First new Singer Island condo in a decade nears completion


Sales at VistaBlue Singer Island now stand at 60 percent or $90 million in sales

Cold weather and changed tax laws could do wonders for Florida real estate.

Just ask the developers of the 19-story VistaBlue Singer Island condominium, now under construction and nearing completion.

The boutique, 58-unit condo has sold 34 units, and the winter selling season is just beginning. “There’s a sense of urgency. There’s only 24 units left,” said Randall Tuller of developer Third Palm Capital in Texas.

The project has clocked $90 million in sales with an aggressive sales effort that continued even during the summer months, a time when most developers pause their marketing campaigns as they await seasonal visitors and more enticing weather.

But Douglas Elliman’s Florida Brokerage, led by Jay Phillip Parker, never put on the brakes. The promise of an oceanfront condominium in Palm Beach County ready in the new year helped goose sales and push VistaBlue to 60 percent sold, Tuller said.

Now, the condominium is poised to take advantage of some fortuitous timing: Extremely cold weather in the Northeast and changes in the tax law.

The new tax law limits deductions in states where there are state and local taxes. That’s likely to drive more buyers to Florida, which has no state income tax, Parker said. “I fully expect a slow but steady growth in our Northeast buyer pool based on the tax reform,” he said.

Parker said the aging population creates a steady supply of people who will sell their homes in other parts of the country and move to Florida, “traditionally the last stop before heaven.”

But with the growth of recreational and cultural activities, Florida in general and Palm Beach County in particular are luring more residents. “And when you layer in the tax plan implications, that will shift more people over the finish line and drive them to the South Florida market,” Parker said.

Being the first out of the gate is always a help, which is another reason why the folks behind VistaBlue are feeling good about 2018. The building is nearly completed and interior work is underway.

VistaBlue, which started construction in late 2015, is the first luxury condominium built on Singer Island in a decade. Construction started with only a handful of pre-construction buyers.

With 2017’s brisk sales volume on units ranging from $1.4 million to nearly $8 million, it looks like being first out of the gate paid off. Tuller said two buyers are vying for the last available 19th floor penthouse, priced at $7.646 million.

Meanwhile, planned hikes have boosted prices on various units. So a base unit that used to sell for $1.4 million now goes for $1.6 million, while a more desirable unit priced at $2.882 million now sells for $2.968 million.

The condominium, once set for completion by the end of January, won’t be finished until March. Blame Hurricane Irma for that one, Tuller said. FPL got backed up on hurricane restoration after the September storm and wasn’t able to hook up the building as planned.

The delay cost the project 11 weeks, but it also showed buyers that there was indeed, a condominium still standing after the storm swiped the area. That’s important because the unsexy features of VistaBlue, or any new construction these days, suddenly are very interesting to property buyers.

At VistaBlue, hurricane resistant features include waterproof stucco and mold-resistant drywall. The exterior is reinforced with galvanized steel to prevent corrosion from the ocean air. Also, the condos’ interior cabling, called the bus duct, is waterproofed. The windows feature 150-mph hurricane impact glass.

There are also luxury touches, of course, including regular units with 10-foot high ceilings, and penthouses with 12-foot high ceilings; imported Italian porcelain tile flooring indoors and out; Miele kitchen appliances; and wrap-around terraces. The building has an elevated pool terrace and sundeck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, plus a club room, social lounge and fitness center, with his-and-hers saunas.

Tuller said he’s so optimistic about the future of real estate in Palm Beach County, he’s scouting a location for another beachfront condominium. Stay tuned.

Alexandra Clough writes about real estate, law and the economy.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

Publix boycott movement forces tough decisions
Publix boycott movement forces tough decisions

Becky Abel has been a loyal Publix shopper since moving to Florida as a teenager in 1971. But the Lakeland resident says she has decided she will now do her shopping elsewhere.  That action is her response to recent news reports that Publix, the family of its founder and current and past executives have donated $670,000 over the past three years...
Noel Martinez: Why work, mental health issues drive Leadership summit
Noel Martinez: Why work, mental health issues drive Leadership summit

Leadership Palm Beach County celebrates its 35th year with 1,700 alumni from elected leaders to CEOs, but a June 15 summit led by executive director Noel Martinez isn’t so much about looking back. It aims at new starts, a kind of civic crowdsourcing to solve knotty problems dominating too many headlines. Mental health in the workplace. Ex-offenders...
JUST IN: Congressmen call on feds to suspend Brightline bonds
JUST IN: Congressmen call on feds to suspend Brightline bonds

Days after Brightline completed the first leg of its passenger train service, the battle continued to grow over whether the company should be allowed to use federally approved tax-exempt bonds to finance its extension north to Orlando. Brightline carried its first paying passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami on Saturday — marking the completion...
Scripps Florida researchers win $3.6 million NIH grant to study autism
Scripps Florida researchers win $3.6 million NIH grant to study autism

JUPITER -- Scripps Florida researcher Gavin Rumbaugh won a five-year, $3.6 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to continue studies of abnormal brain circuitry in autism, the nonprofit lab said Tuesday. The grant builds on Rumbaugh’s previous work, research that found a crucial period in brain development during...
Report: This is the hottest (little-known) career in America right now
Report: This is the hottest (little-known) career in America right now

The hottest job in America may be one you've never heard of, but demand for people who can fulfill the roll is very high – as is its starting pay. If you're qualified to be a data scientist, according to Bloomberg, you may find companies fighting for your services. Andrew Gardner, a senior machine learning manager in Atlanta at Symantec...
More Stories