property records. It was designed in part to showcase his prized art collection, which was auctioned off last month. Among his works were pieces by Damien Hirst, Rudolf Stingel, Yoshimoto Nara and Christopher Wool, according to the New York Times.

“The spiral staircase was custom-designed to show off the art as you walk up,” said Allan Kleer, a Realtor at Fortune International Realty who handled the sale along with Fabian Garcia-Diaz.

Kleer said selling a home where someone died requires tact.

“In these cases, if somebody asks why the seller is selling, we usually say they are deceased,” Kleer said. “But if people ask for details, I’m always honest,” he said. “For some buyers it would be a deal-breaker. For others it doesn’t matter.”

The buyers of Brandt’s home are listed on county records as Juan Carlos and Maria Boyadjian, who also own property on Williams Island in Aventura and in Miami Shores.

Florida law does not require sellers to disclose homicides, suicides or deaths that occur on the property. Brandt hanged himself in the home’s garage.

About 300 people attended a memorial service held in his honor at Temple Israel in Miami this spring.

Home prices continue steady growth in South Florida

Home prices were up 7.7 percent in September

South Florida’s overheated housing market is cooling down

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are nation’s most closely watched housing indicator

South Florida home prices continued their steady rise in September, according to the housing market’s most closely watched economic indicator, which was released Tuesday.

Home prices in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties rose 7.7 percent in September compared to September 2014, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices found. They were up 7.4 percent in August year over year.

Nationwide only San Francisco (11.2 percent), Denver (10.9 percent), Portland, Oregon (10.1 percent), Dallas (9 percent) and Seattle (8.2 percent) grew at a faster annual clip in September. The national average was 4.9 percent.

South Florida’s housing market grew at double digits rates between 2012 and 2014 as it made up the ground lost during the recession. Foreign buyers fueled the recovery. While home prices soared,
wages stagnated, meaning many locals found themselves locked out of the housing boom.

In the last year, a strong dollar and struggling economies in Latin America and Europe have taken the sizzle out of an over-heated market.

Home sales fall in Miami-Dade but prices rise

The housing market stuttered in Miami-Dade County as existing home sales fell in October. But
prices rose for both condos and single-family homes. And Broward County did better overall.

Miami-Dade saw 1,151 single-family home sales in October, down 4.4 percent from October 2014. Condo and townhome sales fell to 1,408 for the month, down 6.6 percent year over year.

A glut of new condo construction is reducing demand for existing units. And an economic crisis across Latin America is taking its toll on the local housing market and other sectors.

Prices are still going up at a fair clip but that won’t last if sales keep falling.

“The bottom line is that there’s a smaller buyer pool out there today,” said Jeff Morr, a Realtor at Douglas Elliman and a member of the Master Brokers Forum. “Prices are higher, the dollar is stronger and foreign economies that are important to us are weaker . . . [But] it could be a good thing for the market if prices cool off.”

Foreign buyers have driven the double-digit annual growth in home prices since the latest real estate boom began, making Miami unaffordable for many locals.

In Miami-Dade, the median sales price for single-family homes hit $265,000 in October, up 10.4 percent from $240,000 in October 2014. The median sales price for condos and townhomes was $200,000, up 8.1 percent from $185,000 year over year.

The housing market Broward County did better across the board in October as both home prices and sales went up.

The median sales price for single-family homes in Broward rose to $290,000 in October, up 5.5 percent from $275,000 in October 2014. Condo and townhomes grew from $119,900 to $129,900, an 8.3 percent year-over-year gain.

The number of home sales also inched up compared to last year. Broward saw 1,433 closed single-family home sales in October, up 2.9 percent compared to October 2014. There were 1,444 condo and townhome sales, a tiny .2 percent gain over last year.

Read more here:

Florida Condo Board Demands Dog’s DNA So They Can See Who Crapped

Homeowners in a Florida condo have to submit their dog’s DNA to the board, so the board can test which dog craps. The DNA request is to punish owners who don’t pick up after their dogs and know whose feces is whose. Sorry to the rookie board member whose job it is to sift through the dog crap like it’s evidence.

