My son spotted an advert for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. “What’s an ice-cream company doing running hotels?” he asked. “They’re probably really expensive because the ice-cream’s way overpriced.” Drawing the attention of potential guests from the ranks of dessert-loving teenagers is clearly something Mövenpick is now perfectly positioned to achieve, and while “Swiss quality” wasn’t the first association that came to my son’s mind, the high price connection was spot on.
Of course, Mövenpick actually has expertise in both fields – the ice cream came first along with the restaurants, and the hotels followed. Sometimes, however, a well-known brand name from one industry can lend its reputation to a product in a wholly unrelated sector. One such brand looking to expand its sphere of influence is Aston Martin.
The British sports car manufacturer is now entering its second century, having endured a turbulent past which involved going bankrupt no fewer than seven times, as well as achieving iconic status through its association with James Bond. The Aston Martin DB5 was the star of Goldfinger in 1964, while The Living Daylights saw Bond driving a V8 Vantage in 1987.
Having recently returned to profitability, the company is currently aiming to establish itself as a global luxury brand, extending its interests beyond automobiles through a series of licensing arrangements. In one such project, Aston Martin is working in partnership with G&G Business Developments LLC on the construction of the Aston Martin Residences in downtown Miami – and just like the cars, it’s going to be really expensive.
The Residences are priced in the range of $500,000 to $7,000,000, while the Penthouses are slated to go from $14,000,000 to $50,000,000. For the smallest of the available units, the price per square foot will be just under $3,000, making it twice as costly as any of the latest of its luxury rivals in Miami’s condo market.
According to the Miami Downtown Development Authority’s mid-year residential market study by Integra Realty Resources, the most expensive new condo is the Zaha Hadid-designed One Thousand Museum, with an average price of $1,287 per square foot, followed by Echo Brickell, at $1,258 per square foot. The average for all new condos in greater downtown Miami was $685 a square foot, so the Aston Martin Residences will truly represent another level.
The plans are for a 66-storey tower at the heart of the Miami waterfront. The building takes its design cues from Aston Martin’s own vehicles and will incorporate a total of 391 units, from studios up to the five-bedroom Penthouses with private pools. The Residences are situated in three sections, with the River Residences from floors 3-14, the Panoramic Residences from floors 15-45, and the Sky Residences from floors 46-51.
The Sky Amenities are located on the 55th floor and include a fitness center and infinity pool. An art gallery, movie theater, and business lounge are among the other facilities available to residents. Moving even higher to floors 56-65, we reach the Penthouses, the most expensive of which comes with a complimentary $2.3 million Aston Martin Vulcan.
When the Aston Martin Residences open in 2021, the building may dominate the Miami skyline, but the brand-name concept will be far from unique. The recent launches of the Armani Casa, by Giorgio Armani, and the Porsche Design Tower, which features a car elevator that allows owners to keep their cars in their living rooms, are part of a strengthening trend for luxury automotive brands and fashion houses to expand into real-estate.
With Aston Martin breaking into a branded residence sector which has traditionally been dominated by the leading hotel brands, it’s hard to imagine James Bond staying anywhere else.