Rochelle Broder-Singer | 1 /1 6/201 3
While Miam i-Dade’s real estate crash brought most dev elopment to a halt, it prov ided Chateau Group with the opportunity to ramp up. The Argentina-based high-rise dev eloper had been buy ing prime land in the county since 1 998, selling it to other dev elopers and learning about the market. Among the parcels the company put together was the land for what is now Jade Ocean in Sunny Isles Beach, which required buy ing out the indiv idual owners of condo-hotel units or old condo units one by one. Chateau was also the financial partner with Miami-based Terra Group in some of its major projects.
But until the crash, the company didn’t try to dev elop any of its own projects. With other dev elopers scrambling to negotiate with banks and angry buy ers — or just to stay afloat — Chateau Principal Manuel Grosskopf decided to start its own residential condo dev elopments.
“When y ou come to a new market, to understand who is who, y ou hav e to get with local people,” Grosskopf say s. “Now we believ e that we understand the market well enough to go by ourselv es.”
During the last four y ears, Chateau has acquired office buildings and land in Surfside, Sunny Isles, Av entura, Hallandale Beach (just ov er the county line in Broward County ) and Miami, including the largest dev elopment site on Biscay ne Boulev ard, directly across the street from AmericanAirlines Arena.
The company launched sales of its first project, Chateau Beach in Sunny Isles, and has sold more than 50% of the units. Grosskopf ex pects to begin construction by the end of this y ear, financing it through minimum deposits of as high as 80%, as well as the company ’s own funds.
Grosskopf is in no hurry to dev elop, though. “We are not going to make multiple projects at the same time,” he say s. The plan is to start Chateau Ocean in Surfside nex t. Grosskopf also isn’t av erse to selling land to other dev elopers again. “We are businesspeople, and if it makes sense to sell one of the properties that we hav e, we will sell it.”