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New oceanfront development off to blazing start

STORY BY STEVEN M. THOMAS (Week of March 25, 2021)

The island’s latest luxury oceanfront development is off to an extraordinary start.

New developments typically take years to sell out, sometimes decades, but eight of 21 units at Indigo already have been reserved less than two months after sales opened.

“We expect to be sold out by the end of the year,” says Fernando de Nunez y Lugones, executive vice president and chief economist at ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, the brokerage handling sales at Indigo.

Developer Yane Zana goes further. “At the current pace, we could very well be sold out by the time we break ground this summer.”

“The level of interest has been exceptional,” says Kristine Gabor, the Sotheby’s agent in charge of sales at the development.

Located south of Tracking Station Park on a 4-acre parcel that previously was home to a marine research facility, Indigo is a mix of detached villas and condominium units that range in price from $2 million to $3.5 million.

Vero buyers typically have been slow to purchase units in new, multifamily developments before construction begins, but in this case a compelling set of circumstances has steamrolled that hesitancy.

The surge of wealthy buyers fleeing large, crowded urban areas that has lit up the whole Vero real estate market, an almost complete lack of other new oceanfront inventory on the barrier island, and lower prices for new luxury oceanfront units than in many desirable Florida locations are among the factors driving sales at Indigo, according to de Nunez y Lugones.

He also mentions the gated development’s location close to shopping and dining in Vero’s seaside village and at The Village Shops in Indian River Shores and the property’s 500 linear feet of ocean frontage.

Zana has built numerous oceanfront homes and several successful oceanfront developments on the barrier island in recent years, along with a number of luxury condominiums in Cocoa Beach.

ONE Sotheby’s, which operates out of 18 offices between Miami and Cocoa, represents about 20 new developments in Florida and the Bahamas and expects to add $1.5 billion in additional units to its sales portfolio this year, according to de Nunez y Lugones.

Florida Institute of Technology closed its marine lab on the site in 2016. In 2019, the university successfully petitioned the city of Vero Beach to annex the unincorporated property, adding to the value of the land.

Zana put the property under contract in September 2019 and closed on the deal in April 2020, paying $6 million for the tract.

Indigo Vero Beach LLC, the development entity formed for the project, demolished the old FIT buildings and cleared the site in June.

The centerpiece of the development will be a row of 10 detached oceanfront villas, with about 7 feet between units.

Zana says the 3,500-square-foot villas, which are offered for $3,495,000 – up from $3,195,000 when the project was announced in December – “will remain in the Anglo Caribbean tradition but with a modern flare. They’ll have four bedrooms and five and a half baths, along with amazing infinity-edge oceanfront pools and lanais.”

Extending back from the south end of the oceanfront row will be five 3,000-square-foot villas “with gorgeous courtyards with swimming pools,” according to Zana. “These villas overlook the pier and beaches to the south and benefit from a lot of sunlight given the southern exposure.” They start at $1,995,000.

The final element in the project design is a single six-unit, modernist condo building north of the oceanfront villas.

“All the units will be corner residences with 50-plus feet of ocean frontage, which is phenomenal for a condominium,” Zana said. “They’ll have 10-foot floor-to-ceiling glass, sweeping oceanfront terraces, two- or three-car garages and superlative interior appointments.” Third-floor condos with 3,500 square feet of air-conditioned living space are being offered pre-construction for $3,395,000.

“All residences at Indigo will enjoy a gated entry, beautiful grounds and lush privacy landscaping in addition to a swimming pool, spa and lounge decks along with a covered summer kitchen and entertainment area,” Zana says.

Zana’s Coastmark Construction is teaming up with well-known island builder Vic Lombardi, owner of Water’s Edge Estates, to build the high-luxe development.

With sales strong, the development will not be built in phases. Instead, the villas and condo building will be constructed simultaneously, with completion slated for fall 2022.

Buyers, who range from their mid-40s up, are thus far a mix of people from “the Northeast and Central and South Florida, along with current Vero Beach homeowners looking to either downsize from a large estate home or desiring new construction with a more modern architectural style and located on the oceanfront,” according to ONE Sotheby’s.

Most are buying the villas and condos as vacation homes. A $50,000 refundable deposit is required to reserve a unit.

An observation tower has been built on the site so potential buyers can see what their views will be from second and third floors. A ONE Sotheby’s sales center at Blue at 8050, a luxury oceanfront condo project Zana has under way a few miles north on the island, also serves as the sales center for Indigo.