Real Estate News

Donald Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr with 1125 South Ocean Boulevard (Premier Estate Properties, Getty)

Donald Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr with 1125 South Ocean Boulevard (Premier Estate Properties, Getty)

Just how expensive is Florida real estate? Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate hit the market for rent, asking $208,000 a month while it’s for sale for $59 million.

Inside the Property (Premier Estate Properties)

Inside the Property (Premier Estate Properties)

The monthly rent may seem like a lot, but it’s only the third-priciest in the local market, behind the oceanfront home at 473 North County Road, asking $275,000 a month, and the beachfront mansion at 6 Via Los Incas, asking $250,000 a month.

The Trump property, a 10,455-square-foot, eight-bedroom mansion at 1125 South Ocean Boulevard, next to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago Club, is on the market for rent for $2.5 million per year with Margit Brandt of Premier Estate Properties, and for sale with Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates. It hit the market for sale in February.

Inside the Property (Premier Estate Properties)

Inside the Property (Premier Estate Properties)

The estate was built in 1956 on a nearly half-acre lot with 200 feet of beachfront and a pool. It comes with a membership in Mar-a-Lago, which includes tri-weekly housekeeping, landscaping and pool services, pending approval from the club.

Unlike the property at 473 North County Road, the rental listing for the Trump estate has no blackout dates, a spokesperson for the listing broker said.

The South Ocean property previously belonged to Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal judge who sold it in 2018 to a company controlled by Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump for $18.5 million. The former president later listed the property as an asset in financial disclosure statements, the Palm Beach Daily News previously reported.

Luxury home sales in Palm Beach have soared since the pandemic began more than two years ago, with a number of record deals and flips.

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Hussain Sajwani of Damac with Surfside (Wikipedia)

Hussain Sajwani of Damac with Surfside (Wikipedia)

UPDATED, May 20, 6:55 p.m.: Damac Properties is poised to buy and redevelop the Surfside collapse site where 98 people died last summer, after no other developers met the deadline to bid on the property.

The Dubai-based developer was the stalking horse bidder, setting the minimum price last year for the property at 8777 Collins Avenue at $120 million. Earlier this month, in a move that showed its commitment to buy the almost 2-acre site, Damac increased its deposit to $50 million.

The lack of competing bids, which were due by 5 p.m. on Friday, essentially cancels the auction scheduled for Tuesday. Michael Goldberg, the court-appointed receiver for the Champlain Towers South condo association, filed an emergency motion shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday confirming no one else made offers for the site.

Michael Fay, part of the Avison Young team that listed the former Champlain Towers South property, said that he and his team spoke with “hundreds of potential bidders” after an extensive marketing process, and that they “look forward to completing” the deal with Damac.

Damac’s broker, Jeff Cohen with Brown Harris Stevens, said the firm has been “extremely focused” on becoming the successful bidder for the site. Damac increased its deposit from $16 million and shortened its due diligence period, seeing no reason to wait, Cohen said. That moved the auction date up, although it will no longer occur.

Damac plans to build a high-end residential project on the site and called Miami “a natural fit, given its reputation for being a popular, luxurious destination,” in a statement emailed to The Real Deal in October. It will likely be a for-sale condo project.

The company, founded by Emirati business billionaire Hussain Sajwani in 2002, has developed mostly in Dubai but also in Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and London.

Damac’s marquee Dubai projects include Aykon City, which the developer describes as a city-within-a-city with four residential towers and an entertainment and retail plaza; Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, which has 1,200 residential units and a hotel; and the the 63-story Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences Dubai.

Sajwani, whose moniker is “Donald Trump of Dubai,” has had business ties with the Trump Organization, including developing the first Trump-branded golf course in the Middle East at the Damac Hills project.

Damac did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The pending sale of the Surfside property marks another milestone in the legal case surrounding the June 24 tragedy. Earlier this month, attorneys announced a $997 million settlement ​​that followed weeks of mediation between attorneys for the plaintiffs and the dozens of parties sued for allegedly contributing to the collapse.

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369 North Hibiscus Drive (Villazzo Realty, iStock) Buddhist, Mansion

369 North Hibiscus Drive (Villazzo Realty, iStock)

A lawyer paid $13.8 million for a waterfront Hibiscus Island mansion in Miami Beach that hosted Tibetan Buddhist masters.

Property records show Hoa Ngoc and Mai Pham Nguyen sold the house at 369 North Hibiscus Drive to Joseph J. Frank. Frank financed the purchase with a $9.6 million mortgage from Los Angeles-based City National Bank, records show.

Frank is the chief legal officer for Windsor, Connecticut-based SS&C Technologies, according to his LinkedIn. SS&C is the world’s largest hedge fund and private equity administrator, according to its website. It was founded in 1986 and has 24,000 employees.

Lisa Blake with Villazzo Realty represented the sellers, who hosted various Tibetan Buddhist-related events and regular meditations at the property, she said. Blake met the sellers through that close community connection, when the Dalai Lama of Tibet spoke at the University of Miami in 2011.

“She’s [Mai Pham Nguyen] very well connected with that circle,” she said.

The house was also home to Chakrasamvara Center, a nonprofit that has hosted a variety of Tibetan masters since 2004, said Colin Meyer, one of the center’s leaders.

The Nguyens bought the property in 1993 for $570,000, records show.

Built in 1954, the 8,216-square-foot mansion sits on a third of an acre lot. It comes with eight bedrooms, and 11 bathrooms, according to Realtor.com.

Blake said the sale was completed off-market, and that the property needs a gut renovation. But 90 feet of waterfront and a 15,000-square-foot lot made the sale easy, she added.

Bill Hernandez and Bryan Sereny with Douglas Elliman represented Frank. Sereny declined to comment on the deal.

Hibiscus Island, like much of South Florida, has experienced a surge in sales during the pandemic.

This month, mobile games tycoon Kevin Segalla and his wife, Michele Segalla, an investment manager, bought a waterfront spec mansion on Hibiscus Island for $29.1 million.

In April, Richard Gebbia, whose ex-sister-in-law was on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” paid $6.4 million for a non-waterfront house at 112 West Palm Midway on Hibiscus Island. And In February, spec home developer Pascal Nicolai sold a waterfront home on Hibiscus Island to Sinan Tuna, CEO of Farmasi North America, for $15 million.

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Joseph Chetrit and a rendering of 2629 North Riverside Drive (Getty)

Joseph Chetrit and a rendering of 2629 North Riverside Drive (Getty)

The Chetrit Group secured a $94 million construction loan for a planned waterfront luxury condo development in Pompano Beach.

New York-based Madison Realty Capital provided the financing for Chetrit’s site at 2629 North Riverside Drive, said Henry Bodek of Galaxy Capital, who arranged the loan.

A rendering of 2629 North Riverside Drive

A rendering of 2629 North Riverside Drive

The New York development firm, which has been expanding in South Florida, plans a 121-unit condo project with a 20-slip marina on a portion of the property in the Hillsboro Shores neighborhood.

Chetrit could break ground and launch sales of the building in two to three months, Bodek said. Miami-based Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design is designing the condo project, which is part of a larger mixed-use development Chetrit plans.

The loan gives the developer sufficient funding to construct the condo building regardless of presales, Bodek said, adding that Madison moved quickly to win the financing bid.

A rendering of 2629 North Riverside Drive

A rendering of 2629 North Riverside Drive

“We had an overwhelming response from lenders to bid the project,” he added.

Madison, led by managing principals Josh Zegen, Brian Shatz and Adam Tantleff have become Chetrit’s favored lender in South Florida in recent months. Over the past year, including the Pompano loan, Madison has granted the developer at least $482 million worth of financing.

Madison also recently provided a $78 million loan to Chetrit for the bulk purchase of condos at the Hollywood Beach Resort, an oceanfront building. Bodek, who arranged that financing as well, said the deal was complicated in that Chetrit negotiated with individual sellers, but had to secure one loan for the acquisition.

Madison is also Chetrit’s lender for its $1 billion mixed-use mega development planned for the Miami River. The developer secured a $310 million construction loan in November from Madison, which Bodek brokered, for the second and first phases of the project. As approved in 2015, the five-phase development calls for a 330-key hotel, 1,700 residential units, 266,000 square feet of retail and office, and more than 2,000 parking spaces.

Commercial Observer first reported the two recent loans in Hollywood and Pompano Beach.

Pompano Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale, has attracted interest from a number of developers. This year, Miami-based Related Group launched sales of its second planned condo development in Pompano, called Casamar, after selling out its first project faster than originally expected.

Fortune International Group and Ricardo Dunin’s Oak Capital also began sales late last year of their two-building Ritz-Carlton Residences development at 1380 South Ocean Boulevard in Pompano Beach.

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Conlon & Co's Sean Conlon with 206 Clematis Street (Loopnet, Conlon)

Conlon & Co’s Sean Conlon with 206 Clematis Street (Loopnet, Conlon)

Sean Conlon, a merchant bank founder with a soft spot for old buildings, scooped up a historic apartment property in downtown West Palm Beach for $18 million.

He bought the six-story, 38-unit Harris Music Lofts at 206 Clematis Street, which includes about 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, according to Zachary Baraf of the Stanwich Group, who was the sole adviser on the deal.

Seller Clematis Fund I is managed by Tahiti Beach Management and Debra Desiderio, according to property and state corporate records.

The apartments are fully leased, and the retail space is occupied by apparel and souvenirs shop Clematis Street NewsStand, Conlon said.

The units are all one-bedroom apartments with high ceilings, with some spanning two stories, and each with its unique floor plan.

“I was amazed. I thought they would be cookie-cutter,” Conlon said.

He plans landscaping improvements, including planting bougainvilleas; revamping the hallways; and renovations of unit interiors to give them a more beachy feel, partly through the addition of shiplap to the walls.

Monthly rents, averaging $1,300 to $1,400, will be quickly brought to the market rate of $2,500 to $3,000, Conlon said. The store’s rent also is 25 percent below market, he added.

The property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, originally was developed as the Palm Beach Mercantile Company Building with one story and two rooms in 1900. A second floor was added in 1902 and three more stories were built in 1916, according to a registration form on the National Register’s website. The partial sixth floor, also described as a penthouse, was built in 1923.

The deal was part of a 1031 exchange Conlon completed with the recent sale of the 23-unit apartment building at 184 Sunset Avenue in Palm Beach for $17 million, according to Baraf, the sole adviser in that deal as well.

Conlon, who describes himself as the quintessential American success story, moved from his native Ireland, with little to his name, to Chicago, where he skyrocketed as a broker. He has founded several companies, including Chicago-based boutique luxury brokerage Conlon Real Estate, which he sold to Compass in 2018.
In his other ventures, he co-hosted “The Deed” TV show about real estate for two seasons, but opted out of a third, he said.

His main company is merchant banking firm Conlon & Co., with offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, London and Palm Beach. He also owns property in Chicago, near Dallas and in North Carolina, and has other real estate near downtown West Palm under contract, but declined to disclose details.

Downtown West Palm is experiencing growth, with several projects in the pipeline. In May, a joint venture among Starwood Capital Group, Hyperion Group and Winter Properties scored a $96.4 million construction loan for a 22-story building at 201 Clearwater Drive. The project will have 457 apartments; 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail; a 628-space garage; and more than 34,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities.

A partnership of Brand Atlantic Real Estate Partners and Wheelock Street Capital plans a 12-story Class A office building on the site of a surface parking lot at 300 Banyan Boulevard in West Palm, and the renovation of a historic office-retail building at 111 Olive Avenue.

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A photo illustration of a crystal ball predicting future home prices (iStock)

(iStock)

Home prices have reached historic highs in recent months, but low inventory and rising mortgage rates have some economists warning of a slowdown in both sales and homebuilding.

A “meaningful slowdown” could be headed for home sales in the second and third quarters, according to an outlook from Fannie Mae reported by Inman. The economists forecasted 6.1 million total home sales this year, a reduction from previous estimates that would represent an 11.1 percent decline from 2021.

The economists expect even fewer sales in 2023, 5.4 million, a further 11.6 percent decline. They believe once sales slow, construction will follow.

Rising mortgage rates are one of the factors to blame for the forecasted slowdown as they hover around their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

“Historically, rapid and substantial rises in mortgage rates have had the effect of slowing activity, which we reflect in our forecast,” Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan said in a statement.

Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan (Fannie Mae)

Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan (Fannie Mae)

In addition to higher mortgage rates making buying a home less affordable, homeowners may be less inclined to sell their homes and buy a new one because they are locked into a more favorable rate.

In good news for hopeful buyers, the economists forecasted the appreciation of home prices to slow down. Price appreciation is expected to hit single digits next year and drop to 3.2 percent by 2023’s fourth quarter, though the deceleration varies by region.

Fannie Mae economists don’t foresee another crash like 2008, though.

“To be clear, even if home prices were to decline in coming years, we are not anticipating a reoccurrence of the housing market or economic turmoil seen during the 2008 financial crisis, as conditions are considerably sounder today,” the economists said.

Fannie Mae economists also predicted that mortgage rates are hovering around a peak. They anticipated rates will hover around 5.1 percent for the near-term future, but will begin to drop slowly in about a year. The forecast projected mortgage originations to drop 40 percent this year and 7.4 percent next year; refinancings are forecasted to fall 69 percent in 2022 and another 38 percent in 2023.

[Inman] — Holden Walter-Warner

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Residential sales fall in Southern Florida

(iStock / Photo illustration by Priyanka Modi)

Home sales fell in April across South Florida, as interest rates continue to climb.

Sales of single-family homes, condos and townhouses dropped in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, as median prices kept growing, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

The residential market has been on fire – to varying degrees of intensity depending on the price point and city – for nearly two years, since the pandemic began. But rising interest rates, prices and limited inventory of single-family homes likely resulted in the decreases, according to the realtors association’s reports.

Miami-Dade County

Residential sales fell 13 percent in Miami-Dade County in April, compared to the same month last year. Condo sales, which had been picking up steam for months, decreased 7.4 percent to 2,199 closings last month. Single-family home sales plunged 21 percent to 1,246 sales.

The median price of single-family homes rose to $565,000, up nearly 10 percent, year-over-year. For condos, the median price experienced a more dramatic jump, up 20 percent to $390,000.

Broward County

Residential sales in Broward decreased 13 percent to 3,489 closings. Condo sales declined 11 percent to 1,980 closings, and single-family home sales fell 15 percent to 1,509 closings.

The median price of single-family homes climbed 21 percent to $560,000, close to pricing in Miami-Dade. For condos, the median price rose 11 percent to $245,000.

Palm Beach County

Total home sales dropped 26 percent to 2,956 closings in Palm Beach County last month. Condo sales fell 27 percent, year-over-year, to 1,472, while single-family home sales declined 25 percent to 1,484.

The median price of single-family homes jumped 29 percent to $601,000. The median price of condos rose 22 percent to $293,500.

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 Lionstone's Diego Lowenstein with 5901 Miami Gardens Drive (Lionstone, iStock, Loopnet)

Lionstone’s Diego Lowenstein with 5901 Miami Gardens Drive (Lionstone, iStock, Loopnet)

Lionstone Development leapt into the South Florida office feeding frenzy with a $16.8 million acquisition in Miami Gardens.

An affiliate of the Bal Harbour-based real estate investment firm acquired Commons Plaza, a newly renovated, three-story office building at 5901 Miami Gardens Drive, according to records. Lionstone, led by CEO Diego Lowenstein, paid $297 per square foot for the building.

The seller, an entity managed by Norberto Roman of Miami, sold the nearly 3-acre property for $12 million above its $4.8 million purchase in 2019, records show. The 56,601-square-foot building was completed in 2008.

Alex Zylberglait with Marcus & Millichap represented the seller and the buyer.

The deal did not include two out of 144 office units in Commons Plaza, and the building is 99 percent occupied by a mix of professional tenants, the release states. Commons Plaza also has a wait list of prospective tenants, reflecting strong demand for spaces in small and suburban office buildings, Zylberglait said in a statement.

South Florida is experiencing a flurry of office trades recently. This month, MHCommercial Real Estate Fund II and an unidentified partner paid $45.9 million for the Yamato Office Center, a two-building complex in Boca Raton.

In April, Valoro Capital picked up an office building in Miami’s Blue Lagoon neighborhood for $18 million; and Miami attorney Alex Hanna and his wife, Lizet Hanna, acquired an office building on Miami’s Flagler Street for $15 million.

The same month, Boca Raton-based CS Ventures paid $35 million for a pair of office buildings along Bankers Row in Palm Beach. And in Miami Beach, an entity tied to Boston-based The Davis Companies bought a four-story Class A office building for $52.3 million.

In Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, rents and tenant demand tracked upward in the first quarter, according to a JLL report. The average asking rent in Miami-Dade hit $48.66 a square foot, representing a 10.2 percent jump compared to the same period last year. The county had a vacancy rate of 18.8 percent in the most recent quarter.

Average asking rents in Palm Beach County climbed 26.5 percent, year-over-year, to $53.47 a square foot, JLL found. The vacancy rate was 13.5 percent in the most recent quarter.

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A photo illustration of 9 Via Los Incas in Palm Beach (Zillow, iStock)

A photo illustration of 9 Via Los Incas in Palm Beach (Zillow, iStock)

An auto dealership magnate has a new place to park after buying a Palm Beach house from an interior designer for $19 million.

Property records show George T. Albrecht bought the property at 9 Via Los Incas from Angela Giguere Kumble.

Angela Giguere-Kumble (AMG Interior Designs)

Angela Giguere-Kumble (AMG Interior Designs)

Albrecht is chairman of Woburn, Massachusetts-based Albrecht Auto Group, according to his LinkedIn. The company has nine dealerships near Boston, with brands that include Toyota, Infiniti and Nissan, its website shows.

Kumble has worked on interior design for luxury properties in South Florida and New York City, according to her website. Her company, AMG, is based in New York City. Her portfolio includes estates, townhomes, apartments and commercial space, her website shows.

Paulette and Dana Koch with Corcoran had the listing, and Dana Landry with Dana Edward Landry represented the buyer, according to Realtor.com.

Built in 1980, the 5,088-square-foot house comes with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, one-half bathroom, and a two-car garage, according to Realtor.com. It last sold in 2010 for $5.6 million, records show. Three properties separate the home from the ocean.

Paulette Koch said Kumble had gut-renovated the house after buying it. “It’s a really magnificent home,” Koch said. “It has all these elements people really look for.”

It’s the second time this month that an auto dealership tycoon bought property in Palm Beach. Last week, Terry R. Taylor, who leads West Palm Beach-based Automotive Management Services, paid $7.5 million for a gut-renovated oceanfront condo.

It’s also the latest in a seemingly endless string of high-priced sales in Palm Beach. Earlier this month, Ivana Trump’s former, newly renovated mansion sold for $72.9 million. It changed hands from German fashion designer Tomas Maier and his husband to a Delaware LLC.

Billionaire David “Duke” K. Reyes and his wife, Pamela A. Perri Reyes, also sold their Palm Beach home this month for $21 million to a trust led by an attorney with Gunster. The true buyer is unknown.

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MG Developer's Alirio Torrealba and rendering of Merrick Parc (MG Developer)

MG Developer’s Alirio Torrealba and rendering of Merrick Parc (MG Developer)

MG Developer is teaming up with a New York-based real estate investment firm to build a $204 million luxury apartment project near Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.

Coral Gables-based MG and its partner, Baron Property Group, plan to build two towers with 450 apartments with parking, along with shops and restaurants on a 43,785-square-foot redevelopment site at 3898 Shipping Avenue, according to a press release. The retail component will be about 18,000 square feet.

An MG affiliate recently closed on the property, paying $19.5 million. MG and Baron worked with a Colliers team led by Jeffrey Donnelly and Dmitry Levkov to raise $24 million for the project that includes $13 million in equity financing from New York-based S3 Capital, the release states.

In an emailed response, MG CEO Alirio Torrealba said Baron Property Group was exploring opportunities in South Florida. “When we met, we had a great synergy,” Torrealba said. “We felt this project was the right fit for us to work together.”

Baron has a 20-year track record of developing high-rise multifamily projects and hotel properties in New York City and in California, the release states.

The Shipping Avenue property, on the border between Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, currently houses a small commercial building leased to an auto dealership. The project site is also near The Shops of Merrick Park.

The joint venture recently submitted plans to the city of Miami, and the partnership expects to break ground on Merrick Parc in the third quarter of 2023, Torrealba said. The plan would replace a city approved proposal by the previous owner to build a pair of 20-story buildings with 268 apartments, 29,000 square feet of offices, 6,342 square feet of ground-floor retail and a 288-space parking garage. That project was called Merrick Towers.

Designed by Coral Gables-based architecture firm Behar Font & Partners, Merrick Parc joins a slate of mixed-use projects along and near U.S. 1 between Coral Gables and Coconut Grove.

Across the street from Merrick Parc, AvalonBay Communities and Coconut Grove-based Mast Capital are developing a 20-story building with 254 apartments, a handful of two-story townhouses on the ground floor, 825 square feet of commercial/retail space, a 319-space parking garage, and more than 10,000 square feet of amenities.

13th Floor Investments and Adler Group are building The Link at Douglas, a 7-acre mixed-use project next to Miami-Dade County’s Douglas Road Metrorail station at 3100 Douglas Road.

And last year, Life Time and developer Nolan Reynolds International completed Life Time Coral Gables, a $500 million project at 237 South Dixie Highway with 495 luxury apartments, an 80,000-square-foot athletic resort, a 25,000-square-foot coworking space, and ground-floor retail space.

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 Clearline Real Estate's Jenny Bernell with Block E at 1550 (Smith Aerials)

Clearline Real Estate’s Jenny Bernell with Block E at 1550 (Smith Aerials)

Jenny Bernell bought an Arts & Entertainment District property for $19.8 million, her third Miami multifamily development site purchase over the past year.

Bernell, through her Clearline Real Estate, acquired the almost 0.9-acre Block E property at 1550 Northeast Miami Place from the Kluger Family Trust, according to a news release from the seller’s broker.

Mika Mattingly and Cecilia Estevez of Colliers represented the Kluger Family Trust.

The property allows for a 427-unit project that could rise 24 stories by right under the current zoning, or reach 48 stories under a bonus height allotted through a city public benefits program, according to the offering memorandum. Similarly, a project could span 260,764 square feet, or
338,993 square feet with the bonus.

The site is in an Opportunity Zone, or government-designated area deemed in need of an economic boost. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created the Opportunity Zone legislation to incentivize investors to put in their capital gains in these areas in exchange for deferment of taxes on these gains.

Bernell is CEO of Miami and New York-based Clearline, a company she founded in January 2021 after working for New York-based Kushner Companies for almost seven years, according to her LinkedIn. Her last position at Kushner was as EVP of development, which she held for more than four years.

Clearline focuses on Florida, New York, New Jersey and Tennessee and has 1,500 units in the development pipeline.
In Miami, Clearline bought the 1.4-acre assemblage 2000 North Miami Avenue and 2021 Northwest Miami Court in Wynwood for $19.1 million in April.

Clearline also is partnering with Hoboken, New Jersey-based Ironstate Development and Brookfield Properties in the Urby-branded apartment building planned for the former Art by God museum and store site in Wynwood between Northeast 26th and 27th streets, and on the east side of the Florida East Coast Railway. Clearline partnered in the $15.6 million site purchase last year.

The Arts & Entertainment District, between downtown Miami and Edgewater, is quickly redeveloping, due in part to its proximity to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and the Metromover.

The site Clearline purchased is less than 500 feet from the School Board Metromover station.

The Melo family’s Melo Group has made hefty investments in the district, developing the Miami Plaza, Melody Tower, Square Station and Art Plaza apartment projects.

In December, the Melos put a just over 3-acre property under contract for $105 million, with preliminary plans for a four-tower residential and retail complex. The site is between Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast Second Avenue as well as between Northeast 17th Street and 17th Terrace.

Developers Dan Kodsi and Rafael Pecchio paid $8.9 million for the property at 1317 and 1345 North Miami Avenue, with plans for a 200-unit apartment tower.

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From left: Stephen Macricostas and Andre Branch in front of 4535 Nautilus Court (Getty Images, Redfin)

From left: Stephen Macricostas and Andre Branch in front of 4535 Nautilus Court (Getty Images, Redfin)

Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Orlandus Andre Branch III scored a win with the $6.3 million sale of his Miami Beach home in September, but the buyer scored even more, flipping the property for $6.9 million.

Retired Wall Street broker Bryant Yunker and his wife, Nancy, sold the non-waterfront home at 4535 Nautilus Court to Stephen Macricostas for a 10 percent gain, property records show. Macricostas is an art collector.

The Yunkers owned the 4,493-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-and-a-half bathroom home for just eight months. It was built in 2019 on a 0.2-acre lot in the Nautilus neighborhood of Mid-Miami Beach, and features a pool, large terraces, and a Jacuzzi.

Mikael Hamaoui of Riviera Horizons represented the Yunkers in their flip. David Pulley of Douglas Elliman represented Macricostas.

Branch paid $3.5 million for the house in 2019, which means it’s increased in value by 97 percent since then.

Buyers have been able to resell their single-family homes for big profits across South Florida in recent months due to steady demand. Non-waterfront homes have also increased in value, with prices doubling in some cases compared to pre-pandemic.

And as a result of limited inventory and high prices of single-family homes, condo sales are on the rise. In March, single-family home sales in Miami-Dade County rose 5 percent, while condo sales jumped 15 percent compared with March of last year, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

Branch exemplifies a property owner who took advantage of demand for homes and sold at a high price — to then buy a condo. Two months after selling his house, he paid $3.6 million for a unit at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach less than half a mile away, property records show.

Branch, who started his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, played for the Dolphins between 2016 and 2019.

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Worth Capital’s Charles “Rusty” Holzer and 13501 South Shore Boulevard in Wellington (Getty, Google Maps)

Worth Capital’s Charles “Rusty” Holzer and 13501 South Shore Boulevard in Wellington (Getty, Google Maps)

The son of an Andy Warhol muse galloped into Palm Beach County retail real estate, paying $16 million for a shopping center near the Wellington International equestrian center.

An entity managed by Charles “Rusty” Holzer, owner and CEO of Wellington-based Worth Capital Holdings, bought the 46,848-square-foot retail site at 13501 South Shore Boulevard in Wellington, according to records. The deal breaks down to $342 a square foot.

Holzer’s mom is Jane Holzer, a Palm Beach real estate investor who had a celebrity run in the 1960s as an Andy Warhol muse known as “Baby Jane.” She appeared in films made by the iconic artist. Rusty Holzer’s Worth Capital has acquired, financed, developed and managed about $1 billion in various real estate deals, according to an online bio. In 2019, a Worth Capital affiliate paid $175 million for the Dream Downtown hotel in New York City.

The shopping center’s seller is an entity with ties to Equestrian Sports Production, the company that produces one of the largest horse exhibition shows in North America at Wellington International. It paid $7.2 million for the property in 2010, records show.

Completed on a 5.2-acre parcel in 2006, the shopping center’s tenants include Dunkin, the Tackeria equestrian shop and Gold Coast Feed & Supply.

Wellington is for deep-pocketed horse lovers. In March, a Delaware entity paid $26 million for an equestrian estate in Wellington owned by a trust linked to billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The property is in Evergate Stables, where Gates’ daughter, Jennifer Gates, trains for equestrian events.

In December, Francis X. Ahearn, founder of New York City-based tech company BCM One and an equestrian aficionado, bought a waterfront spec home in Wellington for $8.2 million.

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From left: Scott Sherman and Ben Mandell (Tricera Capital, iStock)

From left: Scott Sherman and Ben Mandell (Tricera Capital, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

UPDATED, May 19, 2:50 p.m.: Tricera Capital’s co-founders are going their separate ways, with Ben Mandell now controlling a majority stake in the Miami investment firm, The Real Deal has learned.

Mandell took over as CEO, while Sherman will take a seat on the firm’s new advisory board, according to a statement provided to TRD. Sherman is keeping some control and ownership of legacy deals as required in the agreement, a spokesperson said.

Sherman is launching his own firm, Torose Equities, according an e-blast.

Mandell and Sherman, once executives at competing firms, launched Brickell-based Tricera in early 2017.

Mandell previously was a managing director at RKF, while Sherman was vice president of acquisitions at Thor Equities. Over the past five years, they focused on urban street retail within large-scale developments. Tricera now has more than 35 properties totaling about 2.7 million square feet across the Southeast, and about $1 billion in assets under management, according to a press release.

Sherman will be part of the seven-person advisory board Tricera is creating. Both he and Mandell declined to be interviewed, but in a written statement, Sherman said he and Mandell “mutually agreed that this is the best path forward for Tricera Capital.”

Mandell also said in a statement that the two partners “concluded that we have different visions, and that the time was right to make this leadership change.” He added that he plans to get back to Tricera’s “roots as a forward-thinking, contrarian real estate investment firm” that focuses on retail and office in dense, vertical markets.

Among Tricera’s recent deals, it and Merrimac Ventures sold the retail component at Society Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale in February for $17 million to an entity linked to Adam Neumann. Last year, Tricera and David Edelstein’s Tricap, the Related Group and Lndmrk Development purchased a Wynwood development site for $26.5 million.

Tricera also redeveloped the former Palm Beach Post campus in West Palm Beach into a mixed-use project called The Press.

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Dacar Management's Alberto Micha-Buzali with Residences and Shoppes (LinkedIn, Dacar Management)

Dacar Management’s Alberto Micha-Buzali with Residences and Shoppes (LinkedIn, Dacar Management)

Dacar Management will crank up construction on a Hialeah mixed-use project with 244 apartments and a retail component anchored by Publix, Burlington and HomeGoods.

Affiliates of the Dania Beach-based commercial real estate firm scored an $81 million construction loan from New York Life Insurance Company, according to records. The fixed-rate mortgage is interest free during the construction phase of Residences and Shoppes of Highland, a development that entails a 190,000-square-foot retail center and four garden-style apartment buildings of between four and five stories, according to a press release.

Jason Shapiro and Sean Harrington led an Aztec Group team that arranged financing on behalf of the Dacar affiliates, the release states. Dacar, led by President Alberto Micha, acquired the 70-acre site at 3685 West 85th Path in a foreclosure auction in 2011, records show.

The multifamily and retail components will be developed simultaneously, the release states. Site work has already begun, and the project is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023. In addition to Publix, Burlington and HomeGoods, other signed tenants include dd’s Discounts, Five Below, Famous Footwear and Taco Bell, the release states.

Renderings show Dacar also plans to develop 12 other outparcel buildings upon completion of the apartment complex and retail center.

Dacar owns 24 shopping centers in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, as well as five development sites in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, according to the firm’s website. In 2016, Dacar sold more than 100 acres in northwest Miami-Dade near the American Dream Miami mega-project to Lennar for $51 million.

In March, Dacar sold the Winn-Dixie-anchored Shoppes At Palm Coast Plaza in West Palm Beach for $24.8 million.

Retail properties are in demand in South Florida, with large shopping centers commanding whopping sale prices. Earlier this year, MG3 Group paid $70 million for the fully leased Fontainebleau Park Plaza in Miami-Dade. The shopping center is anchored by a Walmart Supercenter and other tenants include Carrabba’s, Chick-Fil-A and L.A. Fitness.

In December, AEW Capital Management acquired Shops at Beacon Lakes, a fully leased 33.8-acre shopping plaza near Sweetwater, for $108 million. It marked the largest retail transaction in South Florida in four years.

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 LBCW Investments' Clay Hamlin III with 1100 25th Street and 1426 Skees Road (Loopnet, LBCW)

LBCW Investments’ Clay Hamlin III with 1100 25th Street and 1426 Skees Road (Loopnet, LBCW)

Clay Hamlin III is playing a game of Monopoly with Palm Beach County industrial real estate, replacing one property for another.

Affiliates of Hamlin’s Alliance HP bought the Skees Industrial park at 1426 Skees Road just south of West Palm Beach for $15.9 million — shortly after it sold a distribution center at 1100 25th Street in West Palm for $12.2 million, according to deed and state corporate records.

Alliance, based in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, buys, develops, repositions, leases and manages real estate, with a focus on industrial and offices, its website says. Co-founded in 2009 by Richard Previdi, the firm also has a Fort Lauderdale office.

LBCW Investments, based out of the same Bryn Mawr headquarters as Alliance, is the Hamlin family’s business investment company. It is the largest capital partner of Alliance. Hamlin and Lynn Hamlin founded LBCW in 1984, according to its website.

The seller of the Skees complex, GC Skees Industrial, is led by Phyllis McHenry and Doral-based WestVest Associates brokerage founder Anthony DeRosa, records show. It had paid $4.45 million for the real estate in 2014.

Yonatan Missika of Gridline Properties represented both sides of the deal.

The 73,130-square-foot Skees complex, built in 1997 on 8.2 acres, consists of nine buildings with a minimum of 18-foot ceiling heights, according to the property’s website. Each unit has at least one grade-level overhead door with a storefront entrance, and the property includes outdoor storage. It is just west of Florida’s Turnpike.

The complex is fully occupied, according to Cornerstone Realty, which leases the property. Tenants include Rocket Cooling A/C Repair, Centurion Partners Group gun shop, Bigg Boy Auto & Marine and How 2 Operate Restoration water damage repair company.

Alliance secured a $12.4 million mortgage from an affiliate of New York-based alternative investor Cerberus Capital Management, records show.

The purchase is part of Alliance’s third $100 million warehouse fund targeting “infill” industrial properties, according to a Gridline news release.

Separately, Stamford, Connecticut-based Twenty Lake Holdings bought Allicance’s warehouse property at 1100 25th Street. Twenty Lake is a national real estate investor and manager led by President Joseph Miller, according to records and Miller’s LinkedIn.

The warehouse totals 76,500 square feet and was built in 1969 on 3.7 acres, property records show. It more than doubled in value in two years, as Hamlin’s entity paid $5.7 million for it in 2020.

Alliance has been trading Palm Beach County industrial properties for a few years. In August, it sold sites at 7233 Seacrest Boulevard and 7109 Seacrest Boulevard for $26 million to Home Depot. Alliance had paid $17 million for the real estate in February of last year. At least part of the property was previously a Sam’s Club.

Palm Beach’s industrial market remains strong, fueled by hefty demand, and supply that can’t keep up because of a lack of developable land.

The industrial vacancy rate dropped to 4.5 percent in the first quarter, from 7.4 percent during the same period of last year, according to a JLL report. The average asking rent rose to $10.66 a square foot, from $9.47 a square foot.

The Hamlins, through an affiliate tied to LBCW and its private equity subsidiary Acrewood, also bought a townhouse at Palazzo Villas at 221 Brazilian Avenue in Palm Beach for $17.8 million in March.

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Rise at Brickell City Centre at 88 SW 7 Street in Miami (Condos.com)

Rise at Brickell City Centre at 88 SW 7 Street in Miami (Condos.com)

Condo sales last week continued their plunge from the previous week in Miami-Dade County.

Dollar volume last week totaled $154 million, down from $275 million the week before. Sales reached 216, compared with 251 the previous week.

Leaflet map created by Adam Farence | Data by © OpenStreetMap, under ODbl.

Condos sold for an average price of about $711,500, down from $1 million the week prior.

The top sale was a $6.3 million closing at Rise at Miami’s Brickell City Centre. Unit 4201 at 88 Southwest Seventh Street sold for $1,425 per square foot. Ana Maria Gomez with Fortune International Realty represented the seller.

The second most expensive sale occurred at Privé Island Estates in Aventura. PH7 at 5500 Island Estates Drive sold for $5.8 million, or $1,313 per square foot. Bento Queiroz with Compass Florida had the listing, and Diana Shay, with Miami New Home Realty, represented the buyer.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 sales from May 8 to May 14:

(Condos.com)

(Condos.com)

Most expensive

Rise, 88 Southwest Seventh Street, unit 4201 | 21 days on the market | $6.3M | $1,424 psf | Listing agent: Ana Maria Gomez with Fortune International Realty

Least expensive

Grove Isle Condo, 2 Grove Isle Drive, unit B1702 | 11 days on the market | $2M | $863 psf | Listing agent: Alec Macias with Sea Grove Realty | Buyer’s agent: Alec Macias with Sea Grove Realty

Most days on market

Privé Island Estates , 5500 Island Estate Drive, 1106 | 775 days on the market | $3.2M | $1,112 psf | Listing agent: Jonathan Lief with Aventura Real Estate | Buyer’s agent: Nicole Holtzheuser with Florida Luxurious Properties

Fewest days on market

Bayside Village Condo, 2423 Fisher Island Drive, unit 5203 | 6 days on the market | $3.6M | $1,589 psf | Listing Agent: Karla Abaunza with Luxury Living Realty | Buyer’s agent: Karla Abaunza with Luxury Living Realty

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Alex and Yanina Sapir (Getty, Instagram, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Alex and Yanina Sapir (Getty, Instagram, Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

UPDATED, May 18, 1:26 p.m.: After nearly 12 years of marriage, another real estate couple is heading for divorce.

Yanina Sapir, the wife of developer Alex Sapir, filed for divorce in April, court records show.

The reason? “The wife can no longer remain in such a loveless relationship,” according to the complaint, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. They were married in Miami Beach in September 2010, and have two young children.

Alex Sapir is a son of the late Tamir Sapir, founder of the New York City-based Sapir Organization. Alex Sapir now heads the Sapir Organization, as well as Sapir Corp. In South Florida, he developed the nearly sold-out Arte condo project, an oceanfront boutique building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.

In her divorce filing, Yanina Sapir seeks child support and alimony from Alex Sapir. Her lawyer, the prominent divorce attorney Andrew Leinoff, writes that Alex Sapir should support their minor children “based upon his significant earnings” and ability to provide for their kids “consistent with the lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during the course of the intact marriage.”

