MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A few years ago economists predicted it would take a decade to move all the condos built during the boom in Downtown Miami.

Now it appears all of it will be bought up within the next years thanks to foreign buyers in South America.

Developers have adopted a strategy to attract South America’s wealthiest condos and apartments in Downtown Miami by redecorating them to their tastes.

Paulo Bacchi, a Brazilian interior designer and owner of Artefacto is now designing units in the Marquis Residences across the street from the American Airlines Arena. In addition to luxurious finishes to match the luxurious views, Bacchi adds some special touches.

“We have a hidden projector with high-definition which is the same direction as the view,” said Bacchi.

Bacchi proudly showed off his #2.3 million model unit to CBS4’s David Sutta, a unit which came with a wall of five wine cellars.

So why is Miami such a hot location for people who live south of the Tropic of Cancer.  According to Bacchi, safety is a big issue for successful Latin Americans in their countries and Miami is a great place to enjoy safety and wealth.

“People are making money but they cannot enjoy the success. They cannot go with convertible cars. They cannot go with their watches,” said Bacchi.  “They cannot walk in the streets in most of the big cities because of safety issues. So I think Miami is very important because they can enjoy their successes.”

For developer The Related group, Americans are just 13 percent of sales while South Americans account for 69 percent of the market. The break down being Argentina (27%), Brazil (18%), and Venezuela (17%), Columbia (7%) and Mexico (3%).

Did the foreign investors save the day?

According to broker Edgardo Defortuna, they did.

Defortuna, who has moved thousands of units Downtown, is hoping Bacchi’s designs appeal to South American style and will help him sell condos in the newly opened Paramount.

While it may seem like couches and unusual art, the bare unit in the Marquis which Bacchi used for his model didn’t sell for a year. The post Artefacto models are now at 35 sales and counting.

“It makes a 100% difference,” Defortuna explained. “When they come to an empty building, they don’t have much of an imagination, so when you show them this they can start imagining themselves living here the next day.”

How much does all this cost? Well they say it’s a 20% premium to have it outfitted on top of the condo price; making it $100,000 and up.


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