MIAMI-BCOM Inc., a locally based development company, has broken ground on 1800 Club, a 41-story, 469-unit luxury residential condominium project here. It is slated for a 2006 completion.The 1800 Club is rising on 18th Street and North Bayshore Drive, the former site of its namesake–a popular restaurant and gathering place that celebrities, politicians, newspaper reporters and athletes frequented. BCOM bought the restaurant in 2002 from the family of Bill Ader Jr. and demolished the building shortly afterward to make room for the condo tower.

The project’s one-, two- and three-bedroom residences are priced from a little less than $200,000 to $2 million. The residences, located along Biscayne Bay in the city’s growing arts district, will feature views of Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach and Downtown. With many new residential developments going up or planned, the arts district is a rapidly growing area, according to Edgardo Defortuna, president of Fortune International, the exclusive brokerage handling sales and marketing for the 1800 Club.

Brett Chwick, director of multifamily brokerage for locally based Terranova Corp., says population growth is driving the boom in condo activity in the area. “As long as you have positive population growth and a healthy interest rate environment, the strong market will continue,” he says. This is due to the lack of available single-family land. “For the most part, Miami has very little single-family home land left,” he says. Developers can’t build to the west of Krome Avenue or the Turnpike, he points out. “New homes have to be density construction. The place to build high rises is the city center area.”

The demand is apparent, he adds. “They keep selling them (condos),” he says.

“This neighborhood is quickly becoming recognized as a very popular place to live and play,” Defortuna says in a statement. “The fact that the developers are keeping the name of the landmark club adds to its allure.”

The tower’s amenities include a pool deck overlooking Biscayne Bay, a fitness center, a two-story recreational floor with a bay-front veranda and 24-hour security. Units will have hurricane-resistant, floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, marble flooring in bathrooms, full-size washers and dryers, and walk-in closets.

The architectural firm Bermello, Ajamil & Partners Inc. designed the 1800 Club and received the Society of American Registered Architects award for their work on the project.

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