By: Ismael Rodriguez

Dezer Development is among a long list of real estate developers that have brought an ample string of luxury skyscrapers to Sunny Isles Beach over the years, converting this tiny barrier island town into a billionaire’s playground and one of Miami-Dade’s priciest places to buy a home. 

Harvey Baker Graves, a private investor, founded the island in 1920 and envisioned Sunny Isles would one day match Venice in its aesthetic real estate and scenic beauty. In the six decades that followed, developers transformed the island into a quiet tourist town during the ‘50s and ‘60s, welcoming those tourists to choose from more than 30 recently built motels alongside Collins Avenue, including the first two-story motel in the U.S.  

After the town was incorporated in 1997, Sunny Isles attracted more residential developers, who transitioned past the old motel properties and ventured into the real estate boom of the early 2000s by introducing high-rising condominiums and hotels. Among these builders was Dezer Development, which signed licensing agreements with the Trump Organization to brand its towers with the Trump name.

In 2012, Dezer Development pushed the bar forward by signing a master licensing agreement with Porsche Design Group to built a 60-story tower, the first Porsche Tower in the U.S., geared for high-end tenants with a passion for luxury cars and living. The Porsche Design Tower, which features 132-penthouse style units, each with its own garage that transports automobiles to the ground floor through a bespoke car elevator, was completed last year.

Dezer Development’s Porsche Tower resonated with many developers, urging them to find innovative ways to create more luxury properties in the area. For example, Turnberry Associates hired architect Carlos Zapata to design Turnberry Ocean Club, which includes high-end restaurants, movie theatre, a boardroom, a lounge, multiple swimming ppols, two fitness centers, a dog walk, salon and full spa.

“Sunny Isles is becoming the place to live on the ocean,” Turnberry’s president of residential development Daniel Riordan told the press. “You can’t develop anywhere else to the scale we are developing in Sunny Isles.”