The invitations are simply stunning, by now arriving in droves. The parties are splendid affairs, hosted in heavenly digs. And the art is a premonition of au courant on walls, in trees, on beaches, and in conversation. Art Basel is paying its annual visit to Miami, setting the scene afire with energy. But things would be very different if it weren’t for real estate developers with vision.
Craig Robins is a Miami Beach native. He’s also CEO and President of Dacra, a Miami-based real estate company responsible for the Pygmalionesque transformation of dozens of international destinations. His passion and understanding of the link between culture and real estate in SoFla is precisely what helped him turn the down-on-its-luck southeast corner of Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood into the vibrant, stylish mix of architecture, culture, and art that is the Design District.
Robins knew Miami was an underserved luxury market, awash in money from Russia and South America. Realtors know these things. His promising formula along with connections leading to all the right resources, Robins’ redo of the Design District proved irresistible to Design Miami, luring the attention of the Art Basel crowd as well.
The 2015 version of the Design District is almost unrecognizable by 20th century standards, as the area is now home to decidedly dishy furnishings, fashions and eateries. Had Robins decided not to pursue the Design District as a project, it might still be an unremarkable collection of abandoned warehouses.
Aby Rosen is co-founder, with Michael Fuchs, of the Manhattan real estate investment, development and management company RFR Holding, LLC. He is also an art collector of brobdingnagian proportion. His top-of-the-list Miami Basel shindig at The Dutch in his W Hotel property is considered THE party, with a guest list rich with art, film, entertainment, corporate and real estate icons.
Rosen 101 teaches that art and architecture are integral to the urban landscape. Investing project dollars in distinctive art installations has proven profitable in occupancy, nurturing relationships with brokers and inspiring the lives of tenants and guests. A supporter of the Whitney Museum, Public Art Fund, New Museum and Art Basel, his commitment to the creative communities of the world is significant, and his celebration of it, divine. His emphasis on Art Basel Miami Beach as a productive hive underscores the art/architecture/real estate mantra.
Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties, inherited more than just business sense from her father Tony. Her skill in transforming at-risk real estate into thriving communities on a global map is legendary, most notably for the revitalization of Miami’s Wynwood district.
Known for its creative sense, pop up parties and wall art, Wynwood today is an artistic area most ABMB patrons will be drawn to for its eclectic galleries, food and shopping and its distinctive neighborhood vibe. The district shows what a neglected ‘hood can become with creative vision like Goldman Srebnick’s, adding another important design element to the Art Basel Miami experience.
The Faena District Miami Beach might prove the epitome of art and urban landscape mosaic, with Foster + Partners as architects, Baz Luhrmann and wife Catherine Martin at the design helm and Ren Koolhaas’ hand guiding the Art Center. Exceptional luxury is the rule in these bright white residences and hotels, designed with art and luxury as pillars around which all else revolves. Recently breaking Dade County high sales records is a Faena eight-bedroom, 12,500 square-foot, $60 million enclave with divine views. Art and real estate in the Faena District make fabulous partners with Miami Basel along this sumptuous Collins Avenue beach perch.
The combination of art, architecture and real estate is evidenced by participation, sponsorship and satellite events during this epic series of events, gathering names like Christie’s International, Douglas Elliman, Knight Frank, Robert Futterman, Aria and Bonham’s for parties, auctions and exhibitions. The appreciation of those affiliations by Art Basel Miami Beach patrons proves the point that art ensures a desirable, enriched urban landscape that maximizes property values.
Art is established as an important feature in the composite of iconic properties with luxurious addresses. Nowhere is that more apparent than here, the first week of December, at Art Basel Miami Beach.