Ugo Colombo Brings His Luxury Development Expertise To Grove Isle

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Miami's vibrant skyline owes much of its transformation to the pioneering vision of Ugo Colombo. As one of South Florida's most respected and accomplished residential and commercial developers, Colombo's influence is woven into the architectural fabric of the city. Born in Milan, Italy in 1961, he embarked on a journey that led him to the United States in 1983 and ultimately propelled him to the forefront of Miami's real estate scene.

Colombo's remarkable career began during his studies at the University of Miami when he ventured into the acquisition and sale of prominent Brickell Avenue buildings, including the Imperial and Villa Regina Condominiums. It was through these early successes that he established his company, CMC Group, and turned his focus towards the design and construction of luxurious high-rise condominiums that grace the Miami skyline. With an unwavering commitment to timeless style, opulent luxury, and meticulous attention to detail, Colombo set the stage for Miami's real estate evolution over the past three decades.

From the groundbreaking Bristol Tower on Brickell Avenue, which ignited the luxury residential boom in Miami, to the iconic Santa Maria tower that reshaped the Brickell skyline, Colombo's architectural masterpieces have left a mark on the city. Moreover, his contributions extended beyond the residential sector, as he played a pivotal role in the renaissance of Miami Beach's South Beach community by redeveloping two of Ocean Drive's cherished Art Deco hotels, The Waldorf and Casa Grande. Today, Colombo continues to leave his mark on Miami's landscape, with highly sought-after developments such as Porto Vita in Aventura, Grovenor House in Coconut Grove, and Brickell Flatiron in Miami's Financial District, each epitomizing luxury and retaining their value in the market.

Here, he speaks with Haute Residence about his newest project, Vita at Grove Isle, and what he loves about Miami.

Vita at Grove Isle

Why did you choose Grove Isle for your next development? 

We knew that developing on the last remaining waterfront parcel in Coconut Grove, Miami’s top trending neighborhood of the moment, would result in a spectacular product. There are very few developments in Miami that offer panoramic bay views from every single unit. Grove Isle also has a renowned pedigree of old-world glamour and charm, something we plan to bring back through our renovations on the island. The location also offers sought-after exclusivity and privacy, being only accessible by private bridge or personal boat.

What makes Vita stand out from other projects on the market? 

In the sea of new development in Miami, we think Vita’s quality will be a standout feature. To achieve this, CMC Group’s development philosophy has always been to focus on building one or two projects at a time. This way, there is no detail that’s overlooked, from book-matched marble to hand-selected finishes directly from vendors in Italy, it’s truly a passion project. Combine that with the estate-sized residences, and penthouse collection, all with rooftop pool decks, you really can’t find anything else that compares. Being adjacent to the water is yet another perk, as the island’s private marina also makes boating, one of South Florida’s biggest draws, easily accessible to residents. Vita will feel like you have all the comforts of living in a single-family home coupled with the convenience of living in a condo residence.

How do you choose where to develop? 

I believe in investing in neighborhoods. Knowing which ones have potential due to buyer demand is crucial to our development strategy. I saw how Brickell was primed to be Miami’s Wall Street, leading to a need for more luxury residential inventory. Bay Harbor and Grove Isle’s waterfront locales made them big draws for people relocating to the Magic City post-pandemic. At the end of the day, it’s all about location and a premium product that is a cut above the rest.

How do you stay ahead of the curve in development? 

I don’t believe in following trends; being timeless transcends all else. There will always be demand for high-quality, sophisticated luxury condos in prime locations.

Onda Residences

Where do you see Miami’s real estate in the next 10 or 20 years? 

Miami’s current real estate and business boom will result in long-lasting growth where more companies will decide to relocate here or open a satellite office, resulting in a steady stream of buyers. The arrival of tech and finance companies will further make Miami an enticing locale to live and do business in. No matter the market, there will always be a desire for a lifestyle in the sand and sun with no state income tax.

How does The Collection connect with your real estate development goals? 

High-end buyers seek luxury in all things they purchase. Continuing the conversation from real estate to transportation and vice versa ensures that all product is up to a certain standard.

Why do you love Miami? 

It’s the most dynamic city in the world. I’ve been developing in Miami for three decades now and there’s always something new to be discovered. As more people continue to move here, I think the city will further take shape with the additional influence, making it the most vibrant cultural mecca in America that appeals to locals and the international crowd.

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