Miami-based Newgard Development Company has formally launched Lofty, a condominium brand built under the premise of flexible living, catering to remote workers, vacation property investors and digital nomads.
Lofty Brickell is a 42-story property that will allow unit owners to partner with all major short-term and shared living rental platforms, including Airbnb and VRBO. The right-to-rent is built into the development’s bylaws.
Lofty even allows owners to place their units on hotel booking sites Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia.com and TripAdvisor. An on-site manager helps owners and renters coordinate bookings and offers other ongoing property services. Owners can also market their units for rent using an app by Lofty.
Lofty will be constructing a design by Arquitectonica, with the intention to deliver the property by 2024.
Brickell is Newgard’s third such development. The first one, 51-story Natiivo in Miami, sold out before construction started. It was also designed by Arquitectonica. There is also a Natiivo in Austin, Texas.
While it’s not uncommon for condominiums to be part of the short-term rental market, it’s rare that a community is built with that as a primary marketing vehicle and impetus to invest, or that it allow owners to market directly alongside hotels. Cities and property owners continue to fight vociferously against short-term rentals of any kind.
“Tourism in Miami is booming like never before, daily rates for hotels and vacation rentals are getting more and more expensive each season, this is your opportunity to take advantage of this great business and not only own an asset that multiplies its value over time, but also generate great cash flow and monthly returns with it,” the property’s website states.
The high-end, amenity-rich property is located in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, a historically commercial district that has become recognized for its ever-increasing volume of luxury properties and trendy urban aesthetics. It’s also considered Miami’s financial district.
Dedicated co-working spaces, dedicated fiber-optic wireless WiFi, rooftop lounges, a yoga terrace, on-site bar and river-front restaurant, and private Peloton studios are some of the amenities Lofty Brickell will offer owners and their renters.
Newgard Founder Harvey Hernandez said in an email to Inman that “flexibility is the new luxury,” a sentiment echoed by shared-ownership platform Pacaso.
“Our properties are designed, built and licensed to be shared, giving owners the opportunity to move from one city or country to another with ease, and monetize their units while they are away,” he said.
Prices for studio condos will start at $439,000, one bedrooms at $660,000, and two-bedroom units will start from $794,000.
Arquitectonica is an international firm, headquartered in Miami. It has offices in Lima, Peru, Manila, Paris, Shanghai, New York and other major cities around the globe. It’s responsible for Miami’s Reach and Rise developments at Brickell City Centre and Icon Bay.
Shared and short-term living models continue to infiltrate the residential market, fueled in part by the pandemic pushing tens of millions of professionals worldwide into full-time remote working scenarios.
PadSplit, a co-living startup for the workforce, earned $20.5 million in funding in November, and Landing lets renters move easily between a national network of apartment properties. And another co-living company, Common, banked $50 million in funding in 2020.
Still, the concept is not a slam-dunk. HubHaus, Zeus Living and Lyric are a few examples that haven’t fared as well, according to a 2020 Inman report.
Lofty does have several advantages that could lend to its success, namely its location and broad marketing appeal to the wealthy, remote workforce.
“The response in the Lofty brand has been incredible, with 40 percent of units reserved well ahead of schedule, which speaks to the demand for monetized, flexible residences,” Hernandez said.