PROFILEmiami had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Patrick O'Connell, the Senior Vice President - New Business Development for EWM Realty. He is heading up sales at Gables Waterway, a luxury-boutique condominium development located at 6100 Calballero Boulevard. Gables Waterway features 13 residences designed by Cesar Molina & CMA Architects with interiors by Assure Interiors. Residences feature select private elevators, private foyers, large open floor-plans, and come in Penthouse, Villa, Flat and Atelier layouts. Residences range from 2 to 6 bedrooms and 1,684 SF to 6,789 SF starting at $1.2 million. Sales of Gables Waterway are being handled exclusively by EWM Realty.
PM: Where did the idea for Gables Waterway come about?
PO: Gables Waterway is the developers vision. Jorge Ortiz and his family, after acquiring this property, they hired a very well-known Coral Gables architect known as Cesar Molina and shared with him their idea of doing something really truly unique and capturing the spirit of Coral Gables and the Mediterranean architecture. Rather than doing something contemporary like many developers are doing now he wanted to honor the classic tradition of the gables and build a showpiece property that is one-of-a-kind here in this city.
PM: What sets Gables Waterway apart from anything else in Coral Gables?
PO: I would say the fact that it's the last buildable multi-family opportunity in the city with access to the water. It's the last multi-family parcel on the Gables Waterway. Just that classic Mediterranean appeal, other developers are focusing on cotemporary and not this classic gables design.
PM: Who is the target buyer for Gables Waterway?
PO: We see as a lot of families in Coral Gables as the kids get older and graduate college and the parents want to stay in the Gables but do not want a house. That is the main focus of our development and those are our buyers. Its many families that have been here and older couples that have been here for years and years. They love Coral Gables but they also perhaps have a home up in North Carolina or Maine where they want to spend half the year, so the idea of having a large condominium here that they can also lock-up and go that is our customer.
PM: What are the 3 best features of the Gables Waterway development from your perspective?
PO: I would say the waterfront appeal, that is first and foremost and unique. The fact that you can have your boat right behind your condominium. I would also say the Mediterranean architecture and the shear size and livability of these condominium units. These were designed taking months of reworking the interiors to make sure that we have the best interior design for families that live here full-time.
PM: How did EWM get involved with Gables Waterway?
PO: In the summer of 2015 we were originally approached by the owners of the property with the original sketches and plans for "The Waterway". They knew that EWM was the top-selling luxury brokerage in Coral Gables. Many of the buyers for this development are our customers already. We have their homes listed, so it was just a natural request that they would come to us and ask for our help. Even from the beginning Ron Shuffield, our President, spent a lot of time with the developer on the floor-plan really perfecting it.
PM: What has been the biggest obstacle to overcome to bring Gables Waterway to completion?
PO: Heres the thing, the city loves this development. It's the right size development for the neighborhood. The developer is building "as-of-right," which means he didn't have to ask for any special permissions from the city. The commissioner and Mayor are squarely behind it, and they love it. It has actually been a fairly pleasant process, we haven't really had a lot of obstacles. We nearly have a permit and we are ready to build.
PM: What is one feature of Gables Waterway that the residents are sure to love that buyers (residents) may not have thought about yet?
PO: In the lower garage level the developer is building very large, "extra rooms," complete with electricity that is sort of like a personal basement for each unit. It is basically an entire separate room that they can place all of their fishing gear, everything for their boat, but it is the size of a bedroom and you can build-it out as you wish and it is metered to your unit so you can put a refrigerator or a freezer. From these rooms you can just walk right out to the private dock and load your boat and go. The developer is himself a boater so he built this very much with the boater in mind.
PM: Where do you see Coral Gable’s place in Miami over the next decade? Twenty years?
PO: I think that Coral Gables is going to continue to attract multi-national companies, which it has done a great job of already. With some new office product going up in Downtown Coral Gables. With the density of Downtown and the Brickell market right now and the difficulties of coming and going from there I think more companies are going to choose Coral Gables as their preferred location for their offices. With that comes all of their senior executives and their employees that are going to want to live here. I think it will continue to outperform the rest of Miami-Dade counties in our property values because of our location and the strict code enforcement that makes the residential experience superior to everything else in South Florida.