Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Residences at Merrick Park: Spacious rentals within reach of luxury retail

Located at 358 San Lorenzo Avenue and opened in 2002, The Residences at Merrick Park are a mixed community, offering to those interested in renting Coral Gables real estate 120 rental residences that comprise the best of urban, residential, retail and office lifestyles.

The residential complex itself reside within the Village of Merrick Park, a luxury shopping mall operated by General Growth Properties and situated on a grand plaza. It is comprised of over 100 tenant stores and many restaurants including: CRAVE, Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Café Bistro, Villagio and Yard House, known for its three-foot-tall glass containers (hence the restaurant name) and its extensive selection of draft beers.

Many world-renowned luxury retailers maintain stores at Merrick Park. These include: Burberry, CH Caroline Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Loro Piana, Tiffany & Company and Tourneau. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom maintain the largest of their respective chains in Florida at this location.

Since its opening a decade ago, the Village of Merrick Park has become one of the nation’s most prosperous enclaves, and it is home to the highest percentage of millionaires under the age of 45 than any other community in the United States.

The Residences at the Village of Merrick Park are surrounded by both urban life and tropical beauty. Along the Grand Plaza with its winding paths are exquisite examples of lush flora and fauna. Residents share a proximity to fine dining, top-of-the line shopping and entertainment venues. It is no surprise that there is a waitlist for an opportunity to live here.

“Well, you live in the Gables and it’s a really hot area. It’s just a really good neighborhood. Definitely the location is part of the essence. Also, we have the University of Miami nearby and we house many of their students, professors, and so on,” said Jocelyne Sori, Assistant Property Manager for The Residences at Merrick Park.

Merrick Park is pet-friendly and offers a clubroom, heath spa, fitness center, pool and gated entrance with controlled access to all of its residents. The deck at the center of Merrick Park Village is a glorious, sunny retreat into tropical splendor. Lush landscaping scallops the swimming pool and spa.

The units themselves, which can be leased short-term for seven to 11 months, are spacious and offer high ceilings, full kitchens with fine Italian cabinetry and spacious pantries, walk-in closets and Berber carpets just to name a few amenities.

Rentals at Merrick Park vary depending on the size of the desired apartment. A one-bedroom with one bath ranges from $1,975 to $2,250; two bedrooms with one or two baths start at $2,374 and go up to $2,964. If you are looking for three bedrooms with two baths, prices range from $3,659 to 4,199. Tenants and visiting shoppers alike are drawn to Merrick Park because it is teeming with upscale options.

ZRSA Apartments is the management agency for these properties. They manage various rental properties in Florida as well as Georgia, Illinois, and Texas. They can be contacted through the company website as well as by phone: 866-445-4917.

Hallmarked by its style and elegance, anything anyone could ever need or want can be found at the Village of Merrick Park.

Photos courtesy of ZRSA Apartments

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deering Bay: A Private Paradise

Situated on over 220 acres of land, Deering Bay is a 286-unit residential community offering the luxury of a country club and marina.

From the moment Massachusetts surgeon and explorer, William C. Cutler, laid eyes on Deering Bay in the late 1800s, its seclusion, high ground and lush, tropical flora and fauna, captured both his heart and his spirit. Known as Deering Bay today by those who own Coral Gables real estate, the area was originally named Cutler in his honor. 

This unincorporated community in Miami-Dade County is situated on Biscayne Bay, south of Pinecrest and east of Palmetto Bay. It was Dr. Cutler’s friend, William Fuzzard, who sometime after 1883 cut the road to Coconut Grove that is now known as the State Historic Highway, Old Cutler Road. 

Soon after, tourists came, attracted to the area’s natural wonders and beautiful wildlife. One such visitor was Charles Deering, creator of two local landmarks, the Deering Estate and Villa Vizcaya. For those seeking Coral Gables real estate and a private paradise amid ibis and egrets, Deering Bay offers a secluded respite from its location in a South Florida conservation area. 

Over the years, the area developed to its current state, offering an eclectic mix of luxury mid-rise condominium towers, fitness trails, grandiose villas, and charming town houses set on 28 acres surrounded by a championship, bay-front Arnold Palmer golf course.

All the condos in Deering Bay offer lush courtyards, private parking and spectacular views of either the water or the golf course. Amenities include: private pools, Har-Tru tennis courts, five-star dining, gym and spa and covered garage spaces. In addition, these villas and the offering of condo buildings bear the names of Italian cities, which include: Verona, Padua, Venice, and Siena. Their location is perfect for lovers of the sporting life and particularly golf enthusiasts, as the golf course, marina and clubhouse are all within walking distance. There are single-family homes available in Deering Bay as well.