Holiday Inn in downtown Miami sells for $65 million

Developer plans a 77-story tower on the site

World Trade Center of the America’s would be one of Miami’s tallest buildings
Project would have 400 condos, 240 hotel rooms, more than 500,000 square feet of retail and office space

A Holiday Inn in downtown Miami sold Friday for $65 million — and the developers behind the deal plan to tear down the 10-story hotel and build a 77-story mixed-use tower in its place.

The project, at 340 Biscayne Blvd., will include 400 condos, 240 hotel rooms, 270,000 square feet of retail and 246,000 square feet of office space, said Iris Escarra, an attorney at Greenberg Traurig who represents the developers. The city of Miami’s Urban Design Review Board has approved the plans for the nearly 3-acre site.

At 953 feet, the World Trade Center of the Americas would be one of the tallest towers in Miami. The Federal Aviation Administration has already approved its proposed height.

The buyer is Brazilian developer Gilberto Bomeny. Sunny Isles Beach developer Louis Montello is also listed on corporate documents filed by one of the companies that submitted plans to the city.
Larry Stockton and Jeff Resnick of Colliers International South Florida brokered the transaction.

Cash home sales continue to fall in South Florida, reflecting dip in foreign buyers

Drop in cash deals reflects a shortage of foreign buyers

Cash sales still make up about one-in-two local home sales

As a strong dollar and struggling economies in Latin America and Europe hurt the budgets of foreign home buyers, the number of cash home sales in South Florida is dropping.

About 52 percent of home sales in Miami-Dade County were cash deals in August, according to a report released Thursday by property analytics firm CoreLogic. That’s down 9 percent since August 2014. Miami-Dade still has the highest percentage of cash buyers in the nation. Cash deals are a good proxy for foreign buyers.

In Broward County, cash deals made up about 48 percent of home sales in August, CoreLogic found, down 12 percent year over year.

Nationwide cash buyers accounted for about 32 percent of home sales in August. South Florida remains one of the most popular U.S. destinations for foreigners, with Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, France and Mexico providing the most buyers.

Luxury condo tower begins to rise in working-class North Beach

Well-known architect Renzo Piano will design Eighty Seven Park
Units start at $2 million

Area is “uncharted territory” for luxury condos

In a working-class neighborhood in Miami Beach, on a desolate stretch of Collins Avenue just shy of Surfside, Italian architect Renzo Piano is designing a luxury condo tower, one of just two residential projects the Pritzker Prize-winner has worked on in the U.S.

The 18-story glass-and-steel building will stand out from the modest low- and mid-rise apartments of North Beach. But in this quiet spot nestled just to the north of a popular public park, developer David Martin says he’s found an “undiscovered gem.”

“It’s a place where I can unlock hidden value,” said Martin, president of Miami-based developer Terra. “This is a 35-acre park on the ocean. How many cities can offer that connected to an urban grid?”

Martin said he plans to pitch buyers on the project’s proximity to North Shore Open Space Park. “This can be the Central Park for Miami Beach,” he said. The building, at 8701 Collins Ave., will be called Eighty Seven Park.

Last year, Terra gave the city of Miami Beach $10.5 million to redesign and improve North Shore park, which includes a running trail, dog run, playground and pavilion with tables and charcoal grills, and is used by locals and tourists alike. The city set aside $6.5 million for the project and will solicit bids from landscape and design firms to lead the renovation. (The remaining $4 million of Terra’s payment will be used for infrastructure improvements in the neighborhood.)

“This part of the beach is uncharted territory for luxury,” said Peter Zalewski, a local condo market analyst, although he said the success of projects in nearby Surfside and Bal Harbour were a positive sign. “The location and the fact that they hired Piano will probably help sales, too.”

The site used to be the old Biltmore Terrace Hotel, designed by revered local architects Morris Lapidus and Albert Anis in 1951. For many years, it was a Howard Johnson’s. Martin bought the three-acre property from the Dezer family, who had restyled the hotel as the Dezerland, for $65 million in 2013.

