It was a rainy Friday morning, as Saron Musa found us a coveted street-side parking spot at the corner of NW 17th Ave. and NW 16th St., in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Allapattah.

Come to think of it, looking at the freshly paved roads, wide and clean sidewalks, and brightly lit pedestrian areas, it seemed like Allapattah may have graduated past the “up-and-coming” stage already. (This seems to also be born out in crime statistics, which show total crime in Allapattah down about 30% over the past 5 years.)

After parking, the biggest concern for Saron, Danielle Hall, Nathifa Parker, and I was staying dry. However, it didn’t take long for us to spot the “red carpet” to our destination. In this case, the “red carpet” was a hot-pink overhang that spanned the majority of the first level of the newest addition to the resurgence of Allapattah—No. 17 Residences.

That vibrant overhang led us rain-free to the bright-green entrance of the 192-unit, 13-story residential building at 1569 NW 17th Ave. Any gloom we felt from the weather was quickly erased by both the brightness of our host building and the cheerfulness of the mastermind behind its creation.

With a smile and a firm handshake, Lissette Calderon warmly welcomed Jessica BuchsbaumTimothy DeKeyser, Hannah Lidicker, and the 2021 Summer Associates to No. 17. Residences for our Summer Associate: Client Spotlight and Site Tour.

We found ourselves sitting around the gigantic kitchen island in the main community space of No. 17 while Lissette talked with us like old friends. Having cut her teeth as an investment banker after graduating from the Wharton School, Lissette returned to her hometown of Miami and quickly made a name for herself at Related Group. Not long after, she went out on her own, pioneering the Manhattan loft-style concept she brought to the Miami River with NEO Lofts—launching the Miami River renaissance in the process. The reception was tremendous, but never one to stand still, Lissette was always thinking about her next projects.

I say this with absolute sincerity; from the moment the conversation started, Lissette was riveting. She is smart, engaging, witty, energetic, tough, and tenacious. After only a few minutes of speaking with Lissette, it becomes clear that she was destined to be a successful businessperson.

Some people are successful because of their ability to see around corners or anticipate the next big thing, others climb to the top by outworking everyone else. Lissette is a rare breed; she covers both bases and makes sure her success is inevitable—she is a visionary that executes. Lissette has the instincts that drives her educated ideas on what will succeed, and she is relentless in doing the work to make it happen.

I think I speak for everyone in that room when I say we were captivated by her stories, advice, and pithy mottos. Lissette truly delivered a masterclass in real estate, success, and life.

From there, we began our tour of No. 17, and it was clear that no detail was too small for Lissette. From the unit-number plaques to the art embossed on the pool deck, from the location of a unit’s front door to the window height in the bedroom, Lissette had meticulously crafted a remarkable community.

Starting in the communal area, the comfy couches, sleek lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows, and frequent splashes of bright and modern art made me feel like I was on a Rob Report Instagram tour of a home on Venetian Island.

In fact, the entire building is incredibly Instagram-able. From the entry mural with the Banksy-esque, stenciled silhouette of a young girl that overlays bright, modern street art, to the unique floor-number murals that mark the elevator landing on every level, No. 17 is surely destined for Instagram fame. And with amenities that include a fitness center that is better equipped than the one I pay monthly for in Charlottesville, a massive covered outdoor lounge area, a “zoom room,” and an enormous urban park complete with a “bark park,” it’s clear why No. 17 Residences is filling up fast.

Before we knew it, it was time for lunch at the new Brooklyn-born, BBQ joint, Hometown (another new Allapattah resident). As we all said goodbye to Lissette and exited the front doors of the specular, new development in Allapattah, my fellow Summer Associates and I mutually agreed that Lissette was destined to continue to grow her real estate empire into one of the largest in the US. There was no doubt she would do it—it was inevitable—because she is the visionary that executes.