The Porsche Design Tower under construction near Miami, Florida, features a virtuosic parking system that whisks vehicles up to sky garages adjacent to handsome floor plans. This thrill ride for plutocrats offers oceanfront views during the ascent inside the 57-floor, 132-unit condominium building, via one of three glass-walled elevators. And once comfortably ensconced in their living rooms, residents can gaze fondly at their cars through a glass wall.
The project, dubbed P'0001, is a joint venture between Gil Dezer, owner and president of Dezer Development – a luxury-condominium firm that counts mega-developer Donald Trump on its client roster – and Germany-based Porsche Design Group, the consultancy founded by sports-car scion Ferry Porsche in 1972. It represents a novel marriage of automotive branding and real-estate development.
“Branding gets you awareness, but to create a new brand costs a fortune,” Dezer says. “It’s easier, smoother and faster to buy a brand. Buyers are extremely sophisticated and more than that, if they know a brand well and understand it in terms of quality and feel, they’ll go ahead and follow it.”
That truth is in abundance in Sunny Isles Beach, an exclusive enclave of northeast of Miami, where nearly 90% of the Porsche Design Tower’s units have sold through (although Dezer says he expects more Ferraris in the building than Porsches). With liberal applications of brushed steel, lacquer-black accents and smoked glass, the units are sleek even by Miami standards.
Condominiums range in price from $4.7m for a 4,750-square-foot unit (which includes two parking spaces) to $14.5m for 9,750 square -feet (with a garage that accommodates up to four cars). Dezer also notes that two penthouses – 17,000 square feet a pop – are each listed at $33.5m. The scheduled occupancy date is June 2016.
The robotic lift system is designed to accommodate a car as large as a Rolls-Royce Phantom. Capable of travelling 800 feet per minute and carrying up to 8,000lbs, the system – a robotic valet of sorts – transports car and driver to the front door of their Florida aerie.
“In high-rise condominiums, parking always is the biggest issue,” Dezer says. “People generally don’t like valet parking because they have to wait. Moreover, we have a lot of celebrity clients that like to come and go without seeing anybody or signing autographs. It’s less about separation anxiety and more about privacy.”
The 650-foot-tall, $560m building is tipped to be the tallest oceanfront-condominium high-rise tower in the US when completed. Dezer, an avowed Porsche fanatic (he owns 19), notes that some of the building’s designers previously contributed to the Porsche Carrera GT and 918 Spyder hypercars, as well as the interiors of Porsche Design boutiques. “The building has to be about the automobile,” he explains. “That’s the uniqueness we needed to help sell in a recovering market.”
That isn’t to say owners will also be treated to Porsche Design linens, bath towels and titanium-bodied ballpoint pens. “It will be like all the other Porsche Design branding, where the brand label is pretty low key, but you’ll know the look and feel of Porsche Design the minute you walk in,” Dezer says.
And a valet will never ask for your autograph.