Mediterranean architecture, reminiscent of 14th century Italy, adds an historical flair that pervades the apartments, club, villas and custom-built luxury estates of Deering Bay.

In addition to a magnificent golf course, Deering Bay is within walking distance of the exquisitely beautiful Fairchild Tropical Gardens, shopping, dining, parks and a myriad of entertainment venues. Properties for sale at Deering Bay range from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 and rentals in Deering Bay range from $5,500 up to $9,900.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Coral Gables Expansion: New University of Southernmost Florida

The quality of education is one of the biggest magnets for those seeking to move to the area and buy or rent Coral Gables real estate. Dade Medical College is no exception to City Beautiful’s high standards and it has expanded to include a new property, the University of Southernmost Florida slated to open for classes early next year
According to the Miami Herald: the school which is designated as for-profit, did not disclose its location to owners of Coral Gables real estate, but the school administration did reveal to the press that it is negotiating for 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of classroom space.

According to Coral Gables City Manager Pat Salerno, the college is not building a new site for its proposed classrooms but moving into existing office space, which has already been secured. A new corporate office at 95 Merrick Way is also expected to open by the end of 2012. 
Dade Medical College has also secured space for its corporate office. 

In the words of Dade Medical College president and CEO, Ernesto Perez: “We are in the middle of negotiating in the heart of Coral Gables and haven’t signed a lease yet, “What we are looking to do is bring something convenient for students and to the service of the community.”

Currently, Dade Medical School has four campuses that serve about 2,000 students from Jacksonville to Homestead, with branches in Miami, Miami Lakes, West Palm Beach and Hollywood. A member of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce since 2009, courses of study include degrees in: nursing and practical nursing, diagnostic cardiac sonography and medical ultrasound, general radiological technology, healthcare management, medical assistant, massage therapy and medical billing and coding. 

Before Dade Medical College’ purchased the school, those who own Coral Gables real estate knew the University of Southernmost Florida by its former name; Southern Career College. Planned for an opening in February of 2012, college president, Perez, hopes that the Medical College will become a feeder site to the University of Southernmost Florida, serving about 1,000 new students over the course of the next two years. 

He says: “We are setting up for our kids who will fully transfer credits into the University of Southernmost Florida and they won’t be limited to the healthcare field. They can also earn an MBA in healthcare administration; there are a lot of plans.”

We all know what happens sometimes to “the best laid plans of mice and men” according to one very eloquent Elizabethan bard, but as far as the University of Southernmost Florida is concerned, fruition is a done deal and any thoughts to the contrary are quite frankly, ”much ado about nothing.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Ponce de Leon: A Versatile Condo Complex

The Ponce de Leon is an upscale and luxurious condominium complex offering one, two and three bedroom apartments that are not as costly as others of its kind. This mixed-use building designed by Treister Design & Development, features diverse floor plans and was completed in the fall of 2008. It provides retail, office, commercial and luxury condo spaces. 
Centrally located right on Ponce De Leon Avenue, this complex is just a few blocks away from the city’s business district and Miracle Mile with its myriad shopping, dining and entertainment options. It is conveniently situated right along the trolley route, which makes it fast and easy for residents to access the downtown area and everything it has to offer. The Ponce de Leon, comprised of 50 apartments, is also just one block away from Phillip’s Park, a small enclave offering tennis and basketball courts and within walking distance of Alhambra condos and townhomes. 

For those seeking to buy into Coral Gables real estate, amenities at the Ponce De Leon complex are plentiful and worth considering. They include private elevators, ten-foot ceilings, and kitchens with granite countertops, cherry wood cabinets and stainless steel GE-profile kitchen appliances. Bathrooms are marble and include a spa tub. There is a spacious pool and spa on the rooftop with a sauna, jacuzzi and gym. Pets are welcome at the Ponce De Leon complex and the covered garage and building are safe and monitored by a 24 -hour concierge.
According to Enrique Ramentol, listing agent for the complex, all the units are currently sold out. Sales at The Ponce De Leon and their price range began at $300,000 and went up to $600,000, or $300 per square foot. Rentals in The Ponce De Leon began at $1,750 per month for one bedroom and up to $2,800 per month for three bedrooms.

The different floor plans range from 800 to 1,400 square feet. The one bedrooms are 800 square feet, 2 bedrooms 1,200 and three bedrooms 1,400. There are several distinct layouts covering the 15 floors of the Ponce De Leon condo complex. From floors 7 to 14, floor plan models range from A through F.

