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The Real Deal MiamiWhat does a $14 million “sky villa” look like?Kourtney & Khloé’s former Miami Beach apartment lists for $5.9MMost popular on The Real DealThe Wrap: Miami-Dade pursuing ferry service to Cuba from PortMiami, Tibor Hollo plans 1,044-foot tower in Brickell…and moreRiver Yacht Club — restaurant and boat marina — to open soonGroup P6 breaks ground on Deerfield Beach low-risesParking operator bails on BrickellHouse robotic garageGrass River closes on Metrorail site for $196M developmentDevelopers file plans for new Ojus office condosCompass taps top Coldwell Banker managers to head new LA officesPHOTOS: On the scene at the Estates at Acqualina pop-up sales galleryLiberty takes out two mortgages on Weston warehousesSurfside developer pays $12M for restaurants, retail on CollinsSave the Dates! TRD’s 2016 eventsFake “Made in USA” components used at Miami IntermodalMost popular on The Real DealThe Wrap: American Dream Mall makes country’s biggest mall look small, church files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to stay $5M foreclosure…and moreCheck out who’s signing big leases in SoFlaWaterfront North Bay Road home lists for $15.9MRoyal Stays adds to South Beach short-term rental portfolioSneak peak inside the SLS Lux penthouse collectionMelo tops off its downtown tower MelodyPHOTOS: On the scene at Turnberry Ocean Club’s NYC unveilingBoat show gets green light from Army Corps of EngineersParliament to debate banning Trump from the UKDeveloper buys land in Delray Beach, plans elder homeNewly completed Southwest Ranches estate heads to auctionNational Market Report: Baltimore home sales skyrocket, a notorious DC neighborhood transforms … and moreGreen Companies takes out $25M loan on Dadeland towerMost popular on The Real DealThe Wrap: Most expensive home in the U.S. last year was sold in Miami, Miami’s 10 most anticipated restaurants of 2016…and moreTop five South Florida condo trends to watch for in 2016North Bay Road waterfront home hits market: $9.95MOrangetheory inks lease at Downtown DadelandBBX brings on Altman to develop piece of Hialeah communityAnna Kournikova’s former Portofino pad sells for $11MBenedict Realty Group pays $18M for Surfside buildingTwo Miami apartment complexes fetch $61MHow the Donald came back from the financial brinkIndustry intel: SoFla construction down, Miami home prices upTerra Group boosts loan to $91M for Eighty Seven ParkVIDA at the Point to begin construction later this monthPMG closes on $27M loan for 300 Biscayne siteMost popular on The Real DealReal estate firms get socked by latest market tumbleThe Wrap: Miami has the fourth “smartest” homes in the country, Walmart breaks ground on controversial Midtown Miami store…and moreThe week in luxury: A map of Miami-Dade’s priciest condo salesSold: Celebrity hangout of the ’40s, ’50s on Biscayne BoulevardDoral Court taking bids, heading to auctionUnited Technologies closes $17M land deal for PBG tech centerPHOTOS: On the scene at Pérez Art Museum Miami book launchGlobal stock markets plummet as trading resumesContinuum investor to list unit for $4,260 per square footGalbut pays $10M for tire shop on Alton RoadThe most expensive Los Angeles home sales of 2015Turnberry, Simon score $214M loan for Aventura MallJoint venture picks up Jupiter retail center for $26MDay in the Life of: Chad OppenheimMost popular on The Real DealCanadian firm buys into Daytona Beach retail projectAppellate court tosses out judgment against MarriottEscambia County loses vacation-rental caseBoca revives plan to replace ex-landfill with a parkNational retailers renew effort to repeal liquor lawHighland Beach oceanfront site sells for $11 millionPalm Beach condo sells for $5.25 millionSpeculative industrial project under way in LakelandCarillon renovation expected to start in springSonic steps up expansion via property conversionsWinter Park is Central Florida’s priciest addressClearwater pushes for new downtown residencesNaples-area apartments sell for $58 millionSarasota County gets $200M mixed-use proposalCBRE arranges $16.27 million refinancing for rentalsOrlando-area Disney timeshare foreclosures aboundHappy New Year from The Real Deal!The Wrap: This lush Boca manse is asking $5.5 million, fire engulfs luxury apartments in downtown Dubai…and moreRubio helped cocaine-trafficking brother become Miami RealtorBiggest Miami-Dade residential sales of 2015Biggest South Florida office leases of 2015South Miami office building trades for $40MThe list of missing Chinese financial execs keeps getting longerA look toward the future: SoFla’s hottest renderings of 2015AMLI Residential closes on $57M loan for Doral complexFormer Matheson estate in Key Biscayne sells for record $47MMill Creek sells new Miramar apartments for $120MWestbrook Partners lands $80M loan for Four Seasons BrickellChinese developers courting their own citizens for US condo projectsMost popular on The Real DealThe Wrap: Court slams Miami Open’s bid to expand, Feds move to seize 16 South Florida properties from alleged marijuana trafficker…and moreWhere is Miami in the real estate cycle on the eve of 2016?Pine Tree Drive mid-century home lists for $19.9MJLL, CBRE hungry for more businesses and other brokerages in 2016PMG borrows $34M for unsold units at Echo AventuraBuyer of foreclosure king’s manse adds home next door: $8MAll things must pass? CRE price growth expected to slowNewly built Palm Beach home sells for $7MPHOTOS: On the scene at the Underline’s VIP launch partyThe guy made famous by “The Big Short” for predicting the housing crash has a dark warningForeclosures fall again in Miami-Dade during October Fri, 08 Jan 2016 15:51:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fri, 08 Jan 2016 15:30:37 +0000
Rendering of a Jade Signature sky villa unit

Take an inside look at these ultra-modern duplexes that sit near the top of this 57-story tower. … [more]]]>

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Fortune International Group just released a pair of video previews for its six “sky villas” at the upcoming Jade Signature condo tower in Sunny Isles Beach.
These ultra-modern duplexes start at $14.2 million. And their price tags aren’t the only thing that’s big: while most of the tower’s 192 units range between 1,500 and 3,800 square feet, each sky villa will have a minimum size of 6,305 square feet. The terraces will range between 1,161 and 3,908 square feet.
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Besides the size, the sky villas will feature five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, one half-bath, smart home technology, top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Jade Signature is currently under construction at 16901 Collins Avenue. It’s progressing at about a floor a week, according to builder Suffolk Construction, and is expected to open in early 2017. — Sean Stewart-Muniz 
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Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian and the penthouse they stayed in at the Hilton Bentley
Reality TV stars Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian stayed in a Miami Beach penthouse that will reportedly hit the market for $5.9 million. 
The Kardashian sisters stayed in the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach hotel suite for two months in 2009 and in 2010 while filming “Kourtney & Khloé Take Miami,” the hotel’s general manager told the Wall Street Journal.
Jeff Miller of Brown Harris Stevens | Zilbert is listing the 1,880-square-foot unit, which includes ocean views, two terraces and is fully furnished. It also features stairs that lead to a private roof deck on the 11th floor – complete with an infinity pool and Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean.
The Kardashians paid a discounted rate for the unit, which was owned and operated by the hotel. It typically fetched $2,000 to $5,000 a night, according to the WSJ.
Literary agent Esmond Harmsworth owns the penthouse. He paid $3.6 million for it in 2010, and then “gut-renovated” it. Harmsworth said he uses the condo as a vacation home and is listing the property because he’s moving to Europe.
Another Kardashian-occupied home hit the market in 2013. Palazzo di Mare in North Miami, where Kourtney and Kim Kardashian stayed while filming “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami,” was listed for $14.5 million. According to Miami-Dade County property records, that North Miami home did not sell and has been taken on and off the market since then. [WSJ] – Katherine Kallergis

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Current reader favorites:1. Check out who’s signing big leases in SoFla1. Top five South Florida condo trends to watch for in 20163. Boat show gets green light from Army Corps of Engineers4. Surfside developer pays $12M for restaurants, retail on Collins5. Two Miami apartment complexes fetch $61M
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A September 2009 shot of containers at PortMiami (Credit: Chuck Kramer)Miami-Dade County is looking at building a ferry service to Cuba from PortMiami. In the race to build Miami’s tallest tower, Tibor Hollo is planning to build a 1,044-foot super tower. And developers have proposed a new office/hotel combo in West Palm Beach. Read these stories and more after the jump. … [more]]]>