Yanina Sapir did not respond to a request for comment and her attorney, Leinoff declined to comment. Alex Sapir declined to comment through his lawyer, Jason Marks.

The complaint paints a picture of that “incredible” lifestyle, where “money has been no object,” with multiple boats, one nanny, two housekeepers, another housekeeper and boat captain, and travels around the world to countries in Europe, Central America and Asia. Alex drives an Aston Martin while Yanina drives a Range Rover. They are also Burning Man enthusiasts, and have been photographed together on social media attending the Nevada festival multiple times.

As for their assets, Yanina is seeking equitable distribution. The couple lives in a waterfront modern mansion on the Venetian Islands in Miami Beach, and a trust in Yanina’s name paid $11.2 million for the adjacent home in December, according to property records. That home, built in 1994, was listed in May with broker Dora Puig for about $15 million and marketed as a teardown, according to Realtor.com.

The same trust paid $17.3 million for the couple’s estate next door in 2018. The six-bedroom, 7,300-square-foot home was developed by former Formula One driver turned spec home developer Eddie Irvine.

Their primary house is valued at $30 million, the complaint states, which is in line with the market today.

Alex Sapir has been tangled in litigation with his ex-brother-in-law, Rotem Rosen. Last fall, a federal judge dismissed a $100 million lawsuit that Sapir filed against Rosen, who was also his former real estate business partner. It alleged Rosen siphoned off tens of millions of dollars and stole trade secrets. The same judge allowed two of Rosen’s claims tied to his multimillion-dollar buyout agreement with Sapir to move forward.

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David Arditi with YotelPad (Yotel) Condos, Miami

David Arditi with YotelPad (Yotel)

Aria Development Group completed YotelPad Miami, the first new flexible, short-term rental-friendly condo and hotel project in downtown Miami.

Aria, led by principal David Arditi, partnered with the Kuwaiti firm AQARAT to develop the 31-story building at 227 Northeast Second Street. The project has been in the works since at least 2014, and its latest version was expected to be completed in 2020.

Arditi said construction was delayed by the pandemic and the logistical challenges that came with it. “A lot of life happened in the last several years,” he said, pointing more recently to challenges with getting materials.

The pandemic hit a year or so into construction, which began in 2019, Arditi added.

The project’s 231 condos are sold out, and sales of 131 units have been recorded so far for nearly $45 million. Closings began in March and are expected to be completed in mid-June 231-condo building, Arditi said. Prices started at $250,000.

In addition to the condos, YotelPad Miami includes 222 hotel rooms, which Yotel calls cabins.

YotelPad Miami marks the first Yotel-branded development in the city. After launching sales in early 2018, it sold out within a year and a half. Since then, a number of developers have launched and sold out similar projects in Greater Downtown Miami that also allow units to be rented out on a short-term basis.

Aria Development is also nearly sold out at 501 First, a similar development at 501 Northeast First Avenue in Miami, which launched condo sales last year and offers short-term rental friendly units, Arditi said.

Buyers of YotelPad’s residential “pads,” or condos, have no restrictions, and they can participate in the hotel’s short-term rental program. OneWorld Properties, led by Peggy Olin, handled sales and marketing. Buyers hailed from China, Mexico, South America and elsewhere, Arditi said.

“I can use it 365 days a year if I so choose. I can also rent it out 365 times a year if I so choose, and everything in between,” Arditi said. “The concept of the maximum flexibility is what’s appealing.”

The condos are on floors 15 to 30, and they range from 425-square-foot studios to 700-square-foot two-bedroom units with living, kitchen and dining areas. Residents and guests can access three robot butlers via an app that can deliver food, drinks, gifts and documents.

Amenities include bike storage, a coffee bar, a co-working space, pool deck, fitness center and a pet salon, according to a release. The building also has a lounge on the top floor with a game area, chef’s kitchen and private dining space. GPG Hospitality will operate the food and beverage, including restaurants Mazeh on the ground floor and Float at the pool deck on the 14th floor.

The developer paid $5.5 million for the corner development site in 2013, and financed construction with a $76.3 million loan from Bank OZK. Aria is in the process of paying back the construction loan, Arditi said.

AQARAT, in addition to Starwood Capital Group, United Investments Portugal and the Talal Jassim Al-Bahar Family Office, are shareholders of Yotel. The micro-hotel brand has 15 Yotels around the world, five YotelAir (airport hotels) and two YotelPads, including Miami, according to its website.

Arditi said he hopes to build another Yotel development in South Florida, but has not found a site yet.

“We’re absolutely open to more projects,” he said.

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184 Sunset Avenue in Palm Beach with Benchmark's Jordan Vogel and Aaron Feldman (Apartments, LinkedIn, Getty)

184 Sunset Avenue in Palm Beach with Benchmark’s Jordan Vogel and Aaron Feldman (Apartments, LinkedIn, Getty)

UPDATED, May 18, 3:05 p.m.: A New York-based multifamily real estate investment firm bought a historic apartment building in Palm Beach for $17 million.

An affiliate of Benchmark Real Estate Group, led by principals Aaron Feldman and Jordan Vogel, acquired the 23-unit property at 184 Sunset Avenue, according to records. The buyer obtained an $8 million loan from Valley National Bank.

The deal works out to $740,000 per apartment. The seller, an affiliate of Chicago-based commercial real estate firm Conlon & Co., paid $2.9 million for the property in 2010, records show.

Zachary Baraf, principal of the Stanwich Group, acted as the sole adviser in the deal.

Completed in 1926, the Mediterranean-style building features one-bedroom apartments averaging 600 square feet and 1,951 square feet of ground-floor retail, according to an online listing. Rents start at about $1,850 a month, the listing states.

Established in 2009, Benchmark primarily focuses on New York, acquiring more than 1,000 apartments with a cumulative market value of more than $1 billion, according to its website. Benchmark was primarily active in the 2010s when the firm acquired several multifamily buildings that it sold at a profit of over $400 million between 2015 and 2017.

In 2020, an affiliate of Benchmark raised $200 million by selling shares of a shell corporation to private and public investors through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. It’s a vehicle real estate companies use to raise funds from investors without having to go public.

Palm Beach County is one of the hottest multifamily markets for institutional investors. This month, Pantzer Properties paid $78 million for The District Flats, a 178-unit apartment complex in West Palm Beach. Last month, the New York-based firm also bought the 136-unit Solera at City Centre Apartments in Palm Beach Gardens for $66.5 million.

Also in April, Boston-based Berkshire Residential Investments closed a behemoth deal for The Sophia at Abacoa apartment complex in Jupiter. Berkshire paid $202.5 million for the 390-unit garden-style community.

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David Barry, principal, Ironstate Development along with a rendering of the proposed eight-story building between Northeast 26th and 27th Streets in Wynwood (Ironstate, 5G Studio Collaborative)

David Barry, principal, Ironstate Development along with a rendering of the proposed eight-story building between Northeast 26th and 27th Streets in Wynwood (Ironstate, 5G Studio Collaborative)

Ironstate Development and partner Brookfield Properties want to build an Urby-branded apartment building on the former Art by God site in Wynwood.

Hoboken, New Jersey-based Ironstate, led by brothers David and Michael Barry, proposes the eight-story building on 1.3 acres between Northeast 26th and 27th streets, and on the east side of the Florida East Coast Railway, according to Ironstate’s affiliate’s filing with the Miami Urban Development Review Board.

The board is expected to take up the project plan at its Wednesday meeting.

The properties are at 26 and 60 Northeast 27th Street, and at 25 and 61 Northeast 26th Street. Ironstate paid $15.6 million for the real estate last year, marking the company’s first South Florida site purchase.

Wynwood Urby would have 289 units, ranging from studios to one- and two-bedroom apartments, and more than 17,000 square feet of commercial space, according to the filing.

The 5G Studio Collaborative-designed building would include a two-story garage and a bistro. The third floor would have a gym and a yoga studio, as well as a landscaped terrace, the plans show.

The Urby multifamily brand aims to create a community setting, according to its website. It collaborates with Amsterdam-based Concrete Architects, which has designed citizenM hotels, the project filing states.

The Wynwood site now consists of a warehouse that previously housed the Art by God museum and store, as well as an adjacent storage building. The rest of the property is vacant.

Gene Harris founded Art by God in 1982 and opened the Wynwood store in 2014.

Art by God originally was in contract to sell the Wynwood site to Miami Beach-based Lucky Shepherd, which planned an eco-friendly hotel, but Lucky assigned the contract to Ironstate. Art by God also has a store at 1280 Northwest 74th Street, just north of Miami.

Ironstate has more than $1 billion of residential, hotel and mixed-use projects underway, according to its website.

Brookfield Properties is the real estate development and management arm of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, a publicly traded alternative investment manager with $725 billion of assets under management, according to both companies’ websites.

The proposal is the latest for an apartment project in Wynwood, a former warehouse district that has become gentrified and redeveloped into an arts and dining hub. The area has seen an onslaught of investment and development, including multifamily projects.

In April, New York developer Jenny Bernell, an ex-EVP of development at Kushner Companies, bought the properties at 2000 North Miami Avenue and 2021 Northwest Miami Court for $19.1 million. Bernell, through her Clearline Real Estate, plans a mixed-use project that would likely include apartments.

Chicago-based Fifield Companies bought 1.4 acres on the northwest corner of Northeast 27th Street and the train tracks for $19.5 million in January. Fifield plans to build an eight-story, 210-unit Wynwood Station apartment project with roughly 10,000 square feet of retail and a pedestrian paseo.

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Innovation District (DB Lewis Architect-Thresholds Intl, iStock) Mike Zoi, Miami, Motorsport

Innovation District (DB Lewis Architect-Thresholds Intl, iStock)

UPDATED, May 18, 5:15 p.m.: Race car driver and digital media tycoon Mike Zoi wants to develop a mid-rise office building at the Magic City Innovation District in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood.

Zoi proposes a 13-story building west of Northeast Fourth Avenue and between 59th and 60th streets, according to a letter submitted by a Zoi-led entity to the city.

The Miami Urban Development Review Board is set to take up the project at its Wednesday meeting.

The 1.8-acre development site consists mainly of warehouses retrofitted into other uses, including a building now serving as the headquarters for Zoi’s Motorsport Network at 5972 Northeast Fourth Avenue. Zoi, through various entities, owns the properties, records show.

The DB Lewis Architect-designed project would be mostly glass, as renderings show floor-to-ceiling windows and a bronze-colored building frame. The plan is for 206,352 square feet of offices; 79,676 square feet of other commercial space, including retail; and 390 parking spaces, according to an April submittal to the Urban Development Review board.

This is among the first planned projects at the Magic City Innovation District, a $1 billion mixed-use development spanning 18 acres roughly from Northeast 60th Street to 64th Street and from Northeast Second Avenue to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks in Little Haiti and Lemon City.

The Miami City Commission approved the development in 2019, despite opposition from area residents and business owners who raised concerns about neighborhood gentrification, increased traffic and the size and scale of the development. Opponents sued the city shortly after the project was approved, but lost in 2020.

Magic City’s investment partners include Miami-based Plaza Equity Partners, led by Neil Fairman, Anthony Burns and George Helmstetter, according to the project’s website.

Construction is expected to start this year on the first tower at Magic City, a 25-story apartment building with 359 units, Burns told The Real Deal late last year.The 8.5 million-square-foot development also will have condos and retail, as well as offices aimed as a hub for technology companies.

Mayor Francis Suarez has been courting techies in a push to make Miami the new Silicon Valley.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misstated Zoi’s country of birth. He is from Georgia and holds U.S. citizenship. 

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Alterra Property Group's Leo Addimando and 1645 Northwest 33rd Street in Pompano Beach (Google Maps, Alterra Property Group)

Alterra Property Group’s Leo Addimando and 1645 Northwest 33rd Street in Pompano Beach (Google Maps, Alterra Property Group)

UPDATED, May 18, 11:15 a.m.: A Philadelphia-based commercial real estate firm picked up a Broward County warehouse for $14.3 million.

An affiliate of Alterra Property Group, led by co-founder and Managing Partner Leo Addimando, acquired the 21,306-square-foot industrial building at 1645 Northwest 33rd Street in Pompano Beach, according to records.

The seller is an entity managed by Bernard Paul-Hus, CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based electric and utility contractor Hypower, records show. In 2006, Paul-Hus’ entity paid $2.7 million for the land, and completed the warehouse five years later. Hypower also leases the warehouse.

Roberto Susi and Jose Sasson of Axiom Capital Advisors brokered the off-market deal.

Founded in 2005, Alterra has executed more than 150 real estate deals across 20 states, totaling more than $2 billion in volume, according to the firm’s website. Alterra focuses on mixed-use, multifamily and industrial properties. The firm entered the South Florida market in November when Alterra purchased two industrial sites in Medley for a combined $25.4 million, according to published reports.

South Florida’s industrial market is not showing any signs of a slowdown, except for a lack of inventory, according to a recent JLL report. In Broward, net absorption reached a record 850,000 square feet in the first quarter, compared to 556,371 square feet during the same period last year. The vacancy rate tumbled to 4.2 percent, compared to 7.9 percent in the first quarter of last year, JLL found. As a result, the average asking rent rose to $11.19 a square foot in the most recent quarter compared to $8.58 a square foot during the same period of 2021.

The northeast Broward submarket, which includes Pompano Beach, had a 4.6 percent vacancy rate in the most recent quarter, compared to 8.7 percent in the first quarter of last year, while the average asking rent rose to $10.59 a square foot, compared to $8.78 a square foot during the same period last year.

In February, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania-based Equus Capital paid a record $239.2 million for Pompano Business Park, representing 1.03 million square feet of warehouses in Pompano Beach. The transaction was part of a $903 million deal for a 5.4-million-square-foot industrial portfolio from Prologis.

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Pebb Capital's Todd Rosenberg with 4000 Collins Avenue (Loopnet, iStock)

Pebb Capital’s Todd Rosenberg with 4000 Collins Avenue (Loopnet, iStock)

UPDATED, MAY 17, 3:32 p.m.: Pebb Capital and LeaseFlorida sold a CVS-anchored retail condo in Miami Beach for $18 million to a Torrance, California-based real estate investment firm.

Capital Cove Investments acquired the two-story, 8,896-square-foot space underneath a four-level parking garage at 4000 Collins Avenue, according to a press release. It is adjacent to Pebb Capital and LeaseFlorida’s Hampton Inn at The Continental hotel.

The deal breaks down to $1,989 a square foot. Cushman & Wakefield’s Blake Tagmyer and Brandon Price led a team that brokered the deal, the release states. Emerald Creek Capital arranged $13.3 million in financing for the buyer.

Cove Capital’s portfolio consists of about 50 properties in 25 states with an acquisition value of more than $250 million, according to the firm’s website.

Last year, CVS inked a long-term lease for 25.5 years at the site, the release states. Pebb Capital, co-founded by managing principals Todd and Jeff Rosenberg, and Miami Lakes-based LeaseFlorida completed the parking garage and retail condo in 2019, the same year the joint venture finished renovating The Continental, a historic 100-key hotel completed in 1948.

CVS-anchored retail buildings in Miami Beach sell for premium prices. In 2019, Philadelphia-based commercial real estate firm KNLB paid $18.3 million for a 12,415-square-foot retail building leased to CVS at 983 Washington Avenue, records show. And in 2015, Boston-based Rockpoint Group paid $30 million for a two-story, CVS-anchored building at 306 and 312 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

Established in 2014, Boca Raton-and-New-York-based Pebb Capital is currently redeveloping the Bancroft Hotel and the adjacent Ocean Steps commercial building in South Beach into a Class A office project that will offer a membership-style concept. The reimagined Art Deco property will offer private office space, four restaurants and a subterranean parking garage.

Pebb Capital is partnering with Miami-based Maxwelle Real Estate Group and Miami Beach developer Russell Galbut on the project. Pebb and Maxwelle paid $47 million for the Bancroft and Ocean Steps in September.

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Lennar's Eric Feder with 4042 Island Estates Drive (The Carroll Group, Lennar)

Lennar’s Eric Feder with 4042 Island Estates Drive (The Carroll Group, Lennar)

Lennar executive Eric Feder sold his waterfront home in Aventura’s Island Estates for $11.9 million, a record for the neighborhood and likely for all of Aventura.

Feder, president of Lenˣ, the company’s venture capital investing arm, sold his five-bedroom, six-bathroom house at 4042 Island Estates Drive to 40 40 Island Estates LLC, according to property records and a source. The buyer, who is linked to London-based businessman Daniel Shamoon, also owns the adjacent home.

Built in 2001, the three-story, 7,800-square-foot house sits on a 0.4-acre lot with 250 feet of water frontage, two docks and one boat lift. It includes a primary suite, summer kitchen, and a pool and spa, according to the listing.

Compass broker Chad Carroll, who declined to comment, represented the buyer and seller.

In 2020, the buyer paid $3.5 million for the adjacent waterfront property at 4040 Island Estates Drive. Shamoon signed a mortgage for the adjacent property that reveals his tie to the LLC. Shamoon and his sister, Jennica Shamoon Arazi, head London-based Bursha Holdings, a retail, commercial and residential real estate company, and they also invest in hotels, according to published reports.

Feder and his wife, Elizabeth, paid $2 million for the property at 4042 Island Estates Drive in 2007. Prior to his role at Lennar/Lenˣ, Feder was vice chairman at Rialto Capital from 2008 to 2018, according to his bio. While at Lenˣ, the company has invested in startups such as Doma, Hippo Insurance, Opendoor and SmartRent.

The Feders’ Aventura sale surpasses the previous $8.8 million record set in November with the sale of the waterfront house at 3916 Island Estates Drive. David L. Clarke, a former PwC principal, and his wife, attorney Dara Clarke, sold that home last year. The couple was tied up in yearslong litigation with the developers of nearby Privé Island.

The Feders were also part of the group of nearby homeowners who opposed the development, court records show.

Island Estates faces Sunny Isles Beach.

In 2020, DJ Khaled sold his nearby waterfront home, at 3914 Island Estates Drive, for $4.8 million. The DJ and record producer, whose real name is Khaled Mohamed Khaled, now lives on Pine Tree Drive in Miami Beach.

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(Getty, iStock; Photo-illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

(Getty, iStock; Photo-illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Taking a proptech firm public will never again be so easy — if regulators have their way.

Many feel it would be good if they did.

Shares in proptech firms that went public over the last two years in a series of mergers with special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have continued a long downward slide into 2022, reflecting just how frothy that market became in the heady days of the pandemic, when stimulus money was flowing and some SPAC sponsors, touting spectacular growth projections, sold investors on questionable deals.

SPAC mergers tend to be hugely profitable for sponsors regardless of how well they pan out for their investors, thanks to the fees they collect for setting them up. In the worst cases, sponsors, some with limited real estate know-how, entered eleventh-hour “shotgun weddings” with targets just to complete a transaction.

“The vintage of SPACs that came to market in 2020 and 2021 in the proptech space have left investors with a number of messy stories to deal with,” said Ryan Tomasello, research director at the investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. “Performance projections have not been met, and their cash burn really calls into question, in some cases, their timeline to profitability.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission now wants to tighten the rules around SPACs, ostensibly to protect retail investors who aren’t privy to the risks of early-stage, growth investment.

Shares of proptech SPACs fell an average of 47 percent during the first quarter as investors moved away from less-profitable stocks amid a broader market sell-off, according to KBW research. By the end of March, these stocks were trading at an average of 51 percent below the standard $10 SPAC buy-in price.

While deals have slowed substantially — only two new proptech SPACs have been announced in the last six months, and just three have closed — funding hasn’t dried up. As of late April, there remained 10 potential sponsors seeking a proptech- or real estate-related target, according to the data firm SPAC Research.

Whether they can successfully take a target public will depend, to a degree, on whether regulators succeed in reforming the space.

New rules

In late March, the SEC laid out its proposed new rules for SPACs, which have historically been perceived as a “backdoor” to the public market. In essence, the SEC wants SPACs to look more like traditional IPOs, with more limited valuations and greater transparency around sponsor fees and other conflicts of interest.

“It’s really difficult to project the performance of a high-growth business multiple years out. It’s far more art than it is science.”

— Dave Eisenberg, Zigg Capital

The SEC also wants to reign in the pollyannaish performance projections that have defined the market in the last two years by holding those who issue them liable for their accuracy. For many, this is the key proposal that, if ultimately approved — the rules are in a 60-day comment period — would alter the landscape.

It was those long-term performance projections that allowed less-worthy deals to make it to the finish line, and contributed to the spectacular rise and fall of share prices that have hurt retail investors, experts say.

“A lot of people took these 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027 forecasts without the proper grain of salt,” said Dave Eisenberg, founding partner at proptech-focused Zigg Capital. “It’s really difficult to project with any certainty the performance of a high-growth business multiple years out. It’s far more art than it is science.”

A key problem: It’s not always clear who comes up with those performance projections, and therefore who is to blame when the results aren’t delivered. The sponsor, the target company and any investment bank advising on a deal are incentivized to inflate the growth trajectory.

The use of long-term projections to sell investors on SPAC deals hinges on a technicality. When they’ve identified a target to take public, SPACs file an S-4 registration statement for SEC review — M&A-related documentation — rather than the S-1 used in traditional IPOs. Statements made in an M&A process are protected under a safe harbor provision, so the SPAC isn’t liable if projections made “in good faith” aren’t achieved. The S-4 process involves financial and legal advisors, not an underwriter.

By contrast, companies undertaking a traditional IPO must navigate the S-1 process, which involves an underwriter and is not protected by a safe harbor provision. While there is no rule stating that projections cannot be included in an S-1, they typically are not for precisely those reasons: The underwriters have liability.

In its final draft of the new rules, the SEC may opt to rewrite the definition of an underwriter to include SPAC financial and legal advisors, meaning investors could sue them if a deal turns out to be a flop — or “for anything,” according to Kristi Marvin, founder of the website SPACInsider.com.

“That’s a pretty bold thing for the SEC to do, to rewrite the Securities Act of 1934,” Marvin said.

Polishing the tarnish

There are still a record number of SPACs — 600 hundred across the market — shopping for a target, but industry players described a wariness among proptech founders to entertain SPAC deals, given how poorly they have performed.

SPAC investors, importantly, have the option to redeem their shares when it comes time to approve a deal, and redemption levels have been climbing, leaving targets with only a fraction of the capital they’d expected and a smaller number of tradable shares. This makes the stock less liquid and therefore “less investible,” KBW’s Tomasello said.

Ben Kwasnick, founder of SPAC Research, expects a reckoning in the coming months when many SPACs fail to identify or woo a target. Sponsors typically have up to two years to find one.

“There’s a cresting wave of maturities over the next six, 12, 18 months that will very likely result in a huge increase of liquidations,” Kwasnick said.

The market has already started to self-regulate, according to Jay Ritter, a finance professor at The University of Florida. Hedge funds and other increasingly cautious investors are “squeezing” sponsors, forcing them to put more skin in the game up front — as much as 4 percent of the $10 SPAC buy-in, rather than the typical 2 percent — exposing them to greater potential losses, he said.

Meanwhile, major investment banks, sensing the turmoil in the market and the reputational risk of participating in it, “have really pulled back,” Ritter said. In the first quarter, that cohort participated in only three of 54 SPAC IPOs.

Zigg Capital’s Eisenberg described the caution stemming from the proposed new rules as a positive. Before, SPAC players operated on the assumption that deals could come together quickly, people could make a lot of money off of fees, and “everything was just going up and up forever,” he said.

“It was not grounded in any reality,” he said. “It was much more about marketing ability, and the ability to stay in the center of attention, which is not what investing should be about.”

Eisenberg expects there to be far fewer, but higher-quality SPAC deals in the coming years, with fewer swashbuckling sponsors and better, more mature targets with proven business models.

“There will be truer valuations,” Eisenberg said. “And the companies electing to go public via SPACs will do so without any sense of there being an extra perk.”

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President Joe Biden (Getty, iStock)

President Joe Biden (Getty, iStock)

President Biden laid out a plan Monday aimed at closing the housing shortfall across the U.S..

Doing so will be an uphill battle: The administration’s previous affordable housing proposals floundered under the failed Build Back Better reconciliation bill. Still, housing advocates reacted enthusiastically.

“In my 25 years in this business, we haven’t had this level of focus on housing from the White House,” said Alanna McCargo, president of Ginnie Mae, on Monday at a capital markets conference hosted by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

In a press release, the administration highlighted a 2021 Moody’s estimate that the nation is more than 1.5 million houses short, though a Realtor.com study put the number at north of 5 million.

The president’s new plan seeks to ramp up housing construction by increasing federal funding options for accessory dwelling units, modular homes and manufactured houses, as well as using transportation grants to reward jurisdictions that encourage density. That could mean cities and states that resist new housing will be rejected for road-project funding that was once routinely approved.

The plan recycles several proposals from the reconciliation bill, including a $1.75 billion grant program for localities that enact zoning or policies that “reduce barriers to housing supply elasticity and affordability,” and an expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition commended the president’s proposals, but also emphasized the importance of Congress moving forward with housing investments proposed in the reconciliation bill.

“Only through a combination of administrative action and robust federal funding can the country truly resolve its affordable housing crisis,” Diane Yentel, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the $2 trillion Build Back Better bill in November, but the Senate has not agreed to a version of the measure.

Biden framed his latest housing proposals as a way to combat inflation: boosting housing supply to drive down housing costs.

Other recent initiatives have aimed at deterring large investors from scooping up single-family homes. The Federal Housing Administration recently extended to 30 days the period in which owner-occupants and nonprofits get the first opportunity to bid on properties sold through foreclosures on federally-backed mortgages.

The plan looks to Ginnie Mae to securitize affordable housing financing including Title I loans, which helps explain McCargo’s positive reaction. But she was hardly alone.

Jolie Milstein, president and chief executive officer of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, echoed excitement that the administration appears committed to ambitious housing policies.

Milstein noted that the proposal to reward jurisdictions for pro-housing land use policies was an important recognition that city and state governments are crucial to ramping up housing supply.

“We need to build more. Small incremental additions are not going to change the calculus,” she said. “It is going to take an all hands on deck approach.”

Orion Jones contributed reporting.

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A photo illustration of the letter unit owners of Champlain Towers South in Surfside sent to the court (Getty Images, iStock)

A photo illustration of the letter unit owners of Champlain Towers South in Surfside sent to the court (Getty Images, iStock)

UPDATED, May 16, 9:14 p.m.: Unit owners of Champlain Towers South in Surfside are asking the court to boost their $83 million payout, following a much larger $997 million settlement reached last week for the families who lost loved ones in the collapse.

Roughly 50 unit owners are asking for a reconsideration of their allocation, citing the milestone future payout to the families of the 98 who died, according to court filings.

In a letter to Champlain condo association receiver Michael Goldberg, the unit owners say they are “thrilled” with the settlement for the families, who are the wrongful death plaintiff class in the lawsuit. But they add that “given the size of the settlement, it merits” a reconsideration of the payout to those who lost their units. They make up the economic loss plaintiff class.

The nearly $1 billion settlement announced last week “exceeded everyone’s expectations,” the unit owners said in their letter filed to Goldberg on Thursday. “We too have been significantly hurt by this tragedy and need to rebuild our lives.”

On Monday, Goldberg filed a motion with the court, alerting Judge Michael Hanzman of the request and attaching the unit owners’ letter. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for May 24.

The court filing could reopen a previous issue that had pitted the wrongful death class against the economic loss group over dividing disbursements collected in the litigation.

The $83 million settlement will come from Champlain’s insurance and from the sale of the oceanfront property at 8777 Collins Avenue. Stalking horse bidder Damac Properties, a Dubai-based developer, set the minimum purchase price for the site at $120 million, and the property will be auctioned off on May 24. Bidders who want to compete with Damac have until Friday to submit their offers, which must be over $120 million.

The $83 million would be divided among owners of the 136 units, based on their percentage ownership stake in the building. In exchange, unit owners will be released from potential liability for the collapse based on state law that says condo owners could be on the hook for the value of their unit in events such as the collapse.

On the other hand, the $997 million settlement comes from more than 25 entities and companies, some of which were sued in the collapse litigation and some that weren’t. They include the Terra-led development team of Eighty Seven Park, the next-door condo tower whose construction was alleged in the suit to have contributed to the collapse. The proceeds from the Eighty Seven Park development team came from its insurers, with the settlement constituting no admission of fault by the builders.

Negotiations are ongoing with the sole remaining defendant, the vibration monitoring firm GeoSonics, which will likely push the settlement to over $1 billion.

Although the larger settlement is mainly for those who lost family members, some of the proceeds could go to those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or for the loss of contents in a unit.

A Champlain unit owner who is a recipient of a share of the $83 million payout also could qualify for a portion of the $997 million settlement if they lost a loved one.

In court, Hanzman has said he hoped the two plaintiff classes won’t be at odds over the allocations.

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Trippie Redd with 5600 Southwest 136th Avenue (Getty, iStock, Richard Lopez of Lopez Productions, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

Trippie Redd with 5600 Southwest 136th Avenue (Getty, iStock, Richard Lopez of Lopez Productions, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

Rapper, singer and songwriter Trippie Redd, who has collaborated with the likes of Travis Scott, scooped up a Southwest Ranches estate for $7.5 million.

Trippie Redd, whose real name is Michael Lamar White II, bought the mansion on the 5000 block of Southwest 136th Avenue from an entity led by Mohamed Yacoob, according to records. The buyer secured a $4.9 million mortgage from New York-based GuardHill Financial.

Joe Caprio and Alexander Fernandez of the Joe Caprio brokerage represented the seller. Alex Carnot of Morgan Whitney Realty represented the buyer.

The two-story, 18,923-square-foot mansion is palatial-like with nine bedrooms and 11 and a half bathrooms, Realtor.com shows.

Yacoob bought the 4.6-acre property in 2010 and completed the house in 2015, according to records.

Its features include a chef’s kitchen, two offices, an indoor basketball court with exercise area, wine cellar and an eight-car garage, according to Realtor.com.

The property is so spacious that it easily allows for parking for 15 to 20 cars, Carnot said.

“It’s one of the biggest homes in Southwest Ranches,” he said. “ If you want the seclusion and privacy, Southwest Ranches is the way to go.”

Trippie Redd, who grew up in Ohio, released his first studio album, “Life’s a Trip,” in 2018, followed by his “!” and “Pegasus,” according to media reports.

Southwest Ranches, a largely residential town in western Broward County known for its horse ranches, has attracted big-name buyers.

In March, hedge funder Prasad Hedge, COO of Miami-based 777 Partners, and his wife Ruby, bought a spec house at 4770 Akai Drive for $8 million. The home was under construction at the time of sale.

Others who have called Southwest Ranches home include Major League Baseball player Asdrúbal Cabrera, who sold his custom-built, 9,300-square-foot mansion at 1700 Stratford Court for $7.4 million in October. The buyer was a Delaware-registered entity.

In 2020, former NFL star wide receiver and Miami Dolphin Brandon Marshall and his wife, Michi Nogami-Marshall, sold their mansion at 16710 Stratford Court for $4.25 million.

The South Florida housing boom has pushed up prices to new heights, although it is showing signs of slowing down. In the first quarter, residential sales fell across the region, as inventory was quickly absorbed, according to a Douglas Elliman report. In Fort Lauderdale, single-family home sales dropped by 19 percent, year-over-year, to 556 deals. The median single-family home price in Fort Lauderdale jumped 24 percent from the first quarter of last year, to $649,000, the report showed.

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Black Lion Investments' Robert Rivani and the Ritz-Carlton Residences at 4701 North Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach (Ritz-Carlton Residences, Black Lion Investments)

Black Lion Investments’ Robert Rivani and the Ritz-Carlton Residences at 4701 North Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach (Ritz-Carlton Residences, Black Lion Investments)

A Los Angeles-based retail investor known for his South Florida commercial condo buying binge just purchased a waterfront Mid-Miami Beach penthouse.

Robert Rivani, president of Black Lion Investment Group, paid $7.5 million for a four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom unit in the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach at 4701 North Meridian Avenue, records show. Rivani paid $1,762 a square foot for the condo. City National Bank of Florida financed the purchase with a $5.3 million mortgage, records show.

An inside look at Rivani's new condo (Source: Redfin)

An inside look at Rivani’s new condo (Source: Redfin)

Philip Freedman with Douglas Elliman represented the seller, and Dina Goldentayer, also with Douglas Elliman, represented the buyer, according to an online listing. The condo is currently rented to a tenant paying $45,000 a month until June — when the annual lease goes up to $52,000 a month, the listing states.

The seller, an affiliate of real estate investors Ashok “Chuck” Khubani and Anita Khubani, paid $5.1 million last year for the 4,255-square-foot penthouse, records show. Chuck Khubani is the founder and CEO of Ontel Products, and the brother of A.J. Khubani, founder and CEO of “As Seen On TV” products company Telebrands. The Khubani affiliate, Ask Florida, still owns 14 condos throughout Miami and Miami Beach, including three in Paramount Miami Worldcenter and three in The Carillon Hotel & Spa.

The Khubanis customized the Ritz-Carlton Residences unit during pre-construction, according to the listing. The penthouse features a family room and a master suite overlooking La Gorce Country Club and Biscayne Bay, the listing states.

Lionheart and its partner, Elliott Management, completed the 111-unit Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, in 2019 after construction delays.

Among other buyers at the luxury development, Witkoff family members purchased two units last year for nearly $11 million, combined. An entity led by Lauren Witkoff, who is married to developer Steve Witkoff, paid $5.8 million for unit 612, and another entity, led by Steve’s son, Zach Witkoff, paid $5.1 million for unit S07.

Rivani’s Black Lion is among the most active firms acquiring retail spaces in South Florida, specializing in condominium commercial spaces. Recently, Black Lion paid $11.5 million for a restaurant space adjacent to the Continuum South Beach in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood. Black Lion also owns the ground-floor commercial units at boutique condominium Marea in South of Fifth. Rivani’s firm paid $19 million for the units in December.

Last year, Black Lion paid $12.1 million for Amara, a 12,300-square-foot restaurant operated by Michael Schwartz at Paraiso, a condominium in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.

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From left: David Edelstein, Alex Karakhanian and Victor Ballestas in front of the property at 3601 North Miami Avenue (Lndmrk Development, Tricap, Integra Investments, LoopNet)

From left: David Edelstein, Alex Karakhanian and Victor Ballestas in front of the property at 3601 North Miami Avenue (Lndmrk Development, Tricap, Integra Investments, LoopNet)

UPDATED, May 18, 2 p.m.: A long vacant piece of land at the entrance to the Design District and Midtown Miami could finally be developed after a trio of prominent developers bought the assemblage, The Real Deal has learned.

David Edelstein’s Tricap, Integra Investments and Alex Karakhanian’s Lndmrk Development paid $23 million for the 1-acre property at 3601 North Miami Avenue, Edelstein said. The site was going to become Triptych Miami, a mixed-use hotel building, but the previous owner lost it through foreclosure. LV Lending sold the property, which is just south of I-195.

A rendering of the Triptych, a former project planned for the site (Source: Triptych)

A rendering of the Triptych, a former project planned for the site (Source: HES Group)

The buyers, who closed on the property on Friday, plan to build a 20-story Class A office tower with a retail and restaurant component, Edelstein said. An Avison Young team led by John Crotty and Michael Fay brokered the deal.

LV Lending took control of the assemblage in September. HES Group had planned to develop the site into a 475,000-square-foot project with a 300-room Hilton Curio Collection hotel and about 38,000 square feet of retail space, 60,000 square feet office space, and a 400-space parking garage. Amid a foreclosure lawsuit from LV Lending, affiliates of HES filed for bankruptcy last year in an effort to bring on new partners or sell the site.

HES Group affiliate Aventura Hotel Properties paid $12.3 million for the site in 2014, records show.

The newly planned development would have more than 250,000 square feet of office space, plus ground-floor retail, Edelstein said. “There is no office space in the Design District. It’s all getting eaten up from 29th Street down to 22nd Street,” he added.

He and his partners aim to seek permits in about six to eight months, with a projected groundbreaking in 15 months.

The property is visible from the Shops at Midtown Miami across the street and the exit from I-195 onto 36th Street, on the southern border of the Miami Design District.

Cory Yeffet, a partner and vice president of acquisitions at Integra Investments, said the project will be “very well located” with high visibility “in an area that hasn’t seen much Class A office.”

In March, Miami Design District Associates, a partnership of Craig Robins’ Dacra, L Catterton Real Estate and Brookfield Properties, revealed plans for The Ursa, a 15-story office building at 30 Northeast 39th Street. The building will mark the first ground-up office building for the Miami Design District developers.

New-to-market finance firms and technology companies have been fueling the office market. Average asking rents rose for the seventh straight quarter in Miami-Dade County, up 10.2 percent in the first quarter, year-over-year, according to a first quarter JLL report.

A number of developers are planning new office projects in Miami and Miami Beach.

Edelstein’s Tricap and RAL Development are expected to break ground later this year on a $200 million, two tower, mixed-use Class A office development along Fifth Avenue, nearby in Wynwood.

Integra is part of a development group proposing office projects on city owned land in Miami Beach. The group is led by Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group and the Comras Company. A second group that includes Don Peebles and former mayor Philip Levine is also vying for a city site, and Miami Beach residents will ultimately decide at a referendum expected Nov. 8.

Edelstein and Karakhanian are also working together on NoMad Residences Wynwood, a planned NoMad Hotels-branded condo building with a Casa Tua Cucina on the ground floor. Tricap, the Related Group and Karakhanian recently launched sales of the project, which is on a site they acquired from Chinese lender Seven Valleys for $26.5 million last year.

