[dropcaps round=”no”]A[/dropcaps]As we all know, the contemporary art market and the property market are both on fire. In both instances, we are dealing with the same buyer, looking for the same things: how does contemporary art impact architecture and new property project development?
For starters, the addition of fine art to trophy properties provides developers not only with a way to differentiate their properties, but also a way to send out a message to prospective buyers that they speak the same language.
With Art Basel and all that happened around Miami, the city suddenly defined itself as a global city of cultural substance and investment opportunity.
Miami is increasingly known for its contemporary art market and its great property projects. A great example of this is Eduardo Costantini’s Oceana Bal Harbour.
Costantini, Argentinian world renowned art collector, developer, and owner of his own museum (Buenos Aires’ MALBA), commissioned two sculptures by Jeff Koons — “Ballerina” and “Pluto and Proserpina” — for the Oceana project, located on the last buildable piece of ocean property in Bal Harbour. The two pieces, integrated into the entrance of Oceana, will be owned by the condominium association, enabling all owners to also own a percentage of the art.
Costantini recently told TPR, “We spent countless hours thinking about the art programs at Oceana. Art transforms a space and homeowners end up loving their home more because of its ability to move them and enhance their quality of life. Art transforms, surrounds and educates a community very much like museums do.” The Oceana pent-houses boast 13.5 foot ceilings, perfect for large scale art and sculpture.
The building was created by an international all-star team. Along with Koons, there is landscaping by Enzo Enea, interior design by Pierro Lissoni, and architecture by Bernardo Fort Brescia of Arquitectonica. The quality of the site is most important, as well as its sustainability. In the end, a project is a social proposition that adds value and integrates a community.
According to Costantini, “Oceana Bal Harbour is a masterpiece. The only project completely parallel to the ocean, the building is set back against Collins Avenue with a massive 60-foot outdoor breezeway that connects Miami’s bay on the west to the Atlantic Ocean on the east. Oceana Bal Harbour is the only residential building where you can see the Atlantic from the street.
“Miami is the City of the Future”
Miami offers location, climate, and international connectivity. Historically, it’s a city where display and association are of paramount importance and big name architects – even design-led brands like Porsche – sell buildings. But it’s the association with art that marks Miami’s current renaissance, making it a vital hub for the international collecting community…with the real estate opportunities to match.
The first Art Basel Miami Beach, in 2002, placed the city on the art world map and gave it cultural and economic importance. The show grew so large and so fast that by 2014 the value of the art on sale there was estimated at $3 billion. The fair wouldn’t have come to Miami if the groundwork hadn’t been established.
Developer Craig Robins was a key player behind Art Basel’s arrival. He has worked in Miami for decades, helping revitalize South Beach and setting up the Design District, as well as creating design-led communities like Aqua on Allison Island.
Robins spoke to The Pinkwater Report:
“I got into this business a little bit by accident,” he recently told The Pinkwater Report. “I was studying for the bar exam in 1987 and I bought a couple of properties in South Beach. There wasn’t much happening there then. “
The Pinkwater Report: What is the creative focus of your company?
Craig Robins: We focus on revitalizing and building neighborhoods. We apply various creative disciplines to help the areas in which we work have a special sense of place. This begins with urban design, architecture, design, art and graphic design…we focus on having the neighborhoods become active producers of cultural content.
TPR: What do you see as the relation between art and property development?
CR: With Art Basel and all that happened around Miami, the city suddenly defined itself as a global city of cultural substance and investment opportunity. There has been a snowball effect, and the branding of the city became something special. We have the greatest new architecture and architects, more than anywhere else. Miami is the city of the future.
TPR: How long do you think this can continue?
CR: If you build momentum and keep expanding by nurturing your success, positive growth can happen for a long time.
CR: Art collectors want space to exhibit their art and show their collections. They look for space and figure it out later.
TPR: What are your favorite local developments?
CR: The Zaha Hadid project is one, and certainly one of the most interesting. Faena House is also great and I like Ian Schrager’s EDITION.
Another prominent Miami developer who believes in shaking things up is Robert Wennett, whose collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron at 1111 Lincoln Road re-shaped a conventional parking garage into a multi-functional structure that can be adapted for art and events.
The Miami skyline is currently a thicket of construction cranes as new residential projects emerge along the waterfront.