Originally, Martin proposed restoring the aging 10-story hotel, which was not historically protected, and building a condo tower nearby on the same lot. But he eventually decided to demolish the old structure.

That surprised city leaders at the time. “I’m just not sure how we ended up at the last minute with the hotel being demolished,” Mayor Philip Levine said at a city commission meeting late last year. “It’s kind of like a curve ball.”

Martin defended the demolition, saying after further study his team realized the project wasn’t viable with two buildings.

“It was ultimately Renzo’s decision,” he said. “He felt like we were squeezing these two buildings in when there was only room for one . . . It was claustrophobic.”

He also said the ceilings in the Dezerland weren’t high enough to attract a high-end hotel operator. But feelings were bruised in the community.

“Don’t get me wrong, we’re all very excited about a Renzo Piano building in North Beach,” said Kirk Paskal, president of the North Shore Historic District Neighborhood Association. “But it would have been different if it had been a vacant piece of land and not a Morris Lapidus building . . . It did feel like a bait-and-switch because at first they presented us with this shining picture of a renovated MiMo hotel. It’s not great when you promise one thing to the community and then do the exact opposite.”

The city commission ultimately approved the plan.

Foundation work has since started on the site, with the building scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018. The brokerage Douglas Elliman is handling sales.

Piano, who in 1998 won the Pritzker, considered the Nobel Prize of architecture, is known for his work on the Pompidou Center in Paris, the New York Times Building in Times Square and the Parco della Musica in Rome. He’s also working on a condo tower in New York City’s SoHo district.
In a video produced by Terra, Piano said the North Beach site feels like “you’re in the middle of nowhere. You’re in the middle of Miami but it feels like [you’re] on a little island, lost.”
Condos at the 68-unit project will start at $2 million, or about $1,600 per square foot. The average unit size is 2,600 square feet. That’s smaller than you’d find for most new construction in established luxury markets like Sunny Isles Beach and South Beach.

“In this market, people don’t necessarily need so much space for a second or third home,” Martin said. “You have to know what’s right for the area you’re working in.”
He added that apartments offer significant outdoor living space (with summer kitchens, terraces and outdoor dining rooms) that equal about 70 percent of the interior space.

Amenities will include concierge and butler service, a hair and makeup salon, and an outdoor juice bar. The luxury Bal Harbour Shops are just a mile up the road. And a full-time botanist will work on the building’s staff to tend to residents’ balcony gardens and a private park designed by Dutch firm West 8.

The park will be stocked with coconut palms, seagrape trees and gumbo-limbos, said Daniel Vasini, who’s in charge of designing the park for West 8.

“The design is inspired by Japanese imperial gardens but we wanted to claim the tropical identity of the area,” Vasini said.

Terra is planning a retail project in a small lot it owns across Collins Avenue, although it hasn’t announced any details.

The company also recently finished Glass, a luxury condo building designed by local architect Rene Gonzalez in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.

The 18-story tower has just 10 units. The three-story penthouse sold for $20 million last month. Because of zoning restrictions and the number of historically protected buildings in the area, Glass will likely be the last high-rise tower in South of Fifth.

“We built the last tower in South of Fifth,” Martin said. “Now we’re building the first one in North Beach.”


By Eric Glazer, Esq.   