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A photo illustration of self-storage units (iStock)

(iStock)

Eased pandemic restrictions mean fewer people are stuck at home with their extra stuff, but the nationwide interest in self storage doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Rent performance and demand are still on the rise for self storage, according to a report from RentCafe. While the sector formerly relied on business from major life events such as death and divorce, the uptick in interest in the wake of the pandemic has continued, two years on.

More than 131 million square feet of storage space is planned or under construction nationally, including about 50 million square feet expected to be delivered this year. According to Yardi Matrix, the space under development would increase the national stock by 9 percent.

Rents in the sector are continuing to climb as well. The national average street rent is $128, up 6 percent year-over-year. Many major markets, including Los Angeles and Dallas, outpaced the national rent growth rate in the past 12 months.

No market is seeing a bigger influx of coming storage space than New York. The metro dominated self-storage sales last year. Close to $3 billion was transacted in Manhattan alone last year, according to StorageCafe. Nearly 12 million square feet of storage space is planned in New York, including 6.2 million square feet expected to be delivered this year, according to RentCafe. Of the city’s five boroughs, Queens leads planned development with almost 1.3 million square feet on the way.

New York’s storage space is close to 72 million square feet and ranks a close second in the nation, trailing only the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The average street rate in New York is $191. New York’s market is also the tightest with an average of only two square feet of storage space per capita.

Los Angeles is also set for an influx of storage space, with more than 6.3 million square feet planned in the area. Space is already at a premium cost in Los Angeles, one of five metros where the average rate tops $200.

Miami ranks fifth in the nation for planned storage space as close to four million square feet is on the way. The need for snowbirds to store items is helping boost rents in the market, up almost 17 percent year-over-year to $168.

Chicago also ranks in the top ten for planned storage space, set to receive 2.6 million square feet in the coming years. The metro has the largest share of storage space planned in urban areas among the top markets with 91 percent of the developing space eschewing the suburbs.

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The shopping center at 12495 Southwest 88th Street (Frontier Companies)

The shopping center at 12495 Southwest 88th Street (Frontier Companies)

Frontier Companies, a Coconut Grove real estate investment firm, paid $17.8 million for a southwest Miami-Dade shopping center.

An entity managed by Eric Gordon, principal of Frontier Companies, bought the 49,456-square-foot retail center at 12495 Southwest 88th Street in the unincorporated neighborhood of Kendall, records show. City National Bank of Florida provided the buyer with an $11.4 million loan.

The deal worked out to $360 per square foot. The shopping center is anchored by a Best Buy and other tenants include Michael’s, Barnes & Noble and Starbucks.

The seller, New York-based Severn Realty Partners, paid $7.3 million in 2016 for the property, which was completed in 1995, records show.

Frontier owns and manages more than 90 commercial properties across 17 states, according to the firm’s website. In South Florida, Frontier owns Walgreens-leased stores in Florida City and Lake Worth, as well as two stand-alone stores leased to Autozone in Aventura and Hialeah Gardens, the website shows.

South Florida’s retail market is on an upswing since the early days of the pandemic forced many shopping centers and malls to shut down and then reopen under heavy restrictions, according to a recent report by Lee & Associates. Investors from around the country are taking notice, accounting for two-thirds of retail property buyers in the most recent quarter, the report states.

The vacancy rate for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties dropped to 3.7 percent in the most recent quarter compared to 4.6 percent in the first quarter, the report shows. And average asking rents rose to $32.31 a square foot from $29.48 a square foot year-over-year.

Last month, Miami Lakes-based CF Properties landed a $35.6 million loan to overhaul Crossing Shopping Village, a Publix-anchored retail center also in Kendall. That same month, Burlington Group, led by Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla, paid $14.4 million for The Market Place, a retail plaza in unincorporated Palm Beach County.

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(Photo-illustration by Paul Dilakian for The Real Deal; Screenshots via Traded)

Allan Lebovits was ready for the spotlight. He brought gold-rimmed sunglasses.

Lebovits is the founder of BridgeCity Capital, a Brooklyn-based company that bills itself as a “millenial marketplace for real estate capital.” He and Moishe Loketch, who handles business development (“work hard, play hard and embrace the challenges of the deal,” his bio reads), went to the U.S. Open in September to schmooze with a lender. The crowd at the tennis match was full of deep-pocketed financiers and real estate investors, getting to know clients over a Honey Deuce or three. But from the moment they entered the arena, Lebovits and Loketch felt eyes on them.

The duo have become minor celebrities in real estate circles thanks to Traded, a social media company popular with industry pros. Traded posts collage-heavy images about closed commercial real estate deals – think a most-wanted board for the deal-obsessed. And it’s caught the eye of just about everyone with an Instagram account and a real estate bone in their body.

Traded devotees know Lebovits even if they don’t know that they know him. He has appeared in at least 22 posts on the account, usually sporting aviators, a black yarmulke and ruler-straight bangs. He’s flanked by a rotating cast of co-workers, such as Joel Wertzberger, smirking behind a thick beard and suspenders, and Pinny Loketch, Moishe’s father, who wears an adorable fedora and starts his bio with, “There’s a rare form of authenticity in a time worn classic.”

“Everywhere we walked, people wanted to take selfies with us,” said Moishe Loketch.

What Loketch calls his “Mount Rushmore” of “goofy headshots” has brought BridgeCity real business. In the same way a traditional ad can lodge a brand’s name in a consumer’s head before she ever interacts with its products, a Traded post gets the word out that you’re making deals.

When Loketch started buying Traded posts in 2019, it was still a fledgling account competing with traditional media companies for eyeballs. But as it grew, other lenders and brokers felt more pressure to get their faces out there, no matter how silly. For Traded, that pressure means profit.

“Everywhere we walked, people wanted to take selfies with us.”

Moishe Loketch, BridgeCity Capital

Traded pulled in between $500 and $1,300 in daily fees from its New York Instagram posts alone, according to an analysis of several days of posts. Some cost nothing, while others climbed as high as $400 for a single post. Yet, few people know where all that money goes.

An anonymous publisher has built a lucrative empire on the egos of the most egotistical of all professionals — commercial real estate brokers — without giving up his identity. After an extensive investigation, The Real Deal was able to track down what appears to be at least one founder of real estate’s favorite vanity mirror (more on that later). A broker himself, Traded’s creator came up in the New York real estate gridiron and has a history of experiments in tech and media.

Traded has proven to be his most influential invention yet.

 

“A bang-up job”

Traded is a media company built for the social networking age. It shares bare-bones images representing commercial real estate deals in seven markets across the country. The recipe is simple, consisting of a broker’s headshot, the building leased or sold and the sale price in bold print.

The company’s city-specific accounts cover transactions in seven markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, New Jersey and Texas. It has also branched into covering real estate-focused venture capital deals. In all, Traded boasts 176,000 followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Its TikTok account shows zero posts, but recent ventures into animated videos suggest that could soon change.

 
View this post on Instagram
 

A post shared by Traded: New York🗽 (@tradedny)

Even though some followers may use Traded like a news source, at its core, it’s an ad platform. Users pay Traded to share their brand with tens of thousands of people, most of whom are competitors or potential clients.

And it is fast. Just hit follow, scan your feed as you would any other day and catch the latest deals in snackable form.

“It used to be that when the print version of The Real Deal would come, you’d flip to the back and see what’s going on, who’s buying and who’s selling,” said Greg Corbin, president of bankruptcy and restructuring at Rosewood Realty Group. “That’s commuted over to Traded.”

Traded doesn’t pay a dime and does scant research. There’s no need for competing brokers to argue over who deserves credit for a deal, as Traded just posts whoever submits it. On occasion, the same deal gets two posts because brokers on both sides buy one. It serves up generic content that anyone with Photoshop could make in five minutes. Face, building, dollar amount. But the followers — and the opportunities for new fees, new markets — keep on coming.

Until recently, almost every post had a base cost of around $250, several sources said. Now, only leases require payment upfront, but Traded still has plenty of ways to draw in cash. If you want your company’s logo next to your mug, that’ll run you $50. It’s another $25 to add a note to the caption, and $100 to push your post to the front of the line and get it up in 24 hours. Traded is also, unlike news outlets, not snobbish about deal size. As long as you pay a premium, everything is worth a post.

If your lease is less than 1,000 square feet, you’ll have to cough up another $200. If your partner in the deal doesn’t want his or her involvement publicized, there’s another fee. Tack on $200 if you’re posting a residential deal or your sale price is less than $1 million. Ego can be an expensive companion.

On the hunt

While Traded’s followers recognize the account’s characters, they know nothing about the person behind it. Traded’s founder — or founders — have built a wall of secrecy around the company that, even after my attempts to knock it down, stood up to scrutiny.

Traded’s main email address, hello@traded.co, handles all external communications. It didn’t handle my interview request, though; my initial correspondence and follow-up were ignored.

But hey, it’s a new media company — I should try speaking the language. So I DM’d Traded’s main Instagram and Twitter accounts. Crickets.

I reached into my investigative reporting bag of tricks. Using LinkedIn advanced search, I found six people who have worked there. They included marketing consultants, graphic designers and one researcher. Half are based in New York, two are in the Philippines and one’s in Nigeria.

LinkedIn revealed a few details: Dakota Pentony, a designer, serves as creative director. Two former recruiters, Cecilia Tann and Edna Gibbs, handle growth marketing. One digital marketing manager lists four different ongoing gigs on her profile.

None of them responded to messages.

No matter — plenty of people in real estate are secretive. Digging deeper, I checked Traded’s registration in New York state’s corporation database. All limited liability corporations doing business in the state have to provide basic information to the government, and even when they’re light on details, they usually list at least one living, breathing person.

Traded’s registration is skeletal. The company was incorporated on Aug. 16, 2018, a parentless child without so much as a registering attorney to tuck it into bed at night. The only clue that Traded has any connection to a human was its address, a Turtle Bay condo building with walnut cabinetry and soaking tubs.

I also searched for Traded on state and federal court systems. Court cases are generally great reporting fodder, throwing all sorts of company secrets into the public record. But even the long arm of the law hasn’t unveiled Traded yet.

Ajay Suresh, a self-taught photographer who specializes in building portraits, is suing Traded for copyright infringement after it allegedly used one of his photos without his permission. One issue: he doesn’t know who Traded is. Neither does his lawyer.

“You’re speaking with hello@traded.co.”

— Traded

Traded appears to have used one of Suresh’s photos, a generic shot of Touro College near Penn Station, in a November 2020 post. Unable to find Traded itself, Suresh sent two letters to the broker in the photo but got no response.

The court tried serving the lawsuit to Traded, but had to settle for the New York secretary of state because Suresh and his attorney couldn’t find anybody else.

At that point, I really hit the gas, enlisting the enterprise search engine Spokeo. The service scans 89 million business records, 130 million property records, 600 million court records and 120 social networks for any people associated with a website or email address. I tried Traded’s main URL, traded.co, as well as two email addresses connected to the website. Nothing new.

I then searched the web domain registry to at least find who bought Traded’s website. It pointed me to Domains By Proxy, an Arizona-based company that buys web domains on behalf of people who don’t want their identities being sniffed out. The Domains By Proxy slogan stung: “Your identity is nobody’s business but ours.®”

All the while, I was calling anybody I could who has appeared in Traded posts. Early adopters and late additions had plenty of stories about the company, but one question remained: No, they didn’t know who was behind Traded.

Rosewood’s Corbin has appeared in at least 19 posts on Traded and offered one of its first testimonials. He says he’s spoken with Traded on the phone, but that’s as far as he’s gotten. “Hi, who am I speaking with?” Corbin asked on one call.

“You’re speaking with hello@traded.co.”

The solution to my search, as usual, was just more shoe leather. Eventually, sources pointed to Eric Hedvat.

Unsurprisingly, Hedvat is a bit of a mystery. He didn’t respond to several requests for comment. On LinkedIn, he calls himself a real estate tech entrepreneur and says he spent five years as director of acquisitions and marketing for Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group. According to the New York MLS, he now works at investment sales brokerage Jet Real Estate.

Traded wouldn’t be Hedvat’s first venture in anonymous real estate media. He previously founded QueensBeans, a news blog about Queens real estate deals that uses pseudonyms for its bylines. His partner in that venture was Jonathan Eshaghian, a Queens-focused investment-sales broker with Marcus & Millichap. Eshaghian declined to comment.

Hedvat appears in two Traded posts , both of which include Shaoul.

When reached by phone, Shaoul said, “I don’t know what Traded is, man.”

#NoDaysOff

You could drown a therapist in the sea of studies examining the connection between social media and narcissism. One of the more damning findings from the research is that excessive social media use boosts narcissism while killing self esteem. Real estate brokers are a notoriously cutthroat, ego-driven bunch, so move that competition to social media platforms and you’ve got the perfect recipe for problems.

A Traded post validates less established dealmakers. But it comes with a cost: To collect the medal, you have to play the game. Confronted by the endless feed of bigger deals for higher price tags, the validation quickly fades. You’re in a hamster wheel, addicted to this bad version of yourself, refreshing, refreshing, refreshing.

“I don’t know what Traded is, man.”

— Ben Shaoul, Magnum Real Estate

In their 2008 book, Born Digital, media scholars John Palfrey and Urs Gasser study “digital natives,” the first generation of people born with easy access to the internet. For young people who don’t know a world without Instagram profiles, there’s no real separation between their digital and real-life identities.

Some 14 years later, those digital natives are working phones, trying to chart their own careers. They don’t just know how to build an online reputation — it’s the only thing they know.

“For younger brokers, the exposure tied to a closing is a very important thing to demonstrate, ‘I’m not just out there trying hard, I’m getting results,’” said David Schechtman, a veteran investment-sales broker at Meridian Capital Group. It’s no surprise young real estate professionals want to see their faces on Traded — it’s just a new iteration of how brokers fought to get their faces in print 20 years ago.

For all Traded’s allure to scrappy upstarts competing for a piece of the brokerage pie, it has another appeal for more seasoned pros.

“At 47 years old, I don’t need press,” Schechtman said. “I need assignments and I need closings.” Traded, he said, has yielded real leads.

It’s not just Schechtman. Again and again, brokers said Traded has become a great funnel for leads. Even if they have to look ridiculous on Instagram, it’s worth it.

“The key to opening the door is that ‘Hey, I recognize you guys,” Loketch of BridgeCity said. “When I walk in the room now, they say, ‘That’s the guy from Traded. He’s a lender.’”

[contact-form-7]

Hiten Samtani contributed reporting.

The post Inside Traded, real estate’s vanity mirror appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Nuveen CEO Jose Minaya and 801 Brickell Avenue in Miami (Nuveen, Colliers)

Nuveen CEO Jose Minaya and 801 Brickell Avenue in Miami (Nuveen, Colliers)

Nuveen Real Estate, StoicLane I 801 Brickell I Miami

Nuveen Real Estate is moving its Southeast headquarters to its 801 Brickell building in Miami’s financial district.

Nuveen, the investment arm of TIAA, will relocate in January into a 3,487-square-foot space at the 28-story tower at 801 Brickell Avenue from its current office on Brickell Key.

Nuveen also scored one new tenant at the property and two lease renewals, with the four deals totaling 10,883 square feet and bringing the building up to 87 percent leased, according to a news release from Nuveen’s brokers, Stephen Rutchik and Tom Farmer of Colliers. The building is being renovated.

801 Brickell Avenue in Miami (TVS Design)

801 Brickell Avenue in Miami (TVS Design)

Capital management firm StoicLane, based in Chicago, signed a lease for 2,808 square feet. The private holding company focuses on finance, insurance and real estate businesses, according to the release.

Investment firm Selvatra, owned by Colombian company Colpatria, and independent investment bank Cassel Salpeter each renewed their leases.

Selvatra invests alongside family offices and private equity funds in U.S., Canadian and European operating companies, according to the release. Cassel Salpeter works with middle-market and emerging companies across industries.

Nuveen, led by CEO Jose Minaya, has $152 billion of assets under management, the release says.

The leases speak to Brickell’s growth as a mecca for financial firms, a trajectory that was accelerated shortly after the pandemic started.

This year, Vibrant Capital Partners opened its first office outside its New York City headquarters in a 3,000-square-foot space at 1200 Brickell Avenue, with plans to expand to the penthouse next year.

This came on the heels of Canadian asset manager CI Financial doubling its space in January to 40,000 square feet at the 830 Brickell tower under construction, after it originally took out 20,000 square feet in September.

CED Greentech, Air-Con, Piedmont Plastics I Atlantic Business Center and Sample Business Center I Pompano Beach

Three companies took more than 157,000 square feet of industrial space, combined, in Pompano Beach.

At the Atlantic Business Center complex, solar energy equipment supplier CED Greentech leased roughly 67,000 square feet at 1742 West Atlantic Boulevard, and air-conditioning products firm Air-Con leased roughly 60,000 square feet at 2031 Southwest Second Street, according to a news release from the tenants’ broker.

Plastic wholesaler Piedmont Plastics took roughly 30,000 square feet at 3147 North Andrews Avenue in the Sample Business Center.

The properties are owned by affiliates of Indianapolis, Indiana-based Duke Realty, an owner, developer and manager of industrial real estate, records show. James Connor is Duke’s CEO.

Jeff Hartsook and Adam Talbot of Cresa represented the tenants, working with Mike Statter on the Piedmont deal. Lauren Pace and David Loudenslager of Duke Realty represented the landlord.

Burlington Stores I Kendall Place I Miami-Dade County

Retailer Burlington Stores opened at the Kendall Place shopping center in southwestern Miami-Dade County. http://therealdeal.com/miami/tag/miami-dade-county/

Burlington leased an undisclosed amount of square footage at 8881 Southwest 107th Avenue in Kendall, marking its 81st store in Florida, according to a Burlington news release. The store opened on Friday.

Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment manager American Realty Advisors, through an affiliate, owns the Kendall Place plaza that spans 21.3 acres, records show.

It purchased the property in 2007 for $88.5 million.

Studio Three I Wynwood

Boutique fitness company Studio Three will open its first Florida location in Miami’s Wynwood.

Studio Three leased 9,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space at the Artem apartment building under construction at 90 Northwest 29th Street, according to a Studio Three news release. Construction is expected to be completed this summer, and Studio Three will open next year.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based LMC is developing the 11-story Artem with 189 units. The property will offer studios, as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments, and 324 parking spots, the release says.

Gensler designed Studio Three’s interior, and local artists have been commissioned to create murals.

It will mark Studio Three’s fifth location, adding to three in the River North, Lincoln Park and Fulton Market neighborhoods in Chicago and a fourth expected to open in the fall in Austin, according to the release.

The principals of real estate company BlitzLake founded Studio Three in 2015. David Blitz is CEO of BlitzLake, and Jeffrey and Brian Lake are chairman and vice president, respectively, according to the company’s website.

[contact-form-7]

The post Lease roundup: Nuveen moving Southeast HQ to 801 Brickell appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

(iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

(iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

Two Goldman Sachs-backed ventures have taken over a whole rental home community in Florida last month.

The firms — Fundrise Interval Fund and Growth eREIT VII — paid $45 million for 87 single-family properties in Brevard County, according to an Orlando NBC affiliate.

The move is part of an ongoing shopping spree. The New York Post reported Fundrise previously purchased a 120-unit development in Pensacola and has been buying rental developments in other Southern states like South Carolina and Mississippi.

As migration spurs soaring home prices and rents across the Sun Belt, the firms are positioning themselves in previously disregarded parts of the country, Florida Atlantic University real estate professor Ken Johnson told the Post.

Johnson said Florida has the same appeal as “as places like Texas and Tennessee and North Carolina,” and some parts of the state have morphed from a secondary-home market to a year-round community.

As a result, rents have spiked by more than 30 percent across the state, a common trend in areas of the Sun Belt.

In April, Miami edged out Boston as the third most expensive city to lease an apartment. As rents climbed to eat up more of tenants’ income, the Miami metro area also ranked as the most rent-burdened in the nation.

Even in the tight market, corporate purchases remain a “drop in the bucket” of overall home transactions throughout the country, Johnson told the outlet. The deals, even in concentrated areas, do not have the market power to dictate rental prices.

[WESH2] — Sasha Jones

[contact-form-7]

The post Goldman Sachs-backed funds pay $45M for Florida community appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

 E11even's Marc Roberts and Romie Chaudhari with 60 and 90 Northeast 11th Street (Marc Roberts, Abingtonemerson, Loopnet, iStock)

E11even’s Marc Roberts and Romie Chaudhari with 60 and 90 Northeast 11th Street (Marc Roberts, Abington Emerson, Loopnet, iStock)

Miami’s de facto ban on medical marijuana dispensaries went up in smoke after elected officials voted to allow a pair of downtown Miami landlords to seek permits for a cannabis retail outlet.

On Thursday, the Miami City Commission, by a 3-2 vote, upheld a February 2021 planning and zoning appeals board decision that granted a certificate of use for a medical marijuana dispensary at 90 Northeast 11th Street.

The property, which currently has a warehouse zoned for nightclub entertainment, is owned by Los Angeles-based real estate investor Romie Chaudhari and Marc Roberts, co-owner of E11even nightclub across the street from the warehouse and co-developer of two E11even-branded residential towers on the same block. Chaudhari, founder of Chiron Investments, is also the owner of the Swansea City English Premier League soccer club.

Through the entity that owns the warehouse, Roberts and Chaudhari sued the city in April of last year after Miami’s zoning office appealed the planning board’s decision to approve the certificate of use. The zoning office had previously denied the request based on an opinion from City Attorney Victoria Mendez that medical marijuana dispensaries could not be permitted because cannabis is still classified as an illegal drug by the federal government.

The plaintiffs, which also included another Roberts entity that owns a warehouse at 60 Northeast 11th Street, alleged the city of Miami was in violation of a state constitutional amendment granting Floridians access to marijuana for medical use.

In September, U.S. District judge K. Michael Moore ruled federal courts had no jurisdiction over where medical marijuana dispensaries are located in the city.

State law allows cities and counties to issue outright bans on dispensaries or regulate where they are located. Many local governments, including Coral Gables, Miami Beach, North Miami and Miami-Dade County, have passed zoning regulations allowing dispensaries. Jupiter, North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens are some South Florida cities that prohibit medical marijuana outlets.

Miami has not approved any dispensary legislation because its top legal adviser, Mendez, has insisted a conflict between the federal cannabis prohibition and the Florida constitutional amendment needed to be resolved first.

Miami City Commissioners Alex Diaz de la Portilla, Christine King and Ken Russell bucked the administration’s stance and voted to approve the certificate of use.

“I believe the position the city is taking is on the wrong side of this,” King said. “It is happening. It is in the [state] Constitution that medical marijuana is permissible in the state of Florida. I have heard everything I need to hear.”

Commissioners Joe Carollo and Manolo Reyes, the two nay votes, warned Miami would descend into reefer madness even though Florida tightly regulates the medical marijuana industry.

“If you follow all the news, how many children have been sick because they have gotten ahold of their parents’ gummies?” Reyes said. “This is not just open it up and let them sell whatever they want.”

Without first approving an ordinance establishing the rules and guidelines for opening a dispensary, “we’re kind of making this into a sort of Cheech and Chong free-for-all,” Carollo said.

[contact-form-7]

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Emilio and Gloria Estefan with 444 West Rivo Alto Drive (Getty, Redfin)

Emilio and Gloria Estefan with 444 West Rivo Alto Drive (Getty, Redfin)

Music power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan sold a waterfront Miami Beach home on the Venetian Islands for $13.7 million.

DI-Little House, led by the Estefans, sold the five-bedroom, five-bathroom house at 444 West Rivo Alto Drive to Lou Groll Investments LLC, property records show. The buyer, led by businessman Paul Groll, financed the purchase with an $8 million mortgage from Key Biscayne-based London Financial.

The Grammy Award-winning Estefans live on Star Island, also in Miami Beach, where they own two properties. Groll owns a number of businesses tied to real estate, cabinetry and petroleum, records show.

Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg of The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker represented the buyer and seller, according to Redfin.

The 4,816-square-foot house was built in 1934 and expanded throughout the years. It features an interior courtyard, gourmet kitchen, bayfront principal suite, a pool, deck and dock, according to the listing.

The Estefans’ DI-Little House paid $1.2 million for the property in 2000, records show.

Gloria Estefan, a Cuban-American singer, actress and businesswoman, and her husband Emilio Estefan, a musician and producer, own Estefan Enterprises. The couple owns hotels and restaurants, including the Cardozo South Beach.

In August, they sold their Star Island “guest house,” a nearly 8,000-square-foot estate at 1 Star Island Drive, for its asking price of $35 million.

And a year ago, they listed the mixed-use Shore Park hotel at 820 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach for $45 million. Records show they still own the building.

Buyers flocked to the Venetian Islands during the pandemic. Venture capital investor and Crisp CEO Are Traasdahl and his designer wife recently sold their waterfront Venetian Islands home for $31.5 million, a record for the Miami Beach island chain.

[contact-form-7]

The post Gloria and Emilio Estefan sell waterfront Venetian Islands home appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Michele and Kevin Segalla and Ilya Karpov with 320 Hibiscus Drive (LinkedIn, Craig Denis) Miami, Mansions

Michele and Kevin Segalla and Ilya Karpov with 320 Hibiscus Drive (LinkedIn, Craig Denis)

Mobile games tycoon Kevin Segalla and his investment manager wife, Michele Segalla, bought a waterfront Miami Beach spec mansion for $29.1 million.

Russian developer Ilya Karpov sold the newly built home at 320 South Hibiscus Drive on Hibiscus Island to the Segallas, according to a deed.

Kevin Segalla is the founder and CEO of New York-based Tilting Point, a free-to-play game publisher and developer, according to his LinkedIn. He also founded investment firm CFC Capital, which focuses on specialty finance, commercial real estate, and entertainment and digital media ventures. Michele Segalla’s LinkedIn shows she is managing partner at Stamford, Connecticut-based CFC and previously directed sales at Ivy Zelman’s Zelman & Associates housing research firm.

The house spans 8,000 square feet with seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and one half-bathroom, according to Karpov, who completed the mansion last year. It’s on a 0.4-acre lot, records show.

Paulo Bacchi’s Artefacto, known for its luxury, contemporary-style furniture, furnished the home. The sale price includes the furniture.

Karpov is a Miami Beach spec home developer who has purchased and resold several properties in recent years. He bought the Hibiscus Island site, along with the 0.4-acre next-door lot at 310 South Hibiscus Drive in 2018 for $11.6 million. He split the property to build two houses.

He sold the 310 South Hibiscus Drive house to Volantis Properties, a Delaware-registered limited liability company managed by attorney Michael Gallinar, for $22 million last year, records show. At the time, the house was under construction, but Karpov agreed in the deed to help the buyer complete the home, according to media reports.

In his latest Miami Beach investment, Karpov bought the 0.6-acre waterfront lot at 2740 North Bay Road from Delphine Dray, who owns the National Hotel in Miami Beach, for $20.8 million in April.

The site once held a two-story, light brown, barrel-tile roofed house that Miami Beach had deemed historic. Yet, in 2018 the city approved Dray’s demolition application and her plan to build a new home emulating the character of the former one.

Karpov plans a roughly 12,000-square-foot mansion with an updated design from that approval, but still mirroring the former mansion on the site, he said.

In other deals, Karpov sold the 7,000-square-foot waterfront spec house at 38 South Hibiscus Drive to Canterbury Ives Management, managed by attorney Josh Bennett, for $14.2 million in 2019.

Karpov is a former general director at the OGO Group, which was once one of Russia’s largest grain producers. After selling his company stake, he moved to Miami Beach, The Real Deal has reported.

Hibiscus Island is part of a chain of three high-end residential islands, including Palm and Star islands, that extend from the MacArthur Causeway that connects Miami and Miami Beach.

In April, Richard Gebbia, part of the Gebbia family that owns Siebert Financial, paid $6.4 million for a non-waterfront spec house at 112 West Palm Midway on Hibiscus Island. The home was nearly complete at the time the sale closed.

[contact-form-7]

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Todd Michael Glaser; 1320 North Lake Way and 576 Island Drive (Todd Michael Glaser, Realtor, iStock)

Todd Michael Glaser; 1320 North Lake Way and 576 Island Drive (Todd Michael Glaser, Realtor, iStock)

Developer Todd Michael Glaser renovated and flipped two waterfront Palm Beach homes for a combined $70 million, $20 million more than he and his partners paid for them last year.

Glaser’s entity, 1320 N Lake Way, sold the seven-bedroom, 6,266-square-foot home at 1320 North Lake Way for $44.4 million, he said. It previously sold in November for $33.4 million, records show. The house, built in 2002, includes a pool and dock and sits on a 0.6-acre property.

In a separate deal, his 576 Island Drive LLC sold the five-bedroom, 5,558-square-foot house at 576 Island Drive for about $25.8 million. His investors in that flip included Miami Beach brokers and developers Scott Robins and Jonathan Fryd. It last sold in April 2021 for $16.3 million. The 0.4-acre property includes a pool and dock as well, and the house was built in 1968.

Land trusts, which are often used to hide buyers’ identities, purchased both properties. Glaser declined to identify the buyers.

Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates was the listing broker for both deals.

Glaser, a longtime Miami Beach spec home builder, pivoted from mostly ground-up construction to renovations last year to take advantage of heightened demand for luxury homes in Palm Beach.

He doubled down on Palm Beach during the pandemic, and has bought and sold a number of properties. Among the most high-profile: the entire Tarpon Island in Palm Beach, which Glaser and his partners are redeveloping and at one point was asking more than $200 million; and the former home of convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein, which Glaser demolished and sold to venture capitalist David Skok last year for $26 million.

A number of buyers have taken advantage of the hot residential market and flipped their properties for substantial profits. But pricing of waterfront homes is starting to reach its peak, brokers say.

Though it’s not a true flip, fashion designer Tomas Maier and his husband, businessman Andrew Preston recently sold their renovated mansion at 102 Jungle Road in Palm Beach for $72.9 million, more than four times its last sale price eight years ago. The property previously belonged to Ivana Trump.

[contact-form-7]

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Paul Saunders with 2700 North Ocean Drive (LinkedIn, Redfin)

Paul Saunders with 2700 North Ocean Drive (LinkedIn, Redfin)

A hedge fund manager with a reputation for making multimillion-dollar real estate deals settled for one under $10 million with a Riviera Beach condo sale.

Property records show hedge funder Paul H. Saunders and his wife, Victoria, sold unit TS9A at 2700 North Ocean Drive to debt-collecting attorney Rick Silver for $7.1 million.

Paul Saunders is the founder and CEO of Manakin-Sabot, Virginia-based James River Capital, a hedge fund that specializes in alternative investments, according to the company’s website. James River was founded in 1986 as the alternate investment wing of the now defunct securities firm Kidder, Peabody & Co., and became independent in 1995 when Saunders acquired it from Kidder, according to the website.

The seller, Silver, is linked to a debt collection firm in Pennsylvania. Silver’s registered address on the deed matches one for NCB Management Services, a debt collection firm that announced in September a new ownership structure, noting that Silver, NCB’s founder, would retain minority ownership and a position on the board of directors.

The Saunders bought the 7,446-square-foot condo in 2011 for $4.3 million from Daniel Rifkin, records show. The unit was built in 2008 and comes with four bedrooms, five full bathrooms and one-half bathroom. The price breaks down to $577 per square foot.

It’s the first time in a while that the Saunders are involved in a deal under $10 million.

In February, they bought an oceanfront Highland Beach estate for $34.7 million from the estate of the late Mark Hamister, who ran Buffalo-based hotels and assisted-living facilities company Hamister Group. It was a Highland Beach record sale at the time — before it was supplanted by Steve Buchanan’s purchase of a mansion for $40 million.

In December, the Saunders sold an oceanfront Manalapan estate for $89.9 million to James G.B. Demartini III, as a trustee of the 122021 Land Trust.

Other recent sales in nearby Palm Beach include the sale of Ivana Trump’s former mansion for $72.9 million, and auto dealership magnate Terry Taylor’s purchase of a gut-renovated, oceanfront condo for $7.5 million.

[contact-form-7]

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Joseph Chetrit and the Hollywood Beach Resort (Chetrit Group, LoopNet)

Joseph Chetrit and the Hollywood Beach Resort (Chetrit Group, LoopNet)

UPDATED, May 19, 11:20 a.m.: New York City-based Chetrit Group has acquired 102 condo units over the last six months at the Hollywood Beach Resort, an oceanfront property in Hollywood that the city’s founder built almost a century ago.

Chetrit’s move further marks the trend among developers to buy out waterfront condo owners, which has accelerated since the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside last summer.

Property records show that an entity controlled by the Chetrit Group paid $15.5 million from Nov. 17 to April 21 to acquire 102 condos at the 96-year-old property at 101 North Ocean Drive on the barrier island in Hollywood. The average sale price was $152,400 per unit.

Chetrit financed the bulk purchase with a $78 million loan from Madison Realty Capital. Henry Bodek of Galaxy Capital arranged the financing.

Executives of Chetrit Group were unavailable for comment on the firm’s plans at the Hollywood Beach Resort, where condo owners can rent their units through a condo-hotel. The mixed-use property also has separately owned parking and commercial space, including the desolate, depopulated Oceanwalk Mall on the first two floors of the eight-floor building.

It’s unclear how many units Chetrit would need to own to win a vote by unit owners to dissolve the building’s condominium declaration and its association of unit owners. The board of directors of the Hollywood Beach Hotel Owners Association did not respond to a request for comment.

State records show that in the 12 months ended March 16, Jonathan Chetrit became president of Hollywood Beach Hotel Owners Association, replacing Michel Jekic, now vice president. Michael Chetrit took over the newly created position of secretary.

Various developers, including Miami-based Related Group, have tried unsuccessfully to gain control of the Hollywood Beach Resort and redevelop the property, said South Florida developer Lon Tabatchnick.

“Related tried. I tried. A lot of developers have tried to make it happen, and it’s been a challenge,” said Tabatchnick, who developed the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, a 369-key oceanfront hotel 10 blocks north of the Hollywood Beach Resort.

Tabatchnick said he once worked with the owner of the parking garage next to the condo-hotel on a plan to redevelop the Hollywood Beach Resort, but multiple ownerships of different parts of the property thwarted the redevelopment effort.

“That’s always been the challenge. You’ve got a commercial entity that owns the mall; the condo residents; and the garage owner. And for whatever reason, they were never able to come together and make a cohesive plan and treat everybody fairly,” he said. “It’s like a Rubik’s cube. One entity can’t do it without the other two.”

Chetrit Group has prior experience as a bulk condo buyer in South Florida. “This is right up their alley,” said Miami-based condo consultant Peter Zalewski, who once did consulting work for the New York real estate firm.

The privately held firm, controlled by Joseph Chetrit and his brothers Jacob, Judah, and Meyer, paid $50 million to acquire control of the Versailles hotel and condominium in Miami Beach in 2013. Chetrit Group then won approval to renovate the Art Deco landmark at 3425 Collins Avenue, before selling it the same year to Alan Faena and Len Blatnavik, the developers of the Faena District in Miami Beach.

Joseph Young, the founder of Hollywood, built the Hollywood Beach Resort and opened the poured-concrete structure to the public for the winter tourist season in 1926, according to a presentation on the property’s history in November 2020 by Clive Taylor, president of the Hollywood Historical Society. The storied property served as a Navy officer training facility during World War II, and as a seaside campus of the Florida Bible College during the 1970s, before its 1980 launch as a timeshare resort.

Owners at the Hollywood Beach Resort last month disclosed a need for structural and electrical repairs to the property in an application to obtain a mandated 40-year recertification of the building’s safety, said Joann Hussey, spokesperson for the city of Hollywood. “Now they are in the permitting process to make those repairs,” she said.

“It was built like a fortress. But it’s an obsolete building,” Tabatchnick said. “It could be a signature property on the beach, which Hollywood needs desperately. The Chetrit Group has the capacity and the ability to do it, and I think the time is right.”

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Judge Robert Drain and David Goldwasser (American Bankruptcy Institute, LinkedIn/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Judge Robert Drain and David Goldwasser (American Bankruptcy Institute, LinkedIn/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

When Toby Moskovits stood to lose her trendy Brooklyn hotel to foreclosure last year, she charted a course to the suburbs.

Moskovits’ Heritage Equity Partners was fighting with its lender, Benefit Street, who claimed the Williamsburg Hotel’s $68 million mortgage was in default. Brooklyn-based Heritage turned to David Goldwasser, a fast-talking bankruptcy specialist in Florida who had earned a reputation for exploiting a loophole that allows New York City developers to file for bankruptcy in White Plains.

Big companies in dire straits have been known to lease offices in the quiet city to qualify to restructure there. Historically, they have known which bankruptcy judge they will get, because Westchester County only had one: Robert Drain.

This raised eyebrows last year, when Drain approved the reorganization of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, a company blamed for fueling the opioid crisis. Critics said that Purdue and others were “venue shopping” because Drain is thought to favor debtors.

Suspicion that firms game the system is not new. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has sponsored legislation that would limit companies’ ability to pick their court. And late last year, the Southern District of New York — which covers Manhattan, the Bronx and six suburban counties including Westchester — passed a rule to randomly assign judges to major Chapter 11 bankruptcies filed in the district, but it does not apply to entities with less than $100 million in assets or liabilities.

Drain denies that debtors file in Westchester County to get favorable rulings.

“Any assertion that somehow people chose the venue in front of me to get a particular result is just hogwash and offensive and doesn’t stand up,” he said in an interview.

Records show, however, that for years, Brooklyn and Manhattan developers flocked to Drain’s court — with a hand from Goldwasser.

An analysis by The Real Deal found that at least 33 different property LLCs tied to Goldwasser have gone through Westchester County bankruptcy court since 2013. Most of the properties are in Brooklyn or Manhattan, but there’s one as far away as Florida.

