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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

MIAMI BEACH, FL-South of Fifth, an upscale neighborhood in the Art Deco district of South Beach, is about to see a large-scale change with the development of a tall, thin building. Kallisto, a 19-story, 110,000-sf structure planned for development at 120 Ocean Drive, will only house ten residences. The condos, which are being marketed as the most intimate residences in South Beach, are being developed by the Boston-based Congress Group.

Construction on the ultra luxury condo is set to begin late the this year and scheduled for completion by the end of 2010. The Congress Group has declined to give specifics on financing for the project. Unit prices will range from $4.8 million to $13.5 million for the eight single-floor residences spanning 4,399 sf and the two duplex penthouses, one of which features its own private swim spa and outdoor bar.

A lobby and business center will occupy the bottom floor, moving up into a four-floor parking deck and a sun deck featuring an infinity pool, spa, bar and lounge area on the sixth floor. The residences on the following floors will feature fingerprint access, floor-to-ceiling windows, wraparound terraces, personal exercise rooms and fine finishes. Other amenities include 24-hour valet and concierge and wireless Internet access.

“This kind of product is not affected by the real estate crisis,” says Fabiana A. Bosca, director of project sales for Kallisto, when asked about developing such a project during the multifamily sector slump.

“If you look at the statistics as to where sales are-and where sales are not-in this vast inventory of condominiums in Dade County, you will learn at the very high end of the market, units at $5 million plus, sales are moving along very briskly,” says Stephen Nostrand, executive vice president of Colliers Abood Wood-Fay in Miami. “The folks looking to buy those types of residences are typically insulated from most and any economic issues that the rest of the market is feeling.”

Marketing for Kallisto has not yet begun, but the sales gallery will formally open at 110 Washington Ave. on Oct. 1, says Bosca. Nostrand conjectures that more than 50% of the sales at Kallisto will involve international buyers.

“When you compare the per-sf prices for condominiums and homes that are available in South Florida to the same per-sf prices in Europe, you will see in many cases we’re not only well priced, but in some cases we’re a bargain, particularly in the high-end market,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “My prediction is they’ll be very successful.”

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