Florida Real Estate and Community News by MMD Realty

Icon Las Olas, a high-rise condominium project that has been 15 years in the making, has finally cleared its last legal hurdle to begin construction, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The Related Group will start construction as early as December and expected to be completed by early 2017.

The 45-story building was first proposed in 1999, but was opposed for years by the neighboring Stranahan House museum over concerns that the building would cast a constant shadow over the historic home. The case was dismissed in 2011, however the project was again delayed due to market conditions.

Related Group currently has two other projects in the pipeline in Broward County: Auberge, the first new truly-oceanfront condominium in Fort Lauderdale in over a decade.

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The smart money is on Fort Lauderdale for investors in rental properties looking for stable returns in college towns, which are becoming increasingly desirable investment opportunities.

The city, which is home to Broward College — among other institutions of higher education – boasts an annual gross rental yield of 8.79 percent and an unemployment rate below the national average at 5.7 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by RealtyTrac.

Gainesville ranked third in RealtyTrac’s “Top 10 College Towns for Buying Rental Properties” list with an annual gross rental yield — calculated by dividing the annualized rental income by the average of the city’s median home sales price – of 11.34 percent.

Investors looking outside the Florida

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Exclusive Event: Celebrity Chef Cooking Demo and Wine Tasting


The first event in our Portfolio Event Series takes place this Thursday, October 16th at our gorgeous French Provincial-styled 16,000 square foot mansion. Top brokers from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and The Palm Beaches will be treated to an afternoon of great food with a cooking demonstration, by celebrity chef Dirk De Cuyper, a sommelier instructed wine pairing and an exotic chocolate journey while enjoying tunes by DJ1Tre. As a parting gift, guests will receive a signed copy of Charting Culinary Courses by Dirk De Cuyper.

The venue is one of my favorite homes, not only in South Florida, but of all-time! Down to the smallest detail, this home is impeccably finished with the ultimate in

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The high-end property market is booming in the Venice of America. From June 2013 to June 2014, the top 10 percent of homes by value performed better than the rest for the housing market in Fort Lauderdale.

Square footage values for high-end condos and townhouses rose nearly 18 percent to an average of $477, while square footage values for luxury single family homes reached an average of $570, an increase of 4.2 percent, according to data released by the Financial Times.

The area is becoming an increasingly popular destination for high-end buyers, particularly foreign nationals seeking a home with the benefits of the South Florida lifestyle without the Miami price tag. 

Fort Lauderdale airport's $2.3 billion upgrade is playing a key role in

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Applications for the EB-5 program have maxed out for the first time in the program's 24-year history.

Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the program allows foreign nationals to obtain the right to live in the United States by investing a minimum of $1MM, or in economically distressed areas just $500,000, and creating or preserving 10 jobs for U.S. workers not related to the investor. Applications for the visa investor program have almost tripled since the end of the 2011 fiscal year from 3,800 to the maximum allowed 10,000 which capped out last week. 

 

By law, no country is permitted to fill more than 7 percent of slots, but the Department of Homeland Security is allowing Chinese immigrants to take over unused slots from other countries.

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Prestige Estate Properties, the luxury division of MMD Realty, LLC, the elite South Florida real estate firm founded in 2011 by Michael Wekerle, of Dragon’s Den-Canada, Michelle Farber Ross and Dan Marino, welcome Boca Raton resident and luxury specialist, Melissa Johnson “MJ”.

Broker and Managing Partner, Michelle Farber Ross explains, “I’m thrilled to have MJ (Melissa) join our team. She is a seasoned Luxury Realtor who specializes in the Palm Beach County area.” She continued, “Melissa has a background in creative event planning and has organized some notable events throughout the Palm Beach social and polo scenes. We will be launching a series called “Prestige Estate Properties Portfolio Events” beginning with an exclusive Broker’s event at our

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A team of researchers are now analyzing the Miami crime scene, and the results will be written into the upcoming film 'Bad Boys 3'.

In a June interview, executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer told Collider, "We always focus on the place where the action is going to take place...we bring in experts that are currently analyzing what's actually going on down in Miami with criminals and what they're doing." The entire film will take place and be filmed in Miami. 

Actor Martin Lawrence confirmed in August that the movie was in the works, though the plot is still unknown. Will Smith will also be returning to the franchise. The original Bad Boys was released in 1995.

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At $139 million, the most expensive home listed for sale in South Florida, and the country, is in Broward County. 

The 60,000 square foot estate, named "Le Palais Royal", sits on 4.4 acres with 465 feet of beachfront on Millionaire's Mile in the exclusive enclave of Hillsboro Beach, Florida.

The above image is the driveway as it splits to the garage and to the main entrance complete with cascading waterfall.

Currently under construction with a completion date slated for the end of 2015, the home "palace" will have 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, and a first-ever private IMAX Theater for 18 of your closest friends. Other features include a 492-foot private dock capable of accommodating yachts up to 185 feet in length, an underground garage for 30

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South Florida derives 60% of its electricity from natural gas - more than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S., according to analytics firm Energy Points, cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Electric cars that are charged in Miami or Fort Lauderdale will receive a higher MPG equivalent than cities like Kansas City that receives most of its power by coal, but lower than cities like Seattle that are predominantly powered by hydroelectricity.

The MPG equivalent rankings only measure environmental footprint. Actual electricity prices in Miami are only slightly below average compared to the rest of the U.S.

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Cash real estate deals are starting to decline across South Florida, which could be a positive indicator that banks are willing to get back into residential lending.

 

South Florida is still one of the top regions in the nation for all-cash sales, but these sales are declining. Palm Beach County saw a 12 percent drop in cash deals over the last year, accounting for just 42 percent of all transactions from July 2013 to July 2014. According to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, this is the lowest percentage of all-cash sales in the county in 4 years.

Miami-Dade County saw a less-dramatic drop. From July 2013 to July 2014, all-cash sales dropped from 63 percent to 58 percent, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

Many experts

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