Besides the Williamsburg Hotel, Goldwasser has helped put other notable properties into bankruptcy in Westchester, including Cornell Realty’s Tillary Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn; Chaskiel Strulovitch’s 31-building Brooklyn apartment portfolio; and Raphael Toledano’s rent-stabilized East Village apartments. All saw their bankruptcy filings go through Drain.

“Any assertion that somehow people chose the venue in front of me to get a particular result is just hogwash.”

— Robert Drain, U.S. bankruptcy judge

The Boca Raton-based Goldwasser, 40-something and with a toothy smile, describes himself as an expert in restructuring troubled companies and a man who does everything by the book. He said he has filed many bankruptcies in the Eastern District in Brooklyn and denied that he steered clients to Drain’s court to get a sympathetic ruling.

Yet he is quick to praise Drain’s expertise in handling tricky bankruptcies, calling him “one of the smartest and even-handed judges that most of the people in the country have seen.”

Legal experts, however, have raised concerns about the number of Brooklyn projects that developers have managed to get into his court.

“Why do they want to be in White Plains rather than Brooklyn? That’s the question,” said Adam Levitin, a professor at Georgetown Law specializing in bankruptcy. “What are they getting by having their cases heard by Judge Drain?”



Overruled

The Williamsburg Hotel case heard by Drain has attracted scrutiny. A U.S. trustee — essentially a watchdog of the bankruptcy process — claimed that over $1 million was transferred without appropriate court oversight and that tracking the funds was impossible because the debtor deleted information in its monthly reports.

As a result, the trustee sought to convert the case from a Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation, leaving a court appointed representative to control the assets, or to dismiss the case altogether.

When a company files for bankruptcy, it has to open its books and subject its operations and finances to the approval of a judge. The watchdog’s allegations suggest that the debtor ignored these basic rules.

“The debtor sought protection from its creditors and accepted the benefits of bankruptcy protection,” Greg Zipes, an attorney for the U.S. trustee, wrote in the filing. “The creditors are entitled to the protections afforded by the process as well.”

Goldwasser, however, said the trustee misunderstood the situation. The management company made the transactions, he said, and should be allowed to operate freely because it is separate from the property owner.

Drain ultimately ruled against the trustee. The bankruptcy suit is still pending and the U.S. trustee filed another motion to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee after findings by a court-appointed examiner. Moskovits declined to comment.

“The U.S. trustee has had a very hard time wrapping their arms around the fact that the management company is not in bankruptcy,” Goldwasser said.

Tangled web

Filing for bankruptcy in a distant venue might look strange, experts said, but it’s legal.

“Why do they want to be in White Plains rather than Brooklyn? What are they getting by having their cases heard by Judge Drain?”

— Adam Levitin, Georgetown Law

Large corporations and nonprofits do it routinely. The Boy Scouts of America, which is headquartered in Texas, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware by creating an affiliate just months before. Late last year, an HNA Group entity that owns the 245 Park Avenue office skyscraper in Manhattan also filed for bankruptcy in Delaware.

“Bankruptcy venue rules are very, very permissive,” said Levitin, the Georgetown professor.

Goldwasser acknowledges he is sometimes questioned about venues by other parties.

“They are like, ‘Why are properties in Texas filing in Brooklyn?’” said Goldwasser. “When you file in a different physical district than they want you to, they are going to complain.”

In general, a company can file for bankruptcy in its principal place of business, where its principal assets are located, or where it is incorporated, Levitin noted. But it can also file where an affiliated company’s bankruptcy case is pending, he said. A trustee or creditor is allowed to challenge the venue.

It is unclear exactly how Goldwasser got his cases into Westchester, but in his filings he often claimed a case was affiliated with another pending case in the county.

The Williamsburg Hotel bankruptcy wound up in front of Drain after Goldwasser claimed it was affiliated with four other cases in Westchester County involving other properties owned by Moskovits’ firm.

Strulovitch’s Brooklyn bankruptcy likely got to White Plains in 2019 by being attached to another case. Goldwasser put the project through bankruptcy after lender Maverick Real Estate Partners alleged that $40 million in loans it acquired were in default. Kasowitz Benson Torres’ Jennifer Recine, who represented Maverick, declined to comment.

The affiliation in many of these cases was not the developers but Goldwasser himself: He either managed the companies through bankruptcy or had a stake in them.

Toledano’s case, for example, involved a Manhattan landlord, a Manhattan portfolio and a Manhattan lender, Madison Realty Capital. (It did not end well for Toledano: Madison got the East Village properties. Separate from the bankruptcy, Toledano was banned from the industry in New York for five years.)

Long before that, Goldwasser had managed the East Village portfolio. A filing in 2017 claimed that Goldwasser’s firm, GC Realty Advisors, held a 49 percent equity position in the corporate entity, which listed a Manhattan address.

Under New York’s local bankruptcy code, debtors in Manhattan or the Bronx are assigned to a judge in Manhattan. If the debtor is in Rockland County or Westchester County, the clerk should assign the case to Westchester.

There is a caveat, however, that “cases involving debtors that are affiliates shall be assigned to the same judge.”

The Toledano portfolio filing claimed the bankrupt corporate owner was “affiliated” with six other pending cases in Westchester County, all tied to Goldwasser. One dated back to 2014 and involved the bankruptcy of a Jersey Shore shopping center in Manahawkin, 120 miles away, that somehow made it to Drain’s court.

The chain gets even more convoluted.

Goldwasser related the 2014 shopping center case to another one filed in Drain’s court in 2013 where Goldwasser was listed as a manager. That was affiliated with the Goldwasser-managed bankruptcy of a Bronx property in 2012. The Bronx case, in turn, was related to one in Drain’s court in 2011 in which the debtor had an address in Rockland County.

Seven additional entities tied to Goldwasser were related to the Toledano portfolio. In one, the corporate entity of the 174-key Tillary Hotel, owned by Isaac Hager’s Cornell Realty, filed for bankruptcy in 2020, claiming an affiliation with the East Village case. Goldwasser was the restructuring officer.

The filings show Goldwasser could get a case into Drain’s court by loosely relating it to one years before.

For his part, Goldwasser said it makes sense to have numerous cases in one courtroom.

“It might sound funny, but when you have three or four cases in front of the same judge at the same time,” he said, there are “economies of scale of being able to schedule hearings on the same day as status conferences.”

Lenders battling with Goldwasser’s clients occasionally bring up a dark incident from his past: In 2003, he pleaded guilty to one count of criminal bank fraud in Westchester County and was sentenced to 27 months in prison and required to pay $3.3 million in restitution. As a condition of his release, he was, for a time, not allowed to be a fiduciary.

“Concerns of fraud and dishonesty infecting the debtors’ management are heightened by Goldwasser’s involvement,” a lender’s filing in the Strulovitch case asserted.

But Goldwasser said the fiduciary ban applied only when he was on supervised release and ended years ago.

“It’s been brought up because people are uneducated,” said Goldwasser. “Attorneys like to throw stuff. When that comes up in a filing, I say, ‘Great, they have nothing, because this is what they are throwing.’”

Exit plan

Unlike the credentials of some justices who finagle their way onto the state bench through an insider-driven political process, Drain's are unquestioned.

After graduating from Columbia Law School, he rose to partner in the bankruptcy department at the white-shoe New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. In 2002, Drain was appointed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York’s court in Lower Manhattan before moving to the White Plains courthouse in 2009.

He has presided over huge, complicated bankruptcies such as that of Sears Holdings Corp. He earned a name as one of the top bankruptcy judges in the country, though his critics say he is partial to debtors — a notion Drain refutes.

“If you look at the results [of] cases that have been filed before me, some have been favorable to the debtor, some have been unfavorable, some have been in between,” he said. “And I hope and trust it’s all because of the merits.”

Levitin called Drain knowledgeable and hard-working, but said filers have concluded that low-level, “drive-through bankruptcies” do not grab his attention.

“These judges aren't chosen for their expertise,” he wrote in a blog post last year. “Instead, they're chosen because debtors believe that they will rubber stamp their plans.”

Drain announced last year that he would retire in June, despite a term limit of 2030. “I’m going to be 65 in June,” he explained. “I’ve been on the bench for 20 years.”

Goldwasser said Drain’s departure will not have much impact on his business because he has numerous bankruptcies in other courts and that restructurings often get resolved outside of court.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t miss him.

“Yes, it is sad to see him go,” said Goldwasser. “But everyone has their time.”

The post How a White Plains judge became a favorite refuge for NYC developers appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

The Villa Paradiso at 1415 Collins Avenue and The Orchid House Hotel at 1350 Collins Avenue with Randall Smith of Alden Global Capital and Joe Nakash (Getty, Wikipedia)

The Villa Paradiso at 1415 Collins Avenue and
The Orchid House Hotel at 1350 Collins Avenue with Randall Smith of Alden Global Capital and Joe Nakash (Getty, Wikipedia)

UPDATED, May 13, 9:18 a.m.: Two prominent buyers acquired boutique hotels in South Beach in separate deals, as demand for such properties continues to rise.

In the most recent of the two purchases, a company linked to the “vulture” hedge fund Alden Global Capital paid $6 million for the 17-suite Villa Paradiso at 1415 Collins Avenue, property records show. Miami Real Estate Investment Corp., led by Lisa and Pascal Nicolle, sold the hotel.

Susan Gale of One Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer and seller. Gale, who declined to comment on the buyer, said the property’s zoning made it very desirable. The two-story building, constructed in 1935, is in a mixed-use entertainment (MXE) district in Miami Beach where short-term rentals are allowed

The buyer lists the address of Twenty Lake Holdings, the real estate company affiliated with Alden Global Capital. It plans to renovate the building and operate it as short-term rentals, Gale said.

“These types of properties that have zoning for short-term rental are very difficult to find. I have a list of people who want to buy them. They’ll buy as many as I have,” Gale said. “It’s a coveted type of property, and it has to have the right kind of zoning.”

West Palm Beach-based Alden Global Capital owns more than 200 newspapers across the country, including the Sun Sentinel and the New York Daily News, and has been widely criticized for its cost-cutting methods after acquiring the publications. The multibillion-dollar hedge fund is led by Randall “Randy” Smith, and Heath Freeman. Smith and his wife, Barbara Stovall Smith, as well as Freeman, have all invested in South Florida real estate over the past two years.

The South Beach hotel previously traded for $790,000 in 1993.

Each room is a full suite with kitchens and dining rooms. The building has three one-bedroom suites and 14 studios. The property was operating as a hotel and was previously leased to a master operator, but the tenant left, Gale said.

Bidding wars for properties where short-term rentals are allowed has become common, and prices are “going up and up and up,” Gale added. She recently brokered the $17 million sale of a waterfront condo building that’s leased to a short-term rental operator in Bay Harbor Islands.

More boutique hotels in Miami Beach have been trading over the past year.

The Nakash family recently paid $6 million for the 10-room, three-villa property at 1350 Collins Avenue, near their Casa Casuarina hotel, which was previously known as the Versace Mansion, records show.

Carol Invest USA, led by Emanuela Verlicchi Marazzi, sold the 6,340-square-foot building at a loss compared to the $7.5 million it paid for the property in 2015.

Architect Wallace Tutt, who designed the Versace Mansion, also designed the 1350 Collins property, which is called the Orchid House Hotel. It was completed in 1930 and can operate as a private club or home, according to a press release about the deal. Short-term rentals are also allowed, said Lee & Associates broker Matthew Rotolante.

The Nakashes, who operate a global conglomerate that started with their fashion brand Jordache Jeans, also own the Setai Miami Beach, a 40-story condo hotel tower in Miami Beach that has recently been plagued with elevator issues. 

The Orchid House Hotel, with a landscaped courtyard and a covered outdoor pool, sits on a 7,000-square-foot lot.

Rotolante said that he received a lot of interest in the property due to the location, but that the Nakash family was the “best buyer” for the hotel due to their nearby holdings. He said the buyer plans to renovate it into a “VIP” operation that complements Casa Casuarina.

Gale, who brokered the sale of Villa Paradiso, said demand for short-term rental friendly hotel properties existed before the pandemic, but has ramped up more recently as hotel rates have soared.

“We get non-stop calls all week long looking for this type of property,” she said. “It is such a lucrative business.”

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An earlier version of this story incorrectly included a newspaper that Alden does not own.

The post Boutique South Beach hotels trade amid heightened demand appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

the Church of God Evangelical at 12830 Northeast Sixth Avenue in North Miami with Daniel Jaramillo and Tomas Sinisterra of Strategic Properties based in Miami (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

the Church of God Evangelical at 12830 Northeast Sixth Avenue in North Miami with Daniel Jaramillo and Tomas Sinisterra of Strategic Properties based in Miami (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

An apartment project with at least 220 units is poised to replace the Church of God Evangelical in North Miami, marking the latest redevelopment of a house of worship in a hot market where no site is sacred.

Strategic Properties and project partners Francis Jacob and Jacob Nae, want to build a multifamily development on the property at 12830 Northeast Sixth Avenue and the next-door house at 575 Northeast 127th Street, Daniel Jaramillo of Strategic told The Real Deal. The trio scooped up the 2.2-acre site in two deals totaling $5.6 million.

Nae is with North Miami-based Accountant & Management, and Jacob is with Rentals Paradise Realty, according to their respective LinkedIn accounts. Miami-based Strategic, led by Jaramillo and Tomas Sinisterra, is a multifamily developer with projects in Florida, Texas and Georgia, and a projected pipeline of roughly 3,000 units to be completed by 2027, according to its website. It also has asset and property management divisions.

Eglise de Dieu Evangelique Church of God, led by Pastor Raphael Simon, sold the one-story, white church with a partly brick facade, constructed in 1956, for $5.1 million, records show. Simon also sold the one-story, two-bedroom house, built in 1948, for $500,000, according to Jaramillo.

The congregation has a one-year lease for the church and is looking for a new home once its tenancy expires, said Christopher Kelley, the attorney who represented the church in the deal.

Attorney Carol Frances Keys represented the buyers.

Details of the $67 million project remain to be hammered out, as the developers are yet to file an application to the city, Jaramillo said.

Under existing zoning, the development could rise up to 200 feet, which is 12 stories maximum, and have up to 220 units, although “there is a good chance” the apartment count would be higher, he said. The buyers will seek a change in the development regulations for the house lot and would consider adding affordable or workforce housing, both of which would allow for more density. Most likely, the project would consist of two buildings but it could have one.

A majority of the units would be two-bedroom apartments, with roughly 30 percent one-bedroom apartments.

Construction is expected to start next year and be completed in either 2024 or 2025.

The site is near North Miami’s downtown, a stretch of shops, bars and restaurants along Northeast 125th Street, all anchored by the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The area is experiencing some investment activity. The former Johnson & Wales University campus is selling in pieces and is now in line for redevelopment. Jorge Pérez’s Related Group has the campus site at 1650 Northeast 124th Street under contract, proposing to build an eight-story, 382-unit Manor Biscayne building.

In January, Tate Capital bought the three-story former Johnson & Wales recreation center at 1600 Northeast 126th Street for $10.7 million, leasing the property to the city.

Johnson & Wales, a nonprofit tourism and hospitality school, closed its North Miami campus after completing the 2022-21 academic year.

In the prospering South Florida commercial real estate market, homing in on churches has become somewhat of a gospel for builders on the lookout for developable sites.

In Fort Lauderdale, Wellmeaning Properties plans to reinvent the closed Fourth Avenue Church of God property at 1237 Northeast Fourth Avenue into the Canopî project with bars, restaurants, retail and offices. http://therealdeal.com/miami/tag/fort-lauderdale/ It bought the property for $2.4 million in 2020.

Last year, Elm Springs paid $5.5 million for the boarded up Rader Memorial United Methodist church and school at 205 Northeast 87th Street in El Portal, with plans to redevelop it into an office-retail complex with eateries.

A more contentious proposal is by Arnaud Karsenti’s 13th Floor Investments and the Ardid family’s Key International, which want to buy and redevelop the oceanfront parking lot and school portion of the First Miami Presbyterian Church at 609 Brickell Avenue in Miami’s Brickell. As of February, a congregation member’s opposition to the deal put the plans on hold.

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Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider (Realogy)

Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider (Realogy)

Realogy will soon be nowhere to be found. Well, actually, it’ll be Anywhere.

The entity that owns major brokerages including Corcoran, Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Sotheby’s announced at an Investors Day event it is changing its name from Realogy Holdings Corp. to Anywhere Real Estate Inc.

The rebrand will be complete by the end of the quarter, according to the company. On a website for the rebrand, the company said the name change won’t directly affect its structure or daily operations on the company’s brokerage brands.

The company said the rebrand is part of a larger strategy that will see it invest in advances for “consumers who are demanding a more seamless, integrated transaction.” Realogy’s chief people officer Tanya Reu-Narvaez said in a statement the move “is not only a business and strategic transformation, but also a culture change.”

Realogy rode the hot housing market to a strong 2021 before marking last quarter as one of the best first quarters in company history. The peak came despite a 30 percent year-over-year decline in profits, which Realogy President and CEO Ryan Schneider blamed on an “unseasonably high 2021.”

The company also reduced its debt while expanding its iBuying arm — a joint venture with Blackstone’s Home Partners of America called RealSure — into new markets. Executives said Thursday they hope to surpass 20 percent market share by 2026.

Prior to the pandemic, Realogy was hit with a securities fraud suit amid falling stocks and shrinking market cap. The company announced in 2019 a partnership with Amazon called “TurnKey,” which was at the time panned by analysts. But Schneider embarked on a cost-cutting strategy that helped stocks rebound before last year’s hot real estate market buoyed the company’s bottom line.

Realogy, which employs nearly 200,000 independent agents in the United States and more than 130,000 abroad, reported being involved in roughly 1.5 million transactions last year. In addition to its stakes in major brokerages, the company also owns national title, settlement and relocation companies.

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Blue Road’s Marcelo Tenenbaum and Jorge Savloff with Emblem Tower (Northmiamifl, Blue Road, iStock)

Blue Road’s Marcelo Tenenbaum and Jorge Savloff with Emblem Tower (Northmiamifl, Blue Road, Marcelo Tenenbaum, iStock)

UPDATED, May 12, 11 p.m.: Developer Blue Road won conditional approval to build a 20-story, 139-unit multifamily project in North Miami.

Emblem Tower Apartments is planned for a site just west of I-95, along Northwest 7th Avenue, a major north-south artery that doubles as State Road 7.

“This project probably will be the first development of any kind on this part of Northwest 7th Avenue in decades,” said Steven Wernick, a Miami-based attorney who advises the development team. “There has been no opposition at any of the public hearings.”

The transit-driven development site is zoned C-1, or “commercial district,” but it’s in a municipal overlay district where dense residential projects are encouraged. The Planned Corridor Development Overlay District allows up to 125 dwelling units per acre, Wernick said. “It also comes with design criteria and a pretty robust sustainability checklist,” he said.

The North Miami City Council unanimously approved a conditional use permit Wednesday for the market-rate Emblem Tower project, which is still subject to development review by city staff and site-plan approval by the city council.

The conditional use permit gives Bay Harbor Islands-based Blue Road up to 18 months to obtain a building permit for Emblem Tower, and construction will take 24 months, Wernick said.

Market-rate rents at Emblem Tower probably will average about $2,500 a month and the building’s studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are likely to attract young professionals and retail store managers, among other types of tenants, said Jorge Savloff, who leads Blue Road, together with Marcelo Tenenbaum.

Blue Road paid $4 million about five years ago for the development site at the intersection of Northwest 7th Avenue at Northwest 121st Street, Savloff said.

The 1.1-acre Emblem Tower development site now encompasses an automotive transmission shop, a truck depot, and a vacant lot. The site is a five-parcel assembly at 12041 and 12065 Northwest 7th Avenue, 654 and 660 Northwest 21st Street, and a vacant lot where Northwest 21st Street dead-ends at I-95.

Ivan Busto of Miami Beach-based real estate firm Buslam Company Partners is assisting Blue Road with the Emblem Tower development, and Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott is serving as a design consultant on the project.

In North Miami Beach, Blue Road and Fortune International Group last month launched pre-construction sales for Nexo Residences, a 16-story condo development with 254 units on a waterfront site at 13899 Biscayne Boulevard. Unit prices range from the $400,000s to just over $1 million, and Nexo will have liberal rules for the short-term rentals of units.

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The property at 102 Jungle Road with Ivana Trump and Tomas Maier (Google Maps, Getty, Wikipedia)

The property at 102 Jungle Road with Ivana Trump and Tomas Maier (Google Maps, Getty, Wikipedia)

Ivana Trump’s former Palm Beach home is in new hands.

Fashion designer Tomas Maier and his husband, businessman Andrew Preston sold the renovated mansion at 102 Jungle Road for $72.9 million, property records show. Baloobeach, a Delaware LLC, purchased the property. Baloobeach financed the purchase with a $51 million loan from JPMorgan Chase.

Maier bought the house from Trump, the first ex-wife of former President Donald Trump, in 2014 for $16.6 million. That means it sold for more than four times its last sale eight years ago.

Ivana Trump purchased the estate two years after her divorce was finalized in 1992, records show.

The most recent buyer lists the Boca Raton address of a commercial building owned by Boca Gallery Properties, a Toronto-based entity managed by developer Rob Montemarano.

The 12,352-square-foot Palm Beach estate has nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms and one-half bathroom. It was built in 1926 on a 0.76-acre lot, and includes oceanfront land across the street. South Ocean Boulevard separates the property from the ocean.

Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates brokered the off-market sale, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

In 2019, Maier and Preston received the Robert I. Ballinger Award for their complete restoration of the Palm Beach property. Richard Sammons was the architect for the restoration, and Addison Mizner was the original architect.

Maier and Preston sold their Gulf Stream home for $9.5 million in 2018.

Maier was hired by Tom Ford to be creative director at the Italian leather goods house Bottega Veneta in 2001. During his tenure at Bottega Veneta, which ended in 2018, the luxury brand opened flagship stores in London, Paris, Milan and New York City, and as head designer, Maier was responsible for designing the brand’s signature leather accessories, according to a 2010 profile in the New Yorker.

Luxury home sales in Palm Beach have skyrocketed throughout the pandemic. Recent deals include auto dealership magnate Terry Taylor’s $7.5 million purchase of a gut-renovated oceanfront condo and billionaire David “Duke” Reyes’ $21 million sale of his home on Chilean Avenue.

Last month, billionaire Steve Wynn flipped his home for $32 million after owning it for less than a year. He bought it for $24 million.

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Michael Krymchantowski and a rendering of the Krymwood Hotel at 176 Northwest 28th Street (MKDA, Krymwood, iStock)

Michael Krymchantowski and a rendering of the Krymwood Hotel at 176 Northwest 28th Street (MKDA, Krymwood, iStock)

Brazilian businessman Michael Krymchantowski wants to develop a 60-unit hotel and residential building in Miami’s Wynwood.

Krymchantowski got the green light from the city’s Wynwood Design Review Committee on Thursday for his planned eight-story Krymwood Hotel at 176 Northwest 28th Street.

The committee suggested design tweaks, including reconfiguring the trash room and details for the mural and art in the building’s interior and exterior, according to Aleksander Sanchez of the Wynwood Business Improvement District, who is the liaison for the Wynwood Design Review Committee. The changes can be made administratively, and city commission approval is not required, although the plan may have to go in front of another city board, he said.

Florida Art Services, which lists a Miami address, owns the property, property records show.

The MKDA-designed Krymwood Hotel would span 72,369 square feet, including 4,903 square feet of retail, with 48 hotel keys and 12 residential units, according to the Wynwood Design Review Committee’s agenda. The documents do not specify if the units would be condos or apartments.

Aventura-based lender QKapital Group is financing the project, according to a Krymchantowski news release issued in February. Mauricio Ordoñez, Gaston Schneider and David Hassan founded QKapital, according to the company’s website. Ken Klein of QKapital negotiated the loan.

Construction of the Krymwood Hotel is expected to be completed in 2024, according to the release.

This would be Krymchantowski’s second Wynwood project. He owns and operates the Krymwood Flats short-term rentals at 145 Northwest 29th Street, which offers studios and one-bedroom units, according to the property’s website.

Wynwood, once a gritty warehouse district, has gone through several iterations in recent years since it was first gentrified and redeveloped into an arts district. Most recently, the area has become an office hub, with the completion of projects such as The Gateway at Wynwood and Wynwood Annex.

Among the residential developments in the pipeline is Related Group and David Edelstein’s Tricap’s NoMad Hotels-branded condo building with a Casa Tua Cucina, planned for 2700 Northwest Second Avenue. The developers launched condo sales in April.

Wynwood’s hotel market has been slower to pick up speed. Quadrum Global reportedly was first to start building a hotel in the neighborhood when it embarked on construction of the 217-key Arlo at 2217 and 2233 Northwest Miami Court last year.

Miami Beach-based Lucky Shepherd’s 2019 plan for the 150-key Shepherd Eco Wynwood with 48 apartments at 60 Northeast 27th Street never came to fruition. The developer sold the 1.3-acre site to Ironstate Development for $15.6 million last year.

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It sometimes pays to be at the end of the line.

Todd Michael Glaser started his career with a stint as a sprinkler designer. In the development hierarchy, that’s pretty low on the list.

“In a high-rise meeting, you’d have 40 subcontractors. And they would make me wait ‘til the very end, and they’d have 10 minutes of conversation, but I’d have to sit through nine hours of torment. So I finally said, ‘You know what, let me just learn,'” Glaser recalled in an interview for “The Closing” with The Real Deal‘s Hiten Samtani. By the time he was done, he had, pardon the pun, soaked in enough knowledge to try his hand at development, kicking off one of the more colorful and successful careers in building ultra-luxury spec homes.

Glaser has built homes for celebrities such as Michael Bay and Lil Wayne, and is developing a megamansion on Palm Beach’s only private island, Tarpon Island. He’s pushing pricing to levels unheard of in South Florida, and has ridden the wave of the hottest market in recent memory.

In the conversation, he dished on growing up in Miami Beach, working with celebrity buyers, his tussles with the Reuben Brothers at One Thousand Museum and his moonshot vision for his hometown. Check out the highlights in the video above and read the full conversation here.

The post Watch: Todd Michael Glaser on developing dream homes for billionaires appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Lennar’s Stuart Miller (Lennar, iStock) Homestead, Golf Course

Lennar’s Stuart Miller (Lennar, iStock)

Lennar is teeing up a 1,335-home and golf course project in Homestead’s Keys Gate development that will be called Altimira.

The Miami-based homebuilder recently submitted a proposed site plan and two zoning amendments to the city of Homestead. The city’s development review committee will consider the proposal at a meeting next Tuesday, and then it would move on to the Homestead City Council for approval at a later date.

A spokesperson for Lennar, led by Executive Chairman Stuart Miller, did not respond to a request for comment.

Lennar is under contract to buy 350 acres within the 850-acre Keys Gate from entities controlled by Homestead developer Wayne Rosen and the Michael Latterner Trust, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The developer’s proposal shows Lennar intends to build 385 single-family homes, 480 townhomes and 419 villas on the site, as well as redesign and reopen a shuttered golf course at 1800 Palm Drive and renovate a closed clubhouse at 2300 Palm Drive.

The golf course would feature 18 holes, a putting green, mini golf and a driving range, the proposal states. Lennar would also add a restaurant, a golf pro shop and a gym to the clubhouse.

Lennar is also seeking approval to build 51 single-family homes on a 14-acre site at 888 Southeast 28th Avenue in Homestead that is also within the Keys Gate community.

The homebuilder’s proposal bucks a recent trend among residential developers, including Lennar, to buy up South Florida golf courses to convert them into housing projects. In January, Lennar paid $19.2 million for part of a closed golf course west of Delray Beach that is approved for a residential development.

The same month, Boca Raton-based Altman Companies paid $14 million for a large portion of a golf course near Wellington where the developer plans to build Altís Blue Lake, a 318-unit, garden-style apartment complex.

In November, Sunrise-based GL Homes bought the former Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course for $65.7 million. The developer has city approvals to build more than 550 homes on the site.

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Surfside collapse site (Getty)

Surfside collapse site (Getty)

The Surfside collapse litigation reached an almost $1 billion settlement, a landmark development in the court battle to bring some justice to the families of the 98 people who died less than a year ago.

The milestone agreement follows weeks of mediation between attorneys for the plaintiffs and the slew of parties sued over allegedly contributing to the deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South last summer. The settlement is for $997 million, although it could exceed $1 billion as negotiations continue with one remaining defendant.

More than 25 entities and companies opted to settle the suit, including the Terra-led development team of Eighty Seven Park, the condo tower next door that was alleged to have played a role in the collapse.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman, who has overseen the litigation since it began last year, expressed his pride for the lawyers involved in the case and called the settlement “beyond extraordinary.”

But he also acknowledged that “no amount of money can possibly compensate” the loss of a loved one. Citing Cicero’s quote, “There is no grief which time does not lessen and soften,” Hanzman added that he hopes some of that stands true for victims’ families.

“I am not going to say up here that this resolution allows them to move on and heal because that’s something that’s just not true,” the judge said. “The Bar rose to the occasion. We have done the best we can in a judicial forum.”

GeoSonics, the vibration monitoring firm involved in the construction of Eighty Seven Park is the sole remaining defendant, said attorney Rachel Furst, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. Furst said negotiations are ongoing.

The 12-story oceanfront Champlain Towers South collapsed in the early morning of June 24. The settlement is primarily for the death and injury subclass of the litigation, meaning disbursements will go mainly to those who lost loved ones, although it would include other claims such as for post traumatic stress disorder and/or the loss of unit contents.

Hanzman approved a separate $83 million settlement in March for the economic loss of a unit by owners of the 136 condos at Champlain. Those funds will be drawn from insurance proceeds and the future sale of the 1.9-acre site.

An auction will be held on May 24, after stalking horse bidder Damac Properties, based in Dubai, completed its inspection of the site and deemed it developable. Damac set the floor price at $120 million, with other bidders expected to participate.

The defendants that will contribute to the $997 million settlement include Terra-tied entities and the rest of the development team for Eighty Seven Park, including general contractor John Moriarty & Associates of Florida; geotechnical engineer NV5; and structural engineer DeSimone Consulting Engineers. Other participants are Morabito Consultants, Champlain’s engineer for the building’s 40-year recertification; and Becker & Poliakoff, the condo association’s law firm. They were named in the lawsuit over the collapse.

Other settling parties that were not defendants in the suit include the town of Surfside, and Bizzi & Partners, a co-developer of Eighty Seven Park.

Those who lost loved ones would have the option to opt out of the settlement. Hanzman will give the settlement preliminary approval next week, then hold a hearing for plaintiffs to raise objections, and give final approval to the agreement in mid-June. He wants disbursements of checks to start in the fall.

Hanzman said he wanted to officially close the case ahead of the first anniversary of the collapse. The judge and others, including court-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg and Harley Tropin, co-lead counsel with Furst, complimented the dozens of attorneys working on resolving the litigation, as well as court-appointed mediator Bruce Greer.

“This case answers the question: When there’s an unspeakable, awful tragedy, what can lawyers from the court do? They can do their best,” Tropin said. “We can bring some measure of closure and some money back to the victims.”

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Vertical's Curt Mastbergen with Medley freezer facility (Vertical Cold Storage, LoopNet)

Vertical’s Curt Mastbergen with Medley freezer facility (Vertical Cold Storage, LoopNet)

A North Sioux City, South Dakota-based cold storage real estate firm breezed into South Florida’s industrial market with a $66 million deal in Miami-Dade County.

Vertical Cold Storage, led by President and CEO Curt Mastbergen, bought a 274,191-square-foot freezer facility at 11801 Northwest 102 Road in Medley, according to records. The deal worked out to $240 a square foot. Vertical Cold Storage took out a $41 million loan with UMB Bank NA to finance the purchase, records show.

The seller, Camden, New Jersey-based United States Cold Storage, bought the 10-acre site for $3.7 million in 2003 and completed 189,195 square feet of freezer warehouse space a year later. The firm added another 85,188 square feet in 2019, records show.

Vertical Cold Storage, an affiliate of Kansa City, Missouri-based real estate investment manager Platform Ventures, owns and operates four other freezer facilities in Chicago, Dallas, Charlotte and Omaha, according to its website.

In Miami-Dade, industrial landlords are still reaping dividends from pandemic fueled tenant expansions and relocations, according to a JLL first quarter report. In the most recent quarter, tenants absorbed 1.3 million square feet of industrial space, compared to 371,349 square feet during the same period of last year, according to JLL.

Miami-Dade’s industrial vacancy rate narrowed to 2.6 percent in the first quarter, compared to 6 percent during the same period last year, the report states. And average asking rents widened by 52.8 percent to $11.61 a square foot, compared to $7.60 a square foot in the same period of 2021.

In Medley, the vacancy rate hit 2.4 percent in the most recent quarter, compared to 4.9 percent in last year’s first quarter, while asking rents averaged $12.21 a square foot, compared to $7.39 a square foot during the same period of last year, according to JLL.

National industrial players are bullish in Medley. Seagis recently paid $23.7 million for two industrial facilities, and $14.8 million for a trailer parking lot in Medley.

In December, Prologis bought a Medley warehouse for $23 million.

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From left: Buyers Neil Merin, Dung Lam and Jordan Paul along with 1001 Yamato Road (top) and 999 Yamato Road (bottom) (NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Moris Moreno)

From left: Buyers Neil Merin, Dung Lam and Jordan Paul along with 1001 Yamato Road (top) and 999 Yamato Road (bottom) (NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Moris Moreno)

The Yamato Office Center in Boca Raton traded for $45.9 million.

A joint venture of MHCommercial Real Estate Fund II and an unidentified New York-based institutional real estate fund bought the two-building complex at 999 and 1001 Yamato Road from Adler Real Estate Partners, according to a news release from MHCommercial Real Estate.

This is the fund’s second purchase in South Florida since it was formed in January by NAI/Merin Hunter Codman principals Dung Lam, Neil Merin and Jordan Paul.

Christian Lee and Marcos Minaya of CBRE represented the seller. Corey Winsett of MHCommercial, as well as Elizabeth Jones and John Strickroot of Shutts & Bowen, represented the buyers.

The JV scored an undisclosed amount of financing from Greenwich, Connecticut-based LoanCore Capital, according to the release. Steve Kay and JP Kost of LoanCore structured the loan.

The complex spans 10 acres. The three-story 999 Yamato Road building, built in 2000, totals 82,974 square feet; and the four-story 1001 Yamato Road building, built in 1986, totals 88,750 square feet, according to the release.

Yamato Office Center is 71 percent leased, according to the release. Tenants include investment bank Oppenheimer, tech firm Connection, employment agency Accountable Healthcare Staffing and telecommunications company Phoenix Tower International.

The complex gained in value since Miami-based Adler Real Estate, led by founder and managing principal Matthew Adler, bought it in 2015 for $32.3 million.

The buyers plan capital improvements to the Class A properties in a bid to increase tenancy, the release states.

The deal comes on the heels of MHCommercial Real Estate Fund II buying the EcoPlex office building at 1641 Worthington Road in West Palm Beach and its attached garage for $32.5 million in April. The fund partnered with New York-based Waterfall Asset Management for that deal.

Fund II is targeting a total of $250 million commercial real estate acquisitions throughout the Southeast over the next year to a year and a half, according to the release.

Lam, Merin and Jordan Paul’s previous fund, formed in 2019 and fully invested by December, bought roughly $115 million in property, according to an April MHCommercial release. That included the purchase of the three-building Golden Bear Plaza office complex at 11750, 11760 and 11770 U.S. Highway 1 in Palm Beach Gardens for $49.8 million in 2020.

The Palm Beach County office market has picked up since the pandemic’s work-from-home shift that started in 2020. The vacancy rate was 9.6 percent in the first quarter, as well as the fourth quarter of last year, the lowest since early 2019, according to a Colliers report. Rents reached $37.59 per square foot in the first quarter, up from $35.85 during the same period last year.

In another recent Boca Raton office deal, Pebb Enterprises and Banyan Development scooped up Florida Atlantic University’s tech and innovation-focused Research Park for $37.5 million in May.

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Douglas Elliman's Scott Gordon with 2770 South Ocean Boulevard (Douglas Elliman, Google Maps)

Douglas Elliman’s Scott Gordon with 2770 South Ocean Boulevard (Douglas Elliman, Google Maps)

An auto dealership magnate dropped $7.5 million on a gut-renovated oceanfront Palm Beach condo.

Property records show Terry R. Taylor, using an entity he leads, bought unit S-502 at 2770 South Ocean Boulevard. The seller is O’Keefe Limited Partnership, a Canadian entity with a Toronto address.

Taylor leads West Palm Beach-based Automotive Management Services, which shares the same address as the entity he used to buy the condo. Taylor is the largest private owner of auto dealerships in the country, with more than 120 dealerships throughout the South and Midwest, according to Automotive News.

The condo was listed in March for $7.5 million. Scott Gordon with Douglas Elliman had the listing. Christian Angle with Christian Angle Real Estate represented the buyer. Angle could not be reached for comment.

Gordon said the sellers, two brothers from Toronto, gut-renovated the condo in 2015 after they bought it for $2.8 million. He said they worked with interior designer Allison Paladino.

Gordon said the buyer paid $7.2 million for the unit and $300,000 for the furniture. He declined to name the buyer. The total sale price breaks down to $1,782 per square foot.

Built in 1990, the 4,040-square-foot condo comes with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and one-half bathroom, according to Realtor.com.

In 2017, Taylor paid $25 million for a penthouse at Porsche Design Tower at 18555 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. Records show he still owns the property. In 2016, he paid $5 million for unit 3203 at the same tower, with plans to flip it for $7.3 million, but records show it sold for $4.9 million.

