Long caricatured as lovers of excess opulence, a group of Russian investors is taking an uncharacteristic dive into Miami’s residential real estate market by betting more modest housing is a better investment opportunity than building yet another amenity-laden waterfront tower.

The Verzasca Group, a privately held developer created last year, is looking to leverage connections with wealthy Europeans to invest $700 million in South Florida over the next three years, company president Darius Kasparaitis said Wednesday. The company has acquired sites for two planned high-end developments in Bay Harbor Islands with a combined 45 condo units.

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