Agent

Turnberry in Sunny Isles Beach is more than meets the eye

Sotheby’s, Turnberry Associates and Carlos Zapata Studio discuss new Miami development at Inman Connect
  • The amenities are spread out among six different floors, including two pools suspended from the top half of the tower.
  • Turnberry hired Carlos Zapata of Carlos Zapata Studio, an award-winning architectural designer known for his work on Soldier Field in Chicago.
  • A Turnberry representative says the development's prices are relatively cheap on a global scale and that sales at Turnberry Ocean Club have been strong.
  • The development is legally registered to market in the state of New York. Without the NY Attorney General's approval, South Florida developers cannot market or sell to NY residents.

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Turnberry Ocean Club sits proud on the shores of Miami Beach. Its architectural design — modern and art deco like many Miami towers — isn’t even the most exciting feature of this high-end condominium residence, because the 70,000 square-feet of amenities is the big draw.

On display at Inman’s first Global Connect event in New York, the building and its amenities were discussed in detail by its lead agent, designer and other leading minds of the project.

Mayi de La Vega, founder and CEO of One Sotheby’s International Realty, the agency that represents Turnberry Ocean Club, calls the developer one of the best in South Florida and says she was ecstatic just to interview for the chance work the firm.

“There is nothing they miss. Their attention to detail — from the architecture to the finishes, to our incredible amenities lounge [at] 70,000 square feet,” she said. “It was a great opportunity for us, as One Sotheby’s, to represent and be affiliated with a project like Turnberry.”

The lounge: not your average amenity

As one of the oldest developers in Miami Beach, Turnberry knows its market well. Dan Riordan, who oversees the residential division, wanted to do something grander than anything they’ve done before, so they hired Carlos Zapata of Carlos Zapata Studio, an award-winning architectural designer known for his work on Soldier Field in Chicago.

The amenities are spread out among six different floors, including a gym, spa, salon, two restaurants and a pet retreat — and two pools suspended from the top half of the tower.

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Turnberry Ocean Club pool deck/Turnberry Ocean Club Facebook Page

Turnberry Ocean Club pool deck/Turnberry Ocean Club Facebook Page

“We kind of settled on this idea of having a club in the sky,” Riordan said. “I don’t think there’s another building that’s ever been built in the U.S. with this type of architecture. There certainly isn’t in Miami, and I’m not aware of any in Manhattan, for that matter.”

How did the designs come to fruition? Zapata thought big — beyond Miami, even.

“This is what competition is doing, but nobody is doing a club,” Zapata said. “It brings all the amenities into something identifiable… You’re swimming in the sky.”

According to Riordan, who says the development’s prices are relatively cheap on a global scale, sales at Turnberry Ocean Club have been strong despite the tightening international dollar.

Are agents cut out to sell one new development to two different markets?

When picking a sales team, de La Vega says there are two types of agents in South Florida and, likely, Manhattan: those who focus on resale and those who specialize in pre-developments.

“What we’ve tried to do is identify who those agents are for the in-house team that have those strategic broker relationships… and then taking those general real estate agents and trying to make them development agents,” she said.

As a result, they’ve launched an app that enables brokers to gain knowledge on new developments in South Florida.

Aside from an obvious amenity package, Turnberry has another edge: the development is legally registered to market in the state of New York, which expands its buyer profile enormously. Without the New York Attorney General’s stamp of approval, South Florida developers cannot send out brochures or set up billboard advertisements for their properties.

“We’re one of the few developments that’s actually registered for sale in the state of New York,” Riordan said. “We’re paying the same referral fee to New York agents that we are to Miami agents, which is a 5 percent referral fee. We can freely promote our development up here.”

Email Jennifer Riner