Other recent Palm Beach sales include billionaire Steve Wynn flipping a waterfront home in April for $32 million within a year of buying the property for $24 million. Also in April, the Frisbies sold a spec townhouse on the former site of Charley’s Crab restaurant for $27.8 million.

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An aerial of the Mainstreet at Boynton with Banyan Development principal Jason Sher and Pebb Enterprises CEO Ian Weiner (LinkedIn, Pebb Enterprises, Aerial via Andy Traficante – Atlantic Aerial Imaging)

An aerial of the Mainstreet at Boynton with Banyan Development principal Jason Sher and Pebb Enterprises CEO Ian Weiner (LinkedIn, Pebb Enterprises, Aerial via Andy Traficante – Atlantic Aerial Imaging)

Pebb Enterprises and Banyan Development sold the Wawa-leased outparcel at their Mainstreet at Boynton mixed-use project for $9.5 million.

The Boca Raton-based developers of the Sprouts-anchored mixed-use project sold the property at 6405 West Boynton Beach Boulevard to YFP, according to the sellers’ news release. YFP is a Fort Mill, South Carolina-based company led by Richard Yager Jr. and Jeffrey Yager, state corporate records show. Richard Yager Jr. said YFP has other Florida properties, but declined further comment.

Barry Wolfe and Alan Lipsky of Marcus & Millichap represented the sellers. Sam Young of Atlantic Retail represented the buyer.

Wawa, a chain of gas stations and convenience stores, is in the early stages of a 20-year lease for the 2.9-acre site, according to the release. Grahame Wood founded Wawa, which is based in Wawa, Pennsylvania.

Pebb and Banyan’s 16-acre Mainstreet at Boynton project on the northeast corner of Boynton Beach Boulevard and Jog Road is partly completed. It’s in an unincorporated Palm Beach County area west of Boynton Beach.

The retail portion, totaling 70,000 square feet, is fully leased, and Sprouts opened its 26,000-square-foot store in December, according to the release. Other retailers include AT&T, F45 Training, Crown Wine & Spirits, Paradise Grills Direct and Aspen Dental.

Still on tap is a 117,000-square-foot, 130-unit congregate living facility, which will be similar to an age-restricted facility, but won’t be a nursing home.

In January, Pebb and Banyan sold a Synovus Bank-leased outparcel at 9844 Jog Road for $5.1 million to an affiliate of Erick Guerra’s Delray Beach-based Raitt Corporation.

Pebb, a family owned company founded in 1973, focuses on purchasing and developing regional shopping centers and office space throughout the Southeast and Midwest, as well as Nevada and Texas, according to its website. Ian Weiner is president and CEO.

Banyan is a commercial real estate development and investment company led by Chairman and Principal Doug Feurring, and Principals Ross Feurring and Jason Sher.

This month, Pebb and Banyan partnered to buy Florida Atlantic University’s tech and innovation-focused Research Park, a seven-building office portfolio at 3600-3998 FAU Boulevard in Boca Raton, for $37.5 million.

An international sovereign wealth fund sold the buildings, but Pebb and Banyan lease the land from FAU’s governing authority, the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority.

The Palm Beach County retail market is outperforming pre-pandemic times, with the vacancy rate hitting 4.3 percent in the first quarter, the lowest since at least the first quarter of 2019, according to a Colliers report.

Rents reached $27.26 per square foot in the first quarter, up from $23.69 during the same period last year.

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151 Chilean Avenue in Palm Beach (Realtor.com, iStock)

151 Chilean Avenue in Palm Beach (Realtor.com, iStock)

Billionaire David “Duke” K. Reyes and his wife, Pamela A. Perri Reyes, sold their Palm Beach home for $21 million.

Property records show the Reyes sold the house at 151 Chilean Avenue to a trust of the same name, led by Brad McPherson, an attorney with Gunster. The true buyer is unknown.

Records show the buyer scored a $12.2 million mortgage from New York City-based JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Reyes is CEO of Rosemont, Illinois-based Reyes Holdings, an international food and beverage distribution company which generated more than $30 billion in revenue last year and has 30,000 employees, according to Forbes. Records show the Reyes’ held a homestead exemption on their property, suggesting they lived there.

Forbes ranks Reyes as the 2,186th wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.

The 5,119-square-foot home comes with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and sits on almost a quarter-acre lot. It was built in 2016, according to Realtor.com. The Reyes bought the house in 2018 for $11.5 million from Canadian banker and real estate investor Adrian Tauro and interior designer Sloan Mauran, according to records and published reports.

Lisa and John Cregan with Sotheby’s International Realty represented the sellers in the latest sale. John Cregan confirmed their roles, but declined to discuss further. Jonathan Duerr of Compass Florida represented the buyer. Duerr confirmed that he was the buyer’s agent and said the deal was off-market.

David Reyes isn’t the only billionaire to sell property in Palm Beach in recent months. In April, billionaire Steve Wynn flipped a waterfront home for $32 million within a year of buying the property for $24 million

Among other recent sales in Palm Beach, the Frisbies sold a spec townhouse on the former site of Charley’s Crab restaurant last month for $27.8 million.

Also in April, a spec mansion on the non-waterfront side of Billionaires’ Row in Palm Beach traded for $48.5 million.

Other members of the Reyes family purchased waterfront property elsewhere in the country this year.

In January, Joseph Christopher Reyes and his wife, Anne, were revealed as the buyers of the Driehaus mansion in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. They paid $36 million for the property, shattering the previous state record of $12.8 million for a home sale.

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renderings of the proposed three-tower development on the site of an existing Hyatt and the James L. Knight Center on the Miami River at 400 Southeast Second Avenue, Miami (Arquitectonica, Gencom, LinkedIn)

renderings of the proposed three-tower development on the site of an existing Hyatt and the James L. Knight Center on the Miami River at 400 Southeast Second Avenue, Miami (Arquitectonica, Gencom, LinkedIn)

Hyatt Hotels’ stalled plan to redevelop its downtown Miami River site and adjacent James L. Knight Center is back.

Hyatt and Coconut Grove-based Gencom are partnering on a new proposal for three towers with a 615-key hotel and more than 1,500 apartments, and are seeking an extension of Hyatt’s ground lease for the city-owned property, according to the developers’ news release. Event and meeting space would replace and expand by 50 percent the Knight Center, which for four decades has hosted university graduations, conferences and trade shows.

The duo made their latest pitch to a subcommittee of the Miami River Commission, a board charged with reviewing proposals along and near the riverfront, on Tuesday. The Miami City Commission is expected to vote this summer on putting the project and lease extension before voters on a November referendum.

The proposal marks the third time Hyatt has tried to redevelop the 4.1-acre site at 400 Southeast Second Avenue. The recent plan, tweaked from previous proposals, is for Arquitectonica-designed curving buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows, adding to downtown’s growing canyon of modern skyscrapers. One of the towers would be among South Florida’s tallest at 1,049 feet, a spokesperson for the developers said.

The development would replace the existing light-beige complex that harkens back to 1980s Miami architecture. The Hyatt and Knight Center were completed in 1982.

The new project would have two 61-story buildings with a flagship Hyatt Regency hotel; 682 apartments; 264 serviced apartments; and over 100,000 square feet of meeting space, according to the release. A skybridge would link the towers and include a restaurant and lounge perched 700 feet above the city. The third, 1,049-foot tower would have 860 units.

A podium with 190,000 square feet of event and meeting space would sit beneath the complex and include 12,000 square feet of retail, as well as food and beverage space; 1,100 parking spaces; and 20,000 square feet of co-working space, the release says.

The project is billed as a marquee development for its design, aiming to allow ease for pedestrian, vehicular, biking and possibly ferry connectivity.

It would expand the riverfront promenade by 480 feet and add over 50,000 square feet of outdoor public space. An overpass would allow for easy access to the Metromover Knight Center stop nearby.

Within the development, bicyclists would have four areas to leave their bikes and a large drop-off and pick-up area for cars. Hyatt and Gencom are considering a ferry dock, according to the release.

If voters approve the referendum, construction would start in 2025.

Chicago-based Hyatt, led by CEO Mark Hoplamazian, leased the property from the city of Miami in 1979, and has the right to a 45-year renewal in 2027. Hyatt is asking for a 99-year extension instead.

The hotel company’s previous redevelopment proposals came in 2017 and then in 2018, which the city commission declined to put on the ballot.

Gencom is a hotel and residential real estate developer and owner, with a portfolio valued at over $3 billion, according to the release. It has projects in Costa Rica, Bermuda, Pennsylvania and Colorado, with a South Florida portfolio that includes The Ritz-Carlton hotels in Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove, according to its website. Karim Alibhai founded Gencom in 1987.

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Two Roads' Reid Boren and Taylor Collins with the site of 9927 and 9955 East Bay Harbor Drive in Bay Harbor Islands (Two Roads, Google Maps)

Two Roads’ Reid Boren and Taylor Collins with the site of 9927 and 9955 East Bay Harbor Drive in Bay Harbor Islands (Two Roads, Google Maps)

Regency Development Group is diving into booming Bay Harbor Islands, paying a combined $22.5 million for four waterfront development sites.

In the largest of the deals, an entity with ties to Chicago-based Regency, led by Igor Michin and Alex Troyanovsky, acquired two adjacent properties totaling nearly an acre at 9927 and 9955 East Bay Harbor Drive for $13.5 million, records show. The buyer obtained a $5 million mortgage from Park Ridge Community Bank.

The seller, an affiliate of Two Roads Development, two years ago had proposed building a seven-story condominium with 26 units on the two properties. Two Roads, led by managing principals Reid Boren and Taylor Collins, paid $9 million for the two vacant lots in 2016, records show.

Michin and Troyanovsky did not return a phone message seeking comment about Regency’s plans for the sites.

The firm also acquired two other smaller waterfront properties at 9781 and 10301 East Bay Harbor Drive for $4.5 million each, records show. Two Roads also sold those parcels, which are separate lots, to Regency.

The four sites, which total 1.3 acres, combined, all have site plan approvals in place for luxury mid-rise condominiums, according to a press release.

Simon Banke and Matt McCormack with JLL represented the seller in the deals, the release states.

Bay Harbor Islands is in the midst of a redevelopment wave. Recently, Menachem Kranz paid $6.5 million to acquire all 10 units in a two-story condominium at 9110 West Bay Harbor Drive. Kranz plans to tear down the building and replace it with an eight-story condominium with 10 units starting at 3,000 square feet with three bedrooms. Prices will begin at about $6 million per unit.

Also this month, Clara Homes paid $17.6 million for a pair of two-story apartment complexes on East Bay Harbor Drive where the Miami-based developer plans to build the third phase of a new luxury apartment community called Clara Bay Harbor. The project entails three six-story rental buildings on three separate sites in Bay Harbor Islands.

And Miami-based Alta Developers took over the Ambienta Bay Harbor Islands development and is relaunching sales of the planned seven-story, 30-unit luxury condo building. The project has been rebranded as Alana.

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Prologis CEO Hamid Moghadam and Duke Realty CEO James Connor (Prologis, Duke)

Prologis CEO Hamid Moghadam and Duke Realty CEO James Connor (Prologis, Duke)

Prologis has proposed to buy Duke Realty for $24 billion in an all-stock deal that would add about 160 million square feet to its industrial real estate portfolio.

The San Francisco-based logistics specialist offered to buy the REIT for $61.68 per Duke Realty share, Prologis announced on Tuesday. Yesterday, Duke Realty’s share price closed at $47.71. Shares of Duke Realty have jumped about 12 percent since then.

With the deal, Prologis would acquire more than 160 million square feet of industrial real estate across the U.S. Prologis currently owns about 1 billion square feet of logistics space.

Prologis said it sent a letter to Duke Realty, which is based in Indianapolis, offering a buyout in November. Since then, the company has repeatedly sent out higher offers to Duke Realty, though the REIT has “not substantively engaged,” Prologis said in an announcement. Duke most recently rejected an offer from Prologis on May 3.

With Prologis’ most recent stock offer, Duke Realty shareholders would own about 19 percent of the combined company, Prologis CEO Hamid Moghadam said in a letter to Duke Realty.

“We are confident that the proposed combination will be a win-win for our respective shareholders,” the CEO said in a statement.

If the Duke Realty buy goes through, it would be one of Prologis’ most expensive acquisitions. In 2020, the company bought Liberty Property Trust for about $13 billion. That deal included about 108 million square feet of existing logistics space, as well as 1,750 acres of land for future development and 5 million square feet of developments in progress.

In 2018, Prologis purchased DCT Industrial Trust for $8.5 billion, a deal that added 71 million square feet of industrial space to Prologis’ portfolio.

Prologis would also assume a substantial portfolio along the West Coast. In Southern California’s Inland Empire, Duke Realty is building a 1.2 million-square-foot development that was recently pre-leased to third-party logistics firm Lecangs.

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Crisp CEO Are Traasdahl and Sirissima founder Siri Willoch Traasdahl with 25 East Rivo Alto Drive in Miami Beach (LinkedIn, Brand-Innovators, Julian Johnston)

Venture capital investor and Crisp CEO Are Traasdahl and his designer wife sold their waterfront Venetian Islands home for $31.5 million, a record for the Miami Beach island chain.

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

Traashdahl and Siri Willoch Traasdahl sold the seven-bedroom, 7,347-square-foot house at 25 East Rivo Alto Drive in Miami Beach to Rivo Alto LLC, a Delaware entity, records show. The sale beats the previous record set by tech investor Keith Rabois in 2020. Rabois paid $28.9 million for a waterfront house on North Venetian Way two years ago.

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

The two-story Venetian Islands home was built in 2014 on a 0.3-acre lot with a pool, koi fish pond, a dock and 100 feet of water frontage. The property also includes a chef’s kitchen with a wine cellar, gas fire puts, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and a master suite, according to a cached version of a listing for the property.

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

Julian Johnston of Corcoran Group represented the sellers, and Shawn Ankari of Prime Realty Services represented the buyer. Johnston declined to comment.

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

Inside the property (Julian Johnston)

Are Traasdahl is founder and CEO of Crisp, a remote consumer packaged goods software firm, as well as founder and president of Spring Capital, which invests in public equities, venture capital firms and private equity firms, according to Traasdahl’s LinkedIn. Siri Traasdahl is the founder and designer of the handmade mask company Sirissima.

Are Traasdahl paid $2.4 million for the lot in 2009, records show.

The Venetian Islands have become a haven for tech investors and executives in their exodus from Silicon Valley during the pandemic. Other buyers include Goody co-founder Ed Lando, Honey co-founder Ryan Hudson, and PayPal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel.

Soaring demand for waterfront homes in Miami Beach has pushed pricing to all-time highs. Coupled with limited inventory, that’s resulted in single-family home sales declining. Off-market deals and flips also became more common.

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(iStock, Getty Images, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

(iStock, Getty Images, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

A V-neck? For a meeting? With an investor?

Oh, Adam Neumann. You sweet summer child.

Whether comedy or drama, some of the best television centered around the workplace takes a deeper look at the spirit of the times. Behind the three-martini lunches, “Mad Men” showed us ugly truths about American society in the 1960s. “Silicon Valley” satirized tech bro culture of the 2010s. Even “The Office,” whose comedy often relied on the inherent contradictions of corporate culture in the early 2000s, is inextricably linked to its era.

Through this lens, “WeCrashed” can be seen as a post-Recession period piece about what can go wrong when ego, ambition and greed are combined.

Staged and scripted for the small screen, the Apple TV miniseries tells the story of former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann’s career — which was, in many ways, staged and scripted itself.

Its depictions of Neumann’s dealings with fictional backers like Yevgeny Risakov, or real ones like Jamie Dimon and Masayoshi Son, showed in dramatic detail what can go wrong when V-necked startups need buy-in from the old-guard suits of commercial real estate.

Before I learned how numbers worked, I loved throwing around the number 165. I’d ask for “165 books” from the library and complain about having to wait “165 years” to get them. Why 165? Well, I was five years old and it was the biggest number I could think of.

Jared Leto nails this childlike, delusional approach to money on “WeCrashed.” In nearly every episode, we hear Neumann gleefully yell out projected valuations like “45 billion!” “47 billion!” and, perhaps influenced by one particularly large bong rip, “a trillion.”

Members of the city’s real estate establishment may not be so outwardly brash, but they do seem to enjoy bouncing around colossal sums of money with equal fervor.

Watching Risakov’s “negotiation” with Neumann felt like observing a game of ping-pong, with huge dollar figures tapped lightly back and forth until both agreed on which one they liked best.

Of course, for every seasoned veteran who keeps it to a subtle flex, you also have kids like “bad boy landlord” Rafi Toledano, who, years before being banned from New York real estate by the state, once boasted to a TRD reporter, “I’m worth a fuckload of money, bro.

We like to sneer at startup CEOs’ brand of conspicuous consumption, and real estate has always had its own “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” culture. The richest love their superyachts and chartered jets. New car smell means nothing to those who buy their Ferraris in bulk.

But if you don’t got it? Flaunt it anyway! Just like Leto’s Neumann did when his startup needed a financial reckoning.

Dipping into the red? No problem. Just hire a crisis team, “elevate the world’s consciousness” with another We-Something branded initiative and take a barefoot walk through the city to let everyone know what an unbothered free spirit you are.

Among these was WeGrow, the school — sorry — “educational branch” started by Neumann’s wife, Rebekah Paltrow Neumann (played by Anne Hathaway).

In one episode, Hathaway takes starchitect Bjarke Ingels (Vasile Flutur) through a vacant office floor, musing in a low-pitched, pretentious cadence about its potential as a space from which WeGrow could reinvent the very concept of education.

“I see clouds. And… a meadow, right? Oh, this is incredible! Can you feel the energy that we’re creating in here?”

The energy, as it turned out, would be rather expensive.

An unnamed adviser made the importance of optics clear to Neumann when he shared the “first rule” for succeeding in commercial real estate: “It’s not what you can see, it’s who can see you.”

But corporate mantras and optics can only take you so far. By the miniseries’ finale, WeWork’s IPO crisis left Neumann with no choice but to face the music.

Investors were catching on to the grift, and JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, played by Campbell Scott, told Adam to maybe push back the IPO — or at least pick a valuation that wasn’t $47 billion.

You can only manipulate reality so much before you must reevaluate your delusions. In Adam’s case, he reevaluated them down to a meager $20 billion.

WeKnow how the story ends.

Early in the show, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, played by Kim Eui-Sung, asks Neumann whether it’s the smart one or the crazy one who wins a fight. In the series finale, he reveals the answer to the trick question: It’s the one with the money.

“Image is everything” is one of many empty phrases we hear time and again in each episode — and one that holds true in real life. Just look at @Traded, which has built a business around infinite scrolls of the flashiest commercial deals complete with smiling headshots of the brokers who pulled them off.

If image is everything, then what is @Traded if not, in the words of TRD’s Joe Lovinger, “real estate’s vanity mirror?

“WeCrashed” is a visual feast of 2010s proto-nostalgia — from costuming to set design to Katy Perry.

Does it deliver stylized commentary on the American workplace? Yes. Does its script reflect the cult-like repetition of banal platitudes that Neumann called WeWork’s “company culture?” Absolutely. I came away from the last episode with about two brain cells but newfound empathy for the poor WeWork employees that had to hear this shit on a daily basis.

But above all else, it is pretty to look at. And isn’t that what really matters?

[contact-form-7]

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Seagis' Bradlee Lord with 10900 Northwest 138th Street (Seagis Property Group, iStock)

Seagis’ Bradlee Lord with 10900 Northwest 138th Street (Seagis Property Group, iStock)

Seagis Property Group is developing a taste for Medley.

The Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based logistics firm picked up a pair of adjacent industrial facilities for $23.7 million, The Real Deal has learned. It’s less than a month after purchasing a nearby trailer parking lot for $14.8 million.

Seagis bought the property at 11100 Northwest 112th Court and the site at 10900 Northwest 138th Street, which Seagis plans to redevelop, according to the buyer’s news release. The seller is Houston-based building materials company Cemex.

Steve Wasserman and Erin Byers of Colliers brokered the deal.

The property at 10900 Northwest 138th Street is a 7-acre decommissioned cement plant that will be redeveloped into a 130,150-square-foot, rear-load warehouse, according to the release. Construction is expected to be completed in 2023.

The building at 11100 Northwest 112th Court, which is directly south of the development site, includes a 11,510-square-foot warehouse fully leased to Cemex as a truck maintenance facility. This property spans 2.4 acres.

The purchase comes on the heels of Seagis’ purchase of a 6.3-acre property at 13399 Northwest 113th Avenue Road for $14.8 million in April.

Demand has been rising for outdoor industrial facilities, as robust construction activity and e-commerce growth have created a need for parking lots for delivery trucks and heavy equipment, brokers have told The Real Deal.

The latest two-property deal brings Seagis’ total acquisitions in South Florida to $82 million since the beginning of the year, according to the release.

The company’s total portfolio in the region spans 116 logistics properties totaling more than 6 million square feet. Bradlee Lord is Seagis’ vice president and is based in the company’s South Florida office.

Miami-Dade County’s industrial market is one of the area’s strongest sectors, fueled by high demand and little developable land.

The industrial vacancy rate dropped to 2.7 percent in the first quarter, lower than before the pandemic, when it was slightly over 4 percent, according to a Colliers report. Asking rent hit $11.80 per square foot in the first quarter, up from $10.38 in the first quarter of last year.

In February, Seagis paid $16 million for a warehouse development site on the northeast corner of Northwest 27th Street and 84th Avenue and next to its Transal Park facility in Doral, with plans for a new 17,790-square-foot building.

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Faena House at 3315 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach (Condos.com)

Faena House at 3315 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach (Condos.com)

Condo sales tumbled while average sale price and dollar volume rose in the first week of May in Miami-Dade County.

Dollar volume last week totaled $275 million, up from $213 million the week before. Sales reached 251, compared with 301 the previous week.

Leaflet map created by Adam Farence | Data by © OpenStreetMap, under ODbl.

Condos sold for an average price of about $1 million, up from $707,000 the week prior.

The top sale was a $15.5 million closing at Faena House in Miami Beach. Unit 6A at 3315 Collins Avenue sold for $3,276 per square foot. Toni Schrager with Brown Harris Stevens represented the seller, and Bryan Sereny and Bill Hernandez with Douglas Elliman represented the buyer.

The second most expensive sale occurred at Santa Maria in Miami. PH 4902 at 1643 Brickell Avenue sold for $12 million, or $1,200 per square foot. Audrey Ross with Compass Florida had the listing, and Liz Hogan, also with Compass Florida, represented the buyer.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 sales from May 1 to May 7:

Most expensive

Faena House, 3315 Collins Avenue, unit 6a | 63 days on the market | $15.5M | $3,276 psf | Listing agent: Toni Schrager with Brown Harris Stevens | Buyer’s agents: Bryan Sereny and Bill Hernandez with Douglas Elliman

Least expensive

Porsche Design Tower, 18555 Collins Avenue, unit 2501 | 51 days on the market | $6M | $1,340 psf | Listing agent: Enrique Tettamanti with Dezer Platinum Realty | Buyer’s agent: Melissa Barragan with Dezer Platinum Realty

Most days on market

Santa Maria, 1643 Brickell Avenue, PH 4902 | 309 days on the market | $12M | $1,200 psf | Listing agent: Audrey Ross with Compass Florida | Buyer’s agent: Liz Hogan with Compass Florida

Fewest days on market

Oceana Bal Harbour, 10201 Collins Avenue, unit 2103 | 1 day on the market | $8.9M | $2,580 psf | Buyer’s agent: Lourdes Alatriste with Douglas Elliman

One Thousand Museum, 1000 East Biscayne Boulevard, unit 3201 | 1 day on the market | $7.3M | $1,587 psf | Listing agent: Patrice Hallot with London Foster Realty | Buyer’s agent: Anna Sherrill with One Sotheby’s International Realty

The post Faena House closing tops Miami-Dade’s weekly condo sales appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

(Photo-illustration by Paul Dilakian/The Real Deal)

In February, Douglas Elliman signaled its arrival in Vero Beach, a small Florida city about 75 miles up the coast from Palm Beach, by scooping up Daley and Company, a local brokerage that it said had closed more than $232 million in sales since 2020. 

Founder Sally Daley said that her firm has always made an effort to target buyers from the city’s feeder markets, including Connecticut, Michigan and Canada, but operating as an independent brokerage had stifled its efforts.

Joining a larger operation like Elliman’s is “a way to strengthen our outreach and get exposure in front of brokers and clients when they’re up in, say, Connecticut, and they’re thinking about coming to Florida,” she said.

Elliman’s expansion to the area is part of a larger push into what chairman Howard Lorber described in March as “low-cost states,” including Florida, Arizona and Nevada, as the pandemic has driven more of its clients to seek homes in different parts of the country.

We always go where our clients go,” said Scott Durkin, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who noted that the firm has opened offices in Austin and Dallas and plans to expand to Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Nashville while bolstering its presence in markets closer to its core, including Fairfield County, Nantucket and the Hudson Valley.

Beyond the need to follow buyers, another factor encouraging brokerages’ forays into new markets is reduced overhead costs in a largely work-from-home world.

Agents are out in the field much more,” Durkin said. “As long as you’re licensed within a state, you can sell real estate anywhere. It’s all mobile, and you really never have to go into a brick-and-mortar space ever again if you don’t want to.” 

It’s much more economical now to expand,” he added.

New frontiers

Elliman is not alone. As markets like Texas emerge as destinations for buyers with newfound freedom to work remotely, brokerages that have historically focused on larger, more established markets are hoping to capitalize.

Compass, which said it entered 25 new markets last year, further expanded to Richmond, Virginia, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in March and opened its first permanent office in Sacramento. In both Richmond and Chapel Hill, the brokerage launched its presence by bringing on established local teams totaling at least 30 agents.

Los Angeles-based luxury specialist The Agency, which launched 11 additional franchises last year, recently announced a new division that focuses on selling single-family homes in the suburbs. The operation will start by catering to homebuilders on the West Coast before expanding nationally.

I don’t think there’s any big secrets on the list of luxury markets around the globe in terms of what’s hot,” The Agency’s founder and CEO, Mauricio Umansky, said. “But it’s about making a sustainable business and not just following the hot new thing.” 

When it comes to recruitment, brokerages can plow ahead by luring individual agents or teams or “acqui-hiring” — buying independent brokerages or scooping up franchises wholesale. 

Late last year, Chicago-based @properties acquired the brand assets of Christie’s International Real Estate, a deal that saw approximately 900 Christie’s-affiliated offices around the world transferred to @properties.

The Christie’s brand was the body of a Ferrari, a beautiful frame body of a car, and we have the best motor and best engine, which was our technology, marketing, training and coaching,” said Thad Wong, co-CEO of @properties. “So by combining the two, we thought we’d have the best value proposition to help independent brokers grow.”

To keep and attract talent, Keller Williams launched the KW Expansion Network, which standardizes compensation plans for agent teams that want to grow beyond their local markets and connects them with resources at its franchise locations across the country. The arrangement means that as its top agents expand, Keller Williams does too.

We’re literally trying to offer a way to have your cake and eat it too,” said Cody Gibson, director of expansion and growth at Keller Williams.

Luring new agents can be more difficult. 

The majority of strong top producers aren’t going to leave a company for just a couple more bucks,” Wong said. 

Wong referenced the “Compass effect,” whereby the venture-funded brokerage rapidly gained market share by attracting top brokers with generous incentive packages, including stock options.

Nobody joined Compass for their culture or anything,” Wong said. “They really joined because they were given more money.”

When a firm establishes a culture based on signing bonuses and high commission splits, Wong said, it’s difficult to “shift that to something more meaningful.” 

Still, there’s no denying Compass’ continued success in increasing its market share, even if those efforts contributed to its nearly $500 million net loss last year. The brokerage, which declined to comment for this story, reported that its agent count had swelled to more than 26,000 by the end of last year. In its full-year earnings report, Compass claimed that most who joined in the fourth quarter “took a less favorable split than at their previous brokerage.” 

Umansky said The Agency looks to recruit agents that will fit well with its organizational culture rather than simply targeting brokers with top sales totals.

We do not have recruiting managers that are just out there dialing for dollars to see who they can get,” he said. “We don’t count how many agents we have. We count our market share.”

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From left: Edgardo Defortuna, Stephen Ross and Gil Dezer (The Related Companies, Fortune International Group, Dezer Development, iStock)

From left: Edgardo Defortuna, Stephen Ross and Gil Dezer (The Related Companies, Fortune International Group, Dezer Development, iStock)

For Miami real estate players, the Formula One Miami Grand Prix turned into a rally to court wealthy jet-setters and sell properties.

At a Bentley Residences event headlined by retired F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi last week, a buyer signed a $15 million contract for a combined unit at the planned oceanfront tower in Sunny Isles Beach. And at the race on Sunday, developer Gil Dezer secured another buyer for a $6.3 million condo at the car-branded project. 

Michael Stern, Ari Pearl and Gil Dezer

Michael Stern, Ari Pearl and Gil Dezer

Aside from the excitement of the race, some are comparing the economic impact of the F1 Grand Prix to Art Basel Miami Beach, as it’s resulting in more business for brokerages and developers who sponsored events and hosted parties. Billionaire developer and Related Companies Chairman Stephen Ross hosted the race at his Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens after securing a 10-year deal with the F1 organization last year.

Miriam Ungar, Alon Alexander, Ari Pearl

Miriam Ungar, Alon Alexander, Ari Pearl

“It’s another major boost to our economy overall and another major opportunity to sell real estate” to some of the most affluent people in the world, said Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Florida. “Our new developments are well positioned to capture that buyer profile.”

Ari Pearl, Kobi Karp, Alex Witkoff and Miriam Ungar

Ari Pearl, Kobi Karp, Alex Witkoff and Miriam Ungar

Exotic cars and luxury real estate go hand in hand in Miami – so much so that there’s more than one car-branded condo tower. In addition to the planned Bentley Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, Dezer completed the oceanfront Porsche Design Tower with the first “Dezervator” – a car elevator that delivers cars to their unit owners’ glass enclosed attached garages.

Zach Witkoff and Sophie Knight

Zach Witkoff and Sophie Knight

Gil Dezer, Emerson Fittipaldi, Cristiano Piquet, and Sebastian Tettamanti at Bentley Residences Miami Sales Gallery

At Aston Martin Residences, a downtown Miami condo tower being developed by G&G Business Developments and marketed by Cervera Real Estate, F1 driver Sebastian Vettel visited the sales center last week. (Vettel collided with Mick Shumacher, forcing him out of the race on Sunday.)

The drivers, themselves, could also be house hunting. Lewis Hamilton, who placed sixth in the race, hinted he may buy a home in Miami.

Broker Steve Gold, Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman and Corcoran broker Julian Johnston (Credit: Julian Johnston/Instagram)

Broker Steve Gold, Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman and Corcoran broker Julian Johnston (Credit: Julian Johnston/Instagram)

At the race, Dezer, Ari Pearl’s PPG, Witkoff, Douglas Elliman, One Sotheby’s International Realty and others had their own suites or sponsored spaces at the Miami Gardens complex. Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman, hospitality mogul David Grutman, architect Kobi Karp, developer Michael Stern, and brothers and developers Alex and Zach Witkoff were among the real estate players who attended.

The spinoff events generated major business for Miami’s restaurants, nightclubs and top hotels, where nightly rates exceeded thousands of dollars.

The New York-based restaurant group Major Food Group partnered with American Express to host Carbone Beach, a VIP dinner with tickets costing $3,000 per person, on Saturday evening. Major Food Group has expanded in South Florida and is branding Stern’s Major, a luxury condo tower planned for Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. A scale model of Major was on display during Andrea Bocelli’s performance at Carbone Beach.

The Alexander Team, led by Elliman brokers Oren and Tal Alexander, hosted an after party at their waterfront Miami Beach home, hours after Max Verstappen won the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday. A red carpet leading into the estate was lined with luxury cars and a step-and-repeat.

The sales of three units at Bentley Residences “certainly justified us coming back next year,” said Dezer, a collector of exotic cars and Porsche enthusiast. At the Young Professionals Organization (YPO) hospitality suite, Dezer had a scale model of the Bentley project.

Scale model of Michael Stern's The Major condo tower during the Carbone Beach event (Credit: Oren Alexander/Instagram)

Scale model of Michael Stern’s Major condo tower during the Carbone Beach event (Credit: Oren Alexander/Instagram)

Diesel Wynwood, a condo project that Diesel and Bel Invest are building in Wynwood, had a virtual reality setup at the FTX Off the Grid event on South Beach. And One Sotheby’s, which is handling sales and marketing, also had a virtual reality presentation at the hospitality tent at the race. ​​

Patrick Pires, director of marketing and communication at Bel Invest, said the developer was expecting a large influx of crypto buyers interested in the project’s wellness amenities, which include a sensory room, Turkish spa, and wine room. The project’s sales director, John Lecce, told him that more than 140 people visited the sales center between Friday and Sunday. Buyers also submitted requests for reservations of units.

FTX is processing crypto sales at the Wynwood condo project. Units range from the $500,000s to $6 million, which makes it appealing to international investors looking for a pied-à-terre they can rent out while they’re not in Miami, Pires said.

Corcoran agent Julian Johnston said the race attracted more corporate sponsorships than almost any other F1 race. That brought more executives from Fortune 500 companies, who could take the opportunity to look at real estate while they’re in town. One prospective buyer he met with is looking to spend about $10 million on a home.

Broker and developer Edgardo Defortuna of Fortune International Group said the race also lured top brokers from Latin America and other regions of the world to Miami. Here, they attended new development presentations, including for developer Mast Capital’s planned Cipriani Residences in Brickell. Agents set up meetings at the Cipriani restaurant, also in Brickell, he said. Defortuna expects contracts to be signed in the days and weeks following the Grand Prix, similar to what happens after Art Basel/Miami Art Week in December.

“Everybody in real estate, both developers and brokers, were all there having conversations and drinks revolving around cars and real estate,” Defortuna said. “From a networking perspective, it was amazing.”

[contact-form-7]

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Triple Double's Andrew Greenbaum with 200 Southeast First Street and 44 West Flagler Street in Miami (Triple Double, Blanca, Google Maps)

Triple Double’s Andrew Greenbaum with 200 Southeast First Street and 44 West Flagler Street in Miami (Triple Double, Blanca, Google Maps)

UPDATED, May 10, 4:10 p.m.: Triple Double Real Estate and Stonerock Capital Partners paid $56.7 million for two office buildings in downtown Miami.

The joint venture acquired a 12-story building with a data center and ground-floor retail at 200 Southeast First Street, as well as a 26-story building anchored by First Horizon Bank at 44 West Flagler Street near the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, according to a press release.

The two buildings have a combined 306,545 square feet, so the deal worked out to $184 a square foot.

Triple Double is a Delray Beach-based real estate investment firm led by co-founder and CEO Andrew Greenbaum and President Jeremy Becker. Stonerock Capital Partners is based in Boca Raton and is managed by Yaakov Handelsman, according to corporate records.

A Cushman & Wakefield team led by Mike Davis and Dominic Montazemi represented the seller.

Two entities managed by New York real estate investor Bruce Brickman sold the two buildings for $4.6 million less than the previous sale price from six years ago, records show. In 2016, the Brickman entities paid $27.5 million for the tower at 44 West Flagler Street and $33.8 million for the building at 200 Southeast First Street.

A Cushman & Wakefield spokesperson said both buildings were put on the market and sold together as a portfolio. The spokesperson declined comment on the listing date of the properties or the asking price.

Both buildings had a combined occupancy of 59 percent at the time of sale, and they feature move-in ready spec suites, the release states.

Miami-Dade’s office market experienced increased average asking rents for a seventh consecutive quarter, based on performance during the first quarter of the year, according to a JLL report. The overall market had an average asking rent of $48.66 per square foot in the most recent quarter, representing a 10.2 percentage point jump compared to the same period of last year, JLL found. In downtown Miami, rents hit $47.54 a square foot in the most recent quarter.

Recent office deals in Miami include Valoro Capital’s $18 million purchase of a nine-story building near Miami’s Blue Lagoon business district, and Miami attorney Alex Hanna’s $15 million acquisition of a seven-story office building on Flagler Street.

In January, Aby Rosen’s New York City-based firm RFR Holding paid $81.1 million for the 30-story, 310,000-square-foot 100 Biscayne office tower at 100 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami.

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O’Connor Capital's William O’Connor and 151 Worth Avenue (O’Connor Capital Partners, Google Maps)

O’Connor Capital’s William O’Connor and 151 Worth Avenue (O’Connor Capital Partners, Google Maps)

The ex-Neiman Marcus building along Palm Beach’s ritzy Worth Avenue traded for $78 million.

Jeffrey Camp, through an affiliate, bought the three-story property at 151 Worth Avenue from an entity tied to New York-based O’Connor Capital Partners, according to a deed. Camp purchased the building through a Delaware-registered limited liability company listing a Palm Beach address.

The 48,578-square-foot building, completed in 2000, sits on an acre at the eastern end of Worth Avenue and across the street from the beach, property records show. It last traded in 2014 for $40 million, meaning it almost doubled in value since then.

Neiman Marcus, owned by Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group, had been leasing the building until late 2020. It closed this store as it faced financial woes following the onset of the pandemic, according to media reports. The chain of luxury department stores had filed for bankruptcy in May 2020. As part of its Chapter 11 reorganization, Neiman Marcus shed $4 billion in debt and closed stores, reporting more than $3 billion in annual sales in 2020.

O’Connor Capital Partners was founded in 1983 by Jeremiah O’Connor Jr. It has developed more than $30 billion in real estate in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia, according to its website. William O’Connor is the CEO.

In Palm Beach, O’Connor Capital also owns The Esplanade retail building across the street from the building that just traded, as well as the office properties at 230-240 Royal Palm Way, records show.