The emphasis is on name architecture; Richard
Meier’s Surf Club, Bjarke Ingels’s Grove at Grand Bay, Enrique Norten’s 321 Ocean Drive, Carlos Ott’s proposals at 1100 Millecento and Echo Brickell, and Foster & Partners’ Faena House.
As part of the latter development, the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is creating a dedicated Faena Forum, a new cultural space for Miami Beach that sits alongside the Foster-designed apartments (where rumor has it that Larry Gagosian himself purchased a unit in the building).
Mayi de la Vega is Founder of Sotheby’s One. Mayi’s unparalleled knowledge of her market has cemented her success as a luxury property specialist and her intelligence and drive have enabled her to build one of the most important companies in South Florida. Ms. de la Vega has witnessed the South Florida market transform itself from a small beach town for vacationers into the international hub it is today.
TPR Founder Royce Pinkwater sat with Mayi recently to discuss Miami. Here’s what she had to say:
The new buzzwords are “art” and “new development” and I think there are a lot of developers jumping on that bandwagon.
Royce: Mayi, let’s talk about what you see in Miami regarding the synergies of property and art and how you see that in your current Miami developments.
Mayi: The new buzzwords are “art” and “new development” and I think there are a lot of developers jumping on that bandwagon. I think it’s important to avoid anything that does not have real substance or true meaning. We hear about a lot of these developers now that want to incorporate art in their developments. I’m very lucky because I am currently selling a project in Bal Harbour which is the last piece of oceanfront land in Bal Harbour right across from Bal Harbour shops.
Royce: Wonderful, tell us about it.
Mayi: It’s Oceana, and the building is really quite extraordinarily designed. Most importantly, the developer is Eduardo Costantini and he is a major art collector. He is a man with a tremendous amount of taste. He has a world-renowned museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is called Malva.
There will be two Jeff Koon’s pieces that will be in this building, Oceana and he is donating those pieces to the condominium owners. Those pieces are now traveling the world, and will be installed when the building opens. I don’t know of any developer that’s really donated the pieces of art and Jeff Koons is an important artist.
Royce: Tell us about the Swire development, Brickell City Centre, that you are handling.
Mayi: I am working with another developer, which is Swire out of Hong Kong who is developing Brickell City Centre. They’re exciting and are very strong company with an impeccable track record and a solid reputation. We’re collaborating right now to do some art in public spaces, which they have already done in Hong Kong. Brickell City Centre is a transformational project in the heart of downtown Miami. It’s really like the New York City Time Warner Center of Miami.
I don’t think people really understand it the depth of our market right now as far as our global presence in the world market. Miami used to be a sleeping beauty city and we turned it into a truly global city and everybody in the world now really wants to be here. We have Art Basel, world-class museums, the symphony, world-class restaurants, so the city has really transformed. Knight Frank just put out their wealth report and we moved up in rank from 7th to 6th in the world so that was pretty relevant and important.
Royce: It’s really a very exciting time for Miami. I’ve seen the transformation of this city.
Finally, TPR approached famed Miami real estate expert, Oren Alexander, who appeared in Forbes Magazine’s 2012 “30 Under 30: Real Estate” and was ranked #1 in The Real Deal Magazine’s 2011 “Top 35-and-under NYC real estate players,” for his take on the subject of art in Miami.
Oren told us: “We are seeing art becoming more prevalent in new development projects such as Eduardo Constintini’s Oceana Bal Harbour and Ugo Colombo’s commissioning of Julian Schnabel for Flatiron Brickell. Some developers, like Alan Faena and David Martin, view developing as a way of creating public art — in the form of architecture by some of the world’s best architects — that anyone passing by can enjoy. Alan Faena has given Miami Beach three blocks of architectural paradise with an Art Center designed by Rem Koolhaas, a residential tower by Foster & Partners, the historic Saxony Hotel, a landmarked Art Deco masterpiece originally designed by Roy France, and the just released residences at The Versailles by Brandon Haw. Down the street on 87th and Collins. David Martin has commissioned Renzo Piano to design two structures. One sits on a pristine beach to the east and a 40 acre park to the south. The second will be across the street and open to the public.”
It’s really a very exciting time for Miami. TPR predicts that lots more will be happening there, and we will keep you posted on all of it.
Two other American cities are also in the midst of a creative revolution, as development, design, culture and art production reshape districts and reinvent architecture for a new breed of buyer looking for a new kind of opportunity. In the next two parts of this article we’ll explore those cities, New York, and Los Angeles.