An 18-unit modernist condominium project that had potential to raise the level of oceanfront design in Vero Beach has been taken off the market and put on hold after buyers failed to materialize.
Timing seems to have been the problem. The developer wanted a certain number of signed sales contracts to start construction and anticipated a two-year build process, and buyers were not willing to put down money and commit to a $3-million purchase when it would be years before they could move in.
The project began to take shape in October 2014 when Alloy Development, a partnership between Vero Beach businesswoman Katherine McConvey and New York architect Jared Della Valle, paid $7,250,000 for a prime 4.8-acre beachfront parcel north of the Carlton.
The new homes, designed by Della Valle in a pure modernist style that drew raves from many, were announced with fanfare in April 2015. The plan included 3-bedroom oceanfront homes with 4 or 4.5 baths and 3,300 to 3,900 square feet of air-conditioned living space, along with 950 to 1,840 square feet of outdoor terraces and balconies. Pre-construction prices ranged from about $3 million to $3.5 million.
“I think the buyers here are quite sophisticated,” said McConvey at the time. “They will see that our design really allows the incredible coastline to be the main feature of the home. It will be a simple design that blends the exterior and the interior. The focus will not be on crown molding but on the world outside the windows.”
Over the next two years, Alloy marketed the project, called 8050 after its address on A1A, with several large vermillion-colored planters at the site and placed another planter at the corner of A1A and Beachland in front of the Premier Estate Properties office.
Listing agent Kay Brown set up a sales office for the project at the Premier building, with an impressive scale model and a virtual reality video showing the architectural features and dramatic ocean vistas being offered.
Alloy erected a timber platform at the building site so potential buyers could see what their second-floor views would be like.
But construction never began and Shores building department permit technician Shannon Kazen said no permits or approvals were ever issued.
When the project was unveiled in 2015, Della Valle said he expected sales in short order. The plan was to build out the entire project with no phasing, and have homes ready for delivery in the summer of 2018.
When buyers proved reluctant, the developer tried to stimulate sales by bringing in high-profile out-of-town brokers to co-list with Brown, including Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, known in the Miami market as The Jills, who sell more real estate in Florida than any other team, and a top New York broker.
The idea was that The Jills and the New York broker would steer high-end clients who might not be familiar with Vero to the 8050 project, but the star agents did not deliver.
When the project was announced, a few local brokers doubted that Vero was ready for the modernist product, but Premier Estate Properties’ Jeanine Harris, who works with Kay Brown, said potential buyers found the contemporary design “to be one of the best attributes of the project.
“They loved the large square footage, the beautiful lanais, the light wells creating a bright home, and the level of luxury finishes that were provided.
“I think they shied away because of the wait. The developer needed seven contracts to begin the project and that just did not happen.”
Harris said potential buyers were “excited and impressed” by the project “until they heard it was not out of the ground.”