For his latest purchase, Camp, through his affiliate, agreed not to nab any of The Esplanade tenants, according to a restrictive covenant he signed. Retailers at the 150 Worth Avenue building include Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci and LUXE Custom Airbrush Tanning.

Palm Beach is largely known for its multimillion-dollar estates, including former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. The town is home to celebrities, businessmen and foreign royalty.

In March, Jordanian Princess Alia Bint Hussein, the oldest child of Hussein bin Talal, the former King of Jordan, sold her waterfront house at 1330 North Lake Way in Palm Beach for $45.4 million.

Recent commercial real estate deals in Palm Beach include the Reuben Brothers’s purchase of the boutique Chesterfield Hotel at 363 Cocoanut Row for $42 million.

Worth Avenue, which counts high-end retailers such as Tiffany & Co. as its tenants, also has seen activity in recent years.

Last year, longtime Palm Beach commercial landlord Burton Handelsman sold several office and retail buildings at 219 and 225 Worth Avenue, 220 Peruvian Avenue and 375 South County Road to Colorado-based real estate investor Mark Hunt for $58 million.

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Unit 6A at 3315 Collins Avenue with Arvind Sanger (Redfin, PrathamUSA)

Unit 6A at 3315 Collins Avenue with Arvind Sanger (Redfin, PrathamUSA)

UPDATED, May 11, 9:53 a.m.: A London investment manager sold his condo at Faena House in Miami Beach after upgrading to a more expensive unit at Four Seasons Residences at the Surf Club in Surfside, The Real Deal has learned.

Hedge fund manager Leonard Licht, of HG Capital, and his wife Judith Licht sold their 4,730-square-foot, four-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom oceanfront unit at Faena House to Arvind and Shilpa Sanger for $15.5 million, according to sources and property records.

Unit 6A at 3315 Collins Avenue (Redfin)

Unit 6A at 3315 Collins Avenue (Redfin)

Arvind Sanger is founder and managing partner of Geosphere Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund. The couple relocated to Miami Beach from New York in January, listing a unit at Mosaic as their Florida domicile, records show. Sanger sold one of two units that he owned at Mosaic Miami Beach, a few blocks north of Faena House, last year for about $3 million.

In March, the Lichts paid $18.5 million for a unit at the Surf Club, an ultra luxury oceanfront condo and hotel development at 9001 Collins Avenue, records show. They listed unit 6A at Faena House, at 3315 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, in January for $17.5 million.

Unit 6A at 3315 Collins Avenue (Redfin)

Unit 6A at 3315 Collins Avenue (Redfin)

Toni Schrager of Brown Harris Stevens represented the Lichts in the sale of their Faena House unit. Bryan Sereny and Bill Hernandez of the Bill & Bryan Team at Douglas Elliman represented the buyers, the Sangers.

The asking price was reduced in March to $16.9 million, before it sold last week. The Lichts acquired the unit from investor Alex Blavatnik in 2017 for $13 million. (Blavatnik’s brother, billionaire Len Blavatnik, is the financial backer of Alan Faena’s mixed-use Faena District.)

Sereny said his clients “looked up and down the coast” at condos in newer buildings on the ocean that are larger than 4,000 square feet.

“There is high demand for condos in this price range, and there is actually very limited supply,” he said, adding that “we’re still seeing many people relocating from New York and also California.”

Condo sales have climbed as single-family home sales decline in parts of South Florida. In Miami Beach and nearby towns, including Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside, condo sales increased 47 percent annually to 1,476 closings in the first quarter, according to Douglas Elliman’s reports. Inventory of condos declined 56 percent to 1,893 listings.

Luxury condo sales, defined as the top 10 percent of the market, performed similarly, rising 48 percent annually to 178 closed deals in the first quarter.

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Pantzer's Jason and Jordan Pantzer with The District Flats apartment complex at 1701 Clare Avenue (Pantzer Properties, Google Maps)

Pantzer’s Jason and Jordan Pantzer with The District Flats apartment complex at 1701 Clare Avenue (Pantzer Properties, Google Maps)

With its recent purchase of a Palm Beach County apartment complex, Pantzer Properties has dropped $145 million — in a one-month span — on two recently completed multifamily projects.

An entity managed by Jordan and Jason Pantzer, co-CEOs of the New York-based multifamily investment firm, paid $78 million for The District Flats, a 178-unit apartment complex at 1701 Clare Avenue in West Palm Beach, records show. The buyer obtained a $50.7 million mortgage from Truist Bank.

The seller, Palm Beach Gardens-based multifamily developer Eastwind Development, paid $5.1 million for two properties and combined them into a 3.1-acre site in 2019, records show. Eastwind completed The District Flats last year. The173,543-square-foot complex also has 2,700 square feet of retail space.

In late April, Eastwind and its partner, Prague, Czech Republic-based ICP, also sold Pantzer a recently completed apartment complex in Palm Beach Gardens. Pantzer paid $66.5 million for the 136-unit Solera at City Centre Apartments.

Pantzer is bullish on Palm Beach County. In May of last year, the firm paid $119.4 million for the 392-unit Town Southern apartment complex in Royal Palm Beach and renamed the property The Point at Wellington. With the acquisition of The District Flats, Pantzer now owns 706 apartments in Palm Beach County. The firm’s portfolio consists of 37 multifamily projects with more than 10,000 units along the East Coast, according to Pantzer’s website.

Tenant demand remains high in South Florida, fueling skyrocketing rents, which in turn continues to attract national investors to the tri-county region, according to a first quarter report by Franklin Street. Yet, fewer new projects broke ground in the most recent quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of last year, and rising interest rates could slow down deals in upcoming quarters, Franklin Street found.

Recently, a partnership between Starwood Capital, Hyperion Group and Winter Properties scored a $96.4 million construction loan for a 457-unit multifamily project the joint venture is developing in West Palm Beach.

In Fort Lauderdale, New York-based Naftali Group recently bought a development site in Flagler Village for $20 million where the firm plans to build a multifamily project. And in Miami, Shoma Group paid $34 million for an auto dealership the firm plans to redevelop into a pair of apartment towers.

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The post Pantzer pays $78M for West Palm Beach apartment complex appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Savills' Jim Wenk (LinkedIn, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

Savills’ Jim Wenk (LinkedIn, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

The office sublease surge showed signs of abating late last year as companies juggled hybrid work plans and signed for space, but the rise in nationwide availability was back on in the first quarter of 2021.

Sublease available rose 3.6 percent to 159 million square feet across the country, according to CBRE data reported by the Wall Street Journal. The availability is significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels and only 3 million square feet shy of the pandemic high.

In Manhattan, the amount of sublease space available is near record highs. According to Savills, more than 20.2 million square feet were available in the first quarter. That’s down from the 22 million square feet available a year ago, but well above the 13.6 million square feet up for grabs in the first quarter of 2020.

Not every subleasing market is created equally. Along with Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are seeing close to historic highs, while booming Sun Belt cities have lower sublease availability.

The increase in sublease space is likely tied to a widespread increase in more permanent hybrid work scenarios. As a result, companies don’t need as much space as they signed up for prior to the pandemic.

In New York City, a some major names have joined the search for subletters in recent months.

Warner Bros. Discovery is marketing a massive 450,000 square feet for sublease at 30 Hudson Yards, about a third of the company’s footprint at the building. S&P Global is marketing 140,000 square feet occupied by IHS Markit at 5 Manhattan West.

The sublease surge is rankling landlords amid low demand, a changing work environment and rising vacancies.

“There are not enough tenants who will absorb these spaces,” Savills vice chairman Jim Wenk told the publication.

Another crisis is on the horizon for landlords, as JLL data show about 243 million square feet of office leases are set to expire nationally this year.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner

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The post Office space up for sublease back on the rise appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

The development site with Peter Gardner and Abbhi Capital's Sankesh Abbhi (Google Maps, Longpoint, Abbhi Capital)

The development site with Peter Gardner and Abbhi Capital’s Sankesh Abbhi (Google Maps, Longpoint, Abbhi Capital)

Abbhi Capital is betting on multifamily in an Opportunity Zone in Miami’s Coconut Grove, paying $18.8 million for a development site that spans a full city block.

Abbhi and investor Peter Gardner, through an affiliate, bought 2.4 acres in an Opportunity Zone on the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Plaza Street. The seller is GV Bimini, managed by Gardner and in the care of Sabal Hill, according to a deed and state corporate records.

The lots are at 3559, 3551, 3547, 3521, 3523, 3509 Thomas Avenue; 3428 and 3410 Hibiscus Street; and 3574, 3522, 3520, 3530 and 3560 Grand Avenue.

The buyers plan a five-story apartment project with 100 to 150 units and ground-floor retail, according to a source familiar with the deal. They are financing the project through a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund, in which the developers have invested their own capital gains, the sources said.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created the Opportunity Zone legislation allowing for investors to defer federal taxes on their capital gains from the sale of any venture by putting the funds in real estate or business projects in areas the government deems in need of an economic boost.

The Coconut Grove site buyers, who have not yet submitted an application to the city, envision a few Opportunity Zone projects in the neighborhood, including one with offices, the source told The Real Deal. If the project on the recently purchased land is approved, construction is expected to be completed in two to three years.

Coral Gables-based Abbhi invests in real estate, as well as in health care, technology and hospitality across the U.S. and India, according to its website. Abbhi’s founder is Sankesh Abbhi, who also founded drug safety and regulatory affairs solutions firm Synowledge.

Abbhi Capital also has invested in the 27-acre mixed-use Miami Worldcenter project in downtown Miami, where it purchased two sites in recent years.

Last year, Abbhi bought a 1-acre development site east of Northeast First Avenue, and between Northeast 10th and 11th streets, for $20 million from the project’s master developer, Miami Worldcenter Associates. The previous year, Abbhi paid $24 million for the 1.15-acre development parcel at 1016 Northeast Second Avenue.

Gardner is a partner at Boston-based Longpoint Realty Partners, which is a real estate owner-operator focused on retail and industrial. But he is partnering on the Coconut Grove venture with Abbhi independent of Longpoint.

This is the latest Miami Opportunity Zone investment in recent months. In Miami’s Edgewater, Chicago-based Trilogy Real Estate Group paid $30.6 million in March for 1.6 acres of land at 2201 Northeast Second Avenue, where existing regulations allow for an up to 36-story tower with a maximum of 247 units.

This is Trilogy’s third Edgewater Opportunity Zone investment. In December, the company also bought the properties at 169 Northeast 27th Street, 2728 Northeast Second Avenue, 166 Northeast 28th Street, 2634 Northeast Second Avenue, and at 192 and 186 Northeast 27th Street, in two deals for a combined $22.3 million.

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The post Abbhi Capital, Peter Gardner pay $19M for Coconut Grove apartments dev site appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

The Gateway at Wynwood office building at 2916 North Miami Avenue with R&B Realty Group CEO Aron Rosenberg (LinkedIn, R&B Realty Group)

The Gateway at Wynwood office building at 2916 North Miami Avenue with R&B Realty Group CEO Aron Rosenberg (LinkedIn, R&B Realty Group)

OpenStore, Baseline, Daliyah and Mizu Rooftop Garden I The Gateway at Wynwood

Tech e-commerce firm OpenStore has more than doubled its office space at The Gateway at Wynwood four months after first relocating to the office building.

The 13-story property, at 2916 North Miami Avenue in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, also scored two new tenants.

OpenStore expanded its space by 26,000 square feet, meaning it now leases more than 40,000 square feet, after originally moving its office to The Gateway from the Wynwood Annex in January.

Single-family rentals investor Baseline took 5,000 square feet of office space; and Mediterranean-Asian-Fusion steakhouse Daliyah and Mizu Rooftop Garden leased 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and the almost 3,000-square-foot rooftop, respectively, according to a news release from The Gateway’s developer.

New York-based R & B Realty Group, led by CEO Aron Rosenberg, completed The Gateway with 195,000 square feet of offices and almost 25,900 square feet of street-level retail in December and opened it in January. The Kobi Karp-designed building includes a gym and 24/7 security.

Stephen Rutchik led the Colliers team that represented the landlord in the office leases. Alex Cesar and Drew Schaul of CBRE represented the landlord in the retail deal.

OpenStore, which first leased more than 14,000 square feet, buys Shopify businesses and then uses its software and data to boost sales, striving to allow instant liquidity to the business sellers, according to the release. Keith Rabois, general partner of venture capital firm Founders Fund; Jack Abraham, founder of startup and investment fund Atomic; and Michael Rubenstein, the former president of AppNexus, founded OpenStore. The company temporarily leased space with Atomic and Founders Fund at Wynwood Annex before moving to The Gateway.

Orlando-based Baseline develops and runs short-term and long-term single-family home rentals, according to the release. It has delivered more than 4,000 vacation rentals and 20,000 single-family homes with a combined value of $7 billion.

Mizu will open its rooftop restaurant space in time for this year’s Art Basel, with the downstairs restaurant, Daliyah, opening in summer 2023.

The concept was created by Derrick Orosa’s Dzyne Hospitality and Opso Group, which has other Miami ventures such as Midtown Maü Miami and Kavo Miami. They also partnered with Montréal-based A5 Hospitality, founded by Alexandre Besnard and Patrick Hétu, on the planned restaurants at The Gateway.

Others that have taken space at the building are Danish furniture chain BoConcept, which will open in 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail in the fall; and oncology biopharmaceutical company Veru, which leased 12,155 square feet for its global headquarters.

Jon & Vinny’s, milk + honey & more I The Goodtime Hotel I Miami Beach

The Goodtime Hotel in South Beach, backed by rapper Pharrell Williams and hospitality tycoon David Grutman, scored eight new tenants.

They are: Jon & Vinny’s, a Los Angeles restaurant offering Italian food; milk + honey spa; juice and smoothie brand Pure Green; designer vintage eyewear store Vintage Frames Company; gym franchise F45; alternative medicine provider Binske, which offers legal cannabis products; the luxury watch and jewelry store VAULT; and swimwear company Vilebrequin, according to a news release from hotel developers Michael Fascitelli and Eric Birnbaum of New York-based Imperial Companies.

The tenants will be opening starting in the second quarter through the second quarter of 2023. Imperial declined to disclose the square footage leased.

The 266-key Goodtime Hotel opened in April of last year at 601 Washington Avenue with roughly 100,000 square feet of public spaces; Grutman’s 30,000-square-foot Strawberry Moon restaurant and pool club; 45,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, a gym and library.
The property includes a 26,000-square-foot amenity deck and 242 valet parking spaces, according to the release.

The developers had paid $36 million for the hotel property in 2015. Designer Ken Fulk also is a project partner.

The Yacht Portfolio I Plaza 100 I Fort Lauderdale

Maritime investment company The Yacht Portfolio will open its new headquarters at the Plaza 100 in downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

The Yacht Portfolio leased a 16,690-square-foot penthouse at 100 Northeast Third Avenue, with plans to move in early next year, according to a news release from the tenant’s broker.

Scott Goldstein and Keith Edelman of CBRE represented The Yacht Portfolio. Doug Okun of JLL represented the landlord.

New York-based Zurich Alternative Asset Management, an arm of Switzerland-based Zurich Insurance Group, bought the 11-story Plaza 100 for $46.5 million in 2015.

The building was constructed in 1985 on 1.9 acres, property records show.

The Yacht Portfolio was previously based in Coconut Grove but subleased its space at 2601 South Bayshore Drive during the pandemic, according to media reports. The Fort Lauderdale lease marks a return to the office for the company.

The Yacht Portfolio, led by CEO Douglas Prothero, has various investments, including The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

Shawmut Design and Construction I The Square I West Palm Beach

Construction management firm Shawmut Design and Construction opened its second South Florida office at Stephen Ross’ The Square in downtown West Palm Beach. 

Boston-based Shawmut Design leased space at 700 South Rosemary Avenue, according to a news release. The office square footage was not disclosed.

The Square, a mixed-use office and retail development, was rechristened from its most recent moniker of Rosemary Square. New York-based Related Companies, led by Ross, developed the 72-acre complex in 2000, and at the time named the property CityPlace. Related Companies then rebranded it to Rosemary Square as part of a $550 million renovation done in recent years.

Shawmut Design, led by CEO Les Hiscoe, is an employee-owned company valued at $1.3 billion, according to the release. In South Florida, Shawmut Design worked on projects in the Miami Design District, Brickell City Centre and a penthouse renovation at Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

Aside from West Palm, the company has 10 offices nationwide, including one in Miami-Dade County at 10800 Biscayne Boulevard, according to its website.

Tim Barges is Shawmut’s director for South Florida, and Dan Paulus was recently hired to lead regional development efforts.

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The post Lease roundup: Gateway at Wynwood, Goodtime Hotel score tenants appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

(Photo illustration by Paul Dilakian/The Real Deal)

Untethered from the daily commute, homebuyers fanned out across the country during the pandemic, seizing their newfound freedom to explore markets far away from city centers. 

Harbor Custom Development was ready for them. 

It just pushed everyone to us,” said Sterling Griffin, CEO of the publicly traded homebuilder. “I can’t imagine any better set of circumstances.”

Since forming in 2014, Harbor has focused on suburban markets primarily in areas without a personal income tax. That strategy paid off as the pandemic drove up demand in places already low on inventory. The company recently announced that its adding more than 200 single-family homes in the Austin area, where the median sale price rose a shocking 30 percent last year, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

That pressure, on a very, very significant shortage of inventory, you are throwing fuel on the fire,” Griffin said. 

Austin is not unique, at least in terms of housing supply. Inventory has collapsed in markets across the country. A recent estimate by Realtor.com found that the U.S. is short by more than 5 million homes. The number of homes on the market plunged to a record low of 456,000 in March, according to a report by Redfin, a 50 percent decrease from two years ago.

There isnt a singular reason for the lack of listings in most markets. When adjusted for population growth, the number of new homes built in the U.S. has consistently declined since the 1980s. Demand that exploded during the pandemic was further exacerbated by rising rents, which created additional competition by luring some would-be tenants into the housing market. 

The hot rental sector has also attracted institutional investors, who have spent billions during the pandemic buying up single-family homes in bulk and converting them to rentals, further squeezing supply. 

It’s become such a lucrative opportunity that a growing number of new houses are being built specifically to be rented out, bypassing traditional homebuyers entirely. More than 25 percent of houses purchased by rental investors in the fourth quarter was newly constructed, according to data from John Burns Real Estate Consulting, up from 3 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, once interest rates began rising, some owners who might otherwise have sold opted to keep their homes off the market rather than risk being unable to find a suitable replacement or getting locked into a pricier mortgage. 

For a well-positioned homebuilder like Harbor, with access to institutional financing, these conditions can mean higher returns. But smaller developers and contractors can struggle to secure funding as interest rates continue to climb and delays in procuring supplies snarl project timelines. 

These challenges, as well as land use restrictions and the amount of time it takes to develop even in the most ideal of circumstances, make it unlikely that homebuilders will catch up with demand anytime soon.  

Housing is a market where supply is very inelastic,” said Benjamin Keys, a real estate and finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “Large price changes do not lead to a large upswing in production in most markets.”

Griffin said that supply chain disruptions are likely to continue to affect home construction over the next year.  

This shortage of inventory nationally is not going away anytime soon,” he said. “How could you create inventory at the scale that is necessary, nationally, to meet demand?”

A long-foreseen crunch

The supply of single-family homes across the country has been on a downward trajectory since the 1980s. Researchers at Freddie Mac estimate that construction was completed on only 65,000 entry-level homes in 2020, less than one-fifth the yearly average in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

Keys said demand has also been fueled by long-anticipated forces, such as millennials, who now make up the largest U.S. demographic at 72 million, reaching buying age or baby boomers buying second homes. 

This was foreseen before Covid, that there would be a demographic sweet spot,” he said. 

Demand has shown signs of slackening with homes and mortgages getting more expensive. Existing-home sales dropped for the second straight month in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. But a primary reason is the lack of listings. There remains only two months’ worth of supply; a balanced market typically has six months’ worth. 

Steve Dutra, John Burns’ chief information officer, noted that the price cuts observed in some areas largely represent a correction rather than a sign of the market cooling. For that to happen, the volume of listings would need to spike considerably, but he said they remain “really, really low.”

Hesitant sellers 

Sky-high home values might seem like an incentive to sell, but brokers say they’re actually preventing homeowners from listing.

Suddenly, the cost to move got a lot more expensive,” said Rick Sobin, managing partner at @properties’ Chicago Gold Coast and Lincoln Park offices. “It’s making people say, ‘Hey I think I’m going to stay here for a bit longer and see what happens.’”

Sobin said that only 1.5 months’ worth of inventory remains in Chicago, and it’s fallen to just one month’s worth in the suburbs, down from 1.2 a year ago. 

Mary Grant, an @properties broker in Winnetka, a suburb north of Chicago, said market conditions are constraining sales, particularly among baby boomers.

In the past, I represented more sellers. Now I’m definitely representing more buyers,” she said, adding that business for many brokers has slowed recently. 

Dutra said sellers are “very cautious.” Roughly half of U.S. homeowners have a mortgage rate that hovers below 4 percent, according to Redfin. With 30-year rates approaching 6 percent as of late April, sellers may opt to maintain their lower rate and stay put. 

A similar trend is playing out in Los Angeles, brokers say.

Listings are down 50 percent year-over-year, according to Ivan Estrada, a Beverly Hills-based broker with Douglas Elliman. The lack of inventory has driven prices so high that in some places near Santa Monica, $3 million only gets you a teardown, according to Compass broker Robert Maschio.

Estrada is advising buyers to build rather than pay a premium for a house that may need renovations. An existing home that would sell for $5 million in the current Los Angeles-area market can be built for about $1.5 million, he said. Others are choosing to renovate their homes instead of moving. 

It’s not a stock where you buy low and sell high,” Maschio said. “People have their lives wrapped up in their homes.”

Broadly speaking, Los Angeles’ luxury market is less frantic. Homes asking $4 million or more sit on the market longer and buyers have more negotiating power, according to Estrada.

It’s getting difficult to live in California, especially if you have wealth. Those people have moved or taken primary residence to Texas, Florida or Arizona,” Estrada said, rattling off three states with considerably lower tax rates for the wealthy. 

Red tape 

Although building filings for new homes are on the rise, delivering those homes is another matter.

Homebuilders have gotten the signal that something is out of whack with supply and demand,” Keys said. But shifts in land-use regulations have discouraged more construction. 

A 2018 Wharton survey found that across the country, density restrictions such as minimum lot sizes had generally become both more common and more constraining since 2006.

The most restrictive land-use regulations tend to be concentrated on the coasts, the survey found, particularly in and around New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. Miami and Los Angeles also ranked among the 10 most restrictive metropolitan areas. Not surprisingly, these are among the most expensive housing markets in the U.S.

A controversial proposed tax on house flippers in California could keep even more homes off the market, Estrada said. Profits from flipped houses in the state are already taxed up to 12.3 percent. The proposed California Housing Speculation Act would tack on a 25 percent tax on the capital gains, which for high earners would nearly triple the tax rate on homes sold within three years of purchase. 

Estrada said he doesn’t see a way out of the current predicament in Los Angeles without changes to local zoning laws and less red tape for developers. 

L.A. would have to become a much more vertical city,” he said. “It’s all going to come down to local and state government.”

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The post Where have all the sellers gone? appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Gilbert Benhamou, Charlie Kushner, Laurent Morali and Nicole Kushner Meyer with 19199 Northwest 27th Avenue (LinkedIn, Kushner, Morali via Sasha Maslov, Google Maps)

Gilbert Benhamou, Charlie Kushner, Laurent Morali and Nicole Kushner Meyer with 19199 Northwest 27th Avenue (LinkedIn, Kushner, Morali via Sasha Maslov, Google Maps)

Kushner Companies is diving into Miami Gardens real estate, The Real Deal has learned.

Sources told TRD that New York-based Kushner is now a 50-50 partner on the multifamily component of Immocorp Capital’s planned mixed-use development south of Stephen Ross’ Hard Rock Stadium. The stadium is hosting the Formula One race in Miami Gardens this weekend and for the next nine years.

Gilbert Benhamou, CEO of Aventura-based Immocorp, confirmed the partnership, which is for 11 acres of the nearly 36-acre site at 19199 Northwest 27th Avenue. The city of Miami Gardens sold the Miami Gardens City Center property to Immocorp in 2020 for $15.4 million.

Kushner, led by Charles Kushner, Nicole Kushner Meyer and Laurent Morali, and Immocorp plan to build Class A, market-rate apartments on the multifamily portion of the site. They could build up to 800 units on the property, depending on government approvals. Benhamou said the first phase, which could break ground in the first quarter of 2023, will be a 10-story building with about 250 apartments. A second phase could add another 250 to 400 units in up to a 15-story building.

As previously planned, the overall project would also have a hotel component, and retail and entertainment space.

Kushner has been expanding in South Florida and betting big on the hot apartment market in the region, as rents continue to rise. The firm has projects in Miami’s Edgewater and Wynwood neighborhoods, as well as in Fort Lauderdale, with other partners.

Kushner is working with PTM Partners to develop a three-tower, 1,300 unit apartment phased project at 2000 Biscayne Boulevard in Edgewater.

In Fort Lauderdale, Kushner is working with the real estate investment trust Aimco on a 3 million-square-foot multi-tower development near Brightline.

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The post Kushner to co-develop multifamily project south of Hard Rock Stadium appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Strong month for US economy, but hospitality hiring slows

(iStock)

Hiring at restaurants, bars and hotels slowed in April, falling about 20 percent from March, according to government figures released Friday.

Still, leisure and hospitality, the industry most affected by the pandemic, hired more workers than any other last month as the overall economy added a robust 428,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent, the government said.

It was “another strong month of job growth,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, noting that job growth has averaged 523,000 in the past three months. That is “much faster than can be sustained,” he cautioned in a statement.

In a promising sign for office landlords, the data showed people are returning to their desks. The number of employed people working at home fell in April to 7.7 percent, down from 10 percent in March.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, recognized in a letter to shareholders last month that “working from home will become more permanent in American business.”

The bank expects about half its employees to work in-person full-time, while 40 percent will embrace a hybrid model and 10 percent will work from home full-time.

Manufacturing saw the second strongest job growth, adding 55,000 positions, while retailers grew their headcount by 29,000 to reach 284,000 jobs above its pre-pandemic level.

Employment in leisure and hospitality remains 1.4 million, or 8.5 percent, lower than in February 2020.

Some 17,000 people were hired last month to work at warehouses or storage facilities. That sector remains well above pre-pandemic employment levels. Amazon, however, will halt its aggressive strategy to buy and staff industrial real estate after booking a $3.8 billion loss on its investments there.

While wages are rising slower than inflation, the robust labor market is likely to support already strong demand for housing, according to Fratantoni.

Despite rising interest rates, “we expect that many potential homebuyers will continue to be in the market, given their strong financial position,” he said.

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The post Jobs report shows more workers returning to office appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

A photo illustration of Moishe Mana and the properties at 2820, 2840, 2850 and 2898 Northwest Seventh Avenue (Getty Images, Mana, Google Maps, LoopNet)

A photo illustration of Moishe Mana and the properties at 2820, 2840, 2850 and 2898 Northwest Seventh Avenue (Getty Images, Mana, Google Maps, LoopNet)

Moishe Mana fattened up his Allapattah portfolio with a $16 million acquisition of properties.

An entity controlled by Mana, one of the largest landowners in Allapattah, Wynwood and downtown Miami, acquired 10 properties along Northwest Seventh Avenue between 28th and 29th streets, according to property records.

The parcels include Las Rosas bar and lounge at 2898 Northwest Seventh Avenue, four retail buildings at 2800, 2820, 2840 and 2850 Northwest Seventh Avenue and a former grocery market at 728 Northwest 29th Street. The four other properties are a single-family house at 731 Northwest 28th Street, a single-story warehouse at 753 Northwest Seventh Avenue and parking lots at 719 Northwest 28th Street and 2810 Northwest 7th Avenue.

The seller, two entities managed by Ari Dispenza, James Quinlan, and Douglas H. Levine, paid about $4.1 million for the properties between 2014 and 2016, records show. The buildings were constructed between 1925 and 1974.

A spokesperson for Mana said the developer didn’t have a comment at this time regarding his plans for the assemblage.

Mana and other developers like Lissette Calderon, Integra Investments, Robert Wennett and the Pointe Companies are tapping Allapattah as Miami’s next emerging neighborhood. Between September and October, Mana dropped $11.2 million to acquire three industrial properties in Allapattah that he views as “long-term speculation” deals with a 10- to 15-year timeline.

Calderon, who recently launched a lifestyle magazine focused on Allapattah, has completed one multifamily project, the 192-unit No. 17 Residences Allapattah, and has two more apartment buildings in the works in the neighborhood.

Integra partnered with Elderly Housing Development & Operations Corp. to build a $58 million, 271-unit affordable senior housing project, and Pointe has approved plans to build a mixed-use project with 116 residential units, 7,700 square feet of retail space and 3,220 square feet of office space. Wennett is planning a 1.4 million-square-foot mixed-use development with co-living units, office and retail on a large assemblage that is currently home to produce warehouses in Allapattah.

Mana has been selling off real estate assets in other markets to focus on Miami. In December, he paid a combined $34.3 million for historic commercial buildings in downtown Miami, where Mana is the largest landowner. In 2016, city of Miami officials approved a special area plan for nine contiguous acres Mana owns in Wynwood that is to be redeveloped into a 10-million-square-foot arts, technology and trade hub.

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Get a One-Month TRD Subscription and 2022 Data Book for $1

Name a better deal. I’ll wait.

For just $1, we’re offering a month of unlimited access to The Real Deal’s subscriber-exclusive content, plus the 2022 edition of our annual Data Book — a must-have compendium of essential facts, figures and rankings across each of TRD’s markets.

Sign up for a digital subscription today to lock in this unmissable deal — but first, let’s do some price indexing to see what else you can get for a dollar these days.

1. Half a slice of pizza

Inflation can be brutal. Among its casualties appears to be the dollar slice. In a city where even innocuous policy decisions often spark passionate debates, dollar pizza was a grand unifier, serving the common interests of a diverse array of New Yorkers.

It really has seen us through it all, hasn’t it? Every night on the town that ended with a plain slice and a soda felt like an evening well spent. Whether as a respite from unread emails, existential dread or a $12 salad, dollar pizza has always been there for us.

But can it give you exclusive intel on Manhattan’s office market in 2021?

The price of the slice has hit $2, but access to the TRD Data Book’s color-coded and artisanally curated charts like this one remains attractively affordable and can feed you market insights for a lifetime.

2. Two-thirds of a Costco hot dog combo

If you were a suburban teenager (or the parent of one) circa 2009, you remember weekend pilgrimages to Costco.

The frankfurter first hit Costco’s menu in 1985 as part of a $1.50 hot dog-and-soda deal. It is to suburbia what the fresh croissant is to Paris: an accessible way to indulge in the local culture.

Time passed. The Soviet Union collapsed, the stock market crashed, Amazon emerged. Through it all, the price of the hot dog never wavered.

Inflation had her way. But thanks to a vague death threat made by Costo’s co-founder to its CEO, the hot dog will be $1.50 forevermore.

Like dollar pizza, the $1.50 hot dog is nearly perfect. Its fatal flaw?

It can’t give you a comprehensive breakdown of the past year’s top industrial leases in South Florida.

With all due respect to Costco, a hot dog and a soda just isn’t a data book and a digital subscription. Put those two extra quarters towards something else — something like…

3. A single load of laundry

In New York City, three things are certain:

There’s no stopping the first one. Window air conditioning units are all over the city, some more securely installed than others. As for the other two, put them off all you want; eventually you’ll need to face the tax man — and the washing machine.

Are there cooler ways to spend a dollar? Sure. Dollar pizza, for example, will never make you schlep your dirty clothes Santa Claus-style to the nearest laundromat, which may not always be as “near” as you think.

If you’re one of the New Yorkers with a washer and dryer in your kitchen, good for you. That must be nice. I’ll bet it even has an app that tells you when it’s done, in case you can’t be arsed to just walk over and check.

I have to ask, though, can your little “smart appliances” tell you who the most active architects and designers were in 2021?

Didn’t think so.

So, you’ve learned the value of a dollar in the pandemic era, and the importance of data-driven marketing insights. Put your money where your mouth is and subscribe today.

The post Get TRD’s 2022 Data Book and a one-month subscription for just $1 appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

1635 West 22nd Street with Ares Management's Michael Arougheti and Randy Frankel (Michael Ruiz with LPG, Getty)

1635 West 22nd Street with Ares Management’s Michael Arougheti and Randy Frankel (Michael Ruiz with LPG, Getty)

UPDATED, May 10, 12:20 p.m.: Tampa Bay Rays co-owner Randy Frankel more than doubled his money with the sale of his waterfront Miami Beach mansion.

Frankel and his wife, Barbara, sold their two-story, 8,500-square-foot home at 1635 West 22nd Street on the Sunset Islands for $31.5 million.

Ares Management co-founder and CEO Michael Arougheti bought the property, records show. Ares is an investor in David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF, the Major League Soccer team and the venture that plans to develop a major mixed-use soccer complex in Miami.

1635 West 22nd Street (Michael Ruiz with LPG)

1635 West 22nd Street (Michael Ruiz with LPG)

Arougheti’s Vandelay Homes II LLC financed the purchase with a $21.1 million loan from J.P. Morgan, according to records.

Last year, Los Angeles-based Ares made a $150 million preferred equity investment in Inter Miami CF. The investment management firm has about $325 billion of assets under management, according to its website.

Randy Frankel, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs, and his Wall Street partners acquired the baseball team the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004. Frankel is also a real estate investor and owner of wineries and restaurants.

1635 West 22nd Street (Michael Ruiz with LPG)

1635 West 22nd Street (Michael Ruiz with LPG)

The Frankels paid $14.4 million for the spec Miami Beach mansion in August 2020, and just sold it at a 120 percent markup. Recent buyers of multimillion-dollar homes in South Florida, including Miami Beach and Palm Beach, have been able to flip their properties for big profits due to heightened demand.

Todd Michael Glaser and Rony Seikaly developed the Sunset Island IV mansion and sold it to the Frankels. It was designed by Domo Architecture + Design and includes a guest house, cabana and pool. Miami-based House of One designed the interiors.

1635 West 22nd Street (Michael Ruiz with LPG)

1635 West 22nd Street (Michael Ruiz with LPG)

Marko Gojanovic of One Sotheby’s International Realty represented the Frankels in the latest sale, and Reid Heidenry with the same firm represented Arougheti.

The Sunset Islands have emerged as a top neighborhood in Miami Beach, especially amid the pandemic.

A non-waterfront home on Sunset Island II recently traded for $12.5 million, setting a record for dry sales in all of Miami Beach. The house at 2535 Shelter Avenue also sold for more than double its previous purchase price in 2020.

Last month, Reed Smith attorney Constantine Karides paid $17.3 million for a waterfront home on Sunset Island I.

Also in April, investor and Anatomy Fitness owner Chris Paciello flipped a waterfront teardown on Sunset Island I for a 50 percent gain in one month. He bought the property for $9.3 million and sold it to the next door neighbor for $14 million.

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From left: Kyle Asher, managing director, Monroe Capital and Lotus Capital managing partner Faisal Ashraf along with a rendering of Panther National in Palm Beach County (Panther National, LinkedIn/Kyle Asher, LinkedIn/Faisal Ashraf, iStock)

From left: Kyle Asher, managing director, Monroe Capital and Lotus Capital managing partner Faisal Ashraf along with a rendering of Panther National in Palm Beach County (Panther National, LinkedIn/Kyle Asher, LinkedIn/Faisal Ashraf, iStock)

The developer of Panther National, a planned single-family home community with a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in the Avenir development in Palm Beach County, secured a $170 million financing package.

Centaur Holdings, a Switzerland and Bermuda-based investment holding company, is developing Panther National, near Palm Beach Gardens. The project calls for 218 single-family homes, an 18-hole course designed by Nicklaus, a golf training center, 40,000-square-foot clubhouse, and a health and lifestyle club.

Chicago-based Monroe Capital is providing the financing, which includes two term loans, a revolver and a construction loan, according to Lotus Capital Partners, which arranged the debt. The developer can borrow up to more than $250 million, according to a press release.

An affiliate of Centaur Holdings paid $60 million for 392 acres at Avenir in November, property records show. Avenir Holdings, led by David Serviansky, sold the land.

Faisal Ashraf, managing partner of Lotus Capital, said the four loan tranches will work together and that the complex structure of the debt is “more optimally designed for the ongoing development of a for-sale residential” project.

“It lowers the cost of financing for them, and allows them to use different things as needed,” he said.

The first portion of the debt includes the two term loans and revolver — which is similar to a line of credit — totaling $80 million. The developer will use the financing to fund infrastructure and predevelopment costs for the single-family homes. Centaur is also expected to use a portion of those funds for the signature golf course and clubhouse, Ashraf said.

The second tranche is a $90 million construction loan with a revolver component, meaning the developer can draw that debt up and down as homes are completed individually.

Contemporary architect Max Strang of Miami-based Strang Design is designing the single-family homes. The homes range from the mid-$3 millions to more than $10 million, according to the Palm Beach Post. Sales are underway.

Avenir is one of the largest master-planned communities in South Florida, if not the largest. The nearly 4,800-acre area is approved for about 3,900 residential units, most of which are single-family homes; roughly 1.8 million square feet of offices; 200,000 square feet of medical offices; a 300-key hotel; and 400,000 square feet of retail. Builders who have purchased land include Pulte, Toll Brothers, commercial developer Konover Stern, K. Hovnanian Homes and DiVosta.

The project also includes a 2,400-acre nature preserve called Avenir Conservation Area.

