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Real Estate Meets Crypto at the Waldorf Astoria

In any timeline of luxury hospitality, the original Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, which was completed in 1931, stands tall. For more than three decades, it literally was the world’s tallest and largest hotel, with a towering, delicious history: Its very inception was the result of a fierce feud between two branches of the Astor family.

Renowned for its galas and philanthropic spectacles, the Waldorf Astoria was home to Herbert Hoover and Frank Sinatra. By midcentury, the iconic property, handpicked by Conrad Hilton, was being managed—then owned—by Hilton Hotels; in 2006, the hotel became the flagship for the Hilton sub-brand that bears its venerable name. Now, with the Manhattan property in the midst of a six-year renovation (its reopening is expected in 2023), the brand has broken ground again, both literally and figuratively—this time in Miami.

In a nod to its indelible name and past, the project, designed by Carlos Ott and Sieger Suarez, will be tallest residential tower south of New York City. In addition, a less tangible but no less significant marker has been laid down: Developer PMG announced a partnership with leading U.S.-regulated cryptocurrency platform FTX to accept cryptocurrency for purchasing residences at the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami (and at PMG’s E11even Hotel & Residences).

The developer is the first in the United States to accept cryptocurrency for pre-construction condominium deposits. With great fanfare, PMG and FTX hosted a real estate and cryptocurrency roundtable event at the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami sales gallery, led by FTX’s vice president of business development Avinash Dabir. This announcement represents a mutually beneficial synergy encompassing FTX’s first entry into the real estate market, further establishing PMG as a trailblazer in the real estate industry, and FTX as an innovator in the cryptocurrency financial services space.

“Our goal is to get people comfortable with cryptocurrency,” Dabir says. “For real estate professionals, we want to help them understand how cryptocurrency can work in the context of their profession. Right now, the opportunity is to purchase real estate with cryptocurrency and FTX can facilitate this. However, this is only the start and so much more can be done.” He credits PMG for being out in front: “PMG deserves a lot of credit for being a pioneer in crypto real estate. They saw an opportunity and moved fast. That’s the FTX way as well, which is what makes this a great partnership.” Of the event, he says, “The response was amazing. My inbox is flooded with developers, brokers and buyers/sellers interested in learning more.”

Founded in 1991 by Kevin Maloney, PMG has grown from a local real estate operator based in New York City to a national investment, development, and asset management firm focused on large-scale multifamily and for-sale condominium product, as well as select high-performing commercial holdings. Today, PMG is run by managing partners Ryan Shear and Dan Kaplan, who operate projects across Florida, New York, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee and Georgia. Their vertically integrated team has departments specializing in acquisitions and land use, design and architecture, construction management, capital markets, asset management, sales and marketing, as well as significant in-house legal and accounting capabilities.

Says Shear, “As FTX continues to grow its presence in the Miami area, we couldn’t think of a more ideal time to work with such a prestigious cryptocurrency exchange platform. We foresee this partnership with FTX bringing increased security for our cryptocurrency payment processes offered to buyers due to their extremely diverse portfolio and impressive experience.”

To FTX president Brett Harrison, the association with a prominent, legacy name like Waldorf Astoria should erase any whiff of trendiness or transience: “Alongside FTX, cryptocurrency’s presence on the global stage only continues to grow, and this is just the latest development in that process. We are excited to add such prestigious institutions to our roster of partners and increase consumer access to digital assets and digital asset-related services. At FTX, we believe that crypto is the future of finance and strive to do our part on a daily basis to make this future come to fruition.”

Located at 300 Biscayne Blvd., the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami, led by PMG, along with Toronto-based private equity firm Greybrook Realty Partners, global investment company Mohari Hospitality and S2 Development, will be managed by Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria arm. The tower will rise 100 stories and 1,049 feet above Biscayne Bay and will consist of 360 private residences as well as 205 hotel rooms and suites within a five-star property. Signature spaces will include Peacock Alley (an homage to the New York location’s dining venue); a specialty restaurant; indoor/outdoor pre-function and function spaces; meetings and boardrooms; a resort-style pool deck with private cabanas; and a spa and fitness center.

The development marks the debut of one of the world’s most iconic hospitality brands, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, in the Miami market. Residences start at $1 million, with sales and marketing being led in-house by PMG Residential, including Aura Aragon, Alejandra Castillo, Karine Carvalho, Daiana Quiceno and Christian Tupper, in collaboration with Fredrik Eklund, Julia Spillman and John Gomes of Douglas Elliman’s Eklund/Gomes Team.

Meanwhile, E11even Hotel & Residences Miami, centrally located in Downtown Miami’s Park West District, developed by PMG and E11even Partners, will be designed by internationally renowned Sieger Suarez Architects and feature finished residences and hotel rooms by award-winning design firm AvroKO. E11even Hotel & Residences Miami encompasses 375 fully furnished residences.

Each unit comes equipped with fully integrated “smart building” features and 24/11-style amenities, including celebrity-chef dining experiences throughout the property, a casino-style sports lounge, an E11even’s Members rooftop experience, and a world-class wellness center curated by Chopra Spa & Studio. Pricing starts at $300,000, reflecting studios, one- and two-bedrooms. A limited penthouse collection and two presidential suites offer prospective buyers a sexy new way to pay—and a sure conversation-starter.

Photo by World Red Eye

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.