If you had a $20 million sports car, wouldn’t you want to park it somewhere you could keep an eye on it, and, ostensibly, show it off?
How about your very own living room? Luxury condo developers in Miami have naturally anticipated such a desire, and are building a series of car-inspired condos. Yes, condos.
Miami’s vibrant car culture has made it a long-time haven for auto enthusiasts—with most buyers and dealers favoring European brands over American ones. Indeed, it’s no surprise that in addition to cruising the streets, prestigious car firms have taken to building auto-themed residential towers reaching 40-plus stories in the sky.
The trend kicked off in 2015 when Italian automobile designer Pininfarina—the firm behind iconic names like Ferrari and Maserati—was tapped by developers to bring a “sports-car-friendly” feel to the 42-story Brickell highrise, 1100 Millecento.
To properly evoke the sports-car theme, Pininfarina played with color and borrowed aesthetic elements typically reserved for vehicles; think “Ferrari-red elevator lobbies and streamlined apartment interiors,” the NY Post writes of the Millecento building.
Others buildings, like the under-construction Aston Martin Residences in downtown, are relying on more subtle auto references—using materials like carbon fibre in lieu of wood and rich leather on residential door handles to evoke the guts of a supercar. Units start at $700,000 and reach up to $50 million, if you’re interested.
Meanwhile, the newly-completed Porsche Design Tower certainly wasn’t going for subtle with the creation of novel glass automobile elevators that allow owners to park their supercars inside display cases set literally within their own living rooms.
Gil Dezer, the developer behind the highrise (and former Donald Trump business partner), says over the phone that the tower is not just ideally suited to car-mad Miami, but could work anywhere in the world—particularly in cities with scarce parking. He adds that most of the residents are car collectors and owners, who are also interested in the extra safety the display cases provide.
Translating the iconic designs of luxury brands into exclusive real estate ventures is not a new idea. Dubai just completed its 59-floor Rolex Tower, designed in the spirit of the legendary watch brand, and you can even find branded towers in New York, like the Baccarat hotel, inspired by the French fine crystal label.
In fact, Dezer says that he’s working on a set of branded condos “with Giorgio Armani and his team.” He adds that branded buildings—even automobile-branded buildings like Miami’s—have are a potentially winning formula in major cities worldwide.
“Armani would love to do something in New York,” he says, “If they would give him the opportunity.”