A September 2009 shot of containers at PortMiami (Credit: Chuck Kramer)
1. Miami-Dade pursuing ferry service to Cuba from PortMiami [Miami Herald]2. Tibor Hollo plans 1,044-foot tower in Brickell [Miami New Times] 3. Hotel-office tower proposed in West Palm Beach [SFBJ]4.  Melo’s Miami River restaurant complex is under construction [The Next Miami]
— Sean Stewart-Muniz
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Rendering of interior of River Yacht Club
River Yacht Club, a restaurant and boat marina venture in the Miami River district, is set to open Feb. 17, as the neighborhood transforms with new developments.
Owned and developed by the Chetrit Group and Dupoux Partners, River Yacht Club, at 401 Southwest 3rd Avenue will feature an indoor-outdoor restaurant, with a garden that will accommodate up to 250 people, along with 100-seat indoor dining. It is not far from the site where the New York-based Chetrit Group plans a nearly $1 billion mixed-use project.
An entity tied to Chetrit purchased River Yacht Club’s 39,495-square foot site in June 2014. CG Miami River LLC, whose manager is Meyer Chetrit, paid $11.5 million for the property, which includes a 10,871-square-foot building built in 1940, Miami-Dade property records show.
Rendering of exterior of River Yacht Club
The focal point of River Yacht Club will be its restaurant, headed by Executive Chef Michael Lewis, who has been the executive chef at Zuma for the past seven years and was previously chef de cuisine at Jean Georges restaurants in Miami, New York and Dubai, according to a release.
Nearby, the Island Garden Marina will have 1,000 feet of linear capacity against the seawall and another 700 feet in the water to accommodate an average of 15 40-50 foot yachts, with special accommodations for up to 150-foot yachts.
River Yacht Club plans to offer membership packages with unlimited docking privileges and discounts and reciprocities with other yacht clubs around the world, according to the release. Dupoux Design spearheaded the architecture and interior design, with landscape design by landscape architect Raymond Jungles. 
Rendering of exterior of River Yacht Club
Dupoux Partners and Dupoux Design are led by Stephane Dupoux, who is also a partner and designer of the Vagabond Group, which developed the Vagabond Hotel and restaurant, according to his LinkedIn page.
River Yacht Club said it is also partnering with VanDutch Yachts for the brand’s first VanDutch Lounge, located on the rooftop terrace.
During the past year, the Miami River has attracted an influx of new projects, including new restaurants, retail, offices and residential developments, in addition to River Yacht Club.
Among them, Chetrit Group and local developer Ari Pearl are planning to build a mixed-used project that includes four towers, a hotel, shops, restaurants, and a public river walk with boat slips. In October, the Miami City Commission approved a development agreement and rezoning of the project’s 10-acre site, located between Southwest Second Avenue and Southwest Third Avenue, the Miami River and Southwest Seventh Street.
And not far away, Shahab Karmely’s Kar Properties is planning One River Point, a 60-story condominium with a sky club, to be built on a park on the Miami River at 24 Southwest Fourth Street.

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Rendering of the Elysian, and Alexander Dick, Ignacio Diaz, Eric Saenz, William West, Jose J. Padua, and Alan Fleischer
At a time when some South Florida condo projects are so tall they need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, a pair in Deerfield Beach stand out for their small scale.
Group P6 held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its Elysian and Fordham developments, two low-rise condos about a block from the beach with a total of 17 units, including nine reserved prior to the start of construction. Prices start at about $500,000.
Mercantil Commercebank last month extended a $4 million loan to help fund construction at the Elysian and the nearby Fordham two condo buildings at sites south of East Hillsboro Boulevard, along Southeast 19th Avenue. Construction is scheduled to conclude in 12 months.
Boca Raton-based Group P6, owned by a Venezuelan family, acquired the Deerfield Beach sites in 2014 and chose to work within their low-density zoning rather than proposing an exception to build taller condos, said Ignacio Diaz, co-operating manager of Group P6.
“We didn’t ask for a variance … We basically followed the rules,” Diaz said in an interview at the groundbreaking event.
Diaz declined to disclose the total cost of the Elysian and Fordham developments. He said the sellout of the seven-unit Elysian and the nine-unit Fordham would generate an estimated $10 million.
Prices at the four-story Elysian start at $639,000, and unit sizes range from 1,200 to 1,750 square feet. Prices start at $499,000 for units at the three-story Fordham, which will range in size from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet. The Fordham’s Emerald Penthouse, which has almost 1,500 square feet of living space and a 405-square-foot balcony, is priced at $629,000.
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The BrickellHouse RoboticValet parking garage
The conflict between developer Harvey Hernandez and his Brickell condo project’s robotic garage operator has come to a head: In the last two weeks, a bankruptcy judge reportedly cut the operator’s contract with Hernandez’s firm.
A photo of the 46-story BrickellHouse tower when it was under construction
Boomerang Systems, a New Jersey design and engineering firm, installed its signature RoboticValet parking system in the 46-story BrickellHouse tower when the building first opened in late 2014. It was Miami’s first-ever fully automated parking system, according to a report in the South Florida Business Journal, and was a big part of the 374-unit tower’s marketing campaign.
The original pitch was a quick and hassle-free parking system. But within months residents were saying otherwise, with some claiming delays during rush hour stretched for hours at a time, according to the SFBJ.
Boomerang filed Chapter 11 in August and claimed its maintenance contract was hemorrhaging money.
Boomerang then shut down the garage completely in November — meaning residents, including Hernandez himself, had to find parking elsewhere.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath then agreed to cancel the contract on Boomerang’s request in late December. Newguard Development Group, Hernandez’s firm, is now free to hire a new operator to use all of Boomerang’s already installed equipment. [SFBJ] — Sean Stewart-Muniz
Check out a video demonstration of how BrickellHouse’s garage works below:
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Coconut Grove development site and a rendering of the project
Grass River Property has closed on the leasehold interest of the Coconut Grove Metrorail development site with plans for a reported $196 million project. 
A sample site plan for the property
First Citizens Bank & Trust sold the 5.18-acre site on the northwest corner of Southwest 27th Avenue and South Dixie Highway in Miami. Sime Realty and Miguel Alcivar, formerly with CBRE, brokered the deal.
Grass River has plans to develop the property, which currently serves as a parking lot for the Metrorail station, into as much as 180,000 square feet of office, 40,000 square feet of retail, 180 hotel rooms, 250 apartments and an 850-space parking deck, Sime Realty’s Scott Sime told The Real Deal. The sale of the leasehold interest closed on Friday, he said. Miami-Dade County owns the land. Albert E. Dotson Jr. of Bilzin Sumberg facilitated the deal, according to a spokesperson.
In mid-December, county commissioners approved a development agreement that requires Grass River to pay Miami-Dade $500,000, as well as $450,000 a year or 3 percent of revenues, according to the Miami Herald. Grass River is also required to spend $5 million on the Metrorail station, including upgrades to escalators and elevators and a new bus terminal. About 200 parking spaces will be reserved for transit users.
The new 90-year lease is tied to litigation over a failed project 15 years ago, the Herald reported. Commercial activity surrounding the site has flourished in recent months. Local developers in August ALFA SF Equity and B Developments purchased a 1-acre property at 2900 Southwest 28th Lane with plans for a mixed-use residential and commercial project. The Metrorail station will also be part of the planned Underline park, a 10-mile long linear park and trail that runs underneath the rail tracks.
Grass River, which is based in Coconut Grove, has been active in the neighborhood. The real estate firm is part of a partnership that purchased a majority interest in CocoWalk for $87.5 million in May, as well as the same partnership that paid $110 million for the Shops at Sunset Place in October. – Katherine Kallergis

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A rendering of the proposed Aventura Square office condo in Ojus
Prive Land Banking and CK Holdings have filed an application for their second Ojus office condo project: Aventura Square.
The proposal is for a six-story building with about 80,000 square feet of usable space, according to a news release from the partnership. Included in that space is 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and the developers also hope to build 16 residential units at the back of the property. Aventura Square, designed by Arquitectonica, would also feature a parking garage with 333 spaces.
Saleable space ranges from entire floors to individual suites that will be between 600 and 2,000 square feet. Pricing details have not yet been released. Along with its offices, Aventura Square would host a package of amenities for its buyers: a sky lounge with conference rooms, entertainment areas with ping pong tables and a wet bar, according to the release.
CK and Prive are awaiting word from county officials who are reviewing their application. Late last year, the pair nabbed approvals for another nearby office condo project, Forum Aventura, which officially launched sales this week.
Aventura Square is slated to be built on a 1.34-acre stretch of land at 18802 and 18820 West Dixie Highway in Ojus, an unincorporated piece of Miami-Dade County that sits between North Miami and Aventura. Some contend that Ojus is gentrifying: investors and developers have been assembling chunks of vacant land with hopes of building mixed-use projects there — somewhat due to attractive pricing compared to more established markets like Aventura.
The development partners paid a combined $2.925 for both parcels in 2014, according to Miami-Dade County records. That breaks down to about $50 per square foot. They also recently picked up a North Miami Beach strip club in September with hopes of turning it into a new mixed-use project— Sean Stewart-Muniz
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From left: Robert Reffkin, Leah Sternberg and John Nisbet
From the New York website: Compass’ rapid West Coast expansion is showing no signs of letting up.
The company, which already has offices in Malibu and Beverly Hills, nabbed two industry veterans from Coldwell Banker to oversee sales in three additional California markets – Montecito, Santa Barbara and Pasadena, it said Wednesday.
Leah Sternberg, a longtime Coldwell Banker manager, will lead the Pasadena office. Sternberg served as district manager for Coldwell Banker for nearly two years, handling clients in the San Gabriel Valley and the northwest region of Los Angeles. She oversaw 15 offices and 900 agents.
John Nisbet, also of Coldwell Banker, will manage the locations in Montecito and Santa Barbara.
Compass declined to comment on the exact locations of the three new offices.
Sternberg and Nisbet are just the latest in a string of high-profile West Coast agents to sign on to Compass since the company launched in the region two months ago. Scott Segall and Jeeb O’Reilly of Douglas Elliman both  jumped to Compass in recent months, as did the Agency’s Ari Afshar.
The firm also recently tapped Jay Rubenstein, a manager at Coldwell Banker’s Malibu West office, to lead its outpost in Malibu.
“We’ve hired over 80 agents in the last 60 days,” CEO Robert Reffkin told The Real Deal of the firm’s California expansion. “They have the opportunity to build a company with their own vision. They decide who we hire, where our offices are.”
Compass hasn’t hesitated to ruffle feathers by poaching brokers from other firms in New York, prompting a lawsuit from the Corcoran Group last year. But Reffkin said there’s been no backlash in Los Angeles so far.
A representative for Coldwell Banker did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the recent departures.
Compass doesn’t plan to call time on its California designs anytime soon. Reffkin said the firm will open further locations in Brentwood and Los Feliz in the next few months.
“We’re focusing on luxury areas across the county,” Reffkin said.
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The Aqualillies, a water ballet company, dive into the sales gallery’s swimming pool