            I have been to some real nasty association meetings over the last 23 years.  I’ve personally been cursed at, screamed at, yelled at and insulted.  My wife can sometimes get that way.
            All kidding aside, I’ve attended meetings where control was totally lost and violence erupted.  It happened more than once and each time there was not a police officer present at the meeting. I’ve seen both board members threatened and owners threatened by other owners.  Unfortunately, this sometimes happens.  The most violent meeting I ever attended was in a 55 and over community where canes and walkers were being thrown.  It was crazy.  The rehab and Medicare bills the next day were probably as much as the association’s budget.
            A few years ago I was attending an annual meeting in Hallandale.  There was an officer present.  The meeting ran until about 1:00 in the morning.  There was a guy who was sitting in the second row and nobody really knew who he was.  He looked like he was staring into space the entire 5 hours and never said a word.  That is, until it was time to announce the winners.  All of a sudden the guy awoke from his stupor and charged me.  He was obviously high, and started screaming at me almost nose to nose that I was his lawyer in Spanish and that I should do what he said to do.  The police officer at first did nothing.  So, I   told the police officer that if he doesn’t get this nut to back up, I’m going to back him up.  At that moment, the police officer went into action and screamed at the guy to “take three steps backward away from the attorney immediately.”  The guy didn’t move.  The police officer then yelled, “If you don’t want to spend tonight in the Broward County Jail, take three steps back from the attorney immediately.”  The guy still didn’t move.
            The Ombudsman’s Office happened to have been monitoring this election.  The election monitor was certainly nervous and asked if she could please speak to the man in Spanish first.  She said a few words, the guy blew some kisses into the air and then left.  When the meeting ended, the police officer walked me to my car.  I have no idea what would have happened if the officer wasn’t there, but no question in my mind that either me or the nut would have gotten hurt.
            Last year, at a condominium in Boca Raton, a guy got up from his chair, walked over to my table and told me to get up and go home because he was going to handle the election instead of me.  I calmly told him that if he so much as touches an envelope I’m calling the police.  To show off for the crowd, he proceeded to deliberately touch all of the envelopes.  Bad move.  I called the cops.  They came in riot gear and escorted him out.  They guy was frightened out of his mind.  I then calmly finished the election.
Now, lots of associations are hiring police officers to attend their meetings.  They do it to try and keep the peace.  Others argue to the contrary, that the Board use these officers as their own personal bodyguards to squash anyone who dares to raise any opposition to their personal platform.  In fact, they ask these officers to kick people out of the meeting if they dare exercise their statutory right to speak.  Others are simply insulted by the fact that their Board thinks that their neighbors need the police to keep them under control.
            Here’s what I know…… Meetings sometime get out of hand and it’s a good thing that police officers are often times present to prevent the situation from truly getting ugly.  There also may be a liability question here for the association.  Suppose violence has happened a few times at your meetings?  It’s certainly foreseeable that it may happen again.  Therefore, the Board may be forced to get police protection at all future meetings because if they don’t and violence does break out, there is certainly a negligence claim to be levied against the association and its Board members should someone get hurt.


Death in Airbnb Rental Raises Liability Questions

There is no better — or sadder — way to explain how Zak Stone’s father died in a vacation rental than how he did himself this week, so this is how he began the essay he wrote for the online magazine Matter.

“The rope swing looked inviting. Photos of it on Airbnb brought my family to the cottage in Texas. Hanging from a tree as casually as baggy jeans, the swing was the essence of leisure, of Southern hospitality, of escape. When my father decided to give it a try on Thanksgiving morning, the trunk it was tied to broke in half and fell on his head, immediately ending most of his brain activity.
The death is devastating, but no one should be shocked by it, either. As with any big hotel operation, Airbnb hosts are putting up so many people each night that fatal accidents are almost inevitable.
But the incident — and a second death that Mr. Stone disclosed in the essay in Matter, part of the publishing service Medium — does raise important insurance and safety questions about Airbnb, its competitor HomeAway and hotels themselves at the same time as Airbnb is offering more protection.

Let’s start with insurance. A year ago, Airbnb hosts were on their own when it came to liability, and most of them probably assumed that their homeowner’s insurance would offer coverage if a guest was hurt or worse. But most homeowner’s insurance policies have an explicit exclusion for commercial activity.

Airbnb this year began offering free, automatic secondary coverage for liability, in case a host’s insurance company denied a claim. Last month, Airbnb made that coverage primary. It’s still free, and it covers up to $1 million an incident.

It is not yet clear how friction-free the claims-paying process will be. After the death of Mr. Stone’s father, Louis, his family reached a settlement with the insurance company for his host, not Airbnb or its insurer. According to Mr. Stone, that host had an insurance policy that explicitly covered commercial activity. He said in his essay that Airbnb paid a $2 million settlement for the second death he reported, which was from carbon monoxide poisoning in Taiwan.

