Gil & Michael Dezer
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Father and son real estate developers Michael and Gil Dezer , Dezer Properties, are very happy these days. In October they received a US$214 million construction loan from the Wells Fargo Bank for a new 60-storey luxury condominium building they are building in Sunny Isles Beach north of Miami and which is now under construction. Together with some large pre-build deposits they had already obtained they then became well-covered to build and complete the project.
The new and unique – yes really unique – 132 residence building is located on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach in Miami-Dade County, and it is an ultra luxury project co-branded with the Porsche Design Group, and hence called the “Porsche Design Tower”. This is the first time the iconic German design house has ever agreed to put its name on a condominium building. If it is successful then several more could be built in different part of the globe.
The Porsche Design Tower – rendering
Juergen Gessler, CEO of Germany-based Porsche Design Group said at the ground breaking last spring, “We are delighted to host the launch of yet another innovative, trend-setting Porsche Design product, ” said Juergen Gessler, CEO of the Porsche Design Group. “We look forward to developing future Porsche Design Towers throughout the globe that will continue to redefine the world of luxury.”
“This is an especially proud moment to launch the first-ever Porsche Design Tower, ” responded Gil Dezer, President of Dezer Development. “If the compelling success of the initial sales process is any indication, the Porsche Design Tower Miami has already delivered a new dimension to South Florida’s ultra-luxury, high-end real estate market.”
With more than US$535 million in pre-sales the building is now at the beginning of 2014 well on its way to selling out in the feeding frenzy that parts of Miami real estate became again in 2013. Having broken ground already in April the building should be ready for its new owners now some time in 2016.
The Porsche Design Tower – Rendering
One of the really unique feature of the building is its internal automobile elevators. These will take every owner and their car up to their apartment, and from his/her living room each owner will be able to gaze out upon their shiny car as well whenever they want to.
The new tower will have three car elevators that will whisk driver and their automobiles right up to their homes, with parking in a glass garage right beside them. The “cheaper” apartments will have just two car garages the “expensive” ones will house up to four of their cars. In total there will be 284 robotic parking spaces for the 132 apartments. This is automated parking with a real difference.
The Porsche Design Tower – illustration
The Dezer family develops and owns extensive property holdings in Florida, New York and Las Vegas. Both Michael Dezer and his son Gil are certifiably car crazy. Michael even owns and operates his own car museum that displays his own collection to the public. Gil Dezer has in the past declared his own passion for Porsches and clearly was able to make a very compelling case to the Porsche Design Group in order to obtain the naming rights to the new building.
The apartments in the condominium are not cheap, ranging from more than US$4.5 million on the lower floors, at about Us$1, 000 per square foot, to up to US$32 million for the penthouses. The developers say that so far more than 20 individual billionaires have purchased units in the tower. As we enter the New Year of 2014, there may not be very many left.
As befits a home for a billionaire, some units are as large as 17, 000 square feet in size, and many of the balconies have their own small swimming pools. Or, “plunge pools” as they are somewhat euphemistically called as there is obviously still not much room for swimming in them. The new Meier building on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv is similarly configured, so clearly it is the latest super-luxury craze and highly desirable just for cooling down on a hot day – unless perhaps you happen to be living one floor down and something leaks next time there is an earth tremor, or small earthquake in your neighbourhood. If it does you will be in more trouble than you think as your own plunge pool will be in trouble as well – they are being installed in most of the balconies it seems.
The Porsche Design Tower – illustration
The Dezer’s new and unique condominium building, with its own rigorously selected and pre-qualified clientele which is something they are very careful about, is the elite tip of a booming business in Florida going on right now, with literally dozens of new condos both already building and in the planning stage. According to the Wall Street Journal some 35 buildings are in already construction again, all at the same time, with another 80 or so ready to go.
It seems that parts of the boom are being fuelled by very large cash down payments, of up to 60% of the total price, demanded by developers since the last recession led to so many bankrupt projects, but which have not been the deterrent one might have thought. While the days of high financial leveraging are over, it seems, which is obviously good for the development industry this has now led to numerous questions about where all the money is coming from.
A number of newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the South Florida Business Journal, have implicitly, or even explicitly, suggested that money laundering of overseas criminal activities cash may be responsible for at least some of it. This remains elusively difficult to prove though, especially as many of the purchasers shelter behind corporate shells that actually make the investments. While there is nothing illegal about that, and all the best people and the best family trusts do it too, it has nevertheless led to some uneasiness all around and a call for greater transparency and disclosure, which is certainly not a bad thing.
It would be very ironic if such money laundering were indeed going on; and it would certainly put a new meaning to the term “hidden in plain sight”, if it is.
About the Dezer family
Michael Dezer, who is 72, was born in Tel Aviv in 1941 and came to the United States to live at the age of 21, after serving in his countries armed forces. He worked in advertising before starting to invest in real estate in New York, founding Dezer Properties to invest particularly in the Chelsea district. He did so early and before the neighbourhood became fashionable. Dezer Properties’ New York’s portfolio there today is the largest of its kind in Chelsea and currently encompasses more than 1.3 million square feet of rental space. In the nineteen eighties Michael Dezer bought up a lot of ocean front property in and near Miami and has since developed a number of properties there, with Donald Trump branding on some of them.
Dezer collects cars and has over 1, 000 vehicles, large and small, in his Dezer Museum in North Miami.
Michael Dezer has been a long time supporter of Shmuel Ha Rofe Hospital in Beer Yaakov, Israel. The hospital specializes in geriatric care and Dezer has sponsored various programs within the hospital. Mr. Dezer is also a strong supporter of WIZO and through his upbringing in Tel Aviv he identifies very strongly with WIZO’s work. Dezer has supported the WIZO NY chapter for young families by being a member and donating the use of Dezerland New York- a 60, 000 square foot indoor amusement and event facility, which is part of his New York holdings. They are also supporters of the WIZO Florida Chapter. Michael Dezer has also been honored with the Israeli Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his vision, leadership and support of humanitarian causes.
He also plays a role in various additional organizations such as the Florida Friends of Israeli Defense Forces (FFIDF), the One Family Fund Organization and he is one of the Founders of the Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation.
Michael has been married to fellow Israeli Neomi for over 40 years. they live in Sunny Isles and they have three children: daughters Leslie and Estée Dezer and a son Gil, who today is responsible for the Porsche Design Tower project itself as President of Dezer Development