The Trump Group hosted a brokers event to launch the pop-up gallery for the Estates at Acqualina – complete with a fleet of Rolls-Royces, a Bugatti, and the development’s house car, a custom velvet red Ghost Rolls-Royce. … [more]]]>

The Trump Group hosted a brokers event to launch the pop-up gallery for the Estates at Acqualina – complete with a fleet of Rolls Royces, a Bugatti, and the development’s house car, a custom velvet red Ghost Rolls-Royce.
The temporary gallery is located at the Mansions at Acqualina, which began recording closings last year.
The Estates will include Villa Acqualina, a 45,000-square-foot building with a Formula 1 simulator, indoor ice skating rink, bowling, a golf simulator, movie theater, billiard room, kids play room and a Wall Street trader’s club room. The 5.6-acre project has about $450 million in sales with a planned $1.8 billion sellout, Michael Goldstein, director of sales, said in 2015. That equates to 25 percent. The 50-story waterfront development at 17901 Collins Avenue, will include 264 units, starting at $3.9 million up to $40 million. – Katherine Kallergis and Sean Stewart-Muniz
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The warehouses at 2935 and 2945 West Corporate Lakes Boulevard in Weston
The Liberty Property Trust just inked a deal for $27 million in financing for two Weston warehouses — both of which are leased out to major tenants.
Both loans were issued by the Athene Annuity & Life Company, based in Iowa, public records show. The bigger of the two is for $17.451 million and covers the 270,917-square-foot warehouse at 2935 West Corporate Lakes Boulevard.
George J. Alburger, Jr., CEO of the Liberty Property Trust
That building is occupied by leisure giant Royal Caribbean Cruises, which uses the warehouse as its southeast logistics center. Broward County records show Liberty will owe a lump sum of $16.2 million in balance when the loan matures in May 2021.
The smaller $9.9 million loan covers the smaller warehouse: Located at 2945 West Corporate Lakes Boulevard, the 128,840-square-foot building is occupied by Actavis, a global pharmaceutical company that distributes its products from warehouses like this one in Weston.
The terms of the mortgage show that Liberty will owe nearly $9.2 million in principal when the loan matures in May 2021.
Liberty is an $8 billion real estate investment trust based in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The trust owns about 106 million square feet of commercial space throughout the U.S. as of September, and has been an active real estate player since it was founded in 1972.
Recently, the REIT sold one of its Fort Lauderdale office buildings for just under $15 million. Liberty reported a stiff earnings drop in early 2015, when compared to 2014.
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The Denny’s and a map of the properties
A Surfside-based developer bought four commercial buildings on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach — including the site of the popular Buenos Aires Bakery — for $12 million, or nearly $690 per square foot.
Silvia Sabates Coltrane
An affiliate of Transacta Developers, which focuses on hotel and residential developments, purchased the buildings at 7118, 7124, 7134 and 7140 Collins Avenue. Denny’s occupies the corner building in a 2,885-square-foot space; Buenos Aires Bakery in a 4,120-square-foot space; Golden Hair Hands Salon, Master Sang’s TNT martial arts school and a Bank of America – in 10,432 square feet of space.
Miami-Dade County property records show the buildings, which total 17,437 square feet, were built between 1951 and 1966 and sit on a 25,000-square-foot lot. Richards Capital Limited sold the parcels, according to county records. The company, managed by Natalie S. Packman, acquired the buildings in 1994 for an undisclosed amount.
The buyer is involved with projects such as a 175-room Marriott Residence Inn on Collins and 92nd Street, according to Transacta CEO Silvia Sabates Coltrane’s LinkedIn profile. The firm is also “negotiating the acquisition” of a second hotel site in Miami Beach, her profile reads.
Transacta financed the Miami Beach sale with a $7.2 million mortgage from Lion Financial. Both transactions closed on Dec. 31. Benedict Realty Group closed on a commercial building also in Surfside – on Harding Avenue and 96th Street – for $18 million before the end of 2016.

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From left: TRD managing editor Hiten Samtani, Bess Freedman, Peter Fine, Leonard Steinberg, Andrew Heiberger and Ryan Serhant. These New York natives expressed their new-found love for Miami, and why they’re making moves down south.

As The Real Deal embarks on yet another year of explosive growth and exciting new opportunities for our audience, we are thrilled to announce three exciting events on the books for 2016. … [more]]]>

As The Real Deal embarks on yet another year of explosive growth and exciting new opportunities for our audience, we are thrilled to announce three exciting events on the books for 2016.
On April 14, The Real Deal with host its annual Broward County Showcase & Forum at the Design Center of the Americas. Last spring, the event brought together more than 3,000 of South Florida’s biggest names — from brokers, developers and designers to investors and homebuyers — for a day of networking and learning. And this year will be even bigger. The 2016 showcase will feature real estate luminaries discussing the future of Broward County, more than 30 development projects and an unparalleled opportunity to connect with 3,000+ prospects. Didn’t make it to our last event? Here’s a look at what you missed. Make sure to join us this year!
Last October, more than 4,500 people convened at The Real Deal’s annual South Florida Showcase & Forum. On October 20, The Real Deal is hosting the 3rd Annual South Florida Showcase & Forum — primed to be yet another record-breaking event —at Soho Studios in Wynwood, where attendees will again participate in a full day of panels, networking and viewing new developments. This showcase has become absolutely mandatory for everyone in the industry. The event will feature top real estate players sharing their industry insights, more than 50 booths showcasing developments and real estate products, and an exclusive opportunity to connect with 4,000+ prospects.  
And, for the first time, The Real Deal will bring its U.S. Real Estate Showcase & Forum to Toronto. This inaugural event will take place on March 30 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Most foreign investors expect to put even more money into U.S. property in 2016 than they did last year, making Canada — which in 2014 represented 32 percent of foreign buyers in Florida — a critical market for the U.S. real estate industry.  
More details on these exciting events — and, on our fall 2016 showcase in China — will be available soon. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ross Fox at For editorial inquiries, please reach out to Heather Grossmann at

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Miami Intermodal Center
A Wisconsin-based contractor who performed work at the Miami Intermodal Center pleaded guilty this week and paid $3 million in criminal and civil fines for defrauding the federal government.
The charges stemmed from Novum Structural LLC claims that it used materials forged and manufactured in the United States for at least three federally funded projects: The United States Courthouse in Rockford, Illinois; a street car expansion in New Orleans, and the $2 billion Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) by Miami International Airport.
Instead, Novum used cheaper goods manufactured in China, said Milwaukee attorney Brian Mahany, who represented whistleblower and former Novum employee Brenda King.
“We know in Miami they were substituting goods and making a profit on it,” Mahany told The Real Deal.
According to King’s lawsuit, filed in August 2012, Novum collected nearly $15 million for fabricating and shipping materials used in the construction of the MIC.
That project required the materials to be made in the United States, unless a waiver was filed, in accordance with the 1933 Buy American Act, which requires materials in federally funded projects to be manufactured in the United States as a means of protecting American jobs. Instead, “many of these components were manufactured in The People’s Republic of China,” the suit says.
Michael Hernandez, spokesman for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, said the MIC was a project overseen by the Florida Department of Transportation. FDOT spokeswoman Maribel Lena did not return a phone call from TRD.
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Novum Structures specializes in the design and construction of glass space frames used for roofs and atrium enclosures, according to a press release from the United States’ Department of Justice. Travis Loften, Novum’s vice president, said in a statement that his company accepts “full responsibility for our actions” and vows to “fully comply with contractual requirements going forward.”
“It is important to note that the noncompliance relates solely to the country of origin of the products. At no time was there an issue with the quality of materials used. Novum has taken action to resolve the vast majority of non-compliance issues on all projects, including the Miami Intermodal Center,” he said in the statement. “Today, the MIC is in full compliance with Buy America requirements.”
Loften also said that “non-compliant materials represented less than 3 percent of the value of work Novum did on projects subject to the Buy American requirements,” according to the statement.
A resident of Hubertus, Wisconsin, Brenda King worked at Novum as an expeditor from 2004 to 2012. In her whistleblower lawsuit, King claimed she “frequently spoke with officers and managers of Novum regarding components made outside the United States.” In November 2011, according to the lawsuit, the company’s president and owner, Ian Collins, specifically told King and a colleague “that it was the project managers’ responsibility to lie if caught.”
During that same month (November 2011), Collins told King to “falsify a quality manual for the Miami Intermodal Center to indicate that the company was following a 100 percent traceability standard of all components to insure that all components were made in the United States,” the suit says.
King also witnessed employees repackaging components to make them appear they were made in the U.S. After complaining to her supervisor, King filed a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act. Her suit was soon taken over by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
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Current reader favorites:1. Top five South Florida condo trends to watch for in 20162. Where is Miami in the real estate cycle on the eve of 2016?3. Anna Kournikova’s former Portofino pad sells for $11M4. Turnberry, Simon score $214M loan for Aventura Mall5. Two Miami apartment complexes fetch $61M
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Rendering of American Dream MiamiTriple Five’s plan to build the American Dream Mall makes the country’s current biggest shopping center look small by comparison. A family-run church in Jupiter is filing for bankruptcy to try and save itself from foreclosure. And a new survey shows real estate insiders think 2016 will be a bright year for Miami. Read these stories and more after the jump. … [more]]]>

