Londoners may be familiar with the concept of the integral garage - though not in a 650ft-tall apartment block. But that’s the unique offering on Miami's Sunny Isles Beach seafront where the 60-storey Porsche Design Tower launched at the weekend (Saturday).
Owners of its 132 apartments - priced from $5 million (£4 million) to $32.5 million (£26 million) - each have at least two garage spaces inside their flats, made possible, says the glass tower's developer, by the world’s first car lift able to transport both a vehicle and its driver and passengers.
Porsche Design, an offshoot of the German car company, says it has begun building similar projects in Frankfurt and Brazil and that London is now within its sights.
“In London there are obvious parking problems but also the city appeals to wealthy buyers who love both their expensive cars and their privacy," says Porsche Design Group CEO Jan Becker. “With this car elevator, apartment owners can drive straight off the street and don’t need to disembark until they are safely inside their apartment, however high up it is.”
The lift reads each car’s number plate and automatically selects the floor the vehicle is to be delivered to. Owners drive into one of three lift cabins and turn off their engines. The car is then raised to the correct floor and lifted in and out of flats on a platform, so engines never run inside the apartments.
Dubbed the Dezerator after the concept’s creator, developer Gil Dezer, the elevator idea first met fierce resistance from Miami’s fire officials.
“They insisted that no tower of this height could have cars parked in the middle of it with tanks full of fuel in case a vehicle blew up,” says Dezer. “We made the lift shaft bomb proof and the glass-walled garages inside apartments have a two-hour ‘burn time’ giving owners plenty of time to leave the building if anything happens. With all these safety features the fire department finally relented.”
The Porsche Design Group creates everything from tableware to sports equipment inspired by the familiar stainless steel and aluminium look of the iconic cars.
Its Florida foray into residential tower design is intended to appeal to young wealthy male buyers looking for the ultimate bachelor pad. Every apartment balcony has a private swimming pool, while interiors are a macho mix of greys and browns with dark leather floors and the word’s first carbon fibre kitchen units - another spin-off from the motor industry.
The tower has a private spa, its own private restaurant, a clubhouse with racing car simulators snd a resident “car concierge” who will maintain residents’ vehicles, rotating their tyres if they are left for long periods.
Dezer says 90 per cent of the flats have already sold, mostly to overseas buyers from the Middle East, Russia and Brazil.
Service charges at the tower start at $3,800 (£3,000) a month. One penthouse remains for sale at $32.5 million, with four floors, 20,000 sq ft of living space and a garage for 11 cars.