HomeAway, which was acquired by Expedia last week for $3.9 billion, takes a different approach to insurance. Rather than offering free liability coverage, it urges homeowners to buy more comprehensive coverage elsewhere. The policy that it recommends includes property and contents damage and loss of business in addition to liability. HomeAway earns a marketing fee when its customers buy from its recommended provider, CBIZ.

So why doesn’t HomeAway offer free coverage like Airbnb? Partly because it would be too expensive to offer the comprehensive policy that prudent homeowners probably should have. But HomeAway’s business is different, too. It matches homeowners and travelers and likens itself to a classified advertising service. While HomeAway did not say this specifically, it is possible that it believes that its process shields the company from potential liability and removes any need to provide automatic coverage for homeowners who list there.

Scott Wolf, the president of CBIZ’s property and casualty program division, said in an interview this week that he could not figure out how every Airbnb customer would ultimately be covered. He pointed to Airbnb’s stated annual limit of $10 million on its policy, which its hosts could exhaust with 10 $1 million claims. He estimated that each policy pays out an average of $100 in liability claims each year (though that average results in large part from a smaller number of claims that are extremely high). If Airbnb has, say, 500,000 listings on average (though there are more occupied properties than that many nights of the year), that is $50 million in claims, which is $40 million more than that annual $10 million cap.

One possibility may be that Airbnb, which has many single travelers staying in single rooms for short periods, simply won’t need to make as many claims as HomeAway travelers do. After all, people who use HomeAway often travel with their families to large rental homes with slippery pool decks and leg-eating trampolines. But Mr. Wolf said that his experience insuring bed-and-breakfast owners suggested that hosts who were in residence were actually more vulnerable to claims than absentee owners. After all, you can’t blame a host for a spill that caused a fall if the host is not there.

Airbnb did not want to go into detail about what it pays for its insurance and the precise policy language. But Nick Papas, a spokesman, said that since it started offering liability coverage in January, eight million people had stayed with an Airbnb host in the United States and fewer than 50 hosts had filed claims. “We are extremely confident in the finances underlying our program,” he said in an emailed statement. “When we were looking to expand it, we had multiple competitive bids from different insurers. The numbers show how low the risk factors are, and they’re eager to work with us.”
As for the safety questions, this seemed the perfect opportunity to figure out once and for all whether Airbnb and HomeAway rentals are more dangerous than hotels: Just ask everyone for the accidental death rate per 100 million room nights and compare. That only works if companies are willing to answer, though. HomeAway offered its number right away: zero deaths, as far as it knows. Mr. Stone disclosed the two Airbnb deaths, and the company would not comment further on its death rate.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association does not track industrywide rates. A Hyatt spokeswoman would not disclose its rate or explain why it refused to share it, and an InterContinental Hotels Group spokesman declined to comment. Best Western and Starwood said they did not have the data. Felicia McLemore, a Marriott spokeswoman, and Christine Miller, a Hilton spokeswoman, did not respond to repeated requests for comment on their companies’ death rates.

Without good data, we’re all flailing about looking for anecdotes. So let’s start with those nondisclosing hotels. On two separate occasions within weeks of one another in 2013, three people died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the same Best Western hotel in North Carolina. A USA Today investigation that same year turned up eight deaths and 170 other people treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in hotels in the three previous years. Best Western said the company now had an industry-leading carbon monoxide detection and alarm system.

On the fire front, hotels and motels averaged 3,700 a year from 2006 to 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association, resulting in an average of 12 deaths, excluding emergency personnel, and 143 injuries a year.

We know less about Airbnb and HomeAway, but one thing we know for sure is that their hosts need not follow the myriad regulations about exits and doors and alarms that hotels and motels do. The companies could inspect each property for safety, but they don’t.

And according to Liz Krueger, a New York state senator who has frequently tangled with the home renting companies, it would be better if somebody else did it. “They’d be self-declaring, and it wouldn’t be a governmental entity,” she said. “Call me a supporter of government, because I am, but I think there is a reason you want a third party doing the evaluation as opposed to an interested party who would have a reason not to document the correct things.”