Rendering of American Dream Miami
1. American Dream Mall makes country’s biggest mall look small [Miami Herald]2. Church files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to stay $5M foreclosure [SFBJ] 3. Survey: 2016 won’t turn real estate market upside down in South Florida [Miami Herald]4.  Wynwood Walls Garden survives Art Basel and looks ahead [Miami New Times]
— Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 23:00:17 +0000
Aerial shot of Brickell City Center under construction

New year, new leases: the first few days of 2016 have already seen companies sign some huge leases in South Florida, including a trophy space at one of the upcoming Brickell City Centre office towers. … [more]]]>

Aerial shot of Brickell City Center under construction
New year, new leases: the first few days of 2016 have already seen companies sign some sizable leases in South Florida, including a trophy space at one of the upcoming Brickell City Centre office towers.
The Real Deal analyzed data from CoStar Group, a commercial real estate information company, to come up with some of the biggest deals signed so far this year:
Southern Wine and Spirits
The country’s largest booze distributor just signed a big industrial lease in West Palm Beach.
Miami-based Southern Wine and Spirits, which already operates in 35 states, agreed to rent 28,325 square feet of space of an upcoming five-building industrial park at 6800 Belvedere Road.
Cushman & Wakefield brokered the lease, which was valued at $225,000 annually, according to data from CoStar. The 352,771-square-foot development is being built by the McCraney Property Company, which expects to open the warehouses in July 2016. Southern will start occupying building five, the smallest one out of the park, in December this year.
The lease breaks down to about $7.94 per square foot, which is right in line with what CoStar quotes as the development’s asking rate.
Akerman LLP
Rendering of Brickell City Centre
News about law firm Akerman’s move to Brickell City Centre had broken months ago, but now the lease has officially been signed — and this time CoStar data could give a sneak peak into just how pricey it is.
Akerman inked a deal for 110,506 square feet of office space at the 12-story Three Brickell City Centre tower that’s under construction. That counts for about 80 percent of the 134,552-square-foot building, which developer Swire Properties originally planned to open as a wellness center. The offices will open in February 2016.
CoStar says the tax and operating expenses for the lease would cost $1.94 million a year alone, or roughly $17.60 per square foot. Asking rates at the building are $50 per square foot, but Akerman’s actual rent is unknown due to confidentiality agreements.
Akerman, which is rated as one of the U.S.’s top 100 law firms, is well known for its work in the real estate and finance industries.
The three-story office building at 400 North Congress Ave
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida’s environmental agency just sealed a deal for 28,792 square feet of office space in a West Palm Beach government building.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection leased about a third of the space at 400 North Congress Avenue for $619,000 per year. The three-story building measures 72,000 square feet and is also occupied by the Florida Department of Financial Services, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Cushman & Wakefield brokered the deal. The landlord is Calidus Holdings, an investment company that focuses on commercial real estate.
The deal breaks down to $21.50 per square foot.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that law firm Akerman LLP signed a lease for $17.60 per square foot at Brickell City Centre. The firm’s actual lease rate is unknown due to a confidentiality agreement.
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 22:15:57 +0000

6500 North Bay Road
A Miami Beach allergist-immunologist has listed his waterfront home in Miami Beach for $15.9 million, or about $2,400 per square foot. 
Fabian Garcia-Diaz and Allan Kleer
Dr. Philip C. and Phyllis Mirmelli own the home at 6500 North Bay Road. County records show the Mirmellis paid $530,000 for the property in 1988. The 6,637-square-foot residence, originally built in 1950, was recently renovated. It includes six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and nearly 250 feet of water frontage. It sits on a 17,532-square-foot lot.
Fabian Garcia-Diaz and Allan Kleer of Fortune International Realty are the exclusive listing agents. The owners spent about $250,000 in exotic trees and landscaping, Kleer told The Real Deal. It hit the market on Wednesday.
Garcia-Diaz and Kleer said they are marketing the property to their client base as well as through Fortune’s partnership with New York-based affiliate Town Residential. The property includes two docks that can fit up to a 100-foot yacht, as well as a custom-built second-story master suite with panoramic views.
North Bay Road is home to a number of new spec homes, although Garcia-Diaz said the property at 6500 North Bay Road is not a tear-down. Developer Peter Fine is building a 15,000-square-foot spec mansion at 6440 North Bay Road, priced at $30.5 million. His firm, To Better Days Development, is also building a spec home at 6010 North Bay Road.
The bayfront strip has also attracted such celebrities as Ricky Martin, Matt Damon and Calvin Klein, who announced in May that he was selling his home at 4452 North Bay Road for $16 million. Also last year, singer-songwriter Phil Collins bought Jennifer Lopez’s former North Bay Road waterfront mansion, at 5800 North Bay Road, for $33 million.
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 21:30:04 +0000

Clockwise from top left: Courtyard, L’Etoile, Hispanola House and Casa Gaby
Royal Stays Miami has purchased four buildings with 31 units in South Beach for a combined $12.5 million, with plans to operate them as short-term rentals.
The Miami Beach-based company purchased the portfolio in late December, effectively doubling its vacation rental operating portfolio, Tal Alon, general manager of Royal Stays told The Real Deal.
The properties are among just eight buildings in the Flamingo Park neighborhood that are grandfathered in to allow legal short term rentals, he said. 
The buildings, featuring one- to four-bedroom units, include:
Courtyard, 1536 Jefferson Avenue  
L’etoile, 1534 Euclid Avenue
Casa Gaby, 1032 Michigan Avenue
and Hispanola House, 1440 Pennsylvania Avenue
Royal Stays plans to renovate the Art Deco buildings within the next year, with porcelain flooring, updated bathrooms and kitchens and and furnishings, Alon said.
The hotel and vacation rental company, owned by New York-based investor Yedidiah Buchwald, currently operates several vacation rentals throughout South Beach and Brickell in condo-hotel buildings. The company also operates the 12-unit Boutique 18 hotel at 235 18th Street in Miami Beach.
In addition, Royal Stays Miami is renovating a 50,000 square foot building at 2115 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, which will be called the Hotel Belleza. The 81-room apartment-hotel will have some rooms that are able to be combined into larger two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites. Plans are to open in the next three to six moths, Alon said
“Our goal as a company,” he said, “is to give travelers several different options in South Beach to rent legal short term rentals.”
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 20:45:59 +0000
From left: A rendering of SLS Lux, drone footage of construction in the Brickell area and the interior penthouse collection

New renderings of SLS Lux, a joint venture between the Related Group and the Allen Morris Company, reveal a look inside the 58-story tower’s penthouse collection. … [more]]]>

New renderings of SLS Lux, a joint venture between the Related Group and the Allen Morris Company, reveal a look inside the 58-story tower’s penthouse collection.
The 1,200-square-foot units feature 12-foot ceilings, custom gourmet kitchens and views of the city, bay and ocean. When completed in the fall of 2017, SLS Lux will have 450 residences and 84 luxury suites. Hospitality group sbe will operate the hotel, which will include a Ciel spa, a cocktail lounge, and the restaurant Katsuya by sbe on the ground floor.
The developer also released drone photography of the Brickell area construction.
Arquitectonica designed the mixed-use building, with public spaces and designer suites by Yabu Pushelberg. A Fernando Botero bronze statue and a large-scale mural by Fabian Burgos will also be on display in the project’s public spaces.
Related secured $166.1 million in financing for SLS Lux. The tower, on South Miami Avenue and Southeast Eighth Street, will offer amenities such as a rock climbing wall, fitness center, outdoor theater, wine cellar and cigar room, a Lux sky library and limo services to Hyde Beach.
In November, Related slashed deposits on the condo tower from 50 percent to 30 percent. Units range from the $500,000s to more than $5 million. Related also cut deposits at Brickell Heights earlier in 2015. – Katherine Kallergis
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 20:00:34 +0000

