Impact of Messi’s Move to Miami on the Real Estate MarketJune 9, 2023
Lionel Messi Chooses Miami as His New Home, Igniting Real Estate Buzz
In a momentous decision, Lionel Messi has declined an enormous offer from Saudi Arabia, rumored to be close to half a billion dollars per year, to join Inter Miami, the soccer club co-owned by David Beckham. This move not only propels Miami’s aspirations to become a prominent global sporting destination but also has the potential to attract other superstar athletes and their devoted and affluent fans. The magnitude of this moment cannot be overstated, even for the real estate industry.
Cyril Bijaoui from the Corcoran Group expressed, “This instantly positions Inter Miami as the premier destination. It also generates even more enthusiasm among Latin Americans about having a place in Miami. Messi is revered as a deity to them.” Messi himself conveyed to Mundo Deportivo, “I have made the decision to go to Miami. If my time in Barcelona didn’t pan out, I wanted to leave Europe, step out of the spotlight, and focus on myself.”
Messi’s Highly Anticipated Debut at Drive Pink Stadium Nears, While His Miami Residences Multiply
According to the Miami Herald, Lionel Messi will first appear at Drive Pink Stadium in Fort Lauderdale this July. As he transitions to his new life in Miami, he may initially find solace in his current residence at the oceanfront Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach, which he acquired in 2019 when Inter Miami reportedly pursued him.
Presently, Messi owns three units in the Sunny Isles area. His investment includes a $5 million acquisition on the 47th floor of the Porsche Design Tower and units on the 40th and 43rd floors of the nearby Trump Royale Tower, each purchased for just over $1 million. The allure of the Porsche Design Tower lies in its unique feature—the patented Dezervator car elevator—which appeals to celebrities and athletes like Messi. As Dezer explained, it grants residents the freedom to enter and exit their apartments without relying on anyone’s assistance, recognizing that even celebrities prefer to avoid unnecessary dressing-up routines for a simple outing.
More than a year after acquiring his Sunny Isles units, Messi’s family invested $7.3 million in a ninth-floor condo at Regalia, another splendid oceanfront tower in the same area. However, given Messi’s status as the Greatest of All Time (GOAT), more than these properties may adapt to his needs; with three children and his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, Messi’s previous mansion in the Barcelona suburb of Castelldefels showcased lavish amenities such as a football field, a swimming pool, an indoor gym, and a children’s playground.
Considering these circumstances, one can’t help but wonder what grand opportunities and exclusive deals lie ahead for the football legend in his quest for the perfect abode that befits his stature.
About two years ago, Lionel Messi opted to rent a stunning waterfront mansion on Key Biscayne, with a monthly price tag of $200,000. Cyril Bijaoui of the Corcoran Group predicts that Messi may continue his residence in Key Biscayne or explore the appealing neighborhood of South Coral Gables. According to real estate brokers, superstar athletes like Messi prioritize privacy and convenience when selecting their homes. Holly Meyer Lucas from Compass, who recently assisted Max Scherzer, the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball, in purchasing a waterfront estate in Jupiter, explained that money is not a primary concern for these accomplished athletes. After enduring the challenging journey of grinding through the minor leagues, they want to avoid unnecessary complications. Lucas noted, “When they have a ton of money, they just don’t want to deal with the bullshit.”
Although Messi’s deal with Inter Miami is still being finalized, reports from The Athletic suggest that it could include an unprecedented revenue-sharing agreement with the MLS, Apple, and league sponsor Adidas. Given the current Inter Miami stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Messi might consider searching for a larger residence in the suburban areas of Broward County, such as Weston, Davie, or Southwest Ranches. Ben Moss, head of Compass’ sports and entertainment division, highlighted that most athletes desire a “man cave” in their homes. This includes amenities like converted gyms equipped with steam rooms, saunas, cold plunge pools, hyperbaric chambers, bars, and conference spaces with large sports-bar-sized TVs. Home theaters also appeal significantly to these athletes, providing a dedicated space where they can relax, watch films, and separate themselves from the outside world.
To exemplify the luxurious standards sought by athletes, the former Pinecrest mansion of retired All-Star baseball player David “Big Papi” Ortiz featured a sports bar adorned with a panel of nine high-definition screens and a custom home theater with an ambiance akin to a galaxy. This impressive estate was recently sold for $10.6 million. South Florida has long been a magnet for notable celebrities and superstar athletes. Even after LeBron James left the Miami Heat and sold his waterfront mansion in Coconut Grove, he couldn’t resist the allure of the region and eventually purchased a condo at the Estates at Acqualina luxury condo project in Sunny Isles Beach. Furthermore, Miami’s addition to the Formula 1 circuit last year solidified its status as a star-studded destination.
In South Florida, it is commonplace for individuals to fly privately and request private tables, as Lucas emphasized. Being famous in this vibrant region is considered entirely normal. Please note that a previous version of this story incorrectly identified the location of some of Messi’s units.