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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Selling Miami Beach in Moscow

MTTurnberry's Elias Levy making a sales pitch for the Fontainebleau II last week in Moscow.
U.S. developer Turnberry is following in Donald Trump's footsteps and making life a bit easier for deep-pocketed Russians by selling Miami real estate in Moscow.

Turnberry representatives flew in from Florida to present the unfinished Miami Beach Fontainebleau II at a reception in the Baltchug Kempinski Hotel last week, together with their Russian partner, Kirsanova Realty.

Russians have usually travelled to the West before buying property there.

But now they have the chance to make a "good investment," according to Kirsanova, without ever leaving home.

Apartments at the Fontainebleau II start at $425,000 for a junior suite and $700,000 for a one bedroom and range up to $4.5 million for a penthouse suite.

The rates are a far cry from the $15 million starting price for the New York apartments Trump offered Muscovites in September.

Kirsanova managing partner Phillip Bogdanov said the Fontainebleau II project has drawn more interest than the Trump residences.

Turnberry told the prospective homeowners that they could rent their Fontainebleau II apartments out as hotel rooms and recuperate around 14 percent of the purchase price annually.

"The design is designed in such a way that you can split the apartment and use one half as a hotel room," said Elias Levy, a Turnberry senior sales executive.

A junior suite could be rented out for around $500 per day.

The apartment building is being built next to the older Fontainebleau hotel, built in the 1950s, where Levy said Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley were regular performers and where two James Bond movies were filmed.

The Fontainebleau II has "all the amenities," he added.

But it is mostly the year-round summer that draws people to the Miami beach location.

Kirsanova said it has already sold one apartment in the building, even before hosting the reception.

"I'm excited about this project," said Simon, an ecologist who asked that his last name not be printed.

"I'll show this to my family, and hopefully I'll be able to buy one of these apartments," he said.

Russians are increasingly buying property abroad, but more frequently in places like France, Spain, Cyprus and Malta.

"It's not that I don't like America, I just feel like its not my continent," said Mikhail Korolyov, a Russian opera singer living in Paris, who is moving to the Cote d'Azur.

"If I need to I can go there any time, but I don't have to own property there," Korolyov said.

Nevertheless, Julie Rasthamusen, a Kirsanova managing partner, said buying an apartment in Miami beach is not just good for having a nice place to take a vacation, it is also a sound investment.

"Twelve to 14 percent return per year doesn't seem like much for Russia, but it would have a higher risk return value because it's in a stable economy, plus the capital value will go up," Rasthamusen said.