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Biscayne Landing, North Miami, Joins Trend Toward
High-Rise Living

Towers I & II (left), Towers III & IV (right)
Towers I & II (left), Towers III & IV (right)

When the developers of Biscayne Landing were pondering what type of residential property would work best on the 2,000-acre preserve in North Miami, Florida, what immediately came to mind was condo high-rises.

The Swerdlow Group and Boca Developers had only to look at construction trends around the country combined with the impressive population growth in South Florida realize the natural choice for Biscayne Landing was residential skyscrapers.

Cities across the country are seeing a renaissance of downtown living, and, in every center-city ZIP code, some of the most desireable addresses tower above the urban landscape.

The buildings often include on-site amenities such as concierge service, restaurants, pools and spas. Some are combined with luxury hotels, and some cater to the very well-heeled. For example, Trump Tower Tampa condos range from $700,000 to more than $6 million.

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat which monitors skyscraper construction worldwide recently announced recently that developers in 2004 were focused on building high-rise residential condos, with only a minimal amount of attention going to high-rise office buildings. The Council expects to see a continuation of that trend over the next five years.

World-renown developer Donald Trump is a prime example. His holdings include some of Manhattan's most prestigious residential towers and a luxury condo tower in Las Vegas.

The lure of luxury is often touted as the reason people choose to live in high-rises. "I think one of the reasons that people have decided to live in tall towers once again is the luxury services and amenities they receive, not to mention the great views," Donald Trump said.

Many projects around the nation aren't "high-rise" by Manhattan or Chicago standards, but they often dwarf other buildings in their area. While no one organization keeps statistics on the boom in high-rise living, anecdotal evidence exists in many major cities around the country. Consider these examples:

  • Denver developers will soon begin construction on a 50-story downtown skyscraper that will house a five-star Four Seasons hotel and the most expensive condos in city history. It will be one of the city's tallest buildings.

  • In downtown Milwaukee, construction is underway on two luxury condo projects. The 33-story Kilbourn Tower will offer condos for $700,000-$2.8 million, and the 34-story University Club Tower will have condos most of which are priced over $1.5 million. They will be Wisconsin's tallest residential buildings.

  • Portland, Maine, has its own downtown condo boom. Among the proposed projects is 12-story Waterview, which will have 94 units priced from $250,000 to $475,000. It is scheduled to open in 2007.

  • In 1989 Seattle voters banned skyscrapers over 45 stories. Now, Mayor Greg Nickels is encouraging the development of high-rise residential buildings as part of an effort to double the downtown residential population over the next 20 years.

  • Las Vegas is in the middle of an unprecedented surge in high-rise condos. On average, more than 1,000 people a month place deposits on condos. About 20,000 units in 122 buildings have been approved. Nine buildings are currently under construction. "We're undergoing the Manhattan-ization of Las Vegas," real estate consultant Stephen Bottfeld said.

  • Even quintessentially suburban places are participating in the trend. In Orange County, Calif., south of Los Angeles, more than 6,500 high-rise condos are under construction or on the drawing board.

  • On Long Island, one of America's first suburbs, Charles Wang, founder of Computer Associates and owner of the New York Islanders hockey franchise, wants to build a 60-story condo-hotel that would be Nassau County's tallest skyscraper.

Miami is of course no stranger to downtown high-rises. Yet it is currently seeing unprecedented growth in the market. More than 70 projects have either just been built, are under construction or planned for the next two years.

Biscayne Landing is by far the largest high-rise residential project expected to contain a total of 6,000 residences a small percentage of which will be townhomes.

Biscayne Landing 2015
Biscayne Landing 2015

Biscayne Landing is being noted for the substantial amenities it will include, such as a 35-acre park with miles of hiking trails; a 100,000sq. ft. town center with shops, restaurants and offices; neighborhood schools, playgrounds, pools, tennis, a luxury hotel, and connecting trails to Oleta River State Park, Florida's largest urban recreational area.


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