The 38-story Melody construction site in downtown Miami
In one of this year’s first big condo announcements, Melo Group just topped off its 38-story rental tower Melody in downtown Miami.
Construction on the mixed-use building began in late 2014, and Melo expects work to wrap up in May of this year. The tower will have 497 units when completed, along with 8,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
A rendering of the finished Melody tower
So far, about 5,600 square feet of the ground-floor commercial space has been leased, leaving 2,900 square feet available. The developer has signed two restaurant tenants: Brazil’s Parmegiana Factory and New York Miami Pizza.
Melody is located on an acre of land at 245 Northeast 14th Street, across the street from downtown Miami’s Arsht Center and about two blocks away from the Metromover station.
Units at the building will range in size between 750 and 1,300 square feet. Rental rates are as follows: $1,600 per month for a one-bedroom unit, $1,850 for two bedrooms and $2,300 for three bedrooms. Leasing is expected to start within the next several months, according to a news release from Melo.
Melo Group principal Carlos Melo said the building will cater to younger renters who work in the area.
Some of the building’s amenities will include a resort-style pool on an elevated deck, fitness center, valet service and a social room for residents. The residences themselves will feature stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, wood floors and in-unit washers and dryers.
Miami-Dade County records show Melo paid $9.5 million for the site in 2013, which was once a surface parking lot for the Arsht Center. It was sold by the Florida Grand Opera, self described as the county’s seventh-oldest opera company. — Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 19:15:41 +0000
From left: The Real Deal publisher Amir Korangy, Uri Mermelstein and Chris Leavitt (Photo Credit: Stephen Smith)

Turnberry Ocean Club hosted an event at the Baccarat Hotel in New York City to announce that the project is registered in New York. … [more]]]>

Turnberry Ocean Club hosted an event at the Baccarat Hotel in New York City to announce that the project is registered in New York.
The Real Deal Magazine sponsored the event, which included more than 150 brokers. ONE Sotheby’s International Realty is marketing the 154-unit development in Sunny Isles Beach. Turnberry Ocean Club will feature three-, four-, five- and six-bedroom units, from 3,000 square feet of interior space to 11,000 square feet, and from 4,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet – including terraces.
The tower also will have 70,000 square feet of amenities, including a $100 million Sky Club with cantilevered “sunrise” and “sunset” infinity-edge swimming pools suspended 333 feet above sea level, indoor and outdoor fitness centers, a blow-dry bar and nail salon, yoga and Pilates studios, a pet retreat, a pool bar, two restaurants, a 3,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor private dining area, and an an indoor and outdoor cocktail lounge. – Katherine Kallergis and Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 18:30:28 +0000

Miami Marine Stadium (credit: Rick Bravo)
The Miami International Boat Show has cleared its final permitting hurdle, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week gave the event’s organizers the green light to build temporary docks and boat slips at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.
The boat show, scheduled for Feb. 11-15, is relocating from its longtime home at the Miami Beach Convention Center to Virginia Key this year.
Installation of hundreds of floating docks and more than 1,000 pilings in the basin had already begun, officials for boat show operator National Marine Manufacturers Association, or NMMA, told The Real Deal.
“We look forward to welcoming boating enthusiasts from across the globe to Miami in February,” said Cathy Rick-Joule, the boat show’s director, in a statement. “As we have for decades, we will operate the show with respect for the environment and in compliance with all local, state and federal requirements.”
On Dec. 28, the corps issued a five-year permit to NMMA allowing construction of the dock system and other temporary structures in the water. Construction contractors have 38 days to erect them. The association had also secured environmental permits from Miami-Dade County and the state in early December.
The permits include conditions requiring NMMA to enact measures that protect manatees, sea grasses, sea turtles and coral in the basin, including having designated workers act as a lookout for sea cows when in-water construction work is being performed, and conducting surveys of the seagrass before and after the boat show.
The NMMSA obtained the permits despite vociferous opposition from environmentalists and Key Biscayne village officials, who over the past year have waged a campaign to stop the boat show’s relocation to Miami Marine Stadium. Key Biscayne still has pending lawsuits against the city of Miami, which entered into an agreement with the NMMA to host the boat show, aimed at driving the event out of Virginia Key.
Key Biscayne Mayor Mayra Peña Lindsay said county, state and federal officials still have concerns about the boat show’s impact because they did not grant NMMA long-term permits.
“The Miami-Dade County Commission rejected the NMMA’s request for a 10-year permit and put in place over 60 conditions and restrictions that will keep the boat show on a very short leash, which is validation that this unnecessary and risky commercial venture requires intense scrutiny,” Lindsay said in a statement.  “The Army Corps of Engineers has now issued similar onerous restrictions of their own and the Village of Key Biscayne will remain vigilant as the region’s environmental watchdog, even as our legal challenges remain in play.”

]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 17:45:38 +0000

Donald Trump (credit: Donald J. Trump for President)
From the New York website: GOP front-runner Donald Trump may be forced to swallow some of his own medicine.
Later this month, the British parliament will officially debate a proposal to ban the outspoken developer from entering the country.
A public petition calling for the ban received 550,000 signatures. In Britain, all such petitions that are signed by over 100,000 thousand people must be officially considered for debate in parliament.
The government said Tuesday the issue would actually come to the floor, The Hill reported.
Trump’s campaign condemned the announcement in harsh terms.
“Westminster would create a dangerous precedent and send a terrible message to the world that the United Kingdom opposes free speech,” a spokesperson told Fox News.
Trump infamously called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the U.S., following the terrorist attacks in Paris, France and San Bernardino, CA.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a statement from his campaign said.
Trump’s development firm – the Trump Organization – also threatened to pull the plug on its U.K. investments.
The proposal was widely condemned by U.S. politicians, with no less than former Vice President Dick Cheney saying it “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”
David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, called the idea “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”
The Real Deal recently reported that the Zeckendorf brothers were splitting their 2016 presidential campaign contributions between Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. [TheHill and Fox News] – Ariel Stulberg
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 17:00:11 +0000

The land at 4840 West Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach
Providence One Partners recently paid $3.9 million for a chunk of land in Delray Beach, where it plans to build a new senior housing community — complete with a Tai Chi studio.
The deal, brokered by Avison Young, covers 4.1 acres of vacant turf at 4840 West Atlantic Avenue. It’s been owned for the last seven years by embattled Delray developer Anthony Pugliese, whose company also holds a 61-square-mile stretch of empty land at Florida’s Yeehaw Junction.
Pugliese first paid $1.8 million for the Delray land it sold to Providence, or roughly $439,024 per acre.
By contrast, Providence paid about $951,219 per acre after scoring site plan approvals from city commissioners in late 2015.
Dubbed Providence Living on Atlantic, the project will have 145 beds and a slew of amenities including an on-site restaurant, hair and nail salon, craft room, fitness center and Tai Chi studio. The three-story facility will also have a private theater and chapel, according to a press release. When completed, it will measure 133,600 square feet.
Providence One Partners has a handful of other apartments and assisted care facilities under development throughout Florida. The company was founded in 2008 by Tom Green and Michelle Pierce, two veteran developers. — Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:15:54 +0000

13607 Bella Ranch Lane in Southwest Ranches
A newly completed mansion in Southwest Ranches is heading to the auction block with a substantial price chop – from $8.4 million to a reserve of $2.7 million. 
The estate, which includes a private lake, pool deck, summer kitchen, gym, spa and cedar wood sauna room, will go to auction on Jan. 23. The two-story home was finished in 2014 and features seven bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, according to a press release. Four of the bedrooms are suites with walk-in closets and private bathrooms. Platinum Luxury Auctions will hold the sale.
Robert and Neuza Padilha own the 4-acre estate at 13607 Bella Ranch Lane. Broward County property records show the Padilhas paid $2.06 million for the property in 2008. The home spans 15,500 square feet, and includes a fireplace, breakfast bar, office with a balcony, an indoor retractable basketball hoop, sports bar, billiard room and a glass wall waterfall feature. The gourmet kitchen has Miele appliances, a Japanese grill with hood and two pantries, according to the release.
Southwest Ranches, an affluent town south of Weston and west of Cooper City, has been home to athletes and celebrities such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, NFL players Asante Samuel, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne and Karlos Dansby. The town also features a number of horse ranches and equestrian estates. – Katherine Kallergis
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 15:30:38 +0000

A rendering of the Atlantic Plumbing building in Washington, D.C.
From the New York magazine’s January issue: The Shaw neighborhood in the nation’s capital is in the midst of a rapid transformation. Developer JBG — the company behind an office building a block north of the White House and several major developments in the D.C. metro area — is marketing four trendy rental and condo buildings with 862 units in Shaw to millennials, according to the New York Times. [more]
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:45:34 +0000

