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Miami Developer Says The South Florida Buyer Is Changing

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Miami-based Jon Paul Pérez is vice president of development for The Related Group.

In this role, Mr. Perez, 34, oversees development operations, manages land acquisition efforts and procures major construction financing.

His father, Jorge M. Pérez, is the chairman and CEO of Related, which he founded in 1979 with New York builder Stephen Ross. Big art collectors, the family is behind the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

The younger Mr. Pérez has spearheaded Related’s entrance into Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, where he’s working to deliver several major mixed-use projects. Current projects include Wynwood 25, a 289-unit luxury rental property across from the Wynwood Walls and The Bradley, a 175-unit rental tower with interior design by Kravitz Design.

Mansion Global caught up with Mr. Perez to discuss the strength of the urban core, the enduring value of waterfront properties, and more.

Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.

Jon Paul Perez: It would have a lot of entertaining space—a very large family room, a huge TV, a deep couch, a large, open kitchen with a large, communal dining table. That same property would have a very functional office, so I could work entirely out of there if I didn’t want to go into the office. I’d definitely have a gym, an outdoor, covered grilling area—also with a TV— and a great bar, that opens out into a lap pool.

Mansion Global: What does luxury mean to you?

Jon Paul Perez: The first thing that comes to mind is quality—finishes, flooring, appliances, and ceiling height. Once you have a 12-foot ceiling, it’s a different product. Luxury also comes with an ease of living. Everything is automated—you can control light, A/C, shades, either with your phone or an iPad. That makes living easy and seamless. It’s also about the feel of exclusivity, which you have in a boutique building more than in a 500-unit building. Incorporating museum-quality art elevates a building, too.

Mansion Global: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?

Jon Paul Perez: Coconut Grove, overlooking the bay. Miami Beach on the ocean. Brickell on the water. We’d love to do a Cesar Pelli and Rem Koolhaas project there, ‘cause you can afford to do a project in those places because you’ll get the money from the buyers. Sunny Isles, too. Land prices continue to go up in those areas.

Mansion Global: What’s the biggest surprise in the luxury real estate market now?

Jon Paul Perez: It continues to be more competitive, from a developer’s perspective. With every new building, no matter how luxury it is, you have to think about the competition and improving on what you’ve done before. It’s always about raising the bar.

Mansion Global: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?

Jon Paul Perez: I have recently become a huge fan of Aspen, Colorado. I’ve seen some very nice mountain homes that are within a five-minute drive of Main Street. That modern log-cabin feel, compared to being in Miami, is amazing to me.

Mansion Global: What’s your favorite part of your home?

Jon Paul Perez: My couch in the family room. That’s where the most time is spent—either watching TV or just hanging out and socializing.

Mansion Global: What best describes the theme to your home and why?

Jon Paul Perez: I’m building my house right now, and it’s tropical modern. It’s glass, exposed concrete and Ipe wood. I love modern, but I think modern can be too cold, so this has warmer elements.

Mansion Global: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?

Jon Paul Perez: My art. I just started collecting.The one piece that I’m in the process of getting is by Os Gêmeos, Brazilian street artists. That’ll be the focal point .

Mansion Global: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?

Jon Paul Perez: A great pool, with an outdoor grilling area, and a bar. In both a building and a single-family house.

Mansion Global: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?

Jon Paul Perez: It’s a lot harder to go wrong when you buy a property in a good location. Water is always most valuable—whether on a beach or a bay. Aside from that, urban cores are good-bet. People are wanting to leave [the] suburbs to avoid the long commutes. Land is also scarce there. Especially in places like Brickell.

Mansion Global: What’s going on in the news that will have the biggest impact on the luxury real estate market?

Jon Paul Perez: Especially for us in South Florida, when we’re selling to mostly international buyers, it’s the fact that countries like Argentina and Mexico are having problems. But we’re seeing interest from Mexicans, too, as they see instability and want to get capital out of the country. There’s been a huge devaluation of Argentinian currency.

Mansion Global: What is the best area now for investing in luxury properties?

Jon Paul Perez: Right now, we’re seeing a lot of potential in ground-up multi-family in Wynwood. We also see some opportunity in boutique-style properties of 100 or less, on the waterfront in Pompano and in Tampa. There will continue to be a demand, especially on the water. Those aren’t South American buyers; they’re from the Northeast, Canada and the Midwest.

Mansion Global: If you had a choice of living in a new development or a prime resale property, which would you choose and why?

Jon Paul Perez: Brand new, because you can always put your mark on it. Even if we finish a building, and we have unsold units, we’d prefer not to rent it out, since people will pay more for brand new. It’s like driving a car, as soon as you get it off the lot, it loses 10% of its value.

Mansion Global: What area currently has the best resale value?

Jon Paul Perez: Sunny Isles and Coconut Grove. Both have limited supply compared to other markets which had much more product.

 

Source: Mansion Global

 

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