A sculpture of tall circular stems greets cars as they drive to the Turnberry Ocean Club residences. Nine curved silver shafts guard its gates, welcoming residents to the rarefied world behind them.
Inside, it does not disappoint. Marble paneling covers the lobby. Floor-to-ceiling windows, three stories high, offer views of the turquoise Atlantic Ocean.
The opulence should come as no surprise. The colossal 54-story apartment building on Sunny Isles Beach is the jewel in Jeffrey Soffer’s crown, his first major development since becoming President and CEO of Fontainebleau Development.
Soffer’s father, the legendary Donald Soffer, is widely credited with transforming 785 acres of swampland north of Miami into the bustling town of Aventura, Florida. Today, the Aventura Mall, which he developed, is one of South Florida’s premier shopping destinations.
After running his father’s famous business, Turnberry Associates, alongside his sister, Jackie, the two broke up the business in 2019. During the business divorce, Jackie retained most of their father’s business developments, such as the Aventura Mall, and Jeffrey retained the residential. projects including Turnberry Ocean Club Residences. Father Soffer had purchased the land below in the 1970s.
For its debut, the real estate scion spared no expense, creating a luxurious bubble for the 1%. The building is for “a lucky few,” said Jim Cohen, president of the residential division of Fontainebleau Development, which handles all sales for Turnberry Ocean Club Residences. Located at 18501 Collins Avenue along an oceanfront stretch dubbed “Millionaires’ Row,” the residential tower is home to 154 luxurious apartments, ranging from $5 million to $35 million. It’s located just across the Intercoastal Waterway from his family’s favorite terrain in Aventura.
The condo tower was designed by architects Robert Swedroe and Carlos Zapata, based in Miami and New York respectively. Zapata’s projects are often reminiscent of brutalist architecture, featuring both bare concrete and glass, such as his work at Concourse J at Miami International Airport and the JW Marriott Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. But at the Turnberry Ocean Club, the architect has adopted a different, softer tone. On each floor, white sloping slabs face inward, creating wide spiers throughout the structure that reflect light.
Are you looking for a complex morning drink, for example an almond milk cappuccino? The ground floor has a resident-only cafe. Want to have lunch? There’s a restaurant. Looking for a pedicure and manicure? The building has a spa. Need help choosing a bottle of wine for a dinner party? A sommelier is at your service.
There is even more. A few flights up, the stairs between the 30th and 32nd floors house the Sky Club, which cost the developer $100 million to build. Besides the obligatory gym and bar, the lounge offers two cantilevered pools with views of the ocean and downtown Miami.
Staff members are attentive to all resident needs, right down to the point of examination. They are trained to know the names of everyone who enters the property, before they have even set foot in the building. Some might consider that overkill, but it’s what high-end buyers expect when they drop $11 million for a five-bedroom condo, as the company founder did last month. Southpole textiles, Daewon Khym.
As luxurious as it is, Turnberry Ocean Club has company everywhere. Next door is Dezer Development’s Porsche Design Tower, and further down the road are Residences by Armani Casa and Ritz-Carlton Residences, among others. Unlike those of neighboring municipalities, Sunny Isle Beach’s zoning rules allowed developers to build tall, which created a long strip of super-tall towers along Collins Avenue.
The exclusivity of the area only serves to emphasize the contrast between the inhabitants of these towers and those across the water. The gleaming condo buildings, far taller than anything nearby, block much of the ocean view as well as public beach access.
Just six miles south of the Turnberry Ocean Club property on the same street, the 12-story Champlain Towers South collapsed in late June, killing 98 people and raising questions about the viability of beachfront skyscrapers. But the aftermath has had little effect on demand for Turnberry Ocean Club condos. With 135 apartments already off the market, the building is now down to a “handful of units,” according to Cohen.
As Cohen said, these days, Turnberry Ocean Club is perhaps the brightest of the crop. “Our buyers are looking for brand new, state of the art, the very best in design and technology,” the executive said.
Julia Echikson can be reached at [email protected]