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Fortune International founder outlines South Florida strategy

It’s always an amazing experience when we have a chance to bring a true expert into the Fried On Business studios, and Edgardo DeFortuna did not disappoint when he stopped by to chat about the multifamily residential market in South Florida.

The founder and president of Fortune International Realty in Miami said he sees a rare balance in the South Florida condo market – and nothing on the horizon to tip it one way or the other.

“That is exactly what is happening. Miami is usually cyclical, and there’s either too much supply or too much demand. Today, we seem to be in a very mature market and a lot more stable than in past times,” he said.

“I feel very comfortable about this. Miami has grown as a city, and the real estate market follows that for sure.”

It’s truly an amazing circumstance. Buyers from all over the world are investing in Miami. I even saw a groundbreaking recently for a development group from Turkey, which stands to reason since Miami has been getting direct flights from Turkey.

Fortune was one of the first large companies in Miami to cater to foreign investors.

“The commercial is a natural transition for many of the buyers who are looking for income-producing properties. Now we have close to 1,000 brokers, and we specialize in both residential and commercial,” DeFortuna said.

One advantage that Miami offers to brokers like Fortune International Realty is its diversity of neighborhoods. Each seems to cater to a particular clientèle.

For instance, Edgewater offers a tremendous bargain given its views and its proximity to the Design District and more of what Miami has to offer, DeFortuna said.

“I brought my New York brokers down for a tour three or four months ago. We took them on a tour, and they could not believe the buildings that are being built and the value that Edgewater presents,” he said.

Another area to watch is Sunny Isles, where Fortune International Realty has a significant presence. The market has provided a great run over the past 10-15 years, DeFortuna said, and the city’s development policies have attracted the best of the best in developers and projects.

Projects like Fortune’s 57-story Jade Signature, which brings 192 high-end, flow-through units to the market.

The company is also active in Broward County with Fort Lauderdale’s Auberge Beach Residences. Developed in partnership with Related Group, the project will combine the best of resort and residential living, DeFortuna said.

“It’s probably one of the most beautiful projects I’ve ever done, and it’s really a great, great success. A lot of the local buyers are leaving their houses and moving to Auberge because it’s the ‘happening’ place in town,” he said.

So, with all of that under way, I had to ask about what’s next for Fortune International Realty. Going back to Sunny Isles Beach, DeFortuna said the focus is on the former site of the La Playa de Varadero condominium on Collins Avenue.

The 56-story project, to be developed in conjunction with Chateau Group, is expected to have 490 condominium units, a restaurant, office space and retail space.

But that project won’t get under way, DeFortuna said, until Fortune is finished with The Ritz-Carlton Residences, also on Sunny Isles Beach and also built in partnership with Chateau Group.

The 52-story ultra-modern tower will house 212 luxury units. Construction has already reached the ninth floor.

This was a fantastic interview, and we talked about a lot more, including:

– how Fortune International handles the sales process,

– the company’s training program, and

– the upcoming retreat for Fortune’s entire company.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Edgardo DeFortuna of Fortune International Realty.



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