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  1. Could the Miami skyline one day resemble Manhattan’s? Apr 5th 2014 | MIAMI | From the print edition A mirror of prosperity ICON BRICKELL, a three-tower complex in Miami’s financial district, was supposed to be a flagship project for the Related Group, the city’s top condominium developer. It would boast 1,646 luxury condos, a 91-metre-long pool, and a hundred 22-foot columns in its entryway. By 2010, however, it had become a symbol of the excesses of the city’s building boom, and Related was forced to hand two of the towers to its banks. Miami condo prices plunged to 60% below their peak. The vacancy rate jumped to 60%. Predictions flew that the market, the epicentre of America’s property crash, would take ten years to come back, or even longer. The speed of the recovery has surprised everyone. Condo prices are already back near peak levels in Miami’s most desirable areas, and at 75-80% elsewhere. The available supply of units has fallen back to within the six-to-nine-months-of-sales range considered normal, from a stomach-churning 40 in 2008. Only 3% of condos are unoccupied. Sales of condos and single-family homes are above pre-crisis levels across Miami-Dade County. Commercial property, too, has rebounded, with demand outstripping supply. Developers are once again relaxed enough to crack jokes. “I call the current expansion the Viagra cycle,” jokes Carlos Rosso, Related’s president of condominium development. “We just want it to last a little longer.” The recovery has been partly driven by low interest rates and bottom-fishing by private equity, which helped to clear excess inventory. But the biggest factor is that the city nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America” has attracted a flood of capital from Latin America. Rich people in turbulent spots such as Venezuela and Argentina are seeking a safe haven for their savings. Estate agents are also seeing capital flight from within the United States. Individuals pay no state or city income tax in Miami, unlike, say, New York, whose mayor wants to hike taxes on the rich further. “Somebody said to me, ‘Give me three reasons why this will continue.’ My answer was: Maduro, Kirchner and De Blasio,” chuckles Marc Sarnoff, a Miami city commissioner, referring to the leaders of the capitalist-bashing regimes in Venezuela, Argentina and New York. Another attraction is the 40% rise in Miami condo rents since 2009, buoying the income of owners who choose not to live in the tropical hurly-burly that Dave Barry, a local author, calls “Insane City”. Brokers report increased business from Eastern Europe and the Middle East (Qatar Airways will fly direct to Miami from June), and an uptick in inquiries from Chinese buyers. Is another bubble forming already? Developers say this time is different, and in some ways it is. In a few years Miami has gone from the most- to the least-leveraged property market in America. Buyers of new condos typically have to put 50% down, half of that before building starts. Banks are loth to extend construction loans unless 60-75% of the units are already sold. In both residential and commercial projects, they require developers to put in much more equity than before. Mr Rosso says Related now puts in three times as much, which limits its ambition. The firm now has 2,000 condos in the works, a tenth of what it was building in 2007. Still, a supply glut is possible. With developers gung-ho again, around 50 towers are under construction or planned in downtown Miami (including the Porsche Design Tower, whose well-heeled inhabitants will be able to take their cars up to the level on which they live in a special lift—this is useful if you really love your car). More were added last month when Oleg Baybakov, a Russian mining-to-property oligarch, bought a trio of condo-development sites for $30m, more than triple their assessed market value in 2013. Miami’s developers are adept at using “smoke and mirrors” to hide the true number of pre-sold units, says Peter Zalewski of Condo Vultures, a property-intelligence firm. Some see the first signs of trouble. The stock of unsold condos and houses has crept up slightly since last summer. A local broker says that Blackstone, a private-equity firm with a taste for bricks and mortar, bought $120m of properties with his firm’s help in 2013 but “won’t do anything like that this year”. Mr Zalewski says banks are competing harder to finance certain projects, but this may not be a sign of unadulterated bullishness. They may simply be betting that many of the 134 towers proposed but not yet under construction in South Florida won’t get built—meaning the 57 that have already broken ground will do better than forecast. Much will depend on whether Latin Americans remain addicted to Miami property and, should their ardour cool, whether