Condo: The Next Generation

March 1, 2016

Ocean Land Investments

By: Editor
Published date: Mar. 1, 2016

A new Ocean Land Investments project isn’t your father’s condo – literally.

A new waterfront condo development is looking for a new kind of buyer – namely, the kids of the people who traditionally buy waterfront condos in Fort Lauderdale.

“I wanted to develop a project that the younger generation could relate to,” Ocean Land Investment’s Marc Andre Roy says of AquaVue. The eight-condo Las Olas Isles development is expected to break ground next month. “It’s a much more open floor plan,” he says, describing master bedrooms with 12-foot sliding doors that open to a living area, and sliding doors in dens as well. “The floor plan’s very, very open – we’re trying to capture a younger demographic than the other Aqua projects.” By “the other Aqua projects,” he means AquaMar Las Olas, AquaLuna Las Olas and AquaVita Las Olas, as well as AquaBlu, which will be farther north, near the Galleria.

“All the other five projects that we have … have been developed for the baby boomer,” says Jean Francois Roy, a principal at Ocean Land and Marc Andre’s father. Their typical buyers live nearby the condo they’re buying, in houses that have become unnecessarily large since the kids moved out. Jean Francois reckons 80 to 85-percent of their projects are for boomers – but that there is another market, and it’s one his son understands. The generational shift is playing out within the company.

“It’s his first project,” Jean Francois says. “He’s doing it on the same area [as the other three Las Olas projects], but he wants to do something that he can relate to. I’m coming from the [background of the] typical guy form the area, from the big house.

“What is the beauty with AquaVue? It is developed for the need of the new younger professional executives who are looking for a place. But the interest of the young professional is not the same to the interest of the baby boomer.”

To that end, one thing AquaVue condos won’t have is a kitchen that’s as big as in most new condos. When people are downsizing from a large waterfront house, Jean Francois says, one place where they typically don’t want to downsize is in the kitchen. But younger professionals tend to be less about the big kitchen, more about socializing and enjoying the Florida lifestyle.

“They are more active with the water, with the boat,” he says. While the waterfront condo market will undoubtedly continue to be marketed mainly at retirees and downsizers, Marc Andre believes people even this market can benefit from observing trends in Fort Lauderdale.

“I feel like Fort Lauderdale has become much younger,” he says. “I’ve seen it in the downtown area. It will work in this (waterfront) market.”

In fact, Ocean Land is currently acquiring more property on the same street with an eye towards two or three projects aimed at that same market.

“The isles bring a very unique lifestyle,” Marc Andre says, citing walkability among other things. “You’re seeing a much more active lifestyle for the young people. I think it will be a trend.”

His father agrees. Not every condo has to be the same or attract the same kind of buyer. “I’m very happy that my son is not trying to do something like me,” he says.

“That’s why kids make fun of their parents all the time.”

More at Fort Lauderdale Magazine.