The Dadeland Centre II office tower in Miami
For the second time in the last 12 months, the Miami-based Green Companies just sealed a $25 million financing deal for one of its Dadeland office towers in Miami.
The loan, issued by New York Life Real Estate Investors, covers the Dadeland Centre II office tower at 9150 South Dadeland Boulevard. It’s a 15-story building with 113,691 square feet of space that is 84 percent leased. Some of the tenants include law firm Cole, Scott & Kissane and Credomatic of Florida, a payment solutions company.
Built in 2008, the building also features a parking podium with 250 spaces and hurricane-resistant glass windows.
Commercial brokerage HFF brokered the 10-year, fixed-rate loan on behalf of the Green Companies.
In June 2015, the debt team at HFF also brokered another loan for Dadeland Centre I on behalf of the Green Companies. The dollar amount was $31 million, and it was also assigned by New York Life Real Estate Investors.
The Green Companies is a family owned real estate business with about 2 million square feet of commercial space in its portfolio. Some of those holdings include Datran I and II, two office buildings; the Dadeland Centre offices; the Towers of Dadeland apartment complex and the Greenery Mall. — Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:00:30 +0000

Current reader favorites:1. Turnberry, Simon score $214M loan for Aventura Mall2. Anna Kournikova’s former Portofino pad sells for $11M3. Galbut pays $10M for tire shop on Alton Road4. Where is Miami in the real estate cycle on the eve of 2016?5. Sold: Celebrity hangout of the ’40s, ’50s on Biscayne Boulevard
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 23:15:44 +0000
Renderings of the penthouse units at Faena HouseThe most expensive home sold in the U.S. during 2015 was in Miami. Check out this list of the ten most highly anticipated Miami restaurants for 2016. And Deerfield Beach is undergoing an upscale evolution, except for one problem area. Read these stories and more after the jump. … [more]]]>

Renderings of the penthouse units at Faena House
1. Most expensive home in the U.S. last year was sold in Miami [The Next Miami]2. Miami’s 10 most anticipated restaurants of 2016 [Miami New Times] 3. Deerfield’s upscale beach vision coming true except for one spot [Sun Sentinel]4.  LeBron’s wife closing Brickell juice shop [Miami Herald]
— Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 23:00:39 +0000

Peter Zalewski
In practically every industry, January is a time for gazing into the proverbial crystal ball to predict what the next 12 months could hold for the market, and then taking steps to capitalize on the anticipated trends.
In embracing this theme, my first column of the year is dedicated to anticipating the trends in the South Florida condo market that are likely to emerge east of I-95 in the tri-county region of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach in 2016.
Fortune telling, so to speak, is clearly not a science, so the odds of correctly predicting future market trends is extremely difficult if not outright impossible, especially in a complex economy such as South Florida where domestic and international issues are constantly changing the local landscape.
Understanding that the chances of being wrong — and being widely criticized for it — are probably greater than being right, here are the five trends to watch for in reverse order for the South Florida condo market during this upcoming year:
5. Rental market begins to stall
Cheap rental rates were one of the main benefits for residents to emerge following the 2007 crash of the South Florida condo market, due to overbuilding and easy financing. At the time, owners of newly constructed or recently converted condo units slashed lease prices in order to attract tenants and generate revenue. As the units became inhabited and the economy recovered, landlords started raising prices at an aggressive pace to recoup some of the defector subsidies that were effectively provided to tenants during the downturn.
The record high rental rates now being achieved in South Florida has led to a flurry of construction of rental units and preconstruction condos that began to come onto the market in 2015 and are expected to continue for the next three years. More supply of rentable units is likely to mean lower rental prices in the near future, unless South Florida’s economy suddenly adds an industry that can generate a large number of high paying jobs.
4. Real estate commissions increase
The supply of preconstruction and resale condo units in South Florida is rising to some of the highest levels since the previous cycle that stretched from 2003 to 2010. As owners and developers want — or need — to sell their existing or planned units, the last element of a real estate deal these individuals are typically willing to revise is the price.
Watch for real estate commissions to rise to new highs in 2016 in an early attempt to transaction units before having to reduce prices.
3. Cancellation of more proposed condo projects
The original plans for nearly 20 new South Florida condo towers with more than 2,800 units have been changed since this current real estate cycle began in 2011. These projects were revised for a number of reasons, ranging from changing market conditions to developers flipping land for hefty returns.
Watch for a growing number of proposed projects to pivot if they fail to meet their presale requirements during this winter buying season that ends in April.
2. Foreign buyers increasingly shop for value
The South Florida condo market emerged from the boom-bust era of the last decade as a result of a weak U.S. dollar and cheap condo prices. Foreign buyers rushed into South Florida to take advantage of the value created by the struggling U.S. economy and an oversupply of condo units on the market. In the last 18 months, the dollar has gained significantly against most international currencies concurrently as South Florida real estate prices have rebounded to levels last seen at the peak of the previous real estate cycle.
Watch for foreign buyers — who still want to park their money in South Florida — to increasingly look for cheaper alternatives, whether it be in the quality of the condo units or their location.
1. Mortgage financing increases 
South Florida’s current real estate cycle has primarily benefitted the out-of-town cash investors who have been buying up properties with the intent of renting out the units to local residents who are financially unable to purchase. An argument can be made that a lack of access to financing is a primary reason for the low level of local participation up to this point in the current cycle.
As the Federal Reserve proceeds on a trajectory to raise interest rates and inherently bolster bank profits in 2016, watch for more lenders to increasingly take chances on making loans to primary users who are beyond ready to move out of pricey rental units.
The unanswered question going forward is whether the year 2016 will prove to be a time of transition to slower growth for South Florida’s real estate market.
Peter Zalewski is a real estate columnist for The Real Deal who founded Condo Vultures LLC, a consultancy and publishing company, as well as Condo Vultures Realty LLC and CVR Realty brokerages and the Condo Ratings Agency, an analytics firm. The Condo Ratings Agency operates, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 22:15:49 +0000

6050 North Bay Road, Miami Beach
A waterfront, mid-century home at 6050 North Bay Road in Miami Beach has just hit the market for $9.95 million.
Nelson Gonzalez, senior vice president of EWM Realty International has the listing.
The 3,915-square-foot home, built in 1951, sits on a 19,685-square-foot lot, according to property records. It has four bedrooms and six bathrooms.
The property features floor-to-ceiling impact doors and windows, an open floor plan and a new kitchen. The home also a bar, media room and library, as well as a pool deck with cabana, new seawall, dock and boat lift, according to the listing.
Nelson Gonzalez
“It’s a fabulous, mid-century modern home,” Gonzalez told The Real Deal.
Miami-Dade property records show the owner as Christopher Findlater, in care of Schaus Associates. He paid $2.978 million for the home in 2009.
According to his LinkedIn page, Findlater is an internet entrepreneur who focuses on online journalism, fair elections and climate change. He also calls himself an activist investor.
Findlater founded and was the CEO of NetQuote, which was purchased by Bankrate for $202.8 million in 2010, according to the New York Times’ DealBook.
His North Bay Road neighborhood in Mid-Miami Beach has seen much activity among buyers, sellers and spec home developers in recent months. Developer Peter Fine is building a 15,000-square-foot spec mansion at 6440 North Bay Road, priced at $30.5 million. His firm, To Better Days Development, is also building a spec home at 6010 North Bay Road.
In October, a waterfront mansion at 5930 North Bay Road, was listed for $29.5 million. Whitehall is one of many multimillion-dollar assets to be sold off following the tax fraud conviction of Mauricio Assor and his son, Leon Cohen-Levy.
In August, a nearly 1-acre waterfront lot at 5840 North Bay Road was listed for $19.95 million.
And in June, singer-songwriter Phil Collins bought Jennifer Lopez’s former North Bay Road waterfront mansion, at 5800 North Bay Road, for $33 million.
Over the years, Miami Beach’s North Bay Road waterfront has also attracted such celebrities as Ricky Martin, Matt Damon and Calvin Klein, who announced in May that he was selling his home at 4452 North Bay Road for $16 million.

]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 21:30:59 +0000

Downtown Dadeland
Orangetheory is stretching its legs and expanding to Downtown Dadeland, real estate firm CREC announced on Tuesday. 
CREC brokers Steven Henenfeld and Rafael Romero
The fitness company, which recently opened its 300th store, will open in a 3,300-square-foot space in May. It joins new tenants such as Nanndi Homemade Frozen Cream & Pastry Shop and Barley an American Brasserie.
Orangetheory Fitness is part of the shopping center’s revitalization. A joint venture between Pebb Capital and Duncan Hillsley Capital owns the property, which spans 127,635 square feet of retail space. CREC’s Rafael Romero and Steven Henenfeld represented the landlord.
A spokesperson declined to disclose lease details.
Mike Singer, owner of the fitness chain, said the company will target the business community at and near Downtown Dadeland. In South Florida, Orangetheory has locations in Aventura, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables and Coconut Creek, among others in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and South America.
The Dadeland studio will be at 9045 Southwest 72nd Place in Suite E150C. – Katherine Kallergis
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 20:45:18 +0000

