Premium content from South Florida Business Journal by Oscar Pedro Musibay, Reporter
Date: Friday, August 17, 2012, 6:00am EDT
Father-and-son real estate developers Sergio Grosskopf and Manuel Grosskopf are ready for a new challenge.
The family is now focused on its first solo luxury condo project in the U.S., with Manuel Grosskopf at the helm. Chateau Beach Residences, at 17475 Collins Ave. in Sunny Isles Beach, is an 84-unit, 33-story building that is expected to begin vertical construction in January.
Units are sized from 1,500 to 5,000 square feet (the penthouse and Sky Villa are much larger) and are priced an average of $850 a square foot. Monica Venegas of Venegas International Group is the sales broker.
During the last 15 years, the Grosskopfs have built high-rise condominiums in downtown Miami. As partners inTerra Group, they built Quantum on the Bay and 900 Biscayne.
Sergio, 67, and Manuel, 37, also closed on several purchases, including a corner site near Gulfstream Park in Broward County and the Florida Power & Light Co. building in western Miami-Dade County. Amenities at Chateau Beach will include a private restaurant, fitness center, cigar lounge, kidsâ€™ playroom, beach service and spa.
About 40 percent of the units have the 10 percent deposit required for a reservation, Manuel Grosskopf said. Buyers will be paying up to 90 percent of the market value of the units as the project progresses, with the money being used to finance construction, he said.
Buyers are coming from a diverse group of countries, including Russia, Brazil and Argentina. So far, none are from the U.S.
Beth Butler, president of One Sothebyâ€™s International Realty, said the Grosskopfsâ€™ plans fuel the luxury condo boom under way in Sunny Isles Beach. She said the city is a brand, like Ocean Drive or Brickell Avenue, to South Americans.
â€śThe Sunny Isles area is known by name,â€ť she said. â€śBrazil and Argentina especially know it and like it. The beach is a big draw. The proximity to Aventura Mall and Bal Harbour are also big pluses.â€ť
Several developers have launched sales on luxury projects in the same area including The Dezer Group, which is building the Porsche Design tower, and Jules Trump and Eddie Trump, who are building Mansions at Acqualina.
In South America, the Grosskopfs are known for shopping mall development and management, and condo development.
They built and managed the Alto Palermo and Alto Avellaneda shopping malls, and managed the Paseo Alcorta and Abasto shopping malls, all in Argentina.
In the late 1990s, The George Soros Group and real estate company IRSA S.S. bought the properties the Grosskopfs owned and managed. Manuel Grosskopf became director of the portfolio under the new ownership.
In addition to Chateau Beach site, the Grosskopfs own the Freedom Square site, next to Miamiâ€™s Freedom Tower. They also own 700 Biscayne, which has been approved for both condominium units and a hotel. But these projects will not be launched for several years, Manuel Grosskopf said.
They own a site at the corner of Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Federal Highway, next to Gulfstream; sites in Hollywood; and the Best Western Hotel in Surfside, among others.
As for the 635,000-square-foot FPL building, the property, at 9250 W. Flagler St., is about 70 percent leased by FPL-related companies. Grosskopf is looking to open a data center of at least 50,000 square feet on the ground floor, and may develop the surface parking lots at the property.
The Grosskopf family has a strong record of luxury condo development. In Punta Del Este, Uruguay, they built the Coral Tower, Beverly Tower and Millennium Tower and Le Jardin Residence. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, they built Chateau Libertador and Chateau Puerto Madero.
Despite their past volume of construction, the Grosskopfs are not like The Related Group, developing a wide spectrum of projects simultaneously. The family has focused on luxury condominiums and they plan to continue in that niche, Manuel Grosskopf said.
â€śWe like to eat one strawberry at a time,â€ť he said.