Americans and others would take up the slack. Few domestic buyers are comfortable putting 50% down, especially when most of it is at risk if the project fails. One or two developers have begun to accept 30% down, a possible sign of increased reliance on home-grown buyers. The market should get a fillip from the current and planned redevelopment of several chunks of downtown Miami. One of the most ambitious projects is Miami Worldcenter, a 30-acre retail, hotel and convention-centre complex that will feature Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and a giant Marriott hotel. A science museum will soon join the art museum . These projects build on progress made over the past decade towards becoming a world-class city, from the opening of dozens of top-notch restaurants to Art Basel picking Miami as one of the three venues for its shows (“the Super Bowl of the Art World”, as Tom Wolfe called it in his Miami novel, “Back to Blood”). Tourism is at record levels. Miami is the only American city besides New York in the top ten of Knight Frank’s 2014 global-cities index, which ranks cities by their attractiveness to the ultra-wealthy. (It comes seventh, ahead of Paris.) Property is still far cheaper than in most other cities on the list (see chart). Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is dangling the city’s low taxes and lovely weather in front of companies to persuade them to move there. This is starting to bear fruit, especially in finance: Universa, a $6 billion hedge fund in California, recently agreed to relocate, following part of Eddie Lampert’s ESL. SABMiller, a giant brewer, has moved its Latin American head office from Colombia. . “I lived a long time in New York, but here [in Miami] it’s easier to make something from nothing,” enthuses Nitin Motwani, a DDA board member, who talks of the city’s skyline one day resembling Manhattan’s. Mr Zalewski is more cautious. Miami’s property market is “a great game”, he says, but “all it would take to send a chill through the entire market is one big project to go sideways.” Developers who joke about Viagra should keep some aspirin within reach, just in case.
  2. American Airlines from 05JUL17 is expanding Montreal service, including restoration of previously cancelled frequencies. Planned operation as follow. Dallas/Ft. Worth – Montreal Increase from 1 to 2 daily AA3560 DFW1230 – 1711YUL E75 D AA3387 DFW1902 – 2344YUL E75 D AA3533 YUL0629 – 0940DFW E75 D AA3560 YUL1751 – 2103DFW E75 D Miami – Montreal 2nd daily flight reinstated AA1151 MIA1036 – 1415YUL 738 D AA2652 MIA1925 – 2301YUL 738 D AA2438 YUL0600 – 0944MIA 738 D AA1151 YUL1505 – 1856MIA 738 D http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/272238/american-enhances-montreal-flights-from-july-2017/
  3. the title says it all. These airlines are getting new long-haul airplanes and looking at new possibilities to grow in North America. Rumours have pointed that each of these airlines have some kind of interest (or had) interest in Montreal. With the IAG investment. Aer Lingus is looking at North Atlantic expansion. Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Montreal would be the largest destinations with no service. Let's see how much these materialize vs. other cities in the US/Canada. Then we will really know how Montreal compares internationally.
  4. http://www.aircanada.com/en/offers/air/newroutes_rouge/newroutes_rouge.html?icid=fl|achome|newroutes_rouge|caen|151208|txt#YUL-NA Always wanted to see Miami go year round! Mexico City now goes 5x weekly instead of 4.
  5. Influx of South Americans Drives Miami’s Reinvention By LIZETTE ALVAREZ JULY 19, 2014 MIAMI — As the World Cup played out over the past month, yellow-clad Colombians packed the Kukaramakara nightclub downtown, Aguila beers in hand, shouting, “Colombia, Colombia!” Outside, Brazilians in car caravans blasted samba music. Argentines, some in blue-and-white striped jerseys, jammed into nearby steakhouses and empanada joints. Around town, children filed into Sunday Mass, their jerseys ablaze with their futbol heroes from across Latin America. It was less a commentary on soccer than a tableau vivant of the new Miami, which has gone from a place defined by Cuban-Americans to one increasingly turbocharged by a surge of well-educated, well-off South Americans in the last decade. Their growing numbers and influence, both as immigrants and as visitors, have transformed Miami’s once recession-dampened downtown, enriched its culture and magnified its allure for businesses around the world as a crossroads of the Spanish-speaking world. “It’s now the indisputable capital of Latin America,” said Marcelo Claure, a Bolivian millionaire who founded Brightstar, a global wireless distribution company based here. “The Latin economic boom in the last 10 years has led to the creation of a huge middle class in countries