Two Singer Island condos hope for merry holiday sales season

Vista Blue and 5000 North Ocean hope to sell luxury condos to seasonal visitors
Two new Singer Island condominiums are hoping the holiday season brings them jolly buyers with fat wallets and a yearn for the good life. 
VistaBlue Singer Island and 5000 North Ocean are practically putting out the milk and cookies for seasonal visitors descending on Palm Beach County. 
This coming winter season is an important selling time for VistaBlue, the first post-crash condo tower built on the island. 
The 19-story project started construction a year ago. It features just 58 units, which range in price from just under $2 million to nearly $8 million for penthouses. The property is at 3730 N. Ocean Drive. 
VistaBlue is set to be completed in January 2018, said Randall Tuller, executive manager of Third Palm Capital, VistaBlue’s Dallas-based developer. 
Meanwhile, Kolter Group is looking for a big seasonal sales push at 5000 North Ocean, another boutique condominium on Singer Island. 
This 19-story property is only 48 units but all units face the ocean. Prices also start at just under $2 million and go up to about $4.5 million. The luxury condo, at 5000 N. Ocean Drive, is set on four acres with an acre of private beach. 
5000 North Ocean hasn’t yet started construction, but it’s already garnering buyer interest since marketing efforts began in May. So far, it has five reservations, said Bob Vail, president of Kolter Urban in West Palm Beach. 
Very few condominiums have been built in Palm Beach County since the real estate crash, with most developers opting to build apartments instead. 
Foreign buyers are fueling the condo construction craze in Miami-Dade County, but foreign buyers are not as prevalent in Palm Beach County. As a result, the condo market is not deep here and relies mostly on U.S. retirees or local residents who are downsizing. 
There are exceptions. Luxury condominiums on the water are in demand, developers and real estate brokers say. 
That’s why Kolter is buildingits third tower of the Water Club condominium in North Palm Beach. Meanwhile, construction is underway atFlagler Investors’ ultra-luxuryThe Bristolcondominium at 1100 S. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. Both properties overlook the water. 
Vail said he doesn’t foresee many foreign buyers for 5000 North Ocean, although there’s always a “smattering” for Kolter properties. 
Instead, Vail expects most 5000 North Ocean buyers will come from the Northeast U.S, and parts of Palm Beach County. In particular, he thinks there will be interest from nearby residents who want to downsize from their country club homes in places such as Old Palm Golf Club or Mirasol, both in Palm Beach Gardens. 
Once 5000 North Ocean has about 12 or 15 contracts in hand, Kolter will break ground. The condominium should take two years to complete. 
Kolter’s approach is standard. Because of bank financing requirements, most condo developers do not start construction unless they obtain a minimum number of preconstruction sales contracts first. 
But VistaBlue is an exception. The developer started building the project in 2015 using its own money. 
By self-financing, “We don’t have to deal with the red tape,” Tuller said. 
Also unlike other real estate developers, Tuller said Third Palm won’t touch a penny of the buyers’ 20 percent deposits held in escrow until closing. 
“We don’t want to use our buyers’ money,” Tuller said. “Developers should take the risks. We don’t like to offload the risk to our buyers.” 
Thus far, VistaBlue has clocked only a handful of sales. But Tuller expects to get a big boost this season. 
The reason: The project recently obtained permission to sell in New York. It’s also now using real estate powerhouse Douglas Elliman for marketing and sales. 
In addition to drawing buyers from the local market, “New York is very important to us,” Tuller said. ““These northern markets are quite strong. And Florida is still growing.” 
With only 58 units, VistaBlue will feature just four units per floor. The top floor penthouse features only two units. 
Amenities include an elevated pool terrace and sundeck overlooking the ocean; cabanas; a spa pool and two gas-fire pits; plus a fitness center and saunas. Also, a private beach. 
Models are expected to be ready this December and January, Tuller said. 
Meanwhile, Kolter continues to market units in the third tower of the Water Club, at 1280 U.S. 1 in North Palm Beach. The company has sold about five of 30 units in this tower, which features larger units than the first two towers. 
Vail said sales have been sluggish this year, perhaps due to uncertainty about the presidential election, as well as the rocky stock market in the first quarter. 
“But everyone in our business is cautiously optimistic that 2017 is going to be better than 2016, with pent-up demand from people sitting on the sidelines,” Vail said. 
At press time, with the stock market in record territory, it seemed like a good omen for the coming year.