By: Jessica Lieberman, LEED AP ID+C
Director of Marketing, The Spinnaker Group
After the collapse of the real estate market in 2006/2007, the South Florida housing market has definitely changed, however, it is recovering quicker than ever thought possible. Many homeowners were hit hard financially by investing in excessively priced properties, which were “upside down” and many were forced into short sales and foreclosures. As South Floridians recover, an old trend is regaining popularity, the condo rental market. Only this time, the renters have more on their “must-have” list than luxury living; they’re also demanding sustainability.
Completed in August 2013, One Plantation is Stiles latest addition to their impressive portfolio of development projects in South Florida, only this isn’t any ordinary apartment building. One Plantation is one amongst the growing number of condo developments in South Florida that is LEED Certified. Renters in this area not only demand luxuriously appointed units and 5-star amenities but they are also looking for a sustainable place to call home. Because the project is LEED Certified, renters can enjoy sustainable features such as low VOC paints and finishes, which reduce the “chemical smell”, car charging stations for their electric vehicles, no smoking allowed on the property, which contributes to healthier air quality, and lower electric bills due to energy efficient appliances, windows and lighting. This property certainly isn’t the first of its kind either. Other rental apartments such as Alexan in Fort Lauderdale, Broadstone in North Boca Village, Compson Place, Tallman Pines (Affordable Housing), Gables Ponce, AMLI Flagler Village, Sunrise Commons Apartments, Gardens at Driftwood (Affordable Housing) and Notre Dame Apartments are all rental market condominiums that have sought out sustainable design features. Just this week alone, another sustainable development, high end rental condo project was approved for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Marina Lofts, which will bring invaluable equity to downtown Fort Lauderdale.
But this trend isn’t fixated on rental properties only; it’s continuing into the luxury “For Sale” condo market as well as luxury hotels. Projects like Grove at Grand Bay, The One Hotel & Residences, The Cadillac Hotel, Saxony, The James Hotel, The Perry Hotel, the Clifton Hotel, Element Hotel and Waldorf Towers Hotel are also seeking sustainable properties and LEED Certification. Today’s buyer, renter and traveler are not only demanding more sustainable housing options but also want to maintain their sustainable lifestyle when they travel. And if one hotel or condo decides to go LEED, look out neighborhood! Statistics in South Florida show that typically once one project goes LEED, the rest of the neighborhood wants to keep up with the competition and will follow suit. Two great examples of this are located on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami and on Collins Avenue/AIA in South Beach. A majority of the aforementioned hotels are all located in South Beach and since they’re all in competition with one another, the need to stay up on the “latest and greatest” becomes a number one priority.
Of course, we at The Spinnaker Group hope that these “trends” in the Sustainable Housing Market are not just trends. Rather, we hope that what we are experiencing is a paradigm shift in the mindset, attitude and priority of the developer, the renter, the owner and the vacationer to utilize and invest in properties that are sustainable for well into the future.