like Brazil, Peru and Colombia, and they look at Miami as the aspirational place to be.” The transformation, the latest chapter in the city’s decades-long evolution, is especially apparent amid the building cranes, street life and nightclubs downtown. But it is seen across Miami-Dade County, where highly educated South American immigrants and second-home owners have increasingly put down roots and played a major role in jump-starting a region that not long ago was ravaged by recession. Their relative wealth has allowed them to ramp up businesses like import-export companies and banks, and to open restaurants that dish out arepas from Venezuela, coxinhas from Brazil and alfajores from Argentina. Partly as a result of that influx, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region eclipsed Los Angeles in 2012 as the major metropolitan area with the largest share — 45 percent — of immigrant business owners, according to a report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, a research group. The South American presence has also reshaped politics and radio here. More moderate than traditional Cuban-Americans, South Americans have nudged local politics toward the center. Radio stations no longer cater exclusively to Cuban audiences; they feature more news about Latin America and less anti-Castro fulminating. Last week, Charlie Crist, who is running for governor as a Democrat, named a Colombian-American woman from Miami, Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, as his running mate. Colombians, who first began to settle here in the 1980s, are the largest group of South Americans. They now make up nearly 5 percent of Miami-Dade’s population. They are joined by Argentines, Peruvians and a growing number of Venezuelans. Brazilians, relative newcomers to Miami’s Hispanic hodgepodge, are now a distinct presence as well. The Venezuelan population jumped 117 percent over 10 years, a number that does not capture the surge in recent arrivals. Over half of Miami’s residents are foreign born, and 63 percent speak Spanish at home. Continue reading the main story The influx is expanding the borders of immigrant neighborhoods in places like West Kendall, the Hammocks and Doral. Their numbers are growing across the county line into Broward, where one city, Weston, has gained so many Venezuelans that it is jokingly called Westonzuela. Jorge Pérez, the wealthy real estate developer for whom the the new Pérez Art Museum Miami is named, said the latest surge of South Americans was turning the city into a year-round destination and luring more entrepreneurs and international businesses. Latin American banks have proliferated as they follow their customers here. Most noticeably, they are snapping up real estate in Miami, Miami Beach and Key Biscayne, a wealthy island two bridges away from Miami. Real estate developers credit South Americans for spurring the current housing boom. “South Americans are the game changers — they are the ones that allowed the housing market to bounce back,” Mr. Pérez said. Cubans still dominate Miami, making up just over half the number of Hispanics and a third of the total population, and Central Americans have flocked here for decades. But in an area where Hispanics have gone from 23 percent of the population in 1970 to 65 percent now, what is most striking is the deepening influence of South Americans. Many came here to flee a political crisis, as the Venezuelans did after the presidential election of Hugo Chávez in 1998 and then his protégé, Nicolás Maduro, or to escape turbulent economies, as the Argentines and Colombians did more than a decade ago. But the latest wave of South Americans adds a new twist. It includes many nonimmigrants — investors on the lookout for businesses and properties, including second homes in Miami and Miami Beach. For them, Miami is an increasingly alluring place to safely keep money and stay for extended periods. Spanish, which has long been the common language in much of Miami, now dominates even broader sections of the city. In stores, banks, gyms and even boardrooms in much of Miami, Spanish is the default language. “You can come here as a businessman, a professional, and make five phone calls, all in Spanish, to set up the infrastructure for your business,” said Guillermo J. Grenier, a sociology professor at Florida International University. The effect on real estate is especially visible in the Brickell area, Miami’s international banking center, and in once-bedraggled parts of downtown. The South American infatuation with urban living has led to the explosion of lavish new condominium towers, with more to come. There is even rooftop soccer, like the kind offered in South America. Last year, David Beckham and Mr. Claure announced that they would bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami, though they are still in