If you are in search of Coral Gables real estate and not in a hurry to buy, you might want to wait until some of the units at the Ponce De Leon complex become available for resale. Everything you could possibly want in terms of service and living quarters will then lay at your fingertips.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pay By Phone In Coral Gables

Convenience is the key word for all residents of the modern world. This is no less true in Coral Gables where PayByPhone technology for public parking has seeped into the lives of visitors to the area as well as into the residents of the city

PayByPhone in Coral Gables permits any driver parking in a space that requires a fare to pay with a credit card either by means of a mobile phone application or a computer instead of the inconvenience of having to sift through pockets and/or purses for change and insert it into the meter or pay-and-display machine.

Policy-makers in the city have been ahead of the technology game as they began using PayByPhone since 2005. However, the system did not include access via smartphone, which it now does. 

As of November 1, a newer PayByPhone technology will be introduced for the 4,200 parking spaces available to both visitors and owners of Coral Gables real estate throughout the city.

The original system had its problems even though it was a step in the right direction. Users were required to either pay a monthly fee or hang a tag in their car. 

With the new system, a user has to:

  • Open the app on their phone
  • Enter the space number
  • Select the time for parking
  • Press ‘enter’ and forget about it.

Public affairs manager for the City of Coral Gables, Maria Rosa Higgins feels it is a more suitable way to pay for parking when she spoke with local newspaper, The Miami Herald.

“It is used by a number of cities in our region and provides more services and options for our customers than our existing system,” said Higgins.

Areas in cities such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale have instituted this parking system and it has worked well. By paying for the parking via this new app, residents can avoid hefty parking tickets. This system will enable users to refresh the meter without having to rush back to the car from wherever they are to feed it with coins. Even better, the new app will send a text alert when the meter is about to expire, for those too engrossed in whatever they are doing to check the time.

To register for this app, car owners must download it at or by calling 866-990-7275.

Happy Parking!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Old Cutler Bay: Exclusive Coral Gables Waterfront Address

Old Cutler Bay has something to offer even the most discerning seeker of Coral Gables real estate. A waterfront community established in the 1960s, this excusive enclave is comprised of just 136 estate-type properties that range from $2 to $9 million. A secure and secluded niche within walking distance of Miami’s many beautiful beaches, top shopping, dining and entertainment locales, Old Cutler Bay is a safe haven with winding canals and direct access to the alluring waters of both Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Situated one block south of Kendall Drive on Old Cutler Road, Old Cutler Bay is just blocks from three prime visitor attractions: Matheson Hammock Park & Marina, the historic Deering Estate and the lushly beautiful Fairchild Tropical Gardens. For those interested, the secure waterfront properties at Old Cutler Bay are highly desirable.

Boating enthusiasts will love the private boat docks with “no bridges” available at many of the Old Cutler Bay homes, and lovers of nature walks and biking will adore the many stunning trails that abound throughout this gated, secure 145 acre-community.

For those seeking to buy Coral Gables real estate, homes in Old Cutler Bay offer the quintessence of luxury family living. Amenities include: access to the best public and private schools, grandiose swimming pools, large terraces and balconies and panoramic waterfront views as well as a proximity to many key areas such as Pinecrest, Coconut Grove, Brickell Avenue and Miami Beach.

Current Coral Gables properties for sale in  in this area range from high $2 million to $9 million with the typical square footage between 5,500 - 8,000 square feet. $3.5 million can get you a five bedroom and four bath at $618 per square foot.

The City Beautiful as it was once dubbed, is renowned for its reverence for and dedication to preserving the past, such as is evidenced by the Venetian Pool and the classic Biltmore Hotel. Its dazzling architecture combines the past with contemporary flourishes and designs.

In this affluent enclave the past graciously blends with the present to create magnificent and unique homes. Old Cutler Bay is very proud of its green initiative, which promotes community responsibility. The Green Corridor and PACE Program (Properly Assessed Clean Energy) began as local projects but the effects were so successful that the state of Florida has sat up and taken notice. 

PACE is designed to loan money to property owners (they must pay it back) so that they can purchase solar panels, insulation, wind generators or shutters for their homes. The Green Corridor covers the areas of Cutler Bay, Coral Gables, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami.

Preserving the past with an eye on the future is what Old Cutler Bay is all about. If you can afford a luxury waterfront home, consider this lovely secluded community for your children and your children’s children.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunset Place: A Shopping Mecca in South Miami

Sunset Place opened its doors in 1999 and has been successful ever since. No matter what type of cuisine or entertainment you prefer, chances are you can find it at the Sunset Place Mall. This South Miami hotspot has a great deal to offer to the discerning shopper and owner of Coral Gables real estate.

