The small-living trend that’s sweeping the U.S. in the form of micro-houses and micro-apartments has arrived in a new Miami Beach development.
The smallest units in the 70-unit 6080 Collins Ave. Beach House will be 350-square-foot studios followed by 480- to 560-square-foot one-bedroom units.
That’s smaller than the 550-square-foot minimum required for strictly residential units in Miami Beach and even smaller than the 800-square-foot average for new residences.
The project approved by the city in 2015 and set to open in July also will offer 875-square-foot two-bedroom units.
The micro-unit trend got a boost in neighboring Miami last year when the city passed an ordinance allowing apartments as small as 275 square feet, a decrease from the previous floor of 400 square feet. Also, the Miami-Dade County Commission in March directed staff members to study the development of micro-houses.
Miami Beach has no regulation on the books officially allowing or encouraging micro-units, but hotels previously were converted to condominium buildings with no change in room size.
Developer Domus Group, which has projects in Buenos Aires and now is focusing on Miami Beach, partnered with hotel company Eskape Collection to develop the project as part condo and part hotel under a city provision setting a 335-square-foot minimum for new hotel rooms.
“Because of the ability of creating this as a condominium-hotel, you have the ability to have certain square footage that is a much more effective use of space,” said Compass Development’s Philip Freedman, managing director for the sales and marketing.
The hotel segment comes into play in other ways, too.
For one, there will be valet parking, a concierge and a Starbucks. Also, the units will be fully furnished right down to the china, bed linens and bathroom towels. There also will be a gym, spa and rooftop pool.
In that way, 6080 Collins Ave. Beach House gives owners options: Buy it and live there, buy it and rent it or buy it and use it as a second home for family and friends.
The units could be rented by the night, week, month or longer, according to Freedman. Eskape finds the tenants.
Existing efficiencies and studios in Miami Beach already are as small as 350 square feet. But most of them are in older buildings that don’t give residents the high-end lifestyle in demand now, Freedman said.
“It makes a big difference. Today’s buyer wants all the bells and whistles of today’s world. They want full Wi-Fi access throughout the building. … They want to have that lifestyle of rooftop swimming pool, terraces,” he said. “If you go to some of these older buildings, even if you look on South Beach, they don’t have terraces. They tend to be squared off properties with small, old buildings, some that are 40-plus years old.”
Micro-units are being touted as a way to provide affordable housing in expensive places. At the landlocked 6080 Collins Ave., sale prices start at $299,000 and reach $750,000 per unit, according to Freedman.
The average condo price in Miami Beach and other nearby beach communities was $801,177 in the 2017 fourth quarter with the average price per square foot running $597, according to Douglas Elliman. The median condo sale price during that time was $374,000.
The prices are much higher for luxury condos with an average price of $3.9 million and the average per square foot tab of $1,210 during the fourth quarter 2017, according to Douglas Elliman. The median was $2.5 million.
At the high-end 6080 Collins Ave., the price per square foot could be as high as $854 for a 350-square-foot studio sold at $299,000 and $623 for a small one-bedroom at the same price.
At least 70 percent of the project has been pre-sold to buyers from at least eight different countries with the highest percentage coming from the U.S.
Domus’ other endeavors in Miami Beach are the redevelopment of 1818 Meridian House, an upgrade of a 1956 garden-style apartment building, and ABAE Hotel at 1215 West Ave.
Both are condo-hotels with Eskape Collection overseeing the hotel aspect, Freedman said.
But 6080 Collins Ave. is Domus’ first venture into micro-units, he added.