By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – It was reported last week that there is a contract to pay $7.6 million for a unit at Ocean Delray, a boutique condo project under construction. The site is a 19-unit building at 1901 South Ocean Boulevard, and the home will be bought Randy Klein, president and CEO of Crestron Electronics.
The deal went under contract in April during the pandemic, and the sale is expected to mark a record for Delray Beach at more than $2,000 per square foot, according to a press release.
Klein’s unit will have 3,721 square feet of indoor space with a 682-square-foot covered terrace, three bedrooms, a den and five-and-a-half bathrooms.
It will also have a three-car air-conditioned garage. He and his wife are based in New York and will use the condo as a second home, according to the release.
It will be the first new development on the city’s oceanfront in over thirty years according to The Real Deal. The three-story development is being built on a 1.8-acre property, featuring over 200 feet of ocean frontage, a pool and cabanas.
Randall Stofft is the architect and it is being developed by National Realty Investment Advisors (NRIA) and U.S. Construction. The team closed on a $73 million loan from CIM Group last October, New Jersey-based NRIA acquired the Wright by the Sea Hotel in 2018 for $25 million.
According to the developers, units range from 3,373 square feet to more than 4,400 square feet, with three to five bedrooms each, and terraces ranging from 682 square feet to more than 2,600 square feet. The Delray Beach City Commission granted final site-plan approval for Ocean Delray last year.
South Florida Business & Wealth reported that some developers and brokers are predicting the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate the ongoing trend of wealthy North-easterners moving to South Florida.
David Siddons, an executive director with Douglas Elliman, said at the beginning of April that daily inquiries from out-of-state prospective buyers had jumped from 10 to 15 per day to about 85 per day.
John Farina, president and CEO of U.S. Construction, said “should something like this coronavirus pandemic happen again, it seems like they would rather be in a place like Delray Beach, in a large and very comfortable residence overlooking the ocean versus over-crowded Manhattan.”
Development has continued as well despite the global pandemic. “We have implemented additional safety precautions for our construction team members including additional hand-washing stations, touchless hand sanitizer stands, and more gloves,” Farina told the Palm Beach Post.
“We take this matter seriously, and will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and the Governor as we move forward with construction.”
Rex Kirby, owner of Verdex Construction in West Palm Beach is balancing the Ocean Delray along with over ten other construction jobs throughout the county with the help of his 75-employee staff and subcontractors that can top 1,000.
“It’s a little chaotic,” Kirby told the Palm Beach Post. With protocols locked down, the biggest challenge is supplies. “We’re really paying attention to materials, and we’ve gotten notice of a slowdown.”