A rendering of the Altis at Bonterra apartments in Hialeah
BBX Capital Corp. has partnered with the Altman Companies, a Boca Raton-based builder of multifamily homes, to help develop a piece of the upcoming Bonterra community in Hialeah.
The two companies entered into a joint venture and will develop Altis at Bonterra, a 14-acre apartment community with 314 units.
It will be located at the northwest corner of the 128-acre Bonterra community, which sits between Northwest 97th Avenue and I-75.
Apartments at the community will come in one, two and three-bedroom configurations that average 1,063 square feet. Their features will include granite and marble countertops, energy star appliances and contemporary cabinets, according to a news release.
The two companies expect to deliver Altis at Bonterra by early 2017.
Seth Wise, president of BBX Capital’s real estate division
This is the third community BBX and Altman have partnered on, with previous projects including: Altis at Kendall Square with 321 units in Miami, and Altis at Lakeline with 354 units in Texas.
BBX recently sliced off a 36-acre chunk of Bonterra for the Lennar Corp., which paid $24 million for the land and is planning to build its own selection of homes there. BBX still controls 92 acres of the Bonterra project. When completed, the housing development will have 1,171 houses and apartments — including the Lennar portion.
The company and its partner CC Homes recently began construction on a third of the community. — Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 20:00:41 +0000

Sergei Fedorov, Portofino and Anna Kournikova
A penthouse at Portofino Tower where Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova once lived has just traded hands for $11 million.
A Russian buyer scored the 5,680-square-foot, four-level unit with 1,825 square feet of terraces, Daniel Pansky of Miami Luxury RE LLC, told The Real Deal. 
The seller was Russian ice hockey player Sergei Fedorov, who has owned PH-5 since 1997. He and Kournikova were together from about 2001 to 2003. According to a CBS News report, Fedorov said they were married and then divorced. Kournikova has reportedly denied that they were ever legally married.
“They both lived in that unit for awhile,” Pansky said.
The sale, at $1,937 per square foot, marks the most expensive sale in the South Beach condo building, he said.
Dina Goldentayer and Sladja Stantic of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty’s DS team, represented the seller, who owned the unit through his trust.
Miami-Dade property records show Fedorov paid $2.275 million for PH-5 in October 1997. The unit has four bedrooms, six bathrooms and one half-bath. The latest sale, which closed on Dec. 31, 2015, has not yet been recorded.
“It’s a  very unique property and it’s on four floors, and we found a buyer who was looking for those attributes,” said Pansky, who was the buyer’s agent along with the firm’s broker Marija Kuzina. Pansky declined to disclose the buyer’s identity.
Portofino Tower, at 300 South Pointe Drive, was developed in 1997 by Thomas Kramer’s Portofino Group in partnership with the Related Group. The 44-story building was the first luxury tower built in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach.
In August, a Sunset Islands home Kournikova previously owned sold for $9 million. The home, at 2345 Lake Avenue in Miami Beach, was built in 2000 and occupies a 0.44-acre lot on the northeast section of Sunset Island III. Kournikova sold the property in 2012 for $7.45 million — $2 million below her asking price.
Miami Luxury RE LLC specializes in representing high net worth buyers, primarily from Russia, as well as the from United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada, Pansky said. Most are seeking properties with prices from $5 million to $50 million, he said.
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 19:15:49 +0000

The AmTrust building in Surfside and Daniel Benedict of BRG
Across the street from Bal Harbour Shops, New York Community Bank has sold a commercial building in Surfside for $18 million, or $718 per square foot.
Miami-Dade County records show the bank sold the 25,000-square-foot building on Harding Avenue and 96th Street to an affiliate of Benedict Realty Group. BRG is a real estate investment and property management firm based in Great Neck, New York, that focuses on properties in New York City and neighboring boroughs, according to its website.
The seller purchased the property out of foreclosure in 2009 for $4.1 million, which means it sold for more than four times that on Dec. 31, 2014. The two-story building, constructed in 1954, houses tenants that include AmTrust Bank, CVS Pharmacy, Starbucks and a Jean Claude Biguine salon. It sits on a 23,000-square-foot lot.
The BRG affiliate, led by Daniel Benedict, financed the deal with an $11.7 million mortgage.
Surfside, which borders Bal Harbour, has seen an uptick in commercial sales. In November, a pair of New York investors paid $5 million for buildings on 94th and 95th streets. Before that, an LLC paid $5.75 million for a 13,500-square-foot building at 9553 Harding Avenue. Nearby, Bal Harbour Shops has plans for a $400 million-plus renovation and expansion. The Whitman family owns the luxury retail development, and plans to add a new entrance, wider sidewalks, a new canopy, landscaping. Barneys New York will join the mall, as well as bigger stores for Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 18:30:43 +0000

One portion of the apartments at 10900 Southwest 196th Street
An investor just paid nearly $61 million for a pair of 1970s-era apartment complexes near Cutler Bay.
The two rental communities were both built around 1974 and are located at 10900 and 11110 Southwest 196th Street. They were sold through separate deeds filed in Miami-Dade County last week for a combined $60.61 million.
Both communities were picked up by companies that list Shawn Chemtov as their managing member. Chemtov is an executive at both CMG Capital, a commercial lender, and MJ Holdings, a publicly traded company that owns assets relating to medical and recreational marijuana.
In the bigger of the two purchases, Chemtov paid $41.8 million for the complex at 10900 Southwest 196th Street. That community measures 393,427 square feet and has 441 units.
The smaller deal was for the 196-unit complex at 11110 Southwest 196th Street. A Chemtov-lead limited liability company spent $18.81 million for that community, which measures 223,601 square feet.
Chemtov financed the deal with a $45.457 million loan from BankUnited. The combined purchase price breaks down to $95,149 per unit.
The buildings have been owned by two separate entities for the last nine years: Cutler Bay Apartments LLC and First Cutler Gardens LLC. Both are managed by Maria Fuentes of Miami. Records show First Cutler Gardens paid $40.8 million for the apartments at 10900 Southwest 196th Street in 2006, though it’s unclear if that sale included both complexes.
County records show the buildings have been cited numerous times over the years for violations like leaky air conditioners and unsafe conditions.
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 17:45:31 +0000

From left: the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and Donald Trump
From the New York website: For a man who flaunts his successes as worthy of the role of commander-in-chief, Donald Trump came perilously close to being the king of nothing.
In 1990, Trump and his companies owed $3.4 billion to creditors and couldn’t make the payments – leaving the developer’s hotels, casinos and other assets at risk of seizure. Even worse, $830 million of that debt carried his personal guarantee, making Trump at risk of personal bankruptcy.
But he survived, as the Wall Street Journal reports in a feature on Trump’s early-1990s low point and how he was able to bounce back. He was helped, in part, by the realization among creditors that Trump was worth more to them financially alive than dead – not to mention the developer’s charisma.
A global group of creditors holding $2.1 billion of debt, mostly on Trump’s New York properties, agreed to a complex plan in 1990 that gave the magnate five years to work his way out of the financial pickle.
Trump also drew money out of his casino empire and moved it over to other struggling properties, while getting all three of his casinos out of bankruptcy by 1993.
In the end, it worked – with Trump taking more than $160 million out of Atlantic City between 1990 and 1996 through fees and payouts, the Journal reports. [WSJ] – Rey Mashayekhi
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 17:00:37 +0000
Construction cranes

Check out this roundup of South Florida’s latest real estate reports. … [more]]]>

Construction cranes
South Florida construction report
South Florida developers signed far fewer construction contracts in November compared to 2014, due to a dropoff in residential building, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics.
The report showed $405 million of new residential contracts in November — a 60 percent decrease from the $1.016 billion signed in November 2014.
Yet, nonresidential contracts were up a solid 17 percent during that same time period. Construction spending for everything from government offices to churches reached $289 million in November, up from $246 million the previous year. Overall, $694 million in construction contracts were signed in November, down 45 percent from $1.26 billion in November 2014.
The trend of falling expenditures began in October, which saw similarly severe cuts in residential building contracts.
Despite the big dip, spending totals are still on track to outpace 2014. About $8.9 billion has been spent on building from January to November — a 2 percent growth compared to the $8.7 billion spent those same months in 2014. Dodge has not yet released data for December. — Sean Stewart-Muniz
A bird’s-eye view of North Beach, taken from the Akoya Condominiums in 2008 (Credit: Marc Averette)
Miami-Dade County home prices
November marked yet another month of rising home prices in Miami-Dade County, according to a new report from CoreLogic.
The analytics company looked at home sales, both non-distressed and distressed, during November and compared their closing prices to the same month in 2014. What CoreLogic found was that prices increased by 7.6 percent year-over-year — a significant jump, although that trend of appreciating prices has started to slow in recent months.
From October to November, home prices only grew by 0.5 percent, which means they held steady for the most part. 
“Many factors, including strong demand and tight supply in many markets, are contributing to the long-sustained boom in prices and home equity which is a very good thing for those owning homes,” Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, wrote in the report. “On the flip side, prices have outstripped incomes for several years in a number of regions so, as we enter 2016, affordability is becoming more of a constraint on sales in some markets.”
Home prices in Florida as a whole actually outpaced Miami-Dade, which has the state’s most-expensive homes. Florida saw a 7.9 percent increase in the price of a house year-over-year.
Nationwide, home prices saw similar growth: the price of a U.S. home rose 6.3 percent year-over-year in November, and 0.5 percent from October to November.
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 16:15:14 +0000

