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Nick Perez Discusses the Future of Luxury Condo Developments in South Florida

Miami Living had an insightful conversation with Nick Perez, the President of Related Group's condominium development division. During this exclusive interview, we delved into various topics, including South Florida's real estate market, sustainability initiatives in condominium developments, emerging investment opportunities, community engagement, and much more.

Perez, a seasoned professional who previously held the position of Senior Vice President at Related Group since 2018, is responsible for managing a remarkable portfolio worth over $15 billion. He has successfully led various prestigious projects, such as the St. Regis Residences, Miami, Solemar Residences, Pompano Beach, Ritz-Carlton Residences, and several others.

Nick Perez

ML: How do you see the current real estate market in South Florida, and what opportunities or challenges do you anticipate in the near future?

Nick Perez: South Florida is the most desirable real estate market in the world. While other areas of the country start to cool off, demand across our region continues to heat up with people from all over the globe flocking to make South Florida home.

While we are no longer seeing the stratospheric sales pace of 2021 and 2022, we continue to make progress across all developments. In fact, Baccarat Residences, Miami and Casamar Pompano Beach are both quickly approaching sell-out, with other developments like Casa Bella by B&B Italia, NoMad Residences Wynwood and others closely behind.

From our vantage point, we see the biggest opportunity in smaller-scale, more intimate properties. We’re taking this more boutique approach in projects like the St. Regis Residences Miami and Rosewood Residences Hillsboro Beach. These properties include fewer, but much larger units, providing a much more exclusive experience that more closely resembles single-family living.

Overall, I think South Florida is only in the second inning.

With a portfolio worth over $15 billion in condominium developments, how do you plan to navigate the competitive real estate market in South Florida and maintain Related Group's industry dominance?

Related Group has been at the peak of our industry for more than 40 years, and has no intention of leaving this spot. And while our condo portfolio is worth around $15 billion, our company is actually working on closer to $26 billion in real estate development.

Through all of the ups and downs, Related Group has been able to shine in such competitive markets due to our thoughtful approach. Whether it is architecture and design, construction and engineering or even amenities - no detail is too small or insignificant to us. We always take the time to deliver properties that exceed buyers’ expectations and bring benefits to surrounding communities.

How do you prioritize sustainability and resilience in your condominium developments in South Florida, given the region's vulnerability to climate change and sea level rise?

Building a Miami that can be enjoyed for generations to come is critical to us. And while the issues facing Miami are larger than any single company, Related strives to do its part.

One way we’re doing this is by working with Miami-Dade County and other local governments to adapt current zoning and construction regulations to meet future needs. This includes raising minimum construction heights, upgrading water systems and more.

Related also recently partnered with the Aspen Institute to bring the group’s “Ideas” Summit to Miami Beach. We just celebrated the second annual summit and it was incredible to see leaders from various disciplines come together to discuss real-world solutions to pressing sustainability challenges.

We will continue to find ways to innovate and create reliable, sustainable projects that provide quality housing for future South Floridians.

What strategies do you have in place to identify new investment opportunities and expand into new markets in South Florida for future developments?

In order to sustain South Florida’s growth and continue to support our region blossoming into a global metropolis, it’s important that developers look beyond the big three (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach) and focus on new markets like Tampa, Pompano, Hillsboro Beach and many others. These areas offer the same incredible natural beauty of more established neighborhoods but at much more competitive pricing. It is an approach that’s been working very well for us.

With the recent trends of remote work and changing consumer preferences, how do you envision the future of luxury condominium developments in South Florida and their appeal to potential buyers?

The pandemic brought about changes to daily behavior that continue to influence our designs and amenity packages to this day. Top of mind for me at the moment is the emphasis on larger units, with easy access to ample outdoor areas.

With more people than ever working remotely and enjoying outdoor activities and amenities, we adapted to this new way of living with our condos like Casamar, located in Pompano Beach. Built from the ground up to prioritize the well-being of residents, Casamar comes equipped with open-air lounges, a pickleball court, outdoor summer kitchens, and open layouts that give each home an airy feel and space for remote work.

We are employing a similar approach at our St. Regis Residences in Brickell. Originally, we’d envisioned that property as a two-tower development, but we quickly saw that buyers were actually looking for less density and a more tight-knight community. We addressed this feedback in real-time and downsized the project to better address our buyer preferences. Ultimately, that’s the name of the game - listen to your buyers and deliver on their needs and wants.

What role do you see technology playing in the future of real estate development in South Florida, and how do you plan to leverage it to enhance your projects?

Technology plays a huge role in our business, with recent innovations drastically changing the ways we design, build, market and manage our properties. As a firm, we’re always looking for the latest tech that will make our processes more efficient. In fact, we’ve invested in several companies looking to disrupt the property management and resident experiences. Through these platforms, we now allow buyers and renters to put in maintenance requests, pay bills, book concierge services and more, all through their smartphones. Not too long ago, this type of thing was a luxury, now, it is an expectation.

We’re also experimenting with new virtual reality/rendering technology that will allow our buyer prospects to more easily experience their future home. This includes “walking” the unit in real-time, switching out finishes in real-time and even seeing their views at various times of day or year. It is incredible how far this tech has come. We look forward to sharing more on this very soon.

How do you approach community engagement and partnerships with local stakeholders in South Florida to ensure that your developments positively contribute to the neighborhoods and cities where they are located?

Any time we build a new product, whether it is an affordable redevelopment like Liberty Square or a five-star luxury condo-like Rosewood, we work with elected officials, community leaders, and nearby residents at every stage of development. We try to listen to the community, often holding town hall meetings with local leaders to develop a project that the residents, and the City, can be proud of.

To learn more visit Related Group:

Interview by Markin Abras. Images courtesy of Related Group


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