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Is that a new cargo home on the block?

Is that a new cargo home on the block?
South Florida man building house from eight shipping containers

o casual observers, the stacked red, blue and white containers might look like giant Lego pieces plopped onto a vacant lot.

But these former shipping containers are being recycled into a sleek 3,000-square-foot home in Davie.

Architect Asghar Fathi is constructing the three-story house for his family on a lot that he owns.

“It’s recycling basically,’’ he said of the cargo containers that he bought for $2,500 each at an Opa-locka container yard. “I want to make an example of it. It’s my own home. I am going to live in it.”

His boxy home in the 4600 block of SW 55th Ave. is part of a recent wave of people using former ocean cargo holders to build houses, duplexes and offices in South Florida.

One two-story white cargo home in Jupiter is offered to the public as an Airbnb rental.

Fathi started construction on his home about 2½ months ago.

“This is sustainable, economical and easy to put together if you have the right crew,’’ said Fathi, as his welder and a crew member worked on the container home. “It will be hurricane- and termite-proof” he said, adding that he plans to install impact windows throughout.

“With the windows and stucco, you won’t be able to tell there was a container here,’’ he said, standing inside what will be first-floor bedroom, which will go to his 25-year-old son.

When done in about two to three months, the house will have three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining area, a studio, a two-car carport and an open-air deck.

“I think it’s a neat idea so I am hoping that people can catch on to it,’’ said Fathi, whose firm Fathi Architects has designed residential and commercial properties including a Davie pet express hospital, a Florida City hotel and a Bradenton churchBut “this is my first cargo home,” Fathi said.

He said he’s inspired by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian philosophy of making small homes accessible for every person.

“He tried to standardize materials so everyone can do it. I am basically following his footsteps with a different material so people can have a home without spending millions and millions of dollars. With one third, you can have a home and be proud of it,” said Fathi, who estimates that the project will cost about $250,000 by the time he’s done.

“This is my passion, this is my excitement,’’ he said. “This is my challenge basically because every day I am learning something new here.”

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Downtown Miami Has Nearly Six-Year Backlog of New Luxury Condos Amid Housing Crisis

Earlier this year, real-estate analyst Peter Zalewski warned that South Florida developers had so overbuilt luxury condos for the global 1 percent that it would take an estimated four years to sell them all. At the rate condos were selling in downtown Miami, he found, the 505 available units would have taken nearly 6.5 years (78 months) to sell during the slower, winter buying season. In the meantime, low- and middle-income Miamians are suffering from a dire lack of basic affordable homes.

Well, the state of affairs in what Zalewski dubs “greater downtown Miami” has grown only worse.

Now, according to a new report Zalewski’s issued this week, even more luxury units are available downtown. For sale are 559 “preconstruction” units at an average price of $2.13 million. Even at the peak of the Miami summer real-estate “buying season,” Zalewski warns, those 559 units could take 70 months — or 5.8 years — to sell. The Real Deal South Florida first reported about his study Wednesday.

“It is worth noting this report only tracks those Greater Downtown Miami condos formally listed for sale. The report does not factor in the nearly 47,500 new condo units currently in the development pipeline east of Interstate 95 in the tricounty South Florida region,” Zalewski’s study ominously notes.

Though Zalewski’s estimates fluctuate from season to season, the overall trend is clear: Miami’s real-estate development community and public officials have approved a truly absurd number of new luxury condo projects pitched at global investors rather than actual Miami residents.

Naturally, it’s pretty impossible to pump that much supply into a city’s real-estate ecosystem without prices collapsing — and Zalewski says elsewhere on his website that the condo market is “slumping” and undergoing a “correction.” Importantly, the housing market overall does not seem to be slumping.

As New Times wrote last time Zalewski released a similar dataset, the information shows that Miami’s real-estate market simply is not designed to benefit working residents. Given the high price of land in Miami-Dade County, it’s more profitable for developers to target global investors and rich vacationers who want to either stash and/or launder money in the United States or purchase a third, fourth, or fifth vacation home they can leave empty 49 weeks of the year.

In the meantime, studies on working-class housing affordability in Miami remain as grim as ever. Restaurant workers can’t afford 99 percent of Miami-area housing. Miamians need to earn $50,000 to afford two-bedroom apartments. And waiting lists for affordable-housing units are often years long and include thousands of applicants.

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French magazine editor buys Miami Beach mansion for $12M

Jean Pierre Cohen, the editor-in-chief of French luxury real estate magazine Residence Immobilier, paid $11.69 million for a waterfront mansion in Miami Beach.

One Sotheby’s International Realty represented both side in the sale of the 7,961-square-foot home at 1374 S. Venetian Way, on San Marco Island. Roy Benmeir and Rachel Benmeir worked with the buyer, and Allan Kleer and Fabian Garcia-Diazlisted the property. The seller was the Gerald H. Goldfarb Family Loan Term Trust.

The price equated to $1,468 a square foot.

It last traded for $6.4 million in 2013.

The home was built on the 10,500-square-foot site in 2006, but was renovated in 2015 by architects Choeff, Levy and Fishman. It has seven bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, a theater, rooftop pool with a glass wall and underwater speakers, a dock, a hammam, a sauna and a 12-person Jacuzzi.


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