negotiations for a suitable stadium site. Sit in a restaurant and you hear a range of accents — the lilt of Argentine patter, the clarity of Colombian Spanish, the liveliness of Venezuelans and the speedy rat-a-tat of Cubans. Brazilians have sprinkled Portuguese into the mix. The flurry of condo construction now rivals the one before the 2008 crash, raising the specter for some housing analysts of another risky housing bubble. A Miami Downtown Development Authority study found that more than 90 percent of the demand for new downtown and Brickell residential units came from foreign buyers; 65 percent were from South America. “Status is having a condo in Miami,” said Juan C. Zapata, the first Colombian to serve as a Miami-Dade County commissioner and, before then, in the State Legislature. The suburbs, too, continue to swell as more South Americans move into areas anchored by people from their countries. Doral, a middle-class city near the airport, is now a panoply of South Americans, most of them Venezuelans. Eighty percent of Doral is Hispanic, and in 2012, a Venezuelan, Luigi Boria, was elected mayor. “Every year, we get more and more Venezuelans,” said Lorenzo Di Stefano, the owner of El Arepazo 2, a Venezuelan restaurant there. This year, with the economy worsening in Venezuela, Mr. Di Stefano said he expected another large wave. But, Mr. Crist’s running mate and Mr. Boria aside, the South American influx has not translated into widespread electoral success. South Americans lag far behind Cuban-Americans in political power, in part because their citizenship rate is lower. Many do not vote or run for office, a reality that Mr. Zapata said must change. “What you see in Miami is a change economically; it’s much more diverse than it used to be,” Mr. Zapata said. “But the Cubans grew economically, and turned it into political power.” That transformation, Mr. Zapata said, will be Miami’s next chapter. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/us/20miami.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=US_IOS_20140721&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2
  6. (Montréal) Dans le hall d'entrée, une série d'hôtesses vêtues de robes moulantes et de casques de construction dorés. À l'étage, des danseurs qui se déhanchent dans un échafaudage au son d'une musique techno. Tout autour, de jeunes fêtards branchés, des femmes accrochées à leur sac Louis Vuitton, un ex-entraîneur du Canadien... La soirée la plus courue du centre-ville n'avait lieu ni dans une boîte de nuit ni dans un restaurant avant-hier. Plutôt dans un ancien immeuble de bureaux anonyme voisin du Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, qui sera converti en condos de luxe au cours des prochains mois. Le promoteur Maxera a dépensé une somme impressionnante - plus de 75 000$ - pour organiser cette soirée de lancement haute en couleur. Un investissement destiné à créer un buzz dans le marché de plus en plus serré de la copropriété à Montréal, reconnaît Johnny Migliara, président du groupe immobilier. «C'est sûr que plus il y a de compétition, plus ça nous amène à faire des efforts pour tenter de nous démarquer de nos concurrents», explique l'homme d'affaires, rencontré à quelques pas du bar où l'alcool coulait à flots. Les lancements fastueux sont en train de devenir un véritable «phénomène» dans la métropole, dit Maya Sardouk, l'organisatrice de la soirée. Depuis novembre, elle a signé quatre contrats pour des soirées du genre. Elle organisera entre autres celle du projet Myst la semaine prochaine, au bord du canal de Lachine, qui aura l'eau comme thématique, avec des costumes inspirés par le Cirque du Soleil. «Il y a une tendance à être beaucoup plus créatif, dit la jeune femme. Juste un petit verre de vin et un canapé, ça ne marche plus...» Explosion de projets L'émergence de ces soirées somptueuses coïncide avec l'explosion du nombre de projets résidentiels à Montréal. Plus de 13 300 copropriétés sont en chantier dans la région métropolitaine, un record, et des milliers d'autres sont prévues. Le centre-ville, en particulier, bouillonne de projets. Au même moment, la revente de condos ralentit - le nombre de transactions a chuté de 20% au dernier trimestre de 2012. Dans ce contexte, les promoteurs misent de plus en plus sur les soirées originales «pour faire parler d'eux», dit Maya Sardouk. «Comme à Miami ou Los Angeles, ils veulent créer une vague de momentum.» Au lancement du projet Oro, mercredi soir, l'éclectisme des invités était flagrant. Le courtier immobilier Sotheby's avait invité certains de ses clients les plus importants. On entendait parler russe, beaucoup anglais. Quelques personnalités du monde artistique étaient présentes, ainsi que l'ex-entraîneur du CH Jacques Martin. Le but du promoteur Maxera était de montrer la vue spectaculaire offerte du 10e étage de l'immeuble... en espérant que