Porsche Design Tower. (Courtesy photo)
South Florida can now officially say it’s home to one of the most futuristic condominium towers in the U.S. real estate market: The Porsche Design Tower and its patented car elevator.
“Tonight is 10 years in the making,” developer Gil Dezer told an expansive pool of guests celebrating the completion of the luxury-brand condo in Sunny Isles Beach.
A surprise appearance by songstress Alicia Keys assured the stunned crowd that “everything’s gonna be all right” at the Porsche tower despite signs of softening in Miami-Dade County’s pricey condo market.
The Porsche Design Tower’s extravagant grand opening featured a 20-minute fireworks show Saturday. The 60-story oceanfront tower is 95 percent sold with unit sales totaling $780 million.
The contract with Germany’s Porsche Design Group was signed nearly a decade ago, just months before the Lehman Brothers collapse as the financial crisis took hold. The project was put on hold and didn’t break ground until 2013.
In that time, a team led by Dezer Development, a company founded by Dezer’s father in 1970, designed an elevator like no other. Aptly named the Dezervator, the automobile elevator system was created to whisk cars and their owners to “sky garages” attached to their residential units.
“They told me it couldn’t be done,” Dezer said. “Some people said, ‘Why would you want to park your car next to your apartment?’ I said you guys don’t get it.”
Dezer said the tower embodies his personality: He’s been a fan of the German carmaker since getting his first Porsche 944 in 1992. He owns a collection of Porsches valued in the millions, and his father, Michael Dezer, founded a Dezer-branded car museum in North Miami.
The Dezervator took grand-opening guests from a 32nd floor unit down to the garage in 45 seconds. The smooth ride was quick and bump-free.
The Porsche Design Tower was delivered at what hints to be the end of a booming condo cycle in Miami-Dade — a cycle Dezer’s Porsche building helped propel forward four years ago.
Dezer Development recently paid off a $214 million construction loan issued by Wells Fargo in 2013 when South Florida’s housing market was still recovering from the economic downturn. The financing marked the largest single South Florida residential construction loan secured since the Great Recession.
At the time, the loan set a post-recession milestone for private residential construction financing in the Southeast.
Six of its 132 units remain on the market, including a 19,403-square-foot penthouse listed at $32.5 million.