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MIAMI BEACH, FL-Related Group of Florida could begin construction on the 36-story Murano Grande at Portofino luxury condominium project as early as December now that the Miami Beach Design Review Board has approved final revisions to phase-one development plans.

The affiliate of Miami-based Related Companies of Florida Inc. already is reporting considerable customer interest in the 4.1-acre project adjacent to the Miami Marina at Fourth Street and Alton Road. About 180 of the 263 luxury condo units were sold as of May this year.

Although company officials did not respond to a request from for comment, Miami Beach city officials estimate Related Group could pull building permits within four to six months, depending on receipt of working architectural drawings from the Miami-based architectural firms of Sieger-Suarez Architectural Partnership Inc. and Fullerton Diaz Architects Inc.

“They’ll be breaking ground early next year, unless they’re on an accelerated schedule,” Thomas R. Mooney, the Miami Beach Planning Department manager of design and preservation, tells “They could be in the ground by the end of the year.”

Phase two of the development plan proposes construction of Murano Maximus at Portofino, a project similar in scope to the Murano Grande at Portofino. “It’ll be a mirror image,” Mooney says.

While planned separately, the two-phase condo project dovetails into the Related Group’s work on Murano at Portofino, a 37-story luxury condominium project currently under construction at 1000 South Pointe Drive. Construction completion on the estimated $120 million, 189-unit building is scheduled for sometime in the early spring next year.

Murano Grande is selling two-bedroom to four-bedroom units in configurations up to 4,000 sf, with pre-construction prices from $300,000 to $5 million per unit. Manhattan, N.Y-based Rockwell Architecture, Planning and Design P.C. won the interior design contract for Murano Grande. Construction completion is planned in 2003.

Since its formation in 1979, Related Group promotes itself as having developed more than 30,000 condominium and apartment units valued in excess of $2 billion.

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