Developing for a New Generation

Alternative financing structures in mixed-use developments is an innovative way for builders to provide affordable residences

By David Arditi

South Florida is recognized for its luxurious penthouses on Miami Beach, high-rise luxury in Downtown Miami and stunning waterfront properties. Throughout the past decade, we’ve seen the skyline drastically develop into a stunning waterfront metropolis and in the last five years, we’ve had large corporations move their headquarters to the area. These are driving forces in our real estate market, not only for luxury developments but also for mid-level luxury residences and hotels. Currently, the millennial and young professional market is a top buyer demographic. As this generation enters the next stage in their careers, they are searching for residences in prime locations that provide spaces that nurture high-powered, work-life balance and competitive professional opportunities without compromising quality of living.

Millennials are on the verge of surpassing baby boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation. Consequently, they continue to impact the decisions of developers, dictating everything from the organic cafés in lobbies to concierges and digital package systems.

As active developers in the community, Aria Development Group can attest to the interest in these types of amenities. Our firm conducted a study with a group of Harvard Business School students to find what millennials actually want in residential real estate and found they are searching for location, attainability, ease of service and technology. Fixtures, kitchen appliances, and other traditional considerations are much less meaningful.

When we were looking for our next project, we noticed a variety of luxury residential projects like the Four Seasons in Brickell as well as hotels like the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Miami. However, we recognized a major need for mid level-luxury products. This was when we identified a unique opportunity to bring something new to Downtown Miami.

When we learned the global hotel brand, YOTEL, was branching into the extended stay segment with the launch of YOTELPAD, we knew it was exactly what Miami needed. The new concept translates the essence of luxury-serviced apartments by offering perfectly designed living solutions through optimized space and technology. We announced the launch of YOTELPAD Miami in January of 2018 and within 15 months, our sales team sold out the 231 residences — making it the fastest selling high-rise condominium in the area.

“This flexibility, paired with its low prices, starting in the $300,000s, made it easy for international and domestic buyers, alike, to make an investment.”

Here are some of the key components that I believe have made YOTELPAD Miami such a success:

Location, price attainability and luxury amenities. YOTELPAD Miami offers affordable luxury in the heart of a downtown setting allowing its residents quick and easy access to the city’s core, corporate opportunities, exclusive networking events and on-site restaurants. Our residents and travelers are also only minutes from main international hubs like PortMiami, Miami International Airport, Brickell City Centre, the Brightline Virgin Miami Central Station and South Beach.

Miami is one of the most expensive metro areas in the U.S. for renters and one of the costliest for homebuyers, making homebuying increasingly difficult. The success of YOTELPAD Miami is only the beginning of a larger trend happening in the city which finally places luxury homeownership, typically available to buyers in their 50s and 60s, within reach for buyers in their 30s and 40s.

Unlike many other condominium projects on the market at the time of its launch, YOTELPAD Miami was the only one offering short-term rental options. This flexibility, paired with its low prices, starting in the $300,000s, made it easy for international and domestic buyers, alike, to make an investment.

At this price-point comes luxury amenities including concierge services, a gourmet matcha bar, a full-service restaurant and bar with outdoor seating and private dining, a state-of-the-art fitness center, co-working space, a lounge, a pool deck and pet salon.

Technology and sustainability are two other variables that attracted the current market, especially millennials who rely heavily on technology and ride sharing. Developers are now helping millennials feel connected to their community by using technology to integrate in-demand amenities like delivery and pick-up areas that includes cold storage for food and flowers and package lockers.

“Lastly, we made a conscious effort to build sustainably by incorporating repurposed materials and using sustainable building practices.”

Lastly, we made a conscious effort to build sustainably by incorporating repurposed materials and using sustainable building practices.

These factors are a testament that buyers are looking for the right perks, packaged together at the right price-point. These are the elements international and domestic buyers are highly drawn to and the key needs of the incoming millennial buyer.

David Arditi is the Principal of Aria Development Group. To learn more, visit