At Sunset Place, which is located at the intersection of US 1 and Red Road, one can find popular stores such as Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, Express, Z Gallerie and Whole Foods.

Hanging out at Sunset Place is a well-practiced art form savored by both visitors and residents who own Coral Gables real estate. It couldn’t be easier and more enjoyable to do with such available entertainment venues as: AMC 24 Sunset Place with IMAX Theatre, Buffalo Wild Wings, Color Me Mine, Cool-De-Sac Play Cafe, Game Time, and Splitsville Luxury Lanes and Dinner Lounge.

Many may not remember as Sunset has been a staple in Miami for more than 10 years but prior to this mall, former shopping mall Bakery Centre took its place. Bakery Centre was built by Martin Margulies in 1980’s which was meant to serve as a mall as well as office space. As a result of poor architectural design and less-than-stellar retail options, the mall was a failure and Mr. Margulies defaulted on his $24.5 million loan.

The mall was sold for $11.2 million to Simon Property Group, the largest U.S. real estate investment trust. Any large mall you’ve been to in the Miami area is probably owned by this group with the exception of Dolphin Mall (owned by Taubman Malls). Dadeland Mall, Miami International Mall, and The Falls. They are all owned by Simon Malls.

Still owned and managed by the Simon Property Corporation, Sunset Place is conveniently located just across the street from the South Miami stop of the Miami Metrorail.

A more obscure detail about the mall that many don’t know is the Sunset Place Farmer’s Market on Saturdays that draws many locals in. Located in the heart of the Shops at Sunset Place, this year-round market is known for locally grown organic food and vegetables, honey, baked goods, plants, orchids, various soaps and tropical fruit.

Come and visit. Sunset Park awaits. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Coral Gables Real Estate Market Update - Closings September 2012

In the following table you can see all closings in Coral Gables for the month of September 2012. There were a total of 57 closings. The main statistics are:
A home in Cocoplum was the quickest one to go pending sale in just one day.

