Construction could begin in May on Solemar, the Related Group’s new luxury oceanfront condominium in Pompano Beach. By then, Patrick Campbell expects sales at the condo to have easily surpassed the 50 percent mark.
For Campbell and others at the Miami-based development giant, it’s further proof of the opportunity to be had in a continued march north.
‘We have to continue to move north as Miami and Fort Lauderdale continue to be filled up,” says Campbell, the managing director of Related’s condominium division. “It represents an opportunity for our clients.”
Campbell helped acquire the site for Related in 2011 as part of the company’s push to develop further northward up the coast from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. At that time, they’d just started work on Auberge, the luxury condo project on the old Ireland’s Inn site in Fort Lauderdale. Back then, Campbell admits, they didn’t know exactly what to expect with Auberge. Later, when it hit the market, they found out.
“What we found was that there was a great pent-up demand,” he says.
Potential residents, he says, are attracted by relative value and by natural amenities such as a comparatively massive, pristine beach. It also helps that the city of Pompano Beach has been working hard to rebuild and redefine its oceanfront spaces, which is most notable in the new public buildings that anchor redevelopment around the city’s rebuilt pier.
“We try our best as a company to find those sweet spots in cities that are going to evolve,” Campbell says. “We were able to get in when we realized there was that type of momentum. The city has done a tremendous job of helping us change the city.”
Since that 2011 land acquisition, other luxury projects have been announced in Pompano Beach. “We always try to be the first into a neighborhood,” Campbell says.
The building itself features much of the luxury associated with a Related project – and perhaps an even more heightened focus on aspects that have been brought to the fore in the past year.
“It’s incredible, just the mentality change with the pandemic,” Campbell says.
Aspects such as larger outdoor spaces – already planned into Solemar pre-pandemic – have become much more of a priority for potential residents, Campbell says. So have health and wellness elements such as water filtration and air purification.
“Health and wellness has become a hallmark of our design,” he says.
The pandemic, he says, has also helped to drive interest in the building – the phenomenon of people in the Northeast and other regions looking to buy in Florida has definitely been seen in this one corner of Pompano.
“Everybody’s pleasantly surprised,” Campbell says. When the pandemic first hit, he says, people were saying ‘oh my goodness, we’ve got 40 months of inventory.’ Those worries proved unfounded.
“There was a tremendous interest in South Florida,” he says. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised.”
Beyond that, Campbell believes the 105-unit development will offer what potential residents have come to expect from a Related project.
“It’s really an outstanding beachfront location, very boutique approach to the building…we’ve really tailored to our residents’ needs,” Campbell says.
“It’s trying to show super high-end finishes, enhanced with artwork.” Related founder and CEO Jorge Pérez is also a noted art collector. “Jorge Pérez himself picks the art that goes to each of our projects,” Campbell says.
“We always talk about it in terms of understated elegance.”