The Developer Of One Of The Miami Area’s Most Valuable Condo Buildings Lets Us In On A Secret
Argentine super-developer Eduardo Costantini is known for his major art collections, and even for putting priceless pieces in the common areas of his condos. But there is no doubt his biggest “masterpieces,” as he calls them, are his own buildings—and now he reveals to us that he almost literally sees them as paintings.
We snapped Eduardo yesterday at the sales gallery of Oceana, on Collins in Bal Harbour, sipping his usual morning black tea. He lives in Buenos Aires and visits the US every couple of months. His first US development was 142 ultra luxury condos at Oceana Key Biscayne, completed a year ago, and now he’s monitoring final touches on Oceana Bal Harbour, scheduled to start delivering its 240 units in October.
The Arquitectonica-designed structure is 300 x 300' square and features a 60-foot-high breezeway where Eduardo points. We think it's a perfect symbol of the way he approaches development: as if it's a frame of a painting, and in it he purposely has placed the ocean.
That’s because he passionately believes great buildings must be integrated into their surroundings and evoke a “sense of place.” He has always loved Bal Harbour and thought it cried out for a building where, from the front or even the street, you could actually see through to the ocean. The water, he says, is part of the building’s architecture.
Here’s what the site looked like yesterday; don’t worry, the sales gallery in front will be coming down—Oceana is already 70% sold with 50% deposits. Eduardo purposely placed 500 parking spaces below ground to create an unobstructred view. When all is sold, he estimates $1.3B in sales, and believes that may make Oceana Bal Harbour the single most valuable building going up in the region. (Key Biscayne was $650M total, and number one in total value sales in Florida in 2015, he says.)
He has also always loved Key Biscayne, but says he decided to build only when he found an extraordinary 10-acre site with 500 feet of oceanfront; he knew it because he had stayed 20 years ago at the Grand Sonesta there. He started looking for another outstanding site and found the one in Bal Harbour, perfect and preserved, he says, because it had been used as the Bal Harbour Beach Club.
He would consider New York, and at one time discussed with owner Harry Macklowe buying 432 Park, but decided he needed more land to build what he wanted; it has since been developed by the CIM Group into a pencil-thin 1,396 foot high “supertall.” After selling out Oceana Key Biscayne, he amassed a pile of cash, which he says he is patiently holding onto as he looks for another great site. He says developing in Miami Beach would intrigue him. He continues to aim at the highest-end residential, intended for what he calls “global citizens of the world—people who buy planes and art.”
In Buenos Aires, Eduardo is a renowned developer who’s created, among other spaces, an astounding fully gated community with 30,000 residents and 10 different neighborhoods called Nordelta, an hour north of the city. He jokes that with 7 kids (ages 13 to 47) and 17 grandchildren—and counting—he built it to house his family.
Maybe it’s all those kids that give him energy; he is an avid kitesurfer. Some other factoids you may not know about Eduardo:
Favorite Miami restaurant: Carpaccio—goes on every trip to Miami, was there a couple of days ago
Favorite dish: ravioli with vegetables
NYC restaurants: spends a lot of time at the Museum of Modern Art, so often goes to the restaurant there (The Modern) as well as an Italian one across the street; also loves Gattopardo on West 54th and Nello at Madison and 63rd.
Where he stays in Miami: At one time had a place in the Continuum, but now lives at Oceana Key Biscayne and will have a penthouse at Oceana Bal Harbour.
Movies: anything Italian like Fellini
Vacay: Punta del Este Uruguay
Startling fact #1: dance to pop—“until the sun comes up”
Startling fact #2: given that he has 17 grandchildren, has been to a Justin Bieber concert