Portofino Island’s Final Phase: The Last Slice of Paradise
It’s a superb mash-up when the natural beauty of sandy white beaches and the waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay coexist with the indulgences of heated pools, enchanting landscaping, and superior architecture. The five-tower, Italian-Mediterranean style, exclusive island residences sitting on 28 beautiful acres of pristine Pensacola Beach known as Portofino Island is getting closer to full build-out as the final plans–first class in every facet–are ready. If luxurious waterfront living with built-in fun is your aim, don’t delay. The final phase of will be the most sought after phase on the property and will contend with any swank build in South Florida. But, the best of the best happens to be the last, as development caps on Pensacola Beach have only deemed a limited number of additional units for development.
Rising demand and evaporating supply makes investing in the final phase of Portofino, a no-brainer. Those that have already seen the success of the developments of the Levin-Rinke partnership, have dived in head first with the property’s final condominium towers, towers six and seven, by placing a refundable $20,000 retainer to reserve a unit before construction even begins, with the promise of the final phase being the last, the best, and the grand finale. The final phase will be the cornerstone of Portofino, focusing on health, fitness, relaxation, recreation and adventure, all centered around the quaint Portofino community that has become a lifestyle for its residents.
Although condominium prices and real estate, in general, are still recovering from the real estate bubble in 2007, Rinke has no doubts that towers 6 and 7 will be the most alluring pieces of luxury real estate on the market. But, he looks at Pensacola Beach with a different eye than most developers, yet in some ways, the same. Rinke has a deep appreciation for what Pensacola Beach is, and will, become. He grew up in California with a love of the ocean and surfing. When we showed up to his office to interview him, we saw him drive up in an antique Jeep, barefoot, carrying his shoes as he ran up to the office doors. And, at some point in our interview, he looks out of the gulf view window and says, “Surfs up by the way!”
So, you’ve got this uber-successful developer on the one hand, yet in person, a surfer-guy at heart who not only loves Pensacola Beach just as much as the locals, but he lives and embraces the lifestyle. Talking to him, you really don’t get the sense that he’s a developer in the way that many beach locals have the idea that high-rise developers are ready to plunder the beach and return back home with the loot. Rinke states, “I love Pensacola and the value we have here. I grew up in California. I look at this place differently; this is just so ridiculously cheap, all of Pensacola, not just the beach. And this combination that we have of downtown urban-cool, with this super low-density beach and an award-winning beach, it’s unrivaled. Where else do you have a beach where 82% of it is National Seashore, and it’s untouchable, leaving 18% of the beach that you can build on?” Rinke recognizes the value of Pensacola Beach not only from an investment standpoint for those interested in making Pensacola Beach, home, but as one of the most unique, protected, and rare beaches in the world.
But the real power behind those numbers is that 99% of that 18% of beach that is deemed available for building, is already developed, leaving actually only 1% of available real estate property on Pensacola Beach, period. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) got involved 40 years ago and designated Pensacola Beach as a DCA capped beach. There are only 234 additional units left for development on Pensacola Beach from Portofino’s last twelve acres, all the way to Palm Beach Club. In other words, although Portofino has room to build 450 more units, there will only be 234. Over the years, many have tried to get the cap on Pensacola Beach lifted, but the truth is, is that it would take an act of Congress, and even then, it wouldn’t pass. While beaches to the west and east of Pensacola Beach have seen constant development in recent years, Pensacola Beach has seen relatively little. The fact that Pensacola Beach is the lowest density beach on the panhandle is what makes it unique. It will continue to be more and more valuable. Rising demand, evaporating supply, and increasing rental rates prove that this is an incredible opportunity to live on Pensacola Beach, and as an added bonus, in the most unique property.
Ft. Lauderdale based Adache Group Architects have been behind the design concept of each tower, which is the striking triangular design that allows for views of the gulf, the bay, as well as the road down to central Pensacola Beach. The new tower will have architectural features that mimic the previous five towers including the all-concrete construction and hurricane-laminated glass, which allows for 100% peace-of-mind for owners. The new towers will have more glass, larger units, and many other upgrades. As a global and ecologically conscious design firm, it has been a goal of the Adache Group to remain environmentally sensitive throughout the entire planning and building process. The layout of Portofino Island included a design with a football field distance between each building to ensure that the complex could blend in with mother nature. Every room has a water view, and the unique triangular design doubles the width to be able to be 40 ft. units to maximize scenic views. One owner state that she has to go into her bathroom and close the door, to not be able to see the water!
Each of the units in the new phase will feature all-embracing beach-to-bay views, floor to ceiling windows, and an expansive outdoor living area accessed through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Each unit will exhibit an enormous designer kitchen for entertaining, complete with a sit-down wine bar. Bedrooms will have his and her walk-in closets, the master bedroom will have and a spa-like bathroom, complete with rain showers and oversized bathtubs. The third bedroom will feature a lockout configuration allowing second homeowners to enjoy their home while earning lockout income.
The towers of the 12-acre final phase of Portofino units will be located at the end of the property, extending the resort community right up to the Santa Rosa Island National Seashore. A world of luxuries await residents with approximately 40,000 square feet of indoor amenities including a world-class conference center, a cascading gulf front restaurant and lounge, a boutique marketplace, and a fitness and wellness center. There are plans for a specialized physician to be on-site that will personalize a health and wellness plan for residents, utilizing state-of-the-art diagnostic testing. There will be an exhibition kitchen with a chef demonstrating cooking lessons with nutritious foods, with the added bonus of an in-house market stocked with the organic foods to make those recipes.
An additional 40,000 square feet of outdoor amenities featuring an elevated deck, five amazing pools, waterfalls, fountains, cabanas, a children’s play area and even an events pavilion with wedding gazebo all centrally located in Portofino’s exclusive and unique beach-to-bay community.
Both new towers will have bridge access directly to all of these amenities in addition to having their own beachfront, private, elevated pool. Each tower pool will be elevated over 20 feet and feature an infinity edge. The pool will be Olympic sized and feature a hot tub and a fire pit to create relaxation and entertainment aside from the central amenities offered, beach-to-bay, such as kayaking, surfing, stand-up-paddle, wave runners, electric bikes, golf carts, pontoon boating and so much more.
Pre-construction prices range from $1.1 million for a 2,626 square foot, two-bedroom unit, to $5 million for a 6,500 square foot, four-bedroom penthouse. Condo selection begins summer 2019, groundbreaking starts with a 30% down at hard contract in spring 2020, with completion anticipated in summer 2023.
Part of the allure of living on the coast is that you can always reinvent yourself, reconnect with the natural world, and recharge your batteries. Many poets, painters, and sailors have affirmed the feeling of wellness and peace that they experience when they’re in, or near, bodies of water. Now scientists are quantifying the cognitive and physical benefits of water, too. It has been proven that living by coasts leads to an improved sense of physical health and well-being. Moreover, contact with water induces a meditative state that makes us happier, healthier, calmer, more creative, and more capable of awe.
There’s no better place to make a fresh start or dream, than Portofino Island’s final phase. By living on the property, you not only invest in one of the most unique eco-designs ever to be built, you invest in your health, fitness, relaxation, adventure and wellness. Portofino Island truly is a lifestyle property and the last slice of paradise is waiting for you at the end of Pensacola Beach.