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Luna at Hollywood condominium at 3600 Van Buren Street (Apartments.com, iStock)

Luna at Hollywood condominium at 3600 Van Buren Street (Apartments.com, iStock)

A Surfside-based real estate investment firm completed a $33.9 million bulk condo purchase in Hollywood.

An affiliate of Infinity BH Corp., led by Ighal Goldfarb, acquired 160 condos at the 192-unit Luna at Hollywood at 3600 Van Buren Street, according to records. Infinity BH paid $212,000 per unit and obtained a $22 million mortgage from First Republic Bank.

A Berkadia team led by Yoav Yuhjtman and Roberto Pesant marketed the property for the seller, Prashkovsky Investments USA LLC. In 2019, Prashkovsky paid $19 million for the 160 units, records show.

Built in 1968, Luna at Hollywood spans four four-story buildings. The condo complex has a mix of one-and-two-bedroom units averaging 1,055 square feet, a press release states. The property was converted into condominiums in 2007.

Half of the units feature upgraded kitchen cabinets, new stainless steel appliances and new hard surface flooring, the release states. Amenities include two resurfaced swimming pools, a fitness center and a clubhouse.

The new owner has an opportunity to finish the capital improvement plan and capitalize on the trend of strong rent growth, Yuhjtman said in a statement. As part of its purchase, Infinity BH Corp. also took over control of the Luna at Hollywood condominium association. The new owner plans to continue to market the units as rentals, the release states.

Prashkovsky CEO Adi Karadi said his firm decided it was the right to sell the 160 units due to current market conditions and Prashkovsky’s shift to developing new projects and buying recently completed condo and multifamily units.

The Luna at Hollywood deal marks the second bulk condo purchase for Infinity BH in the past two years. In 2020, the firm paid $26 million for 229 out of 368 units of the Lakeside Condominiums in Lauderdale Lakes.

Bulk condo deals have accelerated in South Florida since the deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside last year. Recently, Menachem Kranz paid $6.5 million for all 10 units of a waterfront Bay Harbor Islands condominium. Kranz plans to replace the two-story building with a boutique condo development.

Two Roads Development is about to complete the bulk purchase of condo units at Biscayne 21, an 11-story, 191-unit building at 2121 North Bayshore Drive in Miami’s Edgewater. The firm plans to redevelop the property as a three-tower luxury residential complex.

In March, a joint venture between the Related Group and 13th Floor Investments offered $500 million to buy out the owners of the 570-unit Castle Beach Club in Miami Beach. The same month, Torres Properties paid $17 million for an entire condo building in North Bay Village that is leased to a short-term rental operator.

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Shoma's Masoud Shojaee and Stephanie Shojaee with 3650 Bird Road (Shoma Group, Google Maps)

Shoma’s Masoud Shojaee and Stephanie Shojaee with 3650 Bird Road (Shoma Group, Google Maps)

Masoud Shojaee’s Shoma Group paid $34 million for a Miami auto dealership, with plans to redevelop it into a pair of apartment towers.

Shoma bought the 2.5-acre property at 3650 Bird Road, steps from a Metrorail stop, from an affiliate of Deel Volvo, the dealership currently on the site, records show.

Michael Fay of Avison Young represented the seller.

The developer plans the $220 million Shoma One project with 391 apartments in a pair of 18-story towers, along with a Shoma Bazaar food hall, according to the company’s news release.

The smallest units will be 375-square-foot studios, complete with space-efficient furniture. Units will increase in size to 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom apartments. In addition, seven two-story apartments, ranging in size from 1,344 square feet to 1,400 square feet, will be live-work units where renters can have their office on a full floor.

The MSA Architects-designed Shoma One will have a rooftop lounge at each tower, as well as a shared eight-story garage with a 2,500-square-foot gym, pool, club room, outdoor grill and projection screens on the rooftop, according to the release.

Other project amenities will include a bowling alley lounge, day care, a yoga and spinning studio spanning 1,161 square feet, a dog park, co-working café, spa with a steam room, bicycle storage and repair area, and a lounge to wait for Ubers and Lyfts.

Construction is expected to start in January of next year and will take up to two years.

Coral Gables-based Shoma has been very active in South Florida. CEO Shojaee founded Shoma in 1988 and leads it with his wife, Stephanie Shojaee, who was promoted to company president in March.

The company completed its four-story, 33-unit Ten30 South Beach condominium at 1030 15th Street near Lincoln Road in Miami Beach in March. and received Fannie Mae approval for buyer financing.

In other multifamily ventures, Shoma paid $15.8 million for the properties at 1850 and 1872 79th Street Causeway in North Bay Village, with plans to build a 19-story project with rentals and retail.

Shoma, in partnership with Jorge Pérez’s Related Group, built out the 52-acre Park Square at Doral with offices, apartments, single-family homes and retail. In December, the duo sold the last developable Park Square parcel for $16 million to Lincoln Property Company National, which plans an apartment project.

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Marc Roberts (Photo by Sonya Revell)

UPDATED, May 5, 2022, 3:00 p.m.: From the second floor VIP lounge of E11even nightclub in downtown Miami, Marc Roberts gazed down at a parking lot he bought in the city’s Park West neighborhood. It was late in the afternoon on a recent Thursday, hours before hordes of YOLO partygoers were set to pack Roberts’ lucrative nightlife venue for an early start to the weekend.

“I don’t do any other real estate business except here in this neighborhood,” Roberts said. “There is enough money [to be made] here for me and my family. Thank God, this club does great.”

For more than two decades, Roberts, 62, has bobbed and weaved through South Florida’s real estate world like the big-name boxers he used to represent. In the late 1980s and 1990s, he made his bones as a sports agent and manager whose client roster included then-heavyweight champs Ray Mercer and Shannon Briggs. 

In the early 2000s, he left the sports arena and stepped into the real estate ring by doing condo conversions in three states and teaming up with Miami Worldcenter master developer Arthur Falcone to assemble more than 25 acres for the massive $4 billion mixed-use project that today features condos, apartments, office and retail.

However, the 2008 real estate and stock market crash nearly knocked Roberts out of contention. The next three years were marred by a nasty breakup with a longtime mentor and friend whose credit he used to finance close to $100 million in loans used for real estate investment projects, including land purchases tied to Miami Worldcenter, according to court records. 

In 2009, Harvey Silverman, a Wall Street trader, filed lawsuits that were later dismissed in Roberts’ favor in Palm Beach Circuit Court and New York federal courts that accused Roberts of embezzlement and other chicanery. Roberts countersued Silverman in Miami federal court for leaving him holding the bag on the $100 million in debt they owed several banks. 

“2008, 2009 and 2010 were very stressful,” Roberts said. “I lost $50 million in equity and owed the banks $100 million. I went through a lot of sleepless nights.” 

Today, Roberts with his business partner, Miami Beach real estate investor Michael Simkins, co-owns 3.5 acres in Park West, including the E11even site. He also owns other downtown Miami properties primed for redevelopment with Los Angeles real estate investor Romie Chaudhari and Titan Capital’s Ira Saferstein. 

Since opening in 2014, E11even has become a global brand in the world of late-night entertainment. The baseball hats featuring the nightclub’s distinctive logo have become ubiquitous throughout South Florida and other party spots around the country.

“We have probably sold $10 million worth of hats,” Roberts said. “The cash flow is great and amazing but if you can build a big brand, you can build a billion-dollar business.”

That’s why Roberts and his partners are betting that deep-pocketed condo buyers want to live and breathe the E11even brand. These days, Roberts is posing for photos with celebrities buying units at E11even Hotel & Residences and E11even Residences Beyond, a pair of 65-story towers that will rise across the street from the nightclub. The projects are a joint venture between Roberts, Simkins and Kevin Maloney’s Property Markets Group.

The condo-hotel is already fully sold out, while the second condominium is roughly 75 percent sold out, Roberts and PMG principal Ryan Shear said. 

“This neighborhood is where all the big boys play,” Roberts said. “To go up 60, 70 stories, you have to have a lot of money. This is going to be a 24-hour district like Times Square. That’s why I stay in this area where I know and believe in.”

Drunk on Kool-Aid

Silverman met Roberts in the late 1980s when Roberts was a boxing promoter and manager, according to four lawsuits The Real Deal reviewed for this story. At the time, Silverman, a trader with Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, invested $60,000 in Roberts’ sports agency, Triple Threat Enterprises. Silverman also helped Roberts get a $250,000 unsecured line of credit that he partially used to cover personal expenses. When Triple Threat went public, Roberts paid off the credit line and Silverman made a profit from his investment, court records state.

By 1995, the pair’s friendship blossomed into a “father-son relationship” and Silverman provided Roberts with a credit line of $600,000 when he started another sports agency, Worldwide Entertainment and Sports. When the company went public, Silverman received stock as consideration for the $600,000. 

In 2000, Roberts left the sports representation business and got into real estate investing. He again partnered with Silverman, who used his creditworthiness to obtain bank loans that were going to be used to purchase land Roberts identified and for which he cut deals. Both men were 50/50 partners even though Roberts did not put in any money and Silverman’s credit financed the debt, court records show. 

Between 2000 and 2007, the partnership flourished as Roberts teamed up with Falcone to assemble the land for Miami Worldcenter. At the same time, Roberts also had a company called Sunvest that was converting apartment buildings to condominiums and flipping units to individual buyers. Sunvest bought properties in Florida, Arizona and Nevada, according to court records. 

“We converted more than 10,000 units,” Roberts said. “My partners and I made $40 million. I didn’t know 2008 was going to interrupt the party.” 

In hindsight, he should have seen the crash coming, Roberts admitted. 

“I was getting guys with no income verification buying two, three condos from me,” he said. “I had Countrywide and Wells Fargo in my office. There would be lines of buyers out the door. They would get loans in 30 days. Looking back, I am an idiot for drinking the Kool-Aid.”

The crash also spelled the end of Roberts’ relationship with Silverman. According to a 2009 federal lawsuit in Miami that Roberts filed, Silverman allegedly confided that he would not be able to live up to his promises because his net worth went from more than $300 million to “probably insolvent” due to losses from the stock market collapse. Roberts alleged that Silverman told him that he suffered significant losses and that he would have to pull out of their partnership. As a result, Roberts faced lawsuits by every bank, including Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, that had provided them with credit lines totaling $100 million. Those lawsuits were also resolved in Roberts’ favor.

Also in 2009, Falcone left Roberts and his ownership entities with only 1 percent share of the Miami Worldcenter land assemblage, according to sources familiar with their dealings. 

“Art and I did a lot of restructuring,” Roberts said. “The moral of the story is not to be saddled with debt. You learn your lessons and pick yourself up.” 

Falcone declined to comment for this story.

But Roberts still had to contend with Silverman, who slugged him with three lawsuits the same year in Palm Beach Circuit Court and New York federal courts. Silverman accused Roberts of committing “persistent and flagrant acts of self-dealing, gross and willful mismanagement, including the steady embezzlement of millions of dollars in funds and financing intended for the development projects.” 

The fallout from the Silverman lawsuits and foreclosure actions against Roberts led to a string of negative press. A 2009 Forbes story with the headline, “Down and Out in Miami,” summed up the former partners’ troubles as “another indication of the kind of reckless commercial real estate lending that might be lurking on the balance sheets of big banks.”

In his lawsuits, Silverman alleged Roberts raised credit lines at the banks without his knowledge and forged signatures, despite Roberts having a legitimate power of attorney, allegedly diverting some of the cash to “support his lavish and excessive lifestyle.” Silverman claimed Roberts allegedly used partnership funds to buy homes, a Hawaii honeymoon and a Bentley. 

In his lawsuit, Roberts countered that Silverman was fully aware that he was withdrawing money from the joint venture for personal expenses. He also denied embezzling any funds and forging signatures, the lawsuit states. 

Roberts filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, but two years later he withdrew his petition and the case was dismissed. At the time, he listed liabilities of $266 million and assets of $3.3 million. 

Two of the lawsuits were dismissed administratively due to lack of action by either party, court records show. A lawsuit Silverman filed against Roberts and one of the financial institutions, First Bank, was dismissed in 2011 after all parties agreed to drop the litigation. And a Silverman lawsuit contesting Roberts’ bankruptcy was dismissed as a result of the bankruptcy case’s dismissal.

Silverman lost a series of New York state civil cases with different banks and was responsible for repayment well north of $45 million, court records show. Various bank officers submitted court affidavits stating Silverman personally authorized Roberts to act on Silverman’s behalf, including withdrawing money from credit lines, and that they witnessed Silverman sign bank documents and verified his signature with his driver’s license. A 2010 court order in favor of Wachovia Bank states Silverman made unsubstantiated allegations against Roberts.

When reached by phone, Silverman, now 81, said he didn’t want to rehash his dealings with Roberts. 

“It was about two people who were supposedly fruitful, good and honest with each other,” he said. “It didn’t work out that way. Our association has been over for many years and it is something I would like to forget. I don’t really care what he does.” 

Off the mat

By 2011, Roberts found a compatriot who shares his vision for future redevelopment in downtown Miami’s Park West, a neighborhood populated by gritty industrial warehouses that is the city’s only designated 24-hour nightlife district. 

Roberts partnered with Simkins, president of Miami Beach–based real estate firm Innovate Development Group, to buy up 4.5 acres in Park West, including the land where E11even was built, for a combined $19.5 million during a three-year span. The duo also own an additional 3 acres in Park West. Records show Roberts also bought a 6,250-square-foot nightclub space at 60 Northeast 11th Street for $800,000 during the same time period. 

The pair met in 2012 when he and his brother, Ronald Simkins, were eyeing new investment opportunities in downtown Miami, Simkins said. By then, Miami Worldcenter was back on track and Wynwood, the trendy arts neighborhood currently going through a development boom, was starting to gentrify, he recalled. Sandwiched between both, Simkins saw development potential in Park West. 

He was aware of Roberts’ financial troubles and the legal tussles with Silverman. “I heard anecdotally about what happened with Harvey and I know Marc was dealing with it,” Simkins said. “But it never impacted me. After spending time with Marc, I quickly understood what a great person he is, what a great network he has and what a hard worker he is.” 

He and Simkins bought the E11even property from the family of Jack Galardi, a smut kingpin who owned more than 50 adult cabarets across the country and who died shortly before the deal closed in December of 2012, Roberts said. At the time, the property was home to a one-story building that housed the Galardi-owned Gold Rush strip club. The transaction included Gold Rush’s operations, which came with a 24-hour liquor license, Roberts explained. 

“Within a week of buying the place, I met with all the big-strip club owners,” Roberts said. “I met the owner of Scores, the owner of Hustler, the owner of Rick’s Cabaret. The first thing they all asked me, ‘How did you get it under contract? Jack promised he was going to sell it to me.’” 

The strip club owners also offered similar terms to let them run Gold Rush involving $5 million in renovations, about $100,000 in monthly rent and a 50 percent share of the profits, Roberts claimed. “They came fast and furious,” he said. “One after the other, telling us the same thing. Finally me and Simkins looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do this ourselves. There’s more cash flow than we thought.’”

After less than a year of operating Gold Rush, the duo decided to tear the building down and replace it with E11even, a three-story party palace at 29 Northeast 11th Street. They brought in a third partner, Dennis DeGori, to run the venue as a hybrid nightclub and adult cabaret. The rooftop terrace is currently being remodeled into a new restaurant. There’s even a little Cirque du Soleil flair featuring performances by aerialists, acrobats and contortionists. And for big-money spenders looking for a little more privacy, E11even offers VIP “whale rooms” with reservations costing several thousand dollars. 

“People thought we were nuts,” Roberts said. “And knock on wood, E11even is the most profitable nightclub per square foot in the world, for sure.”

No sleep, no problem

Roberts’ progression from a land-assembling nightclub mogul to condo developer kicked off over drinks at E11even with PMG’s Ryan Shear. “One night when I was here, someone came up to me and said that Ryan wants to say hello,” Roberts said. “He came over to my table and we started talking.”

Shear said the E11even encounter evolved into serious discussions over several meetings with Roberts and Simkins to build a branded tower. Across South Florida, luxury brands such as Fendi, Armani, Bentley, Bulgari and Porsche have partnered with local developers for brand-name condominiums that have been built or under construction in the last decade. 

“Marc is a fun guy and he doesn’t sleep,” Shear said. “Like all good relationships, it has evolved. We started talking about doing a deal together and it went from there.”

In January, PMG, Roberts and Simkins unveiled plans for E11even Hotel & Residences, a 375-unit tower at 20 Northeast 11th Street. That’s the parking lot that Roberts and Simkins paid $6 million for in 2013, records show. Designed by Sieger Suarez, the proposed project’s units will range from studios to two-bedrooms, plus a penthouse collection, all fully furnished. 

A virtual metaverse tour by ArX Solutions takes prospective buyers through the multi-level E11even Day Club and pool. It’s a Las Vega–style amenity spanning 20,000 square feet and featuring cabanas, temperature controlled plunge pools and a 2,200-square-foot party pool. A DJ spins music from a two-story head sculpture. The building will also have a private members’ club, a wellness center and sports lounge. 

In November, after selling out the first tower, the partnership announced plans for E11even Residences Beyond, a 461-unit condominium on the same block. The buildings will connect via a sky bridge and a path on the ground level behind the properties, according to plans. Units in both buildings start in the $300,000s. Social media influencers Jake and Logan Paul are each buying penthouses in the second tower, while WNBA player Candace Parker, ESPN co-host Sage Steele and MMA fighter Luke Rockhold are purchasing units in the first building.

“We decided to risk a couple of million bucks doing marketing and sales,” Roberts said. “Right from the start, we sold units like hotcakes. I’ve probably sold 300 directly and indirectly. Almost every athlete is mine. I could tell you some other big names who have bought, but they have not allowed me to use their names.”

Shear said that he expected it would take a year to sell out E11even Hotel & Residences, but only 10 units in the second tower remain. “Both towers are essentially sold out and it took half the time frame,” he said.

Roberts isn’t done reimagining Park West. In 2018, he teamed up with L.A.-based investor Chaudhari to buy a warehouse at 90 Northeast 11th Street where they want to open the first medical-marijuana dispensary in Miami. Roberts and Chaudhari have a pending lawsuit against the city because Miami officials refuse to issue them a permit by claiming cannabis retail stores are prohibited by federal law even though medical marijuana is legal in Florida.

In another deal, Roberts partnered with Titan Capital’s Saferstein to buy a one-acre site within the Miami Worldcenter footprint for $26.7 million in 2020. The purchase brought Roberts full circle to where he began his real estate hustle. 

Now 14 years removed from the crash, Roberts said he’s not afraid of bottoming out again. He’s a big believer in cryptocurrencies, which are a volatile investment vehicle. E11even the nightclub and the E11even real estate projects accept payment in digital coins that are immediately converted to fiat money, Roberts noted. 

“For one, there are no mortgages [encumbering the land,]” Roberts said. “And we have a nice cash flow [at E11even]. The club could make one-fifth of what it is making now and I will still be able to carry the land. If I gotta go through a cycle, I can do it.” 

Like a grizzled prizefighter entering the 12th round, Roberts carries the scars of the financial crisis, but isn’t done being a contender. 

“It’s been a rough 20 years,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of good luck.” 

Corrections: An address of a project site, the number of acres co-owned by Roberts and Simkins and the outcome of one of the lawsuits were misstated in a previous version of this story.

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PR Group Florida's Christophe Petit and Julien Ridon and Octavio Maza with 423 Northeast 27th Street (Vendôme Capital, Porosoff Group, Google Maps, iStock)

PR Group Florida’s Christophe Petit and Julien Ridon and Octavio Maza with 423 Northeast 27th Street (Vendôme Capital, Porosoff Group, Google Maps, iStock)

In two deals totaling $14.8 million, the newly established American arm of Paris-based Groupe City acquired a Miami development site for the firm’s first project in the U.S.

PR Group Florida, a subsidiary of the French development company led by Christophe Petit and Julien Ridon, paid $13.1 million for an assemblage in the city’s booming Edgewater neighborhood, according to records. The deal included a low-rise apartment complex and three houses that were combined into one parcel at 423 Northeast 27th Street. PR Group also bought an adjacent duplex at 434 Northeast 28th Street for $1.7 million, records show.

Jim Agard with Vendôme Capital represented the buyer in both deals. Fredrick Klein with Porosoff represented the assemblage’s seller, an entity managed by Octavio Maza of Miami.

In 2014, Maza’s entity paid $1.9 million for 421, 423, 425 and 427 Northeast 27th Street, records show. Wesley Bradley, the seller of the adjacent duplex, paid $200,000 in 2011, records show.

Agard, who is also PR Group’s owner representative, said the assemblage and the duplex property total 31,929 square feet. PR Group plans to redevelop the properties into a residential tower with a “French touch,” Agard said. It is unclear if the project will be condos or rentals. The developer does not want to disclose any further details at this time, he added.

PR Group also established its U.S. headquarters in an office at 1111 Lincoln Road, Agard said.

“They chose Miami because Miami is booming,” Agard said. “They are looking at other opportunities in South Florida, but this will be their first project in the U.S.”

The assemblage and the adjacent duplex are in a prime area of Edgewater, where a wave of new condominiums and apartment buildings are currently underway, Agard said.

PR Group’s parent Groupe City has developed residential, hospitality and office projects in France, French Polynesia, Mauritius in Africa and the Caribbean, Agard said. In 2021, the firm delivered nearly 2,000 residential units and is projecting to add another 2,450 this year, he added.

Klein said the assemblage was on the market for only one month and PR Group paid the asking price. “That speaks to how aggressive the Edgewater market is,” Klein said. “Developers are rushing to get projects going in the area.”

Other firms scouring for Edgewater development sites include Two Roads Development, which is about to complete a bulk purchase of Biscayne 21, a 191-unit waterfront condominium completed in the 1960s.

Last month, Colombian developers Grupo Diana and Korner secured a $55 million construction loan for Metro Edgewater, a 32-story multifamily project with 279 units at 430 Northeast 31st Street. Also in April, Miami-based Crescent Heights nabbed a $224 million loan for the firm’s mixed-use development, Nema Miami, at 2900 Biscayne Boulevard in Edgewater.

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Sarah and Shaya Boymelgreen with a rendering of 42 Pine (Getty, 42 Pine)

Sarah and Shaya Boymelgreen with a rendering of 42 Pine (Getty, 42 Pine)

The Boymelgreens launched sales of a boutique condo building they plan to build in Mid-Miami Beach, north of 41st Street, The Real Deal has learned.

The developer began sales for 42 Pine, a 50-unit project planned for the 0.8-acre non-waterfront property at 340 West 42nd Street, said Douglas Elliman agent Mushka Jacobson. Jacobson is leading sales of the building.

Arquitectonica is designing the eight-story building at 340 West 42nd Street, according to a press release. Units will have one to three bedrooms, with 700 square feet to 2,700 square feet for combined units. Prices will range from $700,000 to $4 million for penthouses, of which there are eight, Jacobson said.

42 Pine

“We launched to friends and family two weeks ago, and it’s been selling. People are hounding us,” Jacobson said. Buyers are coming from the neighborhood, as well as out of state from New York, she added.

JP Roosevelt, an entity led by Sarah, Menachem and Levi Boymelgreen, owns the property. It borders Pine Tree Drive to the east and Meridian Avenue to the west. Records show a then-Boymelgreen-led entity transferred ownership of the development site to JP Roosevelt for $31 million in 2017. That sale was to buy out partners, according to a spokesperson for the project.

42 Pine

The same entity also owns an adjacent office building fronting 41st Street, which will remain.

Sarah Boymelgreen is married to Shaya Boymelgreen, an Israeli-born New York developer who has been expanding his portfolio in South Florida. In the early 2000s, he partnered with diamond billionaire Lev Leviev, although the partnership was later dissolved. More recently in 2016, the New York Attorney General imposed a two-year ban on Boymelgreen in the offer and sale of securities, including condos.

The Miami Beach project, 42 Pine, likely marks the only new condo development planned for the Nautilus neighborhood of Miami Beach, Jacobson said.

“It will really be the first, and we anticipate probably the last, which I think makes it such an exciting project,” she said. “There’s no luxury product if you can’t buy a house that gives you walkability, gives you the neighborhood.”

Many buyers have been outpriced of single-family home sales in Nautilus and throughout Miami Beach, as sales soared during the pandemic, reducing inventory and pushing prices up.

Amenities at 42 Pine will include a fitness center, club and game room, media lounge, children’s playroom, a pool, spa, cabanas and a yoga and meditation lawn, according to the release. Units will include kosher-friendly gourmet kitchens with Wolf and Subzero appliances, hardwood floors, marble countertops and glass-enclosed terraces.

Demolition of the parking lot site is underway, and construction will begin this month, Jacobson said. It’s expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year.

Elsewhere in South Florida, Boymelgreen recently secured a $30 million construction loan for a hotel in Surfside. Boymelgreen had planned to build a luxury residential complex with 68 townhouses, and scored a $23.5 million loan for that project in 2018, but is now building a hotel.

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Sunstone's Bryan Giglia and Douglas Pasquale with 4041 Collins Avenue (Sunstone Hotel Investors, Google Maps)

Sunstone’s Bryan Giglia and Douglas Pasquale with 4041 Collins Avenue (Sunstone Hotel Investors, Google Maps)

California-based Sunstone Hotel Investors put The Confidante Miami Beach under contract for $232 million, marking the real estate investment trust’s debut in South Florida.

Sunstone agreed to buy the 339-key oceanfront hotel at 4401 Collins Avenue from an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, according to the buyer’s news release. The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.

The price equates to $684,000 per room.

Sunstone plans a $60 million renovation, and will rebrand the property from its current Unbound Collection flag by Hyatt to Andaz, also by Hyatt, the release states.

The price would be the highest so far this year for a South Florida hotel, but is still below last year’s top deal, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust’s $270 million purchase of the 369-key Jimmy Buffett-inspired Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in Hollywood.

The latest Confidante price is slightly above the $229.4 million Hyatt paid in 2016 for the hotel, which at the time was called Thompson Miami Beach. That trade included a mixed-use garage across the street.

The Confidante was originally built in the 1940s with one tower that then was Miami Beach’s first modern skyscraper, according to media reports. Two towers were added over the years, with the hotel temporarily converted into apartments. The property spans 1.5 oceanfront acres.

Amenities include three restaurants, a rooftop spa, two heated pools, and a 30,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, according to Hyatt’s website.

Sunstone, based in Irvine, California, plans to revamp the pool and backyard, food and beverage offerings, rooms, and meeting and event space, and it also would relocate the lobby to an area that would allow expansive oceanfront views to guests checking in, according to the release. The renovations are expected to begin in the fourth quarter and should be completed in the first half of 2024, along with the rebranding.

The Confidante will stay open while work is ongoing, the release states. Hyatt will stay as the hotel manager.

Sunstone plans to finance its purchase with cash and by drawing on its revolving credit facility. It also will “recycle capital” from its recent sale of three hotels in Chicago, the company’s CEO Bryan Giglia said in the release.

In March, Sunstone sold the 368-key Embassy Suites Chicago at 600 North State Street and the 361-key Hilton Garden Inn at 10 East Grand Avenue in Chicago for a combined $129.5 million.

Sunstone, headed by Executive Chairman Douglas Pasquale, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its other Florida properties are the 781-key Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld at 6677 Sea Harbor Drive in Orlando, and the 175-key Oceans Edge Resort & Marina at 5950 Peninsular Avenue in Key West, according to Sunstone’s website.

Other South Florida top hotel sales this year include Utah-based Dynamic City Capital’s $74.3 million purchase in February of the 171-unit AC Hotel by Marriott at 3029 Alhambra Street near the beach in Fort Lauderdale.

In another AC Hotel trade, Peachtree scooped up the 233-key property at 20805 Biscayne Boulevard next to Aventura ParkSquare in January for $49.5 million.

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Pebb Enterprises' Ian Weiner (right) and Banyan Development's  Jason Sher with Research Park at Florida Atlantic University (Pebb, Avison Young, LinkedIn, iStock)

Pebb Enterprises’ Ian Weiner (right) and Banyan Development’s  Jason Sher with Research Park at Florida Atlantic University (Pebb, Avison Young, LinkedIn, iStock)

Pebb Enterprises and Banyan Development picked up Florida Atlantic University’s tech and innovation-focused Research Park in Boca Raton for $37.5 million.

The joint venture bought the seven-building office portfolio at 3600-3998 FAU Boulevard, although the deal was for the long-term ground leasehold interest, according to the buyers’ news release. This means Pebb and Banyan bought the buildings but not the land, which they now lease from FAU’s governing authority, the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority.

The buildings’ seller is international sovereign wealth fund Boca R&D Finance, according to the release. State corporate records show it ties to New York-based Global Securitization Services, which specializes in owning and administering special purpose entities that focus on structured finance deals on behalf of banks, insurers, private equity funds and investment funds.

Keith O’Donnell of Avison Young represented Boca R&D in the off-market deal.

The 308,305-square-foot office portfolio was constructed in 1998 and 2001, according to the release. Research Park is 65 percent leased, mainly to medical, tech and other research businesses.

Tenants include American Sugar Refining, Xeriant, Baptist Health Surgery Center, FAU College of Medicine Clinical Skills Simulation Center, Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Sandow Media, GenesisCare and 4ocean, the release says.

Pebb and Banyan aim to launch a leasing campaign focused on making Research Park a premier university-affiliated health care, medical and biotech advanced engineering hub, according to the release. Potential tenants would be focused on the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors and machine learning, which is a form of artificial intelligence.

Greg Martin will lead the Avison Young team leasing the property.

Research Park, led by President Andrew Duffell, is the only university-affiliated research center in South Florida, the release states.

Pebb and Banyan, both based in Boca Raton, have partnered on other projects. The duo is developing the 16-acre Mainstreet at Boynton mixed-use project on the northeast corner of Boynton Beach Boulevard and Jog Road. The project will include a 117,000-square-foot congregate living facility with 130 units, and almost 70,000 square feet of commercial space, with parts of the retail completed.

Pebb, led by CEO Ian Weiner, is a family owned real estate investment firm founded in 1973, according to its website.

In other South Florida investments, Pebb paid $18.4 million last year for the three-story 1801 Building at 1801 North Military Trail in Boca Raton.

Development firm Banyan is led by Principal Jason Sher.

The Palm Beach County office market showed signs of improvement in the first quarter, with a 9.6 percent vacancy rate, compared to 11.6 percent during the same time period last year, according to Colliers. Asking rent hit $37.59 per square foot, up from $35.85 in the first quarter of last year. Roughly 702,000 square feet of office space is under construction.

In Boca Raton, a joint venture of Butters Group and Konsker Development is seeking to build the five-story Midtown Place at Boca Raton with 120,000 square feet of offices.

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From left: a rendering of the project at 201 Clearwater Drive in West Palm Beach, Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht, Hyperion Group CEO Rob Vecsler and Winter Properties co-CEO David Winter (Getty, Hyperion, Winter Properties)

From left: a rendering of the project at 201 Clearwater Drive in West Palm Beach, Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht, Hyperion Group CEO Rob Vecsler and Winter Properties co-CEO David Winter (Getty, Hyperion, Winter Properties)

A joint venture among Starwood Capital Group, Hyperion Group and Winter Properties is charging ahead with a downtown West Palm Beach mixed-use project after securing a $96.4 million construction loan, The Real Deal has learned.

J.P. Morgan Chase provided the financing, according to a press release. Slated to rise on a 1.3-acre vacant lot at 201 Clearwater Drive, the proposed 22-story building will entail 457 apartments, 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, a 628-space parking garage, and more than 34,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities.

Construction on the unnamed project is set to begin soon, with a target of leasing to renters in early 2024, the release states.

In October 2019, an entity named 350 Development LLC paid $1.1 million for the land. Shortly thereafter, Hyperion – based in Miami and New York — and New York-based Winter Properties bought the entity for an undisclosed amount. Hyperion is led by CEO Rob Vecsler, and Winter Properties is led by President Rick Singer and co-CEOs David Winter and David Millstone.

In September, an affiliate of Hyperion, Winter Properties and Starwood, the Miami Beach-based global real estate investment firm led by CEO Barry Sternlicht, bought the property for $18.3 million from 350 Development.

The city of West Palm Beach approved plans for the mixed-use project in August.

Due to an influx of out-of-state firms and population growth, West Palm Beach is a hotbed of development and real estate activity. Starwood, Hyperion and Winter Properties’ project is near Clear Lake on the western edge of downtown, where builders and investors are vying for development sites.

In November, Globe Invest, the Related Group and BH Group formed a joint venture to invest in Transit Village, a $500 million mixed-use project fronting Clear Lake being developed by Michael Masanoff.

In February, the Related Companies, led by Miami Dolphins billionaire owner Stephen Ross, joined Wexford Real Estate Investors and Key International to buy Reflections, a collection of mid-rise office buildings facing Clear Lake, for $35 million.

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Woodmont Properties chairman Donald Witmondt and ceo Eric Witmondt (Woodmont properties, Loopnet)

Woodmont Properties chairman Donald Witmondt and ceo Eric Witmondt (Woodmont properties, Loopnet)

Four months after acquiring a massive development site at Palm Beach Park of Commerce, Woodmont Industrial Partners paid the same seller $21 million for a recently completed warehouse nearby.

An affiliate managed by Eric Witmondt, CEO of the Fairfield, New Jersey-based commercial real estate firm, bought the 212,000-square-foot facility at 15501 Park of Commerce Boulevard in Jupiter. The seller is an affiliate of Atlanta-based TPA Group, records show.

Woodmont Industrial paid $99 a square foot for the warehouse, which is pre-leased to two tenants, a press release states. The buyer obtained a $7.5 million mortgage from Valley National Bank, records show.

TPA recently completed the warehouse after breaking ground last year, the release states. The building has a 36-foot ceiling height clearance, parking for cars and trailers, and a concrete truck court. It was the last Palm Beach Park of Commerce property owned by TPA.

The master-planned industrial park spans 1,300 acres with heavy and light industrial developable land, as well as commercial building sites, according to TPA’s website.

In January, TPA Group sold 116.6 acres at Palm Beach Park of Commerce to Woodmont Industrial for $40.4 million, records show. In a partnership with PCCP and Butters Construction & Development, Woodmont Industrial plans to build eight warehouses, the release states. The first two buildings, spanning a combined 354,390 square feet, are expected to be completed in July 2023.

In a statement, Woodmont Vice President Anthony Amadeo said the firm is “extremely bullish” on Palm Beach County, where the company is building 2 million square feet of industrial space in the next 24 months. Woodmont will continue seeking deals to expand its footprint in South Florida’s industrial market, Amadeo said.

Palm Beach County has a significant need for new industrial space. In the most recent quarter, tenant demand was so high that leasing volume slowed substantially due to a lack of available spaces and new projects, according to a JLL report.

Net absorption shot up to 135,862 square feet in the most recent quarter, compared to 52,247 square feet during the same period of last year. Yet, only 321,000 square feet of new industrial space is currently under construction in Palm Beach County, the report shows. The county had a first quarter vacancy rate of 4.5 percent, and asking rents for industrial tenants averaged $9.47 a square foot.

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A photo illustration of the Four Seasons Residences at Biscane Bay (left), the Mansions at Acqualina (middle), and the 1 Hotel & Homes at Miami Beach (right) (Condo.com, iStock)

A photo illustration of the Four Seasons Residences at Biscane Bay (left), the Mansions at Acqualina (middle), and the 1 Hotel & Homes at Miami Beach (right) (Condo.com, iStock)

What goes up must come down.

The top condo sales for April totaled $250.4 million — almost $100 million less than in March and essentially flat with February’s total of $253.7 million.

Data from condo.com show April sale prices for the top 41 condos ranged from $3.2 million to $15 million, trailing behind March’s mammoth sale of a $30 million Fisher Island condo.

The top sales averaged $6.1 million, less than $7.1 million in March and $6.7 million in February. The average price per square foot ranged from $900 to $3,702 and averaged $1,931, slightly higher than March’s average of $1,912 and February’s average of $1,875.

Similar to March, April’s top sale took place at Palazzo Della Luna on Fisher Island. Unit 6834 at 6800 FIsher Island Drive sold for $15 million, or $3,153 per square foot. Sandra Fiorenza, an agent with One Sotheby’s International Realty, represented the seller, her husband, Randall Fiorenza.

Archie Drury with Douglas Elliman represented the buyer, Berkshire Hathaway top executive Ajit Jain. Jain was rumored to succeed Warren Buffet as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, until Buffett confirmed Greg Abel as his successor, according to the Des Moines Register.

Barely falling short of the top spot, a $14.5 million closing at Apogee in Miami Beach snatched the month’s second priciest sale. Unit 604 at 800 South Pointe Drive closed for $3,490 per square foot. Dora Puig of Luxe Living Realty had the listing.

Barbie Castro, a real estate agent with BHG Realty of Davie, represented her husband, Eric R. Castro, and herself, in purchasing the unit, according to published reports.

