The Highlands in North Miami Beach is now pursuing Latin America and Chinese EB-5 buyers, as developers shift their strategy amid the condo market slowdown, The Real Deal has learned.

The 60-unit, seven-story condominium project, at 13810 Highlands Drive, so far has 23 units in reservation, after launching sales six months ago, the developers, Blue Road principals Jorge Savloff and Marcelo Tenenbaum, told TRD. The project recently received EB-5 approval, and five of the units were sold to EB-5 investors from Brazil and two to EB-5 buyers from Mexico, with others in the works, they said.

Such investments are becoming more common, said Ronald Fieldstone, an attorney with Arnstein & Lehr. “In addition to selling condos, developers are seeking EB-5 capital to supplement their funding requirements,” he said.

Designed by architects Carlos Ott and Frankel Benayoun, the Highlands’ condos begin at $360,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with 924 square feet, or $389 per square foot, said Jazmin Savloff, principal of Blue B Properties, the exclusive listing agent for the Highlands. Other units, with 1,200 square feet, are priced at $460,000 or $383 per square foot. Penthouses with rooftop terraces and summer kitchens, with 924 square feet to 1,200 square feet, range from $400,000 to $500,000. Amenities will include a ground level pool with Jacuzzi and barbecue area, fitness center and recreational area. A sales center with a model kitchen will open within two weeks, Jazmin Savloff told TRD.

Overall, buyers have hailed from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, as well as Spain and Italy, she said.

Marcelo Tenenbaum

Marcelo Tenenbaum

To boost sales, Tenenbaum traveled to Shanghai and Hong Kong in June; Tenenbaum recently returned from the United Kingdom; and Jazmin Savloff just traveled to Brazil. Next week, Jorge Savloff is heading to Buenos Aires.

“We target different markets — we look at Europeans, people looking to get out of the U.K. because of Brexit or [those from] Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil,” Tenenbaum told TRD. “Our buyer is a guy who wants to have some asset protection.”

Jorge Savloff

Jorge Savloff

Blue Road began assembling the North Miami Beach parcels for the Highlands in 2007, and completed the final purchase about six months ago, Tenenbaum said. The total price came to about $1.6 million, he said. The project is currently in permitting, with ground breaking expected in 60 to 90 says, he said. Construction is expected to take 16 months.

Jorge Savloff and Tenenbaum are both natives of Argentina, whose families have worked together as partners for decades. The two moved to Miami (Savloff 35 years ago, Tenenbaum, 22 years ago) and formed Blue Road about 20 years ago, they said. Their previous projects include Blue Bay Tower in North Bay Village, and the Club and the Palms, both in Bay Harbor Islands. All were designed by Frankel Benayoun Architects. The Palms in Bay Harbor Islands is now eight months away from completion, with five of 42 units remaining, Jorge Savloff said. Blue Road also owns and manages various Miami Beach hotels, including the Berkeley Shore and the Greenview Hotel.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the project is located in North Miami. It’s actually in the city of North Miami Beach. 

By Ina Cordle

Link: The Real Deal