Identifying and building on a popular trend in upscale beach and big city developments, Jason Hart followed a hunch that is promising profitable returns.
The trend is undeniable: usually, almost always, the first unit to sell in a new condominium development is the penthouse suite (some developments even have multiple such suites).
Hart took the concept a step further.
“What if we built an entire condominium where every unit was a penthouse? Where we limited the development to ten extraordinary units, each having its own private two car garage, a ground floor air-conditioned storage unit, a propane generator connected to natural gas lines and boat slip, and also unrivaled views of the Indian River?
And then another: What if all the owners shared similar lifestyles, thus reducing the friction common in tenant owned projects?”
It would be like a rarity on the Space Coast. A multi-faceted, sparkling diamond solitaire. Jason decided to call it Diamonte.
Diamonte, Greek for diamond, is a nod to two of his development partners, George and Maria Savakis, who are originally from Greece and now live on Merritt Island. Located on US1, across from Post Road at the geographic center of the county, with convenient access to MLB’s aerospace and technology corridor, myriad defense contractors and Kennedy Space Center to the north, and direct water access to the Port or Sebastian Inlet to the south, Diamonte’s breathtaking condominiums range from between 3,000 to over 5,000 square feet of living space and include dynamic glass vistas and spacious patios overlooking the river. Another incredible design element: on the second-floor units, the developer captured an additional 550 square foot of space for a terrace that can be designed into a substantial lawn-like space.
The Right Time
After earning his real estate license at 18 and, working his way through UCF in just three years for his business administration degree while also working as a leasing agent and putting together coupon packets for students, Hart always has had an entrepreneurial spirit.
He and his wife/partner Vickie share both a passion for what they do but also for what this area, with wise and intelligent growth, can become.
Now appears to be the right time for a development like Diamonte. “In spite of the pandemic and maybe in part due to it, the housing market in Brevard has really heated up,” he said. He attributes this partly because the Space Coast is like a “well-kept secret,” and also “due to the [recent] influx of executive talent serving the local space and aerospace cluster,” he said.
“Add to that the number of people who already live in the area, whose children are now grown and gone, who have beautiful estate homes but don’t want the burden of maintaining that type of property, [and something like] Diamonte is the type of transition they are looking for.”
In a safety-conscious day and age, Diamonte is unparalleled. The property is completely gated and residents can park in their full garages, with access to walk directly into the lobby and then to the secured elevator that takes owners right to their unit.
Hart is quick to acknowledge that development is a team sport. With Diamonte, he is confident that he has assembled all-stars at every level. Craig Hesse, Hart’s partner, has a lifetime of development knowhow and functions essentially as the COO of the operation. Drawing from past and successful experiences, Hart recruited Mike Williams, of MH Williams Construction Group, as the general contractor; and for design style and appeal that would be unique in Brevard, he chose David Jackson of Jackson Kirschner Architects.
Craig Hesse, a twenty-year Brevard resident described by Hart as the one who keeps all aspects of the project coordinated and moving, commented on one of their best strategic partners on the project: the City of Melbourne. “The City Council and all the city staff has been incredibly helpful and supportive of the project since we introduced it,” Hesse said.
A Boutique Flavor on a Grand Scale
“Our idea was to build everyone a ‘House in the Sky,’” Hart explained.
“I wanted to keep it a residential, single family home environment, but not your typical cookie cutter, condominium rectangle, trying to pack as many units into the space as possible. I like the smaller, boutique flavor Diamonte has. This is the size and type of project I enjoy working on.”
The Diamonte concept has had great success in South Florida and Florida’s southern west coast, but has not been introduced on the Space Coast until now. Units are already reserved and the project is planned for completion in the last quarter of 2021. Plus, with only ten total units, property values already are starting to edge upward.
Both Hart and Hesse believe the design and the height of Diamonte will make this property a beacon along the river. “We thought our project would draw clients from South Florida or even the international market, and I’m sure it will, along with executives moving to the area. But most of the interest has come from within Brevard, which is a demand we didn’t fully anticipate,” Hesse said.
With Diamonte’s dramatic master suites, direct river views, spacious balconies with glass rails for unobstructed sightlines that open to a great-room design, there is expansive and creative ‘free-flowing space’ that will bring much needed change to the shoreline. “This project is another step in both repairing the shoreline and enhancing a stretch of riverfront that is a jewel, yet has suffered from age and neglect,” Hesse said.