le mot se passe. À 800$ le pied carré en moyenne, son projet n'est pas à la portée de toutes les bourses et il le sait. Johnny Migliara affirme néanmoins avoir déjà prévendu 40% des 40 appartements du futur complexe, ainsi que le commerce du rez-de-chaussée. »Exubérance irrationnelle» ? Si plusieurs se réjouissent de la multiplication des projets de condos et des soirées glamour à Montréal, d'autres y voient un signe quelque peu inquiétant. Les fêtes olé olé à 75 000$ relèvent d'une forme «d'exubérance irrationnelle», croit Ben Rabidoux, analyste à la firme torontoise M Hanson Advisors. «Ce genre de frivolités illustre, selon moi, comment nous avons collectivement perdu notre sens commun.» Selon l'analyste, la multiplication des événements du genre coïncide souvent avec les excès d'un marché immobilier. Il dresse un parallèle avec Miami, où les fêtes extravagantes se sont multipliées en 2005, peu avant l'éclatement de la bulle immobilière. (Il ne compare toutefois pas la situation actuelle de Montréal à celle de Miami à l'époque, précise-t-il.) Dans un registre moins sexy, les soirées d'information sur la copropriété sont aussi plus nombreuses à Montréal depuis quelque temps. L'objectif, encore une fois, est de faire mousser les ventes de divers projets. Le groupe Benvenuto, par exemple, a tenu hier soir une soirée destinée aux premiers acheteurs de son projet Le Peterson, la deuxième en quelques mois. Samcon tiendra de son côté un troisième séminaire sur le processus d'achat d'un condo neuf, le 19 février. Le marché du condo 13 300 copropriétés en chantier dans le Grand Montréal -20% = baisse des ventes de condos au quatrième trimestre de 2012 235 000$ : prix médian des condos dans le Grand Montréal* 332 000$ : prix médian des condos dans l'arrondissement de Ville-Marie* *Données au quatrième trimestre Source: FCIQ http://affaires.lapresse.ca/economie/immobilier/201302/08/01-4619601-projets-de-condos-avec-soirees-pour-faire-jaser.php
  7. Some organic architecture of the sort, which is really nice. Now if only we can get more buildings like that all over Canada and the US. We are decades away from looking like a real life version of "Final Fantasy"
  8. jesseps

    BMO Harris Bank (Foreclosures)

    Technically it is not BMO Harris yet, only in a few months. Seeing they bought Marshall & Ilsley of Wisconsin, that have multiple foreclosures all over the states. Link You can find 2 acres of land in Arizona for like US$24,900. There is also some properties in Florida (nothing in Naples or Miami). There is even land for sale in Vegas
  9. États-Unis 800 millions pour un projet de train à grande vitesse en Floride Agence France-Presse 25/10/2010 22h52 MIAMI - Le gouvernement américain va allouer 800 millions de dollars pour la construction d'une ligne à grande vitesse reliant en train les villes de Tampa et d'Orlando en Floride, ont rapporté lundi des parlementaires de l'Etat et des médias locaux. Avec ces nouveaux fonds, le projet de train à grande vitesse en Floride --le premier aux États-Unis-- s'élève à plus de deux milliards de dollars. «C'est une super nouvelle pour la Floride», a déclaré le sénateur Bill Nelson. «Ce projet va permettre à l'État de garder un train d'avance en matière de train à grande vitesse», a-t-il ajouté. Le Tampa Tribune a rapporté lundi que le secrétaire d'Etat aux transports Ray LaHood avait annoncé aux parlementaires de Floride que 800 millions de dollars seraient alloués à la ligne Tampa-Orlando. Huit millions de dollars vont aussi servir à financer une étude pour une ligne reliant Miami et Orlando, selon le journal. Un porte-parole de la Federal Railroad Administration a refusé de confirmer auprès de l'AFP les chiffres avancés, précisant qu'une annonce sur ce thème serait faite jeudi.
  10. pedepy

    road trip 2010 - !!

    je part dans un mini road trip la semaine prochaine, et j'ai penser vous poster quelques photos. si vous avez des suggestions sur certains spots a visiter dans ces villes, faites moi en part. je serai a: knoxville, atlanta, miami, raleigh, washington, baltimore, philadelphie, new york. stay tuned ...
  11. ErickMontreal

    America's 10 Most Miserable Cities

    America's 10 Most Miserable Cities Forbes.com 1. Stockton, CA 2. Memphis, TN 3. Chicago, IL 4. Cleveland, OH 5. Modesto, CA 6. Flint, MI 7. Detroit, MI 8. Buffalo, NY 9. Miami, FL 10. St. Louis, MO http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/06/most-miserable-cities-business-washington_0206_miserable_cities.html
  12. (Courtesy of The Wealth Report)
  13. jesseps

    US housing/condo market

    I've been looking at places in South Beach Miami near the ocean. Some of the places are dirt cheap. I ended up finding a place right on Ocean Drive for $419k USD which was 2 bedroom and 2 baths (1200 sq.ft). From the info if I am reading it correctly its full ownership of the unit