Still, who knows if a government inspector would have noticed the dead tree that killed Mr. Stone’s father or the water heater reportedly at issue in the Taiwan death. Paying strangers to stay in their homes requires that we assume some risk, and we may simply have to get comfortable that we may never know exactly how much risk.

If you’re a host renting out a home or a room, tell your homeowner’s insurance company, even if you think Airbnb’s liability coverage gives you most of the protection you need. After all, your guest’s lawyer will probably sue your insurance company, too, if there is an injury on your property. Make sure that your guests know how to get out in an emergency and that your home has many alarms and is free of unnecessary hazards.

Paying guests should check batteries on fire and carbon monoxide detectors, be wary of kitchen equipment or outdoor toys they don’t normally use and keep a special eye out for things that could harm small children.

Still, let’s give the new players in lodging some credit where it is due. More insurance coverage is better than less, and urging people to be aware of their risks is a welcome evolution in how these companies operate.
Read More:

Welcome to Miami Beach's Invite-Only, Hyper-Luxury Boutique Condo Boom

Almost two decades ago, big-name developers, including Donald J. Trump, worried that height restrictions would limit the possibilities for high-end condos in Miami Beach. Trump famously lobbied city officials, in the mid-1990s, to build a 100-story hotel-casino with residences in what is now the South of Fifthneighborhood. Residents revolted, the city imposed height restrictions in the late 1990s, and developers had to rethink their grandiose condo fantasies.
Lately, while the sky may literally not be the limit for condos here, prices for luxury offerings don't seem to lack helium. The building limitations have breathed life into a different kind of Miami Beach condo movement: Call it the Boutique Boom.
Tall towers like the Continuum, the Apogee, and the Setai are yesterday's news. More modestly sized projects like Norman Foster's Faena House, Ian Schrager's Edition, andOne Ocean are breaking sales records and waging war with starchitects, art installations, and obscene amenities. That Miami Beach code now restricts waterfront residences to 200 feet and those inland to 75 feet, seems to matter less and less.
None of this is an accident, of course. Developers and their sales teams have orchestrated the current buzz by laser-targeting high-net worth individuals to create virtual New York-style co-ops.
"The building restrictions themselves have caused this incredible market to evolve," said Mark Zilbert, president of Brown Harris Stevens Zilbert. "The buildings that are going to be in demand are these smaller buildings that are very unique."
New York developers, flush from successes in the high-end Manhattan market, increasingly have Miami Beach in their sights. They seem to be following the playbook that made condo buildings like 15 Central Park West and One57 dens for the clubby elite.
In the latest example, Michael Stern, founder of JDS Development Group in New York, is developing a new luxury condo in South Beach with Howard Lorber's New Valley Realty. They commissioned Jean Nouvel, the French architect, to design the 18-story project, which will face Biscayne Bay and have a private boat dock, Oren Alexander, a broker with Douglas Elliman, confirmed to Curbed.
Alexander, who handled sales for Faena House, was at the center of a strategic marketing effort there that targeted "friends and family" from the super-elite of New York's finance and art worlds, including Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, and gallerist Larry Gagosian.
Zilbert recalled with awe how exclusive the process seemed at the time. "Initially, you couldn't get information about" Faena House. "They had to invite you to learn about it." But just enough VIP buzz seemed to leak out. "We would get reports: Ted Danson just left the sales center there," Zilbert said. "It was kind of like this paparazzi thing." One common denominator, Alexander said, was the buyers were all "very significant" contemporary art collectors. "You just need to identify who those people are and crack that code," he said.
Douglas Elliman never paid for any print advertising for Faena House, Alexander said. Yet, he boasted, the project's "conversion ratio" of buyers versus visits "was among the highest ratios I have ever seen."
When it debuts, Faena House will break virtually all the condo sales records on Miami Beach. The penthouse will reportedly sell for a record $60 million—$10 million over asking—making it the most expensive home ever sold in Miami-Dade County.
Faena proved that building restrictions, in the end, "fell in line with where luxury was going" for the super-elite. "Real luxury is limited, it is exclusivity," Alexander said.
The Elliman agent is employing the same friends and family approach to his latest sales effort, 87 Park, a 68-unit project on 16 floors designed by Renzo Piano. It will open a sales office in the next two weeks. Interested buyers have already reserved about one-third of the residences, he said. One bedrooms will start at $1.6 million and four-bedrooms at $10 million, with some ocean-facing corner units going for more than $3,500-a-square-foot.
One owner, at 1335 Monad Terrace, has held out. Public records list the owner as "1335 Monad Terrace LLC," with Stefania Scaffidi as the registered agent. She bought her two-bedroom, one bath home, built in 1940, for $500,000 in 2010. Now she wants$10 million for the 3,500-square-foot site, said Kevin Torres, a superintendent with Plaza Construction, who was overseeing the demolition of the homes in mid-October. That would top the $9.8 million that the JDS affiliate paid for the 1365 Monad Terrace, which is the same lot size.
When I went by last week looking for Scaffidi, I found the home dark and shrouded with massive shrubbery. A lonely looking cat hung around the front stoop. A no trespassing sign greeted visitors: "Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again."
None of this seems to faze Stern and his team. Torres said the local project manager working for JDS has been talking to Nouvel, the architect, about "designing around" Scaffidi's home. If it comes to that, one could suppose the savvy marketers will create an art installation to camouflage the odd gap the home would create. It could only make Monad Terrace more "boutique."

