What Does Art Basel Have to do with Real Estate? Danny and Hillary Hertzberg of The Jills® Tell Us.

Written by Posted On Monday, 04 January 2016 09:02

One of Miami’s biggest international events of the year, Art Basel recently wrapped up and we had an absolutely incredible time, despite weather that was mostly awful and even though we were so busy with real estate that we could only attend a few events. Art Basel attendees don’t just come to Miami to experience art. They come to explore this amazing city, dine at our world-class restaurants, go out on the town – and shop for new homes.


First things first: what is Art Basel? Art Basel Miami is a juried international art fair that takes place the first week in December at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Widely considered the premier platform for global art, it attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. The event seems to grow larger and larger each year, with many satellite art fairs taking place all around town – an event that has come to be known as Miami Art Week. This is like the Super Bowl of art shows – an estimated 77,000 people attended the main Art Basel fair alone this year, braving the rain and traffic to see and experience as much as possible.


Usually we’re able to find time during Art Basel to attend some of the fairs, performances and events around town, visiting with past clients and meeting new ones. And we did a bit of that this year, making sure to see Sylvie Fleury’s Eternity Now art installation at bassX, sponsored by Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, among other things. But for the most part, we spent our time interacting with Art Basel visitors not at the Convention Center, but at luxury high-rises and waterfront estates.


That’s because Art Basel has become a premier week for real estate, too. We were busy almost non-stop showing properties, writing contracts and attending closings. We also held open houses on the Sunday of the event, which had fantastic turnout. Talking to other agents in the area, we’re hearing the same from them – Art Basel week is one of the busiest real estate weeks of the year.


The people who come to town for Art Basel are sophisticated, savvy and highly affluent. They’re drawn to Miami’s cosmopolitan lifestyle, international flavor and, of course, tropical climate. We worked with buyers from across the country and around the world, from a bachelor looking for a show-stopping urban condo to a couple from New York who wanted a peaceful second-home retreat. These are serious buyers, looking to invest in the vibrant Miami housing market.


Art Basel 2015 resulted in some big sales, including Francis Bacon’s oil painting Man in Blue VI, which had an asking price of $15 million, and Pablo Picasso’s Buste au Chapeau, listed for $10.5 million. And, we had a big sale of our own, writing a contract on a $4.7 million property. There’s no doubt about it – for the art world and the real estate world, Art Basel is a huge event.


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