The Sofi area of Miami Beach (thatâ€™s South of Fifth Street) is a hot area for real estate. It hasnâ€™t also been so, though. Strategic investment and development over the last decade were needed to turn Sofi into a neighborhood-to-be-watched. In the last couple of years the plan has paid off and the area has become white hot and ripe for development. Condos like Murano Grande, Continuum, The Courts and the upcoming Meridian Five are four of Miamiâ€™s best â€¦ and they are all here.
I recently sat down with Todd Sims, a realtor in Miami Beach and local Sofi resident/aficionado, who took time to share his insight on the area, itâ€™s booming success and whatâ€™s on the horizon:
Q: Tell me about the area South of Fifth where The Courts condo is located:
A: Sofi is what everyone calls it now, South of Fifth, five years ago it was just not great but Jorge PerezÂ from the Related GroupÂ started building it up. Prime 112 for example, which is in this area,Â is the most successful restaurant for its size in the United States.Â The combination ofÂ celebrities andÂ multi-million dollar high rises is why the area is so successful.
Q: Describe â€œThe Courtsâ€ and what makes it the ideal condominium:
A: The CourtsÂ has 189 units and the great thing about it is itâ€™s just three blocks from the beach, itâ€™s the little oasis withÂ prices from $500,ooo to $1.3 million. Youâ€™ve got all the apogee and the expensive multi-million dollar condos.
There are currently two units available at the Courts. One is a 1,430-square-foot 3-bedroom, 2-bath corner unit for $749,000 orÂ the 1,150-square-foot 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit for $535,000. The latter one has been on the market for a while.
It also has two great pools, they are very large, probably the best in South of Fifth next to the Continuum pool.
The Courts started in 1996 and ended in early 2000s. Itâ€™s a low-rise Mediterranean style building. It has townhomes and units from 900 square feet to 2,500 square feet. There are only about 18 units over 2,000 square feet. There are seven townhouse units that have garages. The variety of floor plans means that nothing is cookie cutter in the Courts and units can be varying sizes. Itâ€™s gorgeous with beautifully landscaped courtyards and itâ€™s very family-friendly. Itâ€™s perfect for a business professional person with children.
Q: What other units are available around the beach?
A: At the Yacht Club in Portofino, thereâ€™s a 2-bedroom, 2-bath 1,130-square-foot corner unit with ocean view for $549,000. Itâ€™s the best deal in the Yacht Club. They have a very liberal rental policy where tenants can rent monthly. Jorge Perez from Related built it as a rental building inÂ 1999.
Q: How desirable is this Sofi area?:
A: The Miami Beach area is still one of the strongest in the market but they took a hit just like everyone in 2008 but they performed the best regionally, though. Murano Grande for example is full of Brazilian nationals who are buying units in cash. I estimate that 80% of the buyers in Sofi are Brazilians.
Theyâ€™re attracted to the area because itâ€™s the gateway to Latin America and so theyâ€™re comfortable here. They know the area is going to remain strong. Itâ€™s considered the Rodeo Drive of Miami, thereâ€™s no question.
Q: Whatâ€™s on the horizon for Sofi:
There are a couple of projects coming. Meridian Five is new construction at 425 Meridian Avenue. There are 14 townhome residences. And ready to take off, the already built Jefferson Lofts at Fourth St. and Jefferson Avenue.Â It features six lofts that Â are very nice, modern and contemporary.
Other great spots in SoFi are South Pointe Park, Smith & Wollensky restaurant, Nikki Beach Club and China Grill restaurant.
Call 877-852-6636 to speak with a Miami expert or click here to view details about condos in the area.
Photos courtesy of Google Images, Portofino Condominium and JeffersonLofts.com