Know the law: Florida Statutes 718.111(12) - Condo Association Official Records

(a) From the inception of the association, the association shall maintain each of the following items, if applicable, which constitutes the official records of the association:
1. A copy of the plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer pursuant to s. 718.301(4).
2. A photocopy of the recorded declaration of condominium of each condominium operated by the association and each amendment to each declaration.
3. A photocopy of the recorded bylaws of the association and each amendment to the bylaws.
4. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the association, or other documents creating the association, and each amendment thereto.
5. A copy of the current rules of the association.
6. A book or books that contain the minutes of all meetings of the association, the board of administration, and the unit owners, which minutes must be retained for at least 7 years.
7. A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identifications, voting certifications, and, if known, telephone numbers. The association shall also maintain the electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers of unit owners consenting to receive notice by electronic transmission. The electronic mailing addresses and facsimile numbers are not accessible to unit owners if consent to receive notice by electronic transmission is not provided in accordance with subparagraph (c)5. However, the association is not liable for an inadvertent disclosure of the electronic mail address or facsimile number for receiving electronic transmission of notices.
8. All current insurance policies of the association and condominiums operated by the association.
9. A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility.
10. Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the association.
11. Accounting records for the association and separate accounting records for each condominium that the association operates. All accounting records must be maintained for at least 7 years. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys such records, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain such records, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The accounting records must include, but are not limited to:
a. Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.
b. A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid on the account, and the balance due.
c. All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the association or condominium.
d. All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to be performed are also considered official records and must be maintained by the association.
12. Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners, which must be maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates, notwithstanding paragraph (b).
13. All rental records if the association is acting as agent for the rental of condominium units.
14. A copy of the current question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504.
15. All other written records of the association not specifically included in the foregoing which are related to the operation of the association.
16. A copy of the inspection report as described in s. 718.301(4)(p).
(b) The official records of the association must be maintained 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 within 5 working days after receipt of a written request by the board or its designee. However, such distance requirement does not apply to an association governing a timeshare condominium. This paragraph may be complied with by having a copy of the official records of the association available for inspection or copying on the condominium property or association property, or the association may offer the option of making the records available to a unit owner electronically via the Internet or by allowing the records to be viewed in electronic format on a computer screen and printed upon request. The association is not responsible for the use or misuse of the information provided to an association member or his or her authorized representative pursuant to the compliance requirements of this chapter unless the association has an affirmative duty not to disclose such information pursuant to this chapter.
(c) The official records of the association are open to inspection by any association member or the authorized representative of such member at all reasonable times. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the member. The association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the frequency, time, location, notice, and manner of record inspections and copying. The failure of an association to provide the records within 10 working days after receipt of a written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with this paragraph. A unit owner who is denied access to official records is entitled to the actual damages or minimum damages for the association’s willful failure to comply. Minimum damages are $50 per calendar day for up to 10 days, beginning on the 11th working day after receipt of the written request. The failure to permit inspection entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records. Any person who knowingly or intentionally defaces or destroys accounting records that are required by this chapter to be maintained during the period for which such records are required to be maintained, or who knowingly or intentionally