The Estates at Acqualina high-end condominium rising in Sunny Isles Beach obtained what’s reported to be the highest condo construction loan this cycle at $558 million — in spite of a slowing market for units priced at $1 million and up.
The Estates at Acqualina will be a $1.5 billion, two-tower project on 5.6 oceanfront acres at 17901 Collins Ave. when it’s completed in 2020. There will be 245 units — 154 in one tower and 91 in the other.
Little Rock, Arkansas-based Bank OZK, previously called Bank of the Ozarks, issued the loan to start vertical construction to affiliates of The Trump Group, which is not related to President Donald Trump. Bank OZK declined comment, and the loan terms were not disclosed.
The development team headed by Eddie, Jules and Stephanie Trump is a South African family that built the high-end Williams Island in Aventura.
The loan is a milestone for the South Florida condo market, setting a record for the current construction cycle.
Yet the transaction, which closed Sept. 28, comes as high-end condos spend a longer time on the market.
There’s been a barrage of new South Florida condos, especially units priced at more than $1 million. At the same time, demand has been turning to rentals, and some experts say this will reflect a reset in the region’s condo market after 2020.
A common industry metric for market saturation is dividing the number of available units by the number of units sold per month.
In Sunny Isles Beach, 600 condos priced at $1 million or more were listed for sale earlier this month. It would take about 50 months to absorb them, which is years longer than the optimum six-month time frame, according to a Sept. 5 report from Miami-based brokerage and market analyst Condo Vultures Realty LLC.
Some other brokers put the optimum time on the market for units at $1 million or more at 12 to 18 months.
Units at The Estates at Acqualina start at $4.2 million and reach $14 million. Three two-story penthouse with their own pools are priced at about $35 million, according to a news release.
About 65 percent of the units in one tower have been pre-sold for a total of $550 million, according to the news release.
The development was able to secure the outsized loan because of the developer’s track record and the project itself, said The Trump Group’s attorney on the loan deal.
“This is right on the water. The amenity package is unbelievable. The design is unbelievable, and you have to have strong pre-sales,” said Bilzin Sumberg partner Alexandra Lehson in Miami. “The lenders are willing to finance it because it’s a good deal.”
Amenities include the 50,000-square-foot Villa Acqualina with a spa, gym, ice rink, bowling lanes, movie theater, children’s playroom, speakeasy, Formula One simulators and more.
Also of note, the project will have common areas created by Karl Lagerfeld, the German fashion designer who is the lead creative director for Chanel and Fendi.
Neisen Kasdin, Akerman’s Miami managing partner, previously told the Daily Business Review that there still is demand for some new condos. He said demand exists for units in “highly desirable, niche submarkets.”