Leaflet map created by Adam Farence | Data by © OpenStreetMap, under ODbl.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 41 sales for April:

Most expensive

Palazzo Della Luna, 6800 Fisher Island Drive, unit 6834 | 4 days on the market | $15M | $3,153 psf | Listing agent: Sandra Fiorenza with One Sotheby’s International Realty | Buyer’s agent: Archie Drury with Douglas Elliman

Least expensive

Acqualina Ocean Residence, 17875 Collins Avenue, unit 3806 | 42 days on the market | $3.2M | $1,178 psf | Listing agent: Maria Cohen with Acqualina Realty | Buyer’s agent: Cindy Clayman with Douglas Elliman

Most days on market

Asia, 900 Brickell Key Boulevard, unit 2903 | 523 days on the market | $3.7M | $1,096 psf | Listing agent: Sonia Gherardi with One Sotheby’s International Realty | Buyer’s agent: Giorgio Vecchi with One Sotheby’s International Realty

Fewest days on market

Residences by Armani/Casa, 18975 Collins Avenue, unit PH-04 | 1 day on the market | $12.4M | $2,572 psf | Listing agent: Daniel Tzinker with The Agency Florida | Buyer’s agent: Rachel Wertheimer with One Sotheby’s International Realty

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From left: Jose Mallea, Stephen Blumenthal and Jose Hevia along with renderings of the South Dade Logistics and Technology District and Homestead Station (Aligned Real Estate Holdings, Coral Rock Group, iStock)

From left: Jose Mallea, Stephen Blumenthal and Jose Hevia along with renderings of the South Dade Logistics and Technology District and Homestead Station (Aligned Real Estate Holdings, Coral Rock Group, iStock)

Miami real estate development duo Jose Hevia and Stephen Blumenthal are not afraid of taking risks, let alone catching heat.

While developers’ proposals often anger residents who are fearful of traffic congestion and the loss of green space, Hevia and Blumenthal’s plan is so controversial, it’s on a scale that Miami-Dade County has not seen for almost a decade. 

The partners envision an up to 9.2 million-square-foot industrial complex outside the Urban Development Boundary, an invisible line that restricts the sprawl of development as a way to preserve farms and wetlands surrounding the built-out part of Miami-Dade. 

The greenbelt is vital to protecting the county from flooding, as well as for preservation and restoration of the Everglades, environmentalists say. They argue this is especially applicable to the land where Hevia and Blumenthal want to build their South Dade Logistics & Technology District.

Hevia, president of Miami-based Aligned Real Estate Holdings, and Blumenthal, principal of Coral Gables–based Coral Rock Development, pushed back on this claim, saying that the project is actually beneficial for the environment. Still, it is a hefty task to take on, Blumenthal conceded.  

Because of its size and because it involves moving the UDB, it is the most challenging deal that Coral Rock has developed,” he said. “I am in business to make a profit, so the reward will definitely outweigh our pursuit costs.”

Blumenthal and Hevia join a growing number of developers who have built some of the county’s marquee projects in prime locations — and are now homing in on the long-overlooked southern stretches of the county. 

The area includes Homestead and Florida City, municipalities on the southernmost tip of Miami-Dade, and the neighborhoods of Naranja, Leisure City, Princeton and Goulds — largely single-family-home and townhouse communities interspersed among expansive, untapped land. 

Therein lies the appeal to builders. South Miami-Dade is fertile ground for commercial real estate projects that would meet the growing rental and office demand, developers and brokers say. While prices of development sites in the urban core have reached new heights, south Miami-Dade is a reprieve. 

Land sales in south Miami-Dade averaged about $795,000 per acre so far this year, a steal compared with the $22.9 million per acre in Miami’s core, roughly from Coconut Grove north to the Miami Design District, according to Colliers and CoStar Group data.   

Lack of land has plagued Miami-Dade for decades because the county is sandwiched between the Everglades and Biscayne Bay. 

We are seven miles of land between alligators and sharks,” said Anthony De Yurre, a developers’ attorney with Bilzin Sumberg. “If you want to go somewhere, you have to go up or down.”

And many are going down. Way down south. 

Bitcoin bet

Homestead, which was the second municipality in the county to incorporate in 1913, has a penchant for maintaining its independence from the rest of Miami-Dade.

Case in point: It has its own utility, unlike the rest of the county and even the state, which largely uses Florida Power & Light.

That puts us in a unique position because we have been able to maintain our electric rates lower than most of the other parts of the state, which helps us attract more business,” said Homestead Vice Mayor Julio Guzman, who also is a realtor. 

Entrepreneur Jose Mallea’s Esperanza Opportunity Zone Fund is in talks with the city to set up a Bitcoin mining business park that would tap into the city’s grid for the high-energy-consumption operation. Mallea is asking for a rate of 5.5 cents for every kilowatt-hour consumed. 

If we can attract one, we can attract 10,” Guzman said. 

Homestead political winds have long swung in favor of development, with the city ready to shell out $71 million for a new sports complex south of the Homestead-Miami Speedway, according to Guzman. Homestead is pushing for a thriving west side, with grants averaging $25,000 for business facade improvements, interior buildout and expansion. 

In downtown Homestead, the city completed Homestead Station near the bus corridor in 2019 with 30,800 square feet of retail, as well as a next-door ShowBiz Cinemas and Cybrarium library with offerings such as virtual reality. 

In likely the biggest validation of Homestead’s efforts, Jorge Pérez’s Related Group wants to build an apartment and retail project on the southwest corner of Campbell Drive and U.S. 1. CityPlace Homestead, modeled after Related’s CityPlace Doral, started out as a proposal for over 300 apartments, but has expanded to 635 units, according to Guzman. 

The development, which is still being negotiated, will likely be six or seven stories, although it could go slightly higher, Guzman said. 

Rents are expected to be largely or entirely market rate, which in south Miami-Dade is lower than the skyrocketing rents fueled by population growth elsewhere in the county. 

Homestead and its neighbors had the second-lowest monthly rents among nine county submarkets in the first quarter, at $1,637, much less than the $2,150 average countywide, according to a report from RealPage, provided by Newmark. 

That is expected to attract more residents priced out of prime areas, experts say. 

Obviously, tenants from Miami who are local will move to other parts of the county that are more affordable because they understand the market a little better,” said Alexander Kaushansky of lender Arbor, which is making more south Miami-Dade loans. 

As for the newcomers? “Not every single one of them can afford to live” in the urban core, he said. “So they are going to be moving to Homestead and Naranja.”

The Last of the Mohicans’ 

Across south Miami-Dade, 1,068 new apartments are expected to be completed this year, up from 88 in 2021, according to the RealPage report. 

Additional proposals include Related Group’s plan for a 307-unit apartment complex with retail in seven low-rise buildings and an eight-story building, all on 10 acres in Princeton. 

The site, on the west side of Southwest 127th Avenue and less than a quarter mile north of 248th Street, is in the Princeton Community Urban Center District. The county designated this Princeton area, as well as areas in Naranja, Perrine, Goulds and Leisure City, as urban districts, to allow for denser development. They are near the busway running along U.S. 1.

The districts were created years ago, but the market is at a tipping point, with developers taking a hard look at building garden-style communities in these areas, said De Yurre, the Bilzin attorney. It remains to be seen if mid-rise buildings will be feasible. 

I don’t know if they can build responsibly yet, because it’s a more expensive product,” he said. “Developers are sharpening their pencils and looking at where construction costs go, land costs go.”

The conundrum: Mid-rise buildings are more expensive to construct, partly because they require garages, which could run roughly $30,000 more per space than surface lots. Higher upfront costs means higher rents, but the south Miami-Dade resident is used to getting high-quality, new units at a significant discount, according to De Yurre.  

Builders are considering using prefabricated walls, bathrooms and kitchens, a more efficient way to put projects together “like Legos,” he said.  

The growth of the area around Dadeland Mall could also play a role in more renters moving to south Miami-Dade. “If demand continues the way it does, you are going to see a faster migration to a center of gravity with a nucleus of Dadeland,” De Yurre said.  

Parts of south Miami-Dade are also Opportunity Zones, areas deemed in need of an economic boost. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, investors are incentivized to put their capital gains in Opportunity Zone real estate and business projects in exchange for tax breaks. 

Critics of the law argue it used the 2010 Census to designate areas, resulting in the inclusion of already developed and gentrified areas. 

South Miami-Dade Opportunity Zone investment could be more aligned with the law’s purpose. Yet, attorney Ronald Fieldstone, who represents Opportunity Zone investors, said the area is not yet a prime target. It’s still largely single-family houses, which don’t work for Opportunity Zones’ required long-term hold.

Developer Armando Bravo is not seeking Opportunity Zone funding for his 11 acres at 503 Krome Avenue, which he purchased for $5.4 million in October with plans for a supermarket. 

The development-friendly city politics and low-priced land supply are enough of an incentive to bet on Homestead, he said. 

“I want to call it the ‘Last of the Mohicans.’” Bravo said. 

Everglades politics  

The last time Miami-Dade expanded the Urban Development Boundary was to include 521 acres west of Doral in 2013. 

Hevia and Blumenthal plan the South Dade Logistics project on 800 acres east and beyond the boundary. The land runs from the Florida Turnpike south to Southwest 268th Street and between Southwest 122nd and 107th avenues. 

They separately own or have under contract a combined 335 acres slated for Phases I and II, Hevia said via email. The third phase on 329 acres is owned by others, and the remaining 130 acres are public and utility rights of way. 

They laud the project as a much-needed boon for south Miami-Dade, promising the creation of 12,000 permanent jobs in an area where residents have a 30-mile drive to downtown Miami. Other employment hubs such as Kendall are roughly 20 miles away. 

The largely industrial project would also have offices and retail and possibly a 150-key hotel, Blumenthal said. Not only is Miami-Dade’s industrial pipeline trailing that of other metropolises because of the scarcity of developable land, but a project of this scale is needed because the big-box users such as Target or Amazon need the accompanying smaller last-mile distribution facilities to be nearby, he added. 

The proposed South Dade Logistics site is the only one that can accommodate a development of this scale, they said. 

We searched high and low, both Jose Hevia and myself,” Blumenthal said. “We were shown 15 acres here, 20 acres there. But a collective, contiguous piece of industrial property does not exist.” 

Laura Reynolds, of the Hold The Line Coalition that fights UDB expansion, disagrees. “There are more areas for sale now than when they originally looked, but they should look again,” Reynolds said. 

In fact, because Phase III landowners have not committed to the project, the first two phases can comfortably fit on a 400-acre site also in south Miami-Dade, but within the boundary, she said. 

An entity owned by retired banker and environmental advocate Leonard Abess owns some of the land in the third phase, and asked the county in November to freeze its zoning application, citing concerns by state agencies reviewing the proposal. 

Hold The Line’s concerns with South Dade Logistics include that the land is considered for Everglades and Biscayne Bay restoration, a government initiative to return the natural flow of the Everglades. Also, the wetlands on the site protect from storm surge, and the agricultural portion could prove to be vitally important for future farming needs, Reynolds said. 

The developers’ plan is to raise the land by filling it in, but this would lead to flooding of the residential community to the west, she said. 

Hevia and Blumenthal countered that the project would benefit the environment, as it will allow for Everglades discharges in the bay, but without the runoff from the farms on the site. 

Right now, there is tree farming and groves, and pesticides and fertilizers are all being used and dumped into Biscayne Bay,” Blumenthal said. “We are going to self-contain on the site, so there will be no runoff into the bay.”

Added Hevia: “The water quality improvements to Biscayne Bay will be realized with the South Dade Logistics & Technology District project much sooner than can ever be expected to occur through” the government’s restoration project.

The Miami-Dade County Commission is expected to take a final vote on the proposal this year, with the plan requiring nine out of the 13 commissioners to approve it. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who has opposed the plan, has veto power, although nine votes would be enough to override her. 

The issue of balancing growth and environmental interests has been ever-present in other land-constrained markets, said Ken Johnson, a professor at Florida Atlantic University.

This is a trade-off we have to decide as a society,” he said. “We might have to give up some environmental restrictions. And, well, we might want to maintain some environmental restrictions. Other places have dealt with this, but this is really going to come into focus in Southeast Florida.” 

The post Land of development opportunity: Builders bet on south Miami-Dade appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

DAMAC Properties' Hussain Sajwani and aerial view of Surfside Towers remaining foundation of condominium after collapse (Hussain Sajwani, Getty Images)

DAMAC Properties’ Hussain Sajwani and aerial view of Surfside Towers remaining foundation of condominium after collapse (Hussain Sajwani, Getty Images)

The Surfside collapse site auction is set for later this month, marking a landmark decision in the case and a milestone for unit owners poised to receive sale proceeds.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman late Wednesday approved the auction for May 24, less than a year after the oceanfront condo collapsed on June 24, killing nearly 100 people.

Attorney Michael Goldberg, who serves as the receiver for the Champlain Towers South condo association, filed the motion after stalking horse bidder Damac Properties completed its due diligence site inspection several days earlier than its deadline and asked for the auction to be moved up. Damac will also increase its deposit to $50 million within five business days.

The almost 1.9-acre site is at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside.

Damac, a Dubai-based developer, set the floor purchase price at $120 million in September. It completed its 60-day examination of the property, which originally was due on Friday.

Damac had already put in a $16 million at-risk deposit for the site, but increased its ante in exchange for moving up the auction from June 20. The company’s site examination shows the site is in good shape, Goldberg told the court.

This means other potential buyers, who have access to Damac’s due diligence records, can participate in the auction if they submit their bid and deposits by Friday, May 20.

Hanzman approved the motion to expedite the auction in a short hearing, as the judge has been pushing for a faster sale of the site and a resolution to the case. The auction originally was expected in February or March but was then delayed.

The new date won’t impact the bidders’ pool, as hopefuls have known the property would go to auction for months now, Goldberg said.

He also said that inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could throw the real estate market into uncertainty, so moving up the auction is all for the better.

Michael Fay, who is leading the Avison Young team marketing the site, echoed this, but said it is unclear if others will bid.

“I totally believe that we should do this, and I believe it is a wise move because of the geopolitical risk, interest rate risk and other things we have seen,” Fay said. “We could have zero bidders or up to a dozen bidders. Most of the bidders and most of the people we have been speaking with have been waiting for this day. They wanted to know if Damac would go at risk on their deposit, which you know they have.”

The closing would likely take place within 60 days of the auction, with Hanzman urging for an expedited closing so that 136 condo unit owners in line for a collective $83 million settlement can be paid.

The disbursement to both survivors and families who also have pending death claims for their loved ones, would come from insurance and site sale proceeds. The payments would be divided based on each owner’s percentage ownership stake in the building, pursuant to the condo declaration.

No unit owners opted out of receiving their share of the sale proceeds, Hanzman and Goldberg said.

The auction will be at 10 a.m. and is expected to be held in Courtroom 9-1 at the Children’s Courthouse at 155 Northwest Third Street in Miami.

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Don Peebles and Barry Sternlicht with renderings of proposals to develop city-owned property in Miami Beach (Starwood Capital Group, Integra Investments, Comrass Company, Wikipedia, Getty)

Don Peebles and Barry Sternlicht with renderings of proposals to develop city-owned property in Miami Beach (Starwood Capital Group, Integra Investments, Comrass Company, Wikipedia, Getty)

Developers’ controversial proposals to build offices on city-owned parking lots near Lincoln Road in Miami Beach gained ground on Wednesday.

In a 5-to-2 vote, the Miami Beach City Commission gave preliminary approval to two development groups — one that includes Don Peebles and former mayor Philip Levine, and another that includes Barry Sternlicht and Michael Comras — to construct offices on properties roughly between 17th Street and Lincoln Road, and Meridian Avenue and Alton Road.

The ultimate decision will be made by Miami Beach voters in a referendum expected for Nov. 8.

The proposed projects have divided the commission over South Beach’s future development path.

Mayor Dan Gelber and commissioner Ricky Arriola have supported the redevelopment, arguing that Class A offices will help shed the area’s anything-goes party image and transform it into a true live-work-place city. Vice Mayor Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, one of the dissenting votes, countered that the plans hardly are the best financial deal for the city, and raised concerns over increased traffic that would be generated by these and other nearby projects in the pipeline.

The city issued a request for proposals in 2021 and narrowed down the vying groups to two in February.

Don Peebles, Scott Robins and Philip Levine (Wikipedia, Robins Companies, Twitter)

In one of the proposals, a group consisting of Peebles, as well as Scott Robins and Levine, want to build a six-story, 159,000-square-foot building on 1.4 acres at 1664 Meridian Avenue, according to a city staff memorandum sent to commissioners. The real estate would include 46 market-rate apartments on two stories; 80,000 square feet of offices on three stories; 9,500 square feet of ground-floor retail; and parking.

Nelson Stabile, Michael Comras and Barry Sternlicht (Comras Companies, Getty)

The other proposal, by Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group and Comras’ The Comras Company, both based in Miami Beach, as well as Miami-based Integra Investments, is for a 1.1-acre parking lot at 1080 Lincoln Lane North and a nearby 0.9-acre lot at 1680 Lenox Avenue, according to the staff memo. They envision a total of 129,280 square feet of offices and 24,884 square feet of retail, with a six-story building on Lenox Avenue and an eight-story building on Lincoln Lane. Parking garages would be incorporated in the buildings.

The city would lease the land to each development team for 99 years, or a 51-year term with two 24-year extension options.

The Starwood team would pay the city an initial $2.5 million lump sum; $650,000 in rent in the second year; $725,000 in rent in years three and four; $750,000 in years five and six; and a $1 million lump payment once construction is completed. From there the rent would increase at various intervals of the lease.

The Peebles team would pay the city an initial $2 million lump sum; $150,000 once construction starts; $680,000 once the project is completed; and follow-up increases. Each development team also would pay the city a percentage of its revenue from the real estate, such as tenant lease payments.

Overall, the city will get $354 million minimum base rent, and potentially another $550 million from both projects over the 99 years, according to city staff.

Rosen Gonzalez called the payments “ridiculous” and said the ensuing traffic would create a “circus-like atmosphere.” A better financial term for the city, she said, would be if the developers vowed to share profits with the city if they sell the completed projects.

“Right now we are not getting anything, and I am embarrassed by the terms of this contract,” she said.

Commissioner Mark Samuelian cast the other dissenting vote, saying he supports economic diversification, but prefers the city pursue one project at a time.

Gelber countered that much of Miami Beach’s marquee projects, including the Holocaust Memorial and the New World Center, were built on city-owned parking lots. Plus, this is ultimately about the future the city wants to chart for itself, he said.

Arriola, who spearheaded the redevelopment initiative, said the city’s reliance on tourism is not sustainable because it is susceptible to events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning Miami Beach has to find other drivers.

“Class A office space will hopefully attract some global companies to move here, particularly in tech and finance that would provide an ecosystem,” he said.
Wednesday’s vote approved changes to the land use and comprehensive plan and also directed city staff to hammer out agreements with the developers. The items are scheduled to come back for a public hearing and commission vote on June 22, with the development agreements also slated to go before a city planning board.

South Beach has shown some signs of becoming a budding office market. Sternlicht relocated Starwood’s headquarters from Greenwich, Connecticut, to Miami Beach at 2340 Collins Avenue.

The Gebbia family also is moving the headquarters of its Siebert Financial and Rise Financial companies to 653 Collins Avenue. The family paid $6.8 million for the 12,000-square-foot building, which used to be retail space and is being retrofitted to offices.

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Starwood’s Barry Sternlicht (Getty, iStock)

Starwood’s Barry Sternlicht (Getty, iStock)

Barry Sterlicht’s confidence in Starwood Property Trust was on full display before analysts on Wednesday, as he explained that even a loan on a property that “burned to the ground” is expected to be fully repaid.

The loan backs Calistoga Ranch in California, which was destroyed by fire in November. Now the land is for sale, and it’s expected to trade for “substantially more” than the remaining loan balance, Sternlicht said as he opened his remarks during the real estate investment trust’s first quarter earnings call.

The billionaire chairman and CEO of Starwood also offered his insights on the market. He predicts overall demand will slow, and he’s expecting a recession. But not to worry if you are a Starwood investor, he said: The real estate investment trust has an average 57 percent loan-to-value ratio for its portfolio of loans, a statistic repeated throughout the call.

“It would have to be a complete wholesale destruction of the economy to really dramatically injure us, with demand destruction that would empty office buildings or cause unemployment to skyrocket and wage growth to cease and reverse,” Sternlicht said.

At this point in time, consumers have purchased everything they need, are traveling and spending the last of their stimulus savings, and employees who quit their jobs are rejoining the workforce, he said.

Echoing previous earnings calls, Sternlicht touted the strength of Starwood’s 15,000-unit affordable housing portfolio in north and central Florida, where “rents can’t go down” and are rising as median incomes increase. He said Starwood is the largest owner of apartments in the U.S. with 115,000 units.

“Multifamily is having an incredible run,” Sternlicht said. “Cap rates will be under pressure if rates keep rising, but rental growth is so strong, it’s overwhelming any issues” with rising interest rates.

He also touched on the supply chain, saying he doubts much of what is in the pipeline “will ever get built” and if it does, it won’t be completed on time.

“There is no project I’m aware of that is delivering on time and on budget right now, either here or in Europe,” he said, citing an unnamed developer building a residential project in Miami who is one and a half years late in delivering it because of supply chain issues.

Greenwich and Miami Beach-based Starwood reported $324.6 million in first quarter earnings, or $1.02 per share, up 191 percent from the same period of 2021. The REIT reported $294 million in revenue for the first quarter, up about 2 percent from $287 million in the same period of the previous year. The company’s stock rose about 1 percent to $24.20 per share as of market close Wednesday, compared with an opening price of $23.90.

Sternicht pointed to nuances in office markets around the country. Miami will likely be overbuilt shortly, while Dallas, Austin and Nashville are all “really powerful” office markets, he said. And in weaker markets like New York, “good assets are leasing, and leasing quickly at great rates, but commodity assets are having a harder time.”

Retail is “obviously still a four-letter word,” he said. (This is an improvement from November 2020, when he said all real estate was a “four-letter word” in the capital markets.

Regarding hotels, occupancies and rates are up. But not in San Francisco.

“San Francisco is the worst hotel market in the United States by 1 million miles and probably will remain very challenging,” he said.

Sternlicht also addressed how he is reminded of the dot-com bubble, with a current tech correction that “feels bad.”

Starwood, he said, is “a great place to park cash right now, as the tech world melts down.”

“You’re seeing the fantasy explode. But we’re just boring. We just pay our dividend and continue to execute our business. … We are a sea of stability in a world that’s extremely volatile, and increases in interest rates only help us and help our returns.”

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Ranee Bartolacci and Nir Meir (Getty, iStock / illustration by Ilya Hourie for The Real Deal)

Ranee Bartolacci and Nir Meir (Getty, iStock / illustration by Ilya Hourie for The Real Deal)

A judge has had enough of former HFZ Capital Group principal Nir Meir’s delay tactics.

Thirteen months ago, a state judge ruled that Meir was on the hook for more than $19 million owed to an affiliate of Israeli auto magnate Yoav Harlap.

But Meir has not paid a dime of the debt, which stems from a delinquent loan on a failed Upper East Side project by HFZ.

On Tuesday, the Manhattan judge determined that Meir’s wife Ranee Bartolacci and her company, Ermitage One, owe $12.6 million. The ruling allows the Harlap affiliate, YH Lex Estates, to go after Bartolacci’s assets, including proceeds from the $43 million sale of Meir and Bartolacci’s Hamptons estate.

The judge did not mince words in assailing Meir’s legal tactics, which included trying to put two entities into bankruptcy in Delaware.

“In my time here, I have never seen a series of procedural maneuvers at every turn designed to push off the merits and to get around the merits and move it to a different forum, and to avoid service of various things,” said New York Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen at a hearing April 27.

The drama behind the Meir’s departure from HFZ Capital, the Manhattan embattled development firm all but destroyed by foreclosures and investor lawsuits, could be the plot line for an HBO drama — albeit one that is hard to follow.

Shortly after Meir was terminated from HFZ Capital in December, one of its lenders and creditors, Monroe Capital, sought to eject Meir and his wife from their Hamptons estate. Meir fired back alleging that he, not HFZ, owned the home.

The suit was discontinued and Meir was able to sell the estate to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. After paying back his lenders, Meir was supposed to be left with around $10 million, according to court documents.

The Harlap entity already had a judgment against Meir, so it should have been able to collect from that. But after the sale, Meir’s lawyers argued that his wife had been the property’s true owner and thus the proceeds belonged to her. Meir’s lawyers presented the court an ownership document that appeared to contradict a previous ownership chart.

In the meantime, Meir and his wife moved to Miami Beach, renting a waterfront estate on Sunset Islands for $150,000 a month.

Records show they did not hole up there, watching Netflix and ordering pizza. Rather, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on fine wine, private jets and yacht charters and over $1.5 million on gold coins and bullion, according to checking account records revealed in the lawsuit.

YH Lex Estates also alleged Meir spent $6,000 in a single month at the Gold Rush Cabaret, a strip club in Miami.

Meir’s attorneys said in a previous interview with The Real Deal that the purchases did not indicate any wrongdoing and that the money was Meir’s wife’s to spend.

“Nir had a healthy lifestyle when he was at HFZ, nothing to apologize for,” said Larry Hutcher, Meir’s high-powered attorney. “He was doing well, and his wife has elected to continue to live a lifestyle.”

Bartolacci’s attorney argued in a separate hearing that she had family money, and that the cash was not Meir’s to be handed over to his creditors.

“They were using private jet travel for the last 10 years,” said Pankaj Malik of YK Law. “She was a trust fund baby before she got married.”

All the while, Meir’s former boss, Ziel Feldman, was alleging in another lawsuit that Meir was to blame for HFZ’s collapse. Feldman alleged the executive had stolen millions of dollars from the company in part to pay for his extravagant lifestyle. Meir’s legal team denied the allegations, calling it ludicrous for Feldman to claim that “he had no knowledge of what took place inside his own business.”

In February, Harlap’s lawyer filed another lawsuit against Meir and Bartolacci asking the court to turn over their fleet of luxury cars, including an Aston Martin, to help satisfy the judgment.

The lender’s suit alleged Bartolacci’s company transferred at least $3.7 million back to her husband after April 2021 and that some money went to Applied Bank, a Delaware institution that offers asset protection. Meir’s lawyers have denied that he is trying to hide anything from creditors.

In April, Meir’s lawyers sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware for two Meir-managed entities, which would have delayed the state court proceedings. But a court-appointed trustee blocked that attempt, sending the proceedings back to state court. Meir is challenging that, of course.

Bartolacci finally gave a deposition in April claiming mostly to not know about Meir or HFZ’s finances or the Hamptons house’s ownership structure. She said the waterfront estate was a present and that she could not remember if she herself had bought it.

“There was a birthday party. It was for my birthday and I set up something on the beach, but I don’t recall if I signed a contract or not,” Bartolacci said in her deposition.

YH Lex Estates now has a judgment against Meir, Bartolacci, Feldman and HFZ over the loan.

YH Lex Estates attorney Mark Hatch-Miller declined to comment. Meir’s representative Matthew Hiltzik, president and CEO of prominent communications firm Hiltzik Strategies, declined to comment. Bartolacci’s lawyer, Malik, did not return a request to comment.

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National Association of REALTORS' Charlie Lee (LinkedIn, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

National Association of REALTORS’ Charlie Lee (LinkedIn, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

As one agent commissions lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors trudges along, the group can breathe a sigh of relief over a similar suit.

A federal judge this week dismissed a lawsuit filed last year by New Jersey homebuyer Judah Leeder against NAR, Realogy, Keller Williams, RE/MAX and HomeServices of America, Inman reported. The suit was seeking class-action status.

The lawsuit alleged commission sharing between listing and buyer brokers violates the Sherman Antitrust Act, inflating buyer costs in the form of higher home prices. Judge Andrea R. Wood of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division sided with the defendants, claiming buyers aren’t eligible for damages from antitrust violations because they are indirect purchasers of buyer broker services.

Wood did dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning Leeder could refile the lawsuit if he is able to argue that he’s a direct purchaser of buyer-broker services.

NAR’s senior counsel and director of legal affairs, Charlie Lee, celebrated the judge’s ruling on Tuesday, telling the outlet the decision was “good news.”

The dismissal of the lawsuit is far from the end of NAR’s potential antitrust problems, though.

In the decision, Wood referenced another case she is overseeing, Moehrl v. The National Association of Realtors.

The federal case, which puts forth a similar argument, alleges commission sharing inflates the costs of sellers. A ruling against NAR and Realogy in that case could disrupt the broker commissions model across the country.

Part of Wood’s decision noted the Moehrl lawsuit is “vindicating the public interest in antitrust enforcement as they are actively challenging the same NAR rules.”

In a similar case, a federal judge ruled last month a lawsuit started three years ago by plaintiffs Joshua Sitzer and Amy Winger could receive class-action certification. With the decision, the lawsuit can represent any seller who paid a broker commission for a residential real estate deal across four Missouri MLSs going back eight years ago.

NAR and Realogy both plan to appeal the decision in that case.

[Inman] — Holden Walter-Warner

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Todd Michael Glaser and Tim Hardaway Jr. with 6015 North Bay Road (Getty, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

Todd Michael Glaser and Tim Hardaway Jr. with 6015 North Bay Road (Getty, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

UPDATED, May 5, 11:42 a.m.: NBA player Tim Hardaway Jr. set a record — off the court — with his purchase of a non-waterfront home on Miami Beach’s North Bay Road, The Real Deal has learned.

Hardaway Jr., who plays for the Dallas Mavericks and is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway, paid about $9.2 million for the spec home at 6015 North Bay Road, sources said. The Mavericks are currently in the second round of the playoffs.

Demand for non-waterfront homes has been on the rise, propelled by the eye-popping asking prices for waterfront houses, brokers say.

Developer Todd Michael Glaser built Hardaway’s 4,684-square-foot, six-bedroom home. It was completed this month. Glaser and his partners, Fred Karlton and Charlie Ratner, paid about $1.5 million for the 9,371-square-foot lot in 2016 via 6015 NBR Partners LLC, property records show.

Nelson Gonzalez of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty represented the seller. Isaac Malagon of London Foster Realty represented the buyer. It was most recently asking $8.9 million.

“We raised the price several times. At the end we lowered it, and when we lowered it, we got a flurry of showings and offers,” Gonzalez said. The buyer only toured the house via FaceTime, he added.

The property, designed by Domo Architecture + Design, has two pools, a two-car garage, a summer kitchen and garden. The second floor includes four bedrooms and a family room, which Gonzalez said is becoming more popular.

Glaser said the home was completed in about nine months.

“We decided to land bank it [in 2016] and thank goodness we did,” Glaser said. “We thought we would get $5.9 million.”

Hardaway Jr. has ties to Miami. His dad played for the Miami Heat in the late 1990s, and Hardaway Jr. attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest. Hardaway Jr. joined the NBA in 2013 and played for the Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks before joining the Mavericks in 2019.

Last year, Hardaway Jr. sold the waterfront home at 672 South Shore Drive on Miami Beach’s Normandy Isle for $6.8 million.

Luxury homes in Miami Beach and throughout South Florida have been selling throughout the pandemicc. The off-water properties are now demanding a premium and securing record prices.

Hardaway Jr.’s purchase beats the record set in March for non-waterfront homes on North Bay Road. Investor Chris Paciello flipped the house at 5645 North Bay Road, which once belonged to the late celebrity hairstylist Oribe Canales, for $9 million.

The all-time record for non-waterfront deals in Miami Beach was set last month, when a Sunset Islands home traded for $12.5 million.

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 EverWest Real Estate Investors’ Rick Stone with 635 Northwest Fourth Ave (LinkedIn, Loopnet)

EverWest Real Estate Investors’ Rick Stone with 635 Northwest Fourth Ave (LinkedIn, Loopnet)

Denver-based EverWest Real Estate Investors bought a fully leased Fort Lauderdale industrial property for $14.1 million.

EverWest purchased the warehouse at 635 Northwest Fourth Avenue and a 0.3-acre lot directly south of the building from Dixie Investments IV, according to the buyer’s broker.

Jose Sasson and Roberto Susi of Axiom Capital Advisors represented EverWest. Yishai Sinai of Biscayne Advisors represented the seller.

Charles Frasier, manager of Dixie Investments IV, bought the 62,568-square-foot warehouse for $954,300 in 1993 and the next-door lot for $6,000 in 1997, transferring ownership of both properties to his Dixie Investments in 2005, according to records. The building was constructed in 1986.

The small-bay building is divided into spaces up to 10,000 square feet, Sasson said. It includes 24-foot clear heights and 10 dock-high doors. It’s unclear whether the buyer plans to develop the vacant lot, which currently is used by one of the tenants, Sasson said.

Tenants include boat accessories supplier Cruising’ Tikis and lighting contractor RLS Lighting.

Small-bay industrial properties are in demand, as they offer storage for retailers who have opted out of brick-and-mortar storefronts, Sasson said. Renting industrial space for e-commerce distribution is much more affordable than renting a storefront.

Small-bay buildings are “a very good hedge against inflation due to the rent growth that we have seen and continue to expect to see,” Sasson said.
EverWest, led by CEO Rick Stone, was founded in 2013. Last year it became an affiliate of alternative asset manager Sagard, which has offices in Montréal and New York, according to both companies’ websites.

EverWest invests in various property types. Its other South Florida properties include a 24,730-square-foot retail building at 3034 Grand Avenue in Miami’s Coconut Grove and a 190,000-square-foot industrial property at 5770 Miami Lakes Drive in Miami Lakes.

In January, EverWest paid $58 million for a Pembroke Pines warehouse at 20351 Sheridan Street.

The South Florida industrial market has prospered amid high demand, partly created by e-commerce growth, and a lack of developable land. This has allowed landlords to push up rents and has stirred investment appetite.

Broward County’s industrial asking rent climbed to $11.41 per square foot in the first quarter, up from $10.03 in the first quarter of last year, according to Colliers. The vacancy rate dropped to 4.2 percent from 6.6 percent.

In another recent Fort Lauderdale deal, Morningstar Properties in April bought the self-storage facilities at 421 Northwest First Avenue and 125 Northwest Fourth Street in the Flagler Village neighborhood for almost $30 million.

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18 La Gorce Circle (The Jills Zeder Group/1 Oak Studios) Mansion, Miami

18 La Gorce Circle (The Jills Zeder Group/1 Oak Studios)

A waterfront compound in Miami Beach hit the market for $170 million, an ask that would set a record for Florida home sales if sold at or near that price.

The trust of the late Dr. M. Lee Pearce owns the estate at 18 La Gorce Circle on La Gorce Island. It includes three homes and a park at 16, 18, 22 and 24 La Gorce Circle.

Pearce, who died in 2017, was a controversial activist investor who was known locally for his successful Southeast Bank proxy battle, as well as other attempted bank takeovers, from which he reportedly profited nearly $30 million. He was also a medical doctor who owned hospitals, banks and real estate.

The proceeds from the La Gorce Island sale will eventually go to his nonprofit foundation, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the listing.

The estate is the most expensive residential property on the market in all of South Florida, though at least one other property, the former Ziff estate in Manalapan, once asked nearly $200 million. In January, Miami businesswoman and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht listed her waterfront Miami mansion for $150 million.

The nearly 3-acre La Gorce Island property has about 600 feet of water frontage. It neighbors a mansion owned by the estate of the late businessman George Sherman. Other neighbors on the island include Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits CEO Wayne Chaplin and developer Brett Palos. Rapper Lil Wayne sold his waterfront La Gorce mansion in 2017 for $10 million.

The Pearce-owned property at 16 La Gorce Circle has a two-story home with five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and three half-bathrooms, according to a press release. The house at 18 La Gorce Circle has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one half-bathroom and a guest house. And the two-story house at 22 La Gorce Circle includes five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and five half-bathrooms. Each house has its own dock.

The park, on the western side of the property, has manicured gardens, a bayfront marble gazebo, coral stone walkways and a dock.

Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg of The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker are representing the seller.

Pearce paid more than $3.1 million to assemble the properties in the 1980s.

La Gorce Island is among the neighborhoods in Miami Beach that are seeing a jump in sales. The high-end market of waterfront single-family homes experienced a huge boom in activity, which has slowed down more recently due to limited inventory and sky-high prices.

Last year marked the record for single-family home sales in South Florida with private equity billionaire Scott Shleifer’s $122.7 million purchase of an oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach.

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Naftali Group CEO Miki Naftali and the dev site at 201 North Federal Highway (Loopnet, Naftali Group)

Naftali Group CEO Miki Naftali and the dev site at 201 North Federal Highway (Loopnet, Naftali Group)

Naftali Group is ramping up in South Florida, acquiring its second development site in a little over a month.

The New York-based condo and rental developer, led by Chairman and CEO Miki Naftali, paid $20 million for a nearly 1-acre property at 201 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village, according to records. The acquisition comes on the heels of Naftali’s $40.5 million purchase of a Miami Worldcenter development site in late March.

Naftali obtained a $17.4 million mortgage from Israel Discount Bank for the Flagler Village site, records show. The seller, an affiliate of OceanLand Investments, sold the property for nearly $10 million above its purchase price seven months earlier.

In October, Fort Lauderdale-based OceanLand paid $7.7 million for the 36,500 square foot parcel, which is home to a 6,514-square-foot auto store, records show. The building is leased to Tires Plus, according to a press release.

In a statement, Miki Naftali said his company is seeking to expand its presence in South Florida’s luxury market. The Flagler Village property presents a prime opportunity to develop in a desirable neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale, Naftali said.

A Naftali spokesperson said the plan is to redevelop the site into an apartment project, but declined to provide more details. For the Miami Worldcenter site, Naftali is planning to develop two residential towers, but has not said whether the project will be condos or apartments.

Founded in 2011, Naftali’s current and past portfolio includes 37 condominium and mixed-use projects encompassing more than $12 billion in total value, the release states. The firm recently developed The Benson, one of the fastest-selling new condominium projects in Manhattan.

Big players like Naftali are zeroing in on Flagler Village. Last month, Prospect Real Estate Group bought a development site for $11 million where the New Smyrna Beach-based firm plans to build a 252-unit rental project called Advantis Station.

In March, an entity tied to California-based property management company Thomas Tomanek & Associates paid $195 million for the Motif, a newly built 385-unit apartment building in Flagler Village. And in February, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Asana Partners acquired the fully leased office and retail properties The Hive and Flagler Uptown for $18.3 million.

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