Miami’s new, uber-luxe residential tower Paramount WorldCenter is banking on a regulation-sized soccer field on its two-acre, 9th-floor sporting deck to be the hottest new real estate amenity catering to downtown Miami’s fast-growing, brutally-discerning, high net-worth international buyer.
It’s been a big summer for soccer already. The 100th Copa America just wrapped up in the U.S. (Chile beat Argentina in penalty kicks), the UEFA 2016 European Championships final between France and Portugal is this Sunday, and Olympic soccer begins in Rio on August 4th.
There’s also been a lot of noise off the pitch recently with various international futbol phenoms putting their names on some very high-end real estate and other luxury goods in the news. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (who has won four European Championship League titles) just announced his own line of luxury boutique hotels. Back in February Argentine superstar Lionel Messi outbid Ronaldo for the world’s most expensive car—a vintage a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Spider Scaglietti auctioned off at over $35 million. And British futbol icon David Beckham is gunning to bring professional MLS soccer to downtown Miami with a new stadium.
So it’s no surprise that a few blocks down the street from where Beckham wants to build his new soccer venue, the 700’ Paramount Miami WorldCenter residential tower is just breaking ground, making a similar bet that the most popular sport on the planet will breathe new life back into downtown Miami. And draw a few international superstar futbol players into their midst in the process.
Luxury, high-rise real estate development in every major America city—Chicago, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami—is an amenity Cold War right now. More and more of a building’s square footage is being dedicated to public leisure and luxury space and it’s an architect’s death wish to have to design just the right balance of activities, layout, and accessibility. Private bowling alleys and film screening rooms are great in the sales renderings until you find out that no one uses them in real life, and that you’ve just wasted 7000 square feet of prime podium level real estate.
If there’s a safe bet on ‘amenity space’ utilization in Miami with its historic magnetism for South American, European, and other global real estate buyers looking for second or third homes, soccer would be it. Which actually does beg surprise that not a single developer has focused on the soccer pitch (pun intended) as the primary amenity anchor for a new luxury residential real estate tower.
Part of what makes the Paramount WorldCenter residential tower unique is simply its architectural footprint. Built on top of ten blocks of new ground floor retail and hospitality space, amounting to one of the largest private real estate developments in the U.S., Paramount has the natural asset of more than four acres of open air roof space on the 7th through 9th floors.
Peggy Fucci of One World Properties, whose company manages all sales and marketing for the residential component of the Paramount WorldCenter project, was on the ground from the start.
“It really did start on a napkin,” Fucci tells me. “You never get this extent of private, elevated space in a residential development in Miami so what do we do with it? The first idea was for a walking park, with possibly tennis courts. Then the light bulb went off. Miami is all about living longer, and being health crazed. Then we started asking ourselves who our buyers would be. Miami has always been attracting South American buyers but we’re now also a huge magnet for Europeans, as well as buyers from Turkey, the Middle East, and Asia.”
One of Fucci’s core realizations, along with Paramount’s lead developers Daniel Kodsi, Art Falcone, and Nitin Motwani, was that soccer isn’t just a sport in many of the countries where their potential buyers already had primary residences. Football represents family, a heritage that’s learned, and an art form that’s passed on from parent to child. So with its full-sized soccer field, Paramount wasn’t just catering to the Ronaldos and Messis for their next Miami pied-a-terre. They were appealing to high-net-worth families from around the world for whom soccer represents a tradition and not just another throwaway amenity to out-escalate the residential development next door.
For the record, Paramount WorldCenter has at least six professional soccer players who have already bought residences in the tower. Three have contracts with the development that their names will not be mentioned so let the speculation kill you. The three known soccer intelligentsia play for the Turkish, Colombian, and Cameroon national teams. I’ll let you do your own Google research here as well.
In addition to the regulation-sized soccer pitch, Paramount WorldCenter’s 9th-floor amenity complex also includes tennis and basketball courts, a running course, a yoga deck, a playground, a dog park, private outdoor bath houses, and multiple pools. Tours of the sports complex for prospective buyers will be given in a golf cart, says Nucci. “It’s the only way people can really get a sense of scale and what we’re building here.”
All in the Paramount includes over 500 residences with both city and Biscayne Bay views, and most residences have their own glassed-in private balconies and outdoor space. Unlike many Miami condominium buildings, Paramount’s residences are built with full-time living in mind. The building’s smallest residence is 1300 square feet starting at $700,000 and ranging up to 6000 square foot penthouses selling for $6 million. Paramount is already almost 50% pre-sold upon just breaking ground and the first residents representing more than 37 countries currently will move in late fall 2018.
Paramount WorldCenter isn’t the only development sensing the soccer pitch as the new luxury amenity frontier. The trend is also catching on in Manhattan where every inch of square footage utilization matters.
One of Manhattan’s most anticipated developments by DDG called 180 E. 88th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side will also include an indoor soccer pitch, though not as large as the one at Paramount Worldcenter, as well as a basketball court. If a few more Beckhams and Messis move to Manhattan in the coming years you can bet this will change as fast as Ronaldo can steal a goal from you before you’ve even pulled the grass from your cleats.