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MIAMI BEACH-South Beach condo-hotel development pioneers Ron Molko and Gene Grabarnick are planning their second trophy property on the last remaining piece of developable dirt on Ocean Drive. The partners hope to break ground by the second quarter on De Soleil South Beach, a $20-million, 80-unit, five-story residential property whose individual units will sell for $295,000 to $750,000. Occupancy is expected by fourth quarter 2002.

The developers bought the three-quarters acre parcel (33,000 sf) between 14th and 15th Streets through their South Beach Resort Development firm from Whitehouse Properties for $6.5 million or $196.97 per sf. The property also fronts Collins Avenue, the main artery in Miami Beach.

Based on their total sellout of the 44-unit Mercury Resort at Collins Avenue and First Street, Molko-Grabarnick anticipate their newest venture will be the same.

“We sold the Mercury within a year,” Grabarnick tells GlobeSt.com. “There’s 95% occupancy in season here, 80% year-round, so luxury is in demand.” The condo-hotel will offer 27 penthouses, a 90-car surface parking area, 15,000 sf of restaurant space and 8,000 sf of retail.

The units are also paying off as investments. Garett Grabarnick, the project’s exclusive listing broker and president of GG Investment Realty Inc., tells GlobeSt.com that most of the Mercury Resort residences have appreciated by 25% to 50% in over a year.

Miami-based Arquitectonica designed De Soleil.

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