fails to create or maintain accounting records that are required to be created or maintained, with the intent of causing harm to the association or one or more of its members, is personally subject to a civil penalty pursuant to s. 718.501(1)(d). The association shall maintain an adequate number of copies of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules, and all amendments to each of the foregoing, as well as the question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504 and year-end financial information required under this section, on the condominium property to ensure their availability to unit owners and prospective purchasers, and may charge its actual costs for preparing and furnishing these documents to those requesting the documents. An association shall allow a member or his or her authorized representative to use a portable device, including a smartphone, tablet, portable scanner, or any other technology capable of scanning or taking photographs, to make an electronic copy of the official records in lieu of the association’s providing the member or his or her authorized representative with a copy of such records. The association may not charge a member or his or her authorized representative for the use of a portable device. Notwithstanding this paragraph, the following records are not accessible to unit owners:
1. Any record protected by the lawyer-client privilege as described in s. 90.502 and any record protected by the work-product privilege, including a record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction, which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association, and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings, or which was prepared in anticipation of such litigation or proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.
2. Information obtained by an association in connection with the approval of the lease, sale, or other transfer of a unit.
3. Personnel records of association or management company employees, including, but not limited to, disciplinary, payroll, health, and insurance records. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “personnel records” does not include written employment agreements with an association employee or management company, or budgetary or financial records that indicate the compensation paid to an association employee.
4. Medical records of unit owners.
5. Social security numbers, driver license numbers, credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, emergency contact information, addresses of a unit owner other than as provided to fulfill the association’s notice requirements, and other personal identifying information of any person, excluding the person’s name, unit designation, mailing address, property address, and any address, e-mail address, or facsimile number provided to the association to fulfill the association’s notice requirements. Notwithstanding the restrictions in this subparagraph, an association may print and distribute to parcel owners a directory containing the name, parcel address, and all telephone numbers of each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his or her telephone numbers from the directory by so requesting in writing to the association. An owner may consent in writing to the disclosure of other contact information described in this subparagraph. The association is not liable for the inadvertent disclosure of information that is protected under this subparagraph if the information is included in an official record of the association and is voluntarily provided by an owner and not requested by the association.
6. Electronic security measures that are used by the association to safeguard data, including passwords.
7. The software and operating system used by the association which allow the manipulation of data, even if the owner owns a copy of the same software used by the association. The data is part of the official records of the association.
(d) The association shall prepare a question and answer sheet as described in s. 718.504, and shall update it annually.
(e)1. The association or its authorized agent is not required to provide a prospective purchaser or lienholder with information about the condominium or the association other than information or documents required by this chapter to be made available or disclosed. The association or its authorized agent may charge a reasonable fee to the prospective purchaser, lienholder, or the current unit owner for providing good faith responses to requests for information by or on behalf of a prospective purchaser or lienholder, other than that required by law, if the fee does not exceed $150 plus the reasonable cost of photocopying and any attorney’s fees incurred by the association in connection with the response.
2. An association and its authorized agent are not liable for providing such information in good faith pursuant to a written request if the person providing the information includes a written statement in substantially the following form: “The responses herein are made in good faith and to the best of my ability as to their accuracy.”
(f) An outgoing board or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession or under his or her control to the incoming board within 5 days after the election. The division shall impose a civil penalty as set forth in s.718.501(1)(d)6. against an outgoing board or committee member who willfully and knowingly fails to relinquish such records and property.