In The City — 01 September 2017
Renters fuel a luxury apartment boom

By Robyn A. Friedman

City & Shore Magazine

Italian cabinets. Quartz countertops. Bosch appliances. Amazing views.

If you think these features describe a luxury South Florida condominium, think again. You’ll find them — and more — in the 272 apartments at Icon Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale. And you can have it all for $2,200 to $7,500 — per month.

Luxury apartments abound in South Florida, primarily in eastern neighborhoods where millennials and baby boomers want to live. Numerous projects are under development in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale in walkable areas with easy access to employment centers, shopping, restaurants and cultural and recreational facilities.

While millennials are frequently apartment dwellers, the 73 million baby boomers, and other empty-nesters, are creating significant demand for luxury apartments. Known as “renters by choice,” these individuals can well afford to purchase a home if they so desire, but prefer to be discretionary tenants instead. Many of these renters travel frequently and enjoy the carefree lifestyle that comes with renting as opposed to owning. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, over half (58.6 percent) of the net increase in renter households from 2006 to 2016 came from households 45 years or older. And in a 2015 survey, the NMHC found that 28.6 percent of renters said they did so because it suited their lifestyle.

About 90 units have been pre-leased at Icon Las Olas, which is opening to residents this fall. The tenants are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and business owners — all of whom are renters by choice. “They go from the 30-year-old entrepreneur to the 60-year-old couple done with their 3,000-square-foot home who want to travel but have luxury,” says Jorge Pérez, chairman and chief executive officer of The Related Group, the developer of Icon. “It’s a high-income group.”

Those looking to rent a luxury apartment in South Florida have numerous options, many of which are downright lavish. But they better be prepared to spend a lot on housing each month. According to San Francisco-based rental marketplace Apartment List, the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Boca Raton in June was $1,800; in Fort Lauderdale, it was $1,410.

Here are just a few of the new luxury apartments in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale that appeal to renters by choice; more are on the way.


101 Via Mizner

101 E. Camino Real


Part of the mixed-use Via Mizner project that includes a Mandarin Oriental hotel, condominiums and retail, 101 Via Mizner features 366 units, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms and penthouses. Amenities include a clubroom, cyber café with gourmet coffee, fitness center, resort-style pool with cabanas and fire pits, a sunset lounge with chef’s kitchen and private dining area and a penthouse-level sundeck. Rents start at $1,639 for a studio and go up to $6,055 for a three-bedroom unit. 

850 Boca

850 Broken Sound Parkway


850 Boca, which welcomed its first tenants in November, includes 370 one- to three-bedroom apartments as well as three-bedroom townhomes. Community amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, beach-entry saltwater pool with cabanas, billiards lounge, game room, tot lot and dog park. Rents range from $1,771 to $3,500.

Allure Boca Raton

6750 Congress Ave.


Tenants have begun moving into the 282 units at Allure, which range from one to three bedrooms. Amenities include a zero-edged pool with cabanas and hammocks, a dog park, fitness center, yoga studio, chef’s demonstration kitchen, putting green and electric-car charging station. Rents range from $1,726 to $3,252. 

Altis Boca Raton 

5500 N. Military Trail 


The first tenants moved into Altis in July. The 398 units feature designer cabinets, quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances, among other luxury accouterments. Project amenities include a fitness center, game room, private spa treatment rooms, theater, business center, indoor plunge pool, nine-hole putting green and pet spa. Rents for the one- to three-bedroom units range from $1,815 to $3,520. 


Icon Las Olas

500 E. Las Olas Blvd.


Opening to its first residents this fall, the 45-story Icon Las Olas features 272 one- to three-bedroom units ranging from 960 to 1,926 square feet. Unit features include Italian cabinetry, quartz countertops, Sub-Zero and Bosch appliances and soaking tubs in the master baths. Project amenities include a fitness center, Pilates and spinning studios, a business center, club room, two pools, a spa, wine-tasting salon and a “Morning News Café,” where residents can grab coffee and pastries and catch up on the news. There will also be 15,000 square feet of retail space, with two restaurants. Rents range from $2,200 to over $7,500. 

Modera Port Royale

3333 Port Royale Drive South


Modera opened for its first residents in April. Its 555 units, which include studios and one-, two- and three-bedrooms, feature 42-inch custom cabinets, French-door refrigerators, plank-style tile flooring and movable chef islands. Community amenities include a boat-viewing room, two amenity decks with outdoor kitchens and barbecues, a fitness center, pool, clubhouse, game rooms, business center, movie theater and cyber café. There are also 42 leasable dock slips that can accommodate boats up to 40 feet. Rents range from $1,725 to over $3,600.

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