Demand for SoLé Mia's luxury apartments exceeds expectations
The University of Miami broke ground Friday on its largest outpatient facility, the latest element to be built within the 184-acre SoLé Mia — a massive, master-planned project in North Miami that's akin to a small city.
The intrigue: SoLé Mia's developer, Richard LeFrak, told Axios after the groundbreaking that demand for apartments at SoLé Mia has been stronger than expected.
- "The original projection here was rents would run about $2.50 or $2.60 [per square foot]," LeFrak said. "People were somewhat skeptical about that, and the rents today are almost $4."
- The SoLé Mia website shows luxury one-bedroom apartments starting at $2,535 per month.
Why it matters: Building luxury apartments was something of a gamble in North Miami, where the median household income is $43,000 per year.
- LeFrak said he was confident building there because Miami is developing rapidly along Biscayne Boulevard — north from Brickell and south from Aventura. The SoLé Mia site lies between those areas.
- Rents in Miami jumped 40% from May 2021 to May 2022. During a visit to the city in June, Marcia Fudge, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, called it the "epicenter" of the nation's housing crisis.
- SoLé Mia broke ground in 2015 on the site of a former landfill. So far, three rental buildings have been completed, along with a man-made, swimmable lagoon, and sales are underway for units in a to-be-built condominium.
- SoLé Mia is being developed over 20 years and will eventually have more than 10 residential developments and 500,000 square feet of retail and office space.
- LeFrak said he's "very, very bullish about the future of South Florida."
What's next: According to the South Florida Business Journal, UHealth SoLé Mia will have 110 exam rooms, 10 operating rooms and 33 cancer treatment rooms.
- Specialists from UM's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and more will work out of the new facility, which is expected to open in 2025.
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