Address Community Bed/
Days on
    List Price Sale Price Price per
sq ft
1014 SALZEDO ST # 307 salzedo in the gables 1/1 410 45 60,000.00 47,000 $115
318 MAJORCA AV # 201 BELLA MAJORCA CONDO 1/1 644 208 100,000.00 100,000 $155
81 EDGEWATER DR # 101 EDGEWATER OF CORAL GABLES 1/1 617 19 112,500.00 120,000 $194
318 MAJORCA AV # 202 BELLA MAJORCA CONDOS 1/1 653 6 115,000.00 115,000 $176
50 MENORES AV # 611 Douglas Grand 1/1 778 7 125,000.00 125,000 $161
700 Biltmore Way # 1019 david williams hotelcondo 1/1 790 100 139,900.00 120,000 $152
50 MENORES AV # 606 DOUGLAS GRAND 1/1 740 23 157,000.00 109,300 $148
90 EDGEWATER DR # 405 GABLES WATERWAY TOWERS 1/1 880 126 178,000.00 170,000 $193
820 CORTEZ ST CORTEZ PLACE 2/2 1495 158 209,000.00 209,000 $140
911 E PONCE DE LEON BL # 1403 GABLES PARK TOWER 1/1 960 142 210,000.00 170,000 $177
888 DOUGLAS RD # 912 PUERTA DE PALMAS 2/2 729 130 215,000.00 190,000 $261
530 SW 40 CT FLOYDS GROVES EST 1ST ADD 2/2 1859 82 225,000.00 220,000 $118
2030 DOUGLAS RD # 817 THE MINORCA CONDO 2/2 1084 238 230,000.00 240,000 $221
66 VALENCIA AV # 601C Coral Gables Tower Condo 2/2 1248 314 240,000.00 220,000 $176
66 VALENCIA AV # 602A CORAL GABLES TOWER 2/2 1125 37 244,900.00 235,000 $209
118 ZAMORA AV # 405 VILLA ZAMORA 2/2 1357 8 271,900.00 281,900 $208
888 DOUGLAS RD # 1516 PUERTA DE PALMA 2/2 1084 329 275,000.00 260,000 $240
146 PONCE DE LEON BL CORAL GABLES FLAGLER ST S 3/2 1868 65 289,500.00 266,000 $142
940 SEVILLA AV # 106 FOUNTAINVIEW MANOR 3/2 1134 49 297,000.00 267,500 $236
636 MINORCA AV CORAL GABLES SEC B PB 5-1 3/3.5 1418 67 320,000.00 340,000 $240
925 RED RD CORAL GABLES GRANADA SEC 3/3 1776 52 325,000.00 298,000 $168
10 ARAGON AV # 814 TEN ARAGON CONDO 3/3.5 1139 68 325,000.00 310,000 $272
1311 MADRID ST CORAL GABLES GRANADA SEC 3/3.5 1205 26 389,000.00 375,000 $311
1204 ALBERCA ST GRANADA PLACE AMD 3/3.5 1460 54 399,000.00 350,000 $240
6440 SW 144 ST KINGS BAY SUB 3/2 2333 152 410,000.00 360,000 $154
918 SOROLLA AV CORAL GABLES SEC B PB 5-1 3/2 1561 20 425,000.00 458,000 $293
523 CADAGUA AV CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 2/2 1547 183 449,000.00 449,000 $290
888 DOUGLAS RD # 1209 PUERTA DE PALMAS 3/2 1303 165 459,000.00 425,000 $326
431 CORAL WY # A-13 GABLES PLACE 3/2 1700 36 475,000.00 435,000 $256
543 BLUE RD CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 2/1 2239 39 495,000.00 420,000 $188
1511 ROBBIA AV CORAL GABLES RIVERIA SEC 2/1.5 1815 153 500,000.00 479,250 $264
1515 GARCIA AV CORAL GABLES COUNTRY CLUB 2/2 2174 29 549,000.00 440,000 $202
421 SAVONA AV CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 3/2 1815 156 595,000.00 565,000 $311
1535 BLUE RD CORAL GABLES COUNTRY CLUB 4/2 2404 105 599,900.00 580,000 $241
900 S ALHAMBRA CR CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 3/2 2859 2 750,000.00 750,000 $262
5705 RIVIERA DR CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 3/2 3117 49 775,000.00 900,000 $289
4125 MONSERRATE ST CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 3/2 2499 93 795,000.00 745,000 $298
5725 SAN VICENTE ST CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 4/4 2320 79 799,000.00 710,000 $306
554 LORETTO AV # 15 BERMUDA VILLAGE 5/4 2520 40 799,000.00 715,000 $284
924 S ALHAMBRA CR CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 4/3 2735 28 949,000.00 875,000 $320
430 SAN SERVANDO AV WHEELERS RESUB 3/2.5 2871 4 949,000.00 929,000 $324
13633 DEERING BAY DR # 285 Padua - North Tower 3/2 3190 162 950,000.00 950,000 $298
440 SUNSET DR SUNSET BAY ESTS 4/3 3778 174 975,000.00 825,000 $218
1121 MANATI AV # *** UNIVERSITY ESTS 4/3 3493 115 999,000.00 910,000 $261
5614 ORDUNA DR CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 5/4.5 2810 21 1,000,000.00 950,000 $338
6805 RIVIERA DR CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 3/2.5 3260 7 1,000,000.00 1,050,000 $322
7015 MIRA FLORES AV COCOPLUM SEC 2 PLAT B 5/3 4340 1 1,050,000.00 975,000 $225
625 JERONIMO DR CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 4/3 3113 8 1,059,000.00 1,025,000 $329
435 CAMPANA AV HAMMOCK OAKS HARBOR SEC 2 4/3 3976 312 1,390,000.00 1,262,500 $318
1000 HARDEE RD CORAL GABLES RIVIERA SEC 4/3 4118 5 1,450,000.00 1,450,000 $352
13621 DEERING BAY DR # PH1403 Milano at Deering Bay 4/3 2972 168 1,650,000.00 1,450,000 $488
60 EDGEWATER DR # 16F THE GABLES CLUB 5/5.5 3165 164 1,650,000.00 1,475,000 $466
10 EDGEWATER DR # 10C THE GABLES CLUB 3/2 2970 132 1,725,000.00 1,695,000 $571
7320 MINDELLO ST SAN JUAN HGTS 4/4.5 4517 1420 2,150,000.00 1,615,000 $358
870 LUGO AV CORAL BAY SEC B 5/4 4680 130 3,299,000.00 2,690,000 $575
445 SOLANO PRADO OLD CUTLER BAY SEC 4 6/5 4388 94 3,850,000.00 3,450,000 $786
10201 SABAL PALM AV SNAPPER CREEK LAKES SUB 5/5.5 10263 274 4,200,000.00 4,100,000 $399

Copyright 2012 Gables Riches. All rights reserved. 1800 SW 1st Avenue. Suite 504. Miami, FL. 33129. Tel (786) 344-4669. Fax (786) 533-3921