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NYC Developer Says Miami Now a Better Bet

A Miami-based developer recently switched his focus from NYC to Miami after realizing that during his 10 years in Fla., prices rose 180%, and in NYC, they rose 28%.

MIAMI – Despite relocating to Miami about 10 years ago, just as the property market there was heating up, veteran developer Miki Naftali chose to keep business trained on his beloved New York – until now.

The head of Naftali Group launched a 67-story, $580 million condominium and apartment building that will be his first project in South Florida.

Although the company’s luxury developments in New York during the last decade are undisputed successes, Naftali admits he likely missed some prime opportunities in his new hometown.

CoStar Group notes that the average transaction price per apartment unit is up more than 180% over the past 10 years in South Florida, versus up 28% in New York City. With his focus to the north, other players – including some of his peers from the Big Apple – swooped in to ride the tide of fortune the region offered.

His late entry now coincides with high mortgage rates, inflated construction costs and financing challenges, but Naftali is convinced the time is ripe to build.

“Miami and South Florida matured to a point that it’s not just like a secondary place to spend time,” he says. “The city is competing head-to-head with any major city around the world.”

His contribution to the landscape, JEM Private Residences, is part of the 27-acre Miami Worldcenter – the biggest commercial development currently in the market’s pipeline.

Source: Wall Street Journal (10/30/23) Acosta, Deborah

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