This Week in Miami Real Estate: Sunny Isles baby boom, broker awards and more

by Andrew Morrell

Sunny Isles Beach may be known to locals and part-time residents as a destination for the affluent and its prime oceanfront real estate. But it’s increasingly becoming a hotspot for an even more specific set of clientele: wealthy, pregnant Russian women, according to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek. As the media outlet reports, Sunny Isles Beach has boasted a sizeable Russian population for a while, but the resort town’s “baby boom” is a more recent development. Travel agencies have sprouted up around the small city catering specifically to “birth tourists” from Russia, setting expectant mothers up with everything from a temporary condo in one of Sunny Isles’ many high-end high-rises, to arranging the necessary paperwork. These agencies charge around $50,000 for the full suite of services, or more. However, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg for the article, it’s not a ploy at earning American citizenship for the children of visitors born here. “I wanted to give birth in the place that has the best medical service and is comfortable and relaxing,” one mother said. “But I can’t wait to get back to Russia.”

In other local real estate news:

  • New figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau Dec. 19 show Florida was once again a top destination for new residents in the last year. According to state-level population estimates between July 2017 and July 2018, Florida had the highest rate of net domestic migration of any state, with 132,602 new residents moving to the Sunshine State from elsewhere in the U.S. during the period. In terms of overall numeric population growth, Florida was second only to Texas, adding more than 322,500 to its population. Meanwhile, when measured by growth rate between 2017 and 2018, Florida ranked fifth, having grown by 1.5 percent. Western states like Nevada, Idaho and Utah posted the highest rates of population growth during the study period. As of July 2018, the Census Bureau estimates Florida’s population still ranks third out of all 50 states, at around 21.3 million people.
  • Charlette Seidel, managing broker of Coldwell Banker’s Coral Gables/Coconut Grove office, was honored this week by the Master Brokers Forum with its Legacy Award. Seidel has served  at the branch for 38 years, growing it into one of the best-performing Coldwell Banker offices in the nation as well as in Florida. A member of the Master Brokers Forum for more than 25 years, Seidel has also chaired the Professional Standard Committee for the Miami-Dade Board of Realtors for 20 years.
  • More developers from around the U.S. continue to enter the Miami market, particularly bustling downtown districts like Wynwood. Chicago-based conglomerate Sterling Bay is one of the biggest to join the fray recently, announcing its purchase of a 10-story office complex at 545 NW 26th St. in Wynwood Dec. 18. The $19 million purchase adds nearly 300,000 square feet of class-A office space to Sterling Bay’s portfolio, which it says will be redeveloped as part of a mixed-use project.
  • New York developer El-Ad National Properties announced construction had officially begun on what is expected to be one of the largest new construction projects in Boca Raton. Crews began demolishing the Mizner on the Green complex at 200 Southeast Mizner Boulevard Dec. 18 in preparation for ALINA Residences Boca Raton, a collection of 384 new luxury residences. The first of three planned towers is set to be finished by late 2020. Douglas Elliman Development Marketing is handling sales and marketing for ALINA.
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