Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach Condos Break Ground

Dated: December 29 2014

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More than half of the 95 luxury condominiums are under contract at the Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach, developers said Monday.

Units are priced from $1.2 million. The 18-story tower is expected to be open in late 2016 or early 2017.

A firm tied to Motwani paid $20 million for the 2-acre property in 2013. The site is near the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Residences, a condo-hotel once affiliated with developer Donald Trump.

The Howard Johnson's, damaged during Hurricane Wilma in 2005, was torn down earlier this year.

Peter Zalewski, head of the CondoVultures.com consulting firm, said the 30 percent deposits required at The Paramount are giving the project an advantage. Other new condos planned in South Florida typically insist on down payments of at least 50 percent, he said.

"The Paramount is in great position to be successful," Zalewski said.

The large deposits have become a staple of the condo market after the housing collapse.

During the downturn, buyers walked away from contracts, leaving developers on the hook. But today's buyers are less likely to pull out of the deals with so much of their own money on the line.

That financing structure is most common in Miami, where wealthy foreign investors are dominating the market. But Kodsi said he and his partners were concerned that the large deposits wouldn't be as well-received at The Paramount, which is attracting mostly domestic buyers.

"We wanted to be more conservative," he said. "I think that has given us an edge."

More than 7,700 condo units have been completed or proposed in Broward County over the past two years, according to CraneSpotters.com, a database operated by CondoVultures. About a third of those units are in Fort Lauderdale alone.

Developers have completed or proposed more than 3,600 units in Palm Beach County.

Analysts say they aren't worried about overbuilding in the two counties because of the dearth of construction from 2008 through 2011. But some market observers are starting to wonder about Miami-Dade County, where roughly 40,000 units are planned.

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Angelo F. Terrizzi Jr.

I am a New England native, born and raised in the Boston area. Growing up, I was always involved with extra-curricular activities through school and church. I spent 30+ years in Business and later in ....

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