Invest: Miami speaks with Jose Luis F. Melo, Carlos F. Melo, and Martin F. Melo, Directors of Melo Group

When Melo first began developing in the Edgewater neighborhood in 2001, there was nothing here, but we always understood that this was premium space. While many people believe it is easy to purchase property with water views in the City of Miami, today there are fewer and fewer lots that offer this. Edgewater is the last waterfront frontier in the City of Miami, and, as such, we began acquiring land with long-term plans to develop it.

Our current project, Aria on the Bay, is the last and largest parcel and we refer to it as the “queen of the block.” Apart from the cutting-edge design and world-class amenities, this building benefits from its Edgewater location, which offers excellent views, quick and easy access to Miami Beach, surrounding parks and proximity to important cultural institutions: the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and, very soon, the Frost Museum of Science, which is currently under construction.

Edgewater is no longer the blighted area it was when we rst started, and word has gotten out. We have seen strong interest in our condominium projects from international buyers. These buyers are coming from very diverse places–from Austria, Morocco and Italy—in addition to the traditional markets from Miami: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. With recently announced direct flights from Miami to Qatar and Turkey, we will see more newcomers to this market.

Because Miami’s real estate market relies heavily on international buyers, there is concern when you have a strong U.S. dollar like we have been seeing this year. While there has been some impact on condominium sales as a result of the exchange rate, the allure that Miami has for foreign buyers will outweigh the effects of currency devaluation. At the end of the day, the opportunity to live in the U.S.—with all of the associated political freedoms, the physical security, the stability of its economic system, the soundness of its judicial system and processes—is priceless.