Eighty Seven Park
David Martin’s Terra Group has closed on a $91.18 million construction financing for Eighty Seven Park, a luxury condo project in North Beach.
Miami-Dade County records show United Overseas Bank Limited, a multinational bank headquartered in Singapore, is the lender. Terra took out $19.18 million of a total $91.18 million in financing. The original note issued in 2013 was for $60 million, mortgage documents show.
The bridge loan mortgage covers the property at 8701 Collins Avenue and the parking lot across the street at 7925 Collins Avenue. Bridge loans can be used in the short term to secure long-term financing while developers seek permitting.
Eighty Seven Park, designed by Renzo Piano, is being developed by Terra in partnership with Bizzi and New Valley. Douglas Elliman Florida is leading sales for the 70-unit, 20-story oceanfront tower. Martin purchased the property, which was the site of the former Howard Johnson Dezerland Hotel, from Sunny Isles developer Michael Dezer for $65 million in 2013. That hotel, which was originally known as the Biltmore Terrace, was built in the early 1950s and demolished in 2015. Its lobby was designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus.
The tower will feature an underground parking garage, a gym/spa and a rooftop terrace, according to a city meeting last year. Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure and WEST 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, the latter of which designed the Miami Beach Soundscape Park, are also working on the project design. Eighty Seven Park will also be surrounded by a forest of 200 trees that will also infiltrate the ground floor lobby.
Amenities will include access to an outdoor juice bar, salon and full-time botanist, according to a press release. Vertical construction will begin by the second quarter of this year.
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 15:30:40 +0000

Renderings of VIDA at the Point
VIDA at the Point, a planned waterfront condominium project in Aventura, is set to begin construction this month, after reaching its 50 percent sales target.
The six-unit luxury development at 3750 Yacht Club Drive in Aventura, has sold three condos, and will demolish its existing sales office, then start construction in the third week of January, David Markovich, president of development sales for Decorus Realty, the project’s exclusive sales and marketing firm, told The Real Deal.
Decorus Realty’s principals, David Koster and Gabriel Markovich, are the developers of VIDA at the Point, as the managers of VIDA Development Group LLC, public records show.
According to Miami-Dade property records, the entity purchased Vida’s 26,876-square-foot lot for $3.8 million in February 2015.
Designed by KZ Architecture, VIDA’s residences will have between 3,260 square feet and 3,717 square feet, with three and four bedrooms, four to five baths and a half-bath. Some of the units will also have an elevator and a rooftop terrace, and each residence will have an optional boat slip for yachts up to 90 feet.
Sales launched about six months ago, and reservations were converted to contracts six weeks ago, David Markovich told TRD. To date, the buyers hail from Brazil and Venezuela, and each buyer has also purchased a yacht slip, sold independently by the Waterways marina, for $225,000 to $300,000, Markovich said.
Prices for remaining residences range from $2.9 million to $3.26 million, he said.
The units will have custom finishing from Interiors By Steven G., with porcelain floors, Italian cabinetry from MiaCucina, and Subzero and Wolf appliances, according to marketing materials.
VIDA residences will have access to services at The Point, including the 25,000-square-foot spa, fitness center, restaurant, community room, three swimming pools, four tennis courts, and a playground.
The project is expected to be completed in May 2017, Markovich said.
VIDA is among at least 21 new condo buildings with more than 2,625 units announced for the Aventura market that stretches from the Broward County line south to Northeast 163rd Street, and the Intracoastal Waterway west to I-95, according to data. Aventura Place and Bellini Williams Island are among the projects already completed this cycle.
Avva Residences & Marina, a five-unit luxury waterfront condominium is among those that are planned. The project recently launched sales, and Decorus Realty is also the exclusive sales and marketing firm for that project.
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:45:32 +0000

300 Biscayne Boulevard and Kevin Maloney of PMG
New York-based Property Markets Group has closed on $27 million in financing for 300 Biscayne in downtown Miami. 
The loan will be used for the planning and development of the residential project, which will include a luxury condominium tower. DW Commercial Finance is the lender, according to a press release. Luis Flores, Lori Hartglass and Rebecca Sarelson of Arnstein & Lehr LLP represented PMG.
In a statement, Flores said the financing shows that lenders and developers have confidence in downtown Miami, where reports have indicated that the market is in a slowdown. Last March, the Miami Downtown Development Authority released a report noting 22,000 condo units in the pipeline – the equivalent of an 11-year supply.
Property records show that PMG Downtown Developers LLC paid $80 million or about $900 per square foot for the 88,800-square-foot site in November 2014. The developer, led by Kevin Maloney and Ryan Shear, is partnering with Greybrook Securities and Greybrook Realty Partners on the luxury condo component of 300 Biscayne Boulevard.
Shear, Matt Ellish, Melissa Silva, Evan Schapiro and Adrianne Hartman of PMG worked on the financing. Shear said the firm has worked with the same lender in Long Island City with plans for more financing for projects in New York, Miami and Chicago. – Katherine Kallergis
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:00:35 +0000

Current reader favorites:1. Where is Miami in the real estate cycle on the eve of 2016?2. Turnberry, Simon score $214M loan for Aventura Mall3. Former Matheson estate in Key Biscayne sells for record $47M4. The number of Orange County auctions of foreclosed Disney timeshare units tops 900 a year5. Rubio helped cocaine-trafficking brother become Miami Realtor
]]> 0 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 01:16:34 +0000

The New York Stock Exchange in the Financial District (inset, from left: Marc Holliday and Steven Roth)
From the New York website: New York city’s major publicly listed real estate firms were not exempt from today’s stock market hangover – the worst post-New Year’s Day performance by the U.S. markets since 2008.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed this afternoon down 1.6 percent to 17,148.94. Other indices closely aligned with the real estate market reflected the drop, with the S&P 500 closing down 1.5 percent – its sixth-worst opening day ever – and the MSCI U.S. REIT Index, which tracks real estate investment trusts nationally, down 1.3 percent on the day.
The Dow’s drop came in wake of pessimistic economic indicators out of China, the world’s second-largest economy.
As with the most recent one-day stock market bloodbath in August – also driven in part by sluggish Chinese economic performance – public real estate companies active in New York City took a fair hit.
Among the  major commercial REITs, SL Green Realty was down 2.6 percent to close at $110.08 per share, Vornado Realty Trust fell 1.5 percent to $98.42 per share and Boston Properties dropped 2.6 percent to $124.20 per share.
Among the major residential REITs, AvalonBay Communities shares fell 1.9 percent to $180.72 per share and Equity Residential was down 2.1 percent to $79.90 per share. REIT newcomers Forest City Realty Trust – still trading under Forest City Enterprises – saw shares down 1.7 percent to close at $21.55.
Other REITs with interests in the city didn’t fare better, with Acadia Realty Trust down 2.9 percent to close at $32.18 per share and Empire State Realty Trust dropping 2.1 percent to close at $17.70 per share. Brookfield Property Partners, while not a REIT, was down 2.5 percent to $22.67 per share.
Residential real estate company Realogy – parent company of the Corcoran Group and Citi Habitats – had an up-and-down day before closing down 0.9 percent at $36.36 per share, while Howard Lorber’s Vector Group fell 2.2 percent to close at $23.08 per share.
Commercial brokerage firms also felt the day’s losses, with CBRE Group down 1.4 percent to close at $34.09 per share, JLL dropping 3 percent to $155.03 per share, HFF down 3.8 percent to $29.89 per share and Marcus & Millichap falling 4.9 percent to $27.73 per share.
Like the market at large, most of these companies saw heavy losses in the morning’s trading before somewhat making up ground in the afternoon – particularly closer to the 4 p.m. closing bell. It remains to be seen if, and how, they are able to recover Tuesday.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 23:15:35 +0000
An aerial view of Miami’s Brickell neighborhood (Credit: creative commons user Towpilot)A new survey from shows Miami has the fourth-most smart homes in the U.S. Walmart has broken ground on its controversial store in Midtown Miami. And take a look at what the inside of All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral project could look like. Read these stories and more after the jump. … [more]]]>

An aerial view of Miami’s Brickell neighborhood (Credit: creative commons user Towpilot)
1. Miami has the fourth “smartest” homes in the country [Curbed Miami]2. Walmart breaks ground on controversial Midtown Miami store [The Next Miami] 3. Here’s what the inside of MiamiCentral might look like [Miami New Times]4.  Long-dormant development projects may come to life on Watson Island [Miami Herald]
— Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 23:00:19 +0000
Unit 2502 in the Mansions at Acqualina complex in Sunny Isles Beach and a map of most expensive condo sales last week Take a look at the most expensive condos that were sold in Miami-Dade County last week, courtesy of The Real Deal and … [more]]]>

Despite the rush to close out deals before year’s end, only one condo was sold for more than $1 million last week in Miami-Dade County. But, it sold for a whole lot more than $1 million.
The county’s biggest condo sale last week was a 25th-floor unit at the newly built Mansions at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach. Unit 2502 traded for $7.25 million, or $1,573 per square foot, after spending 104 days on the market. Acqualina’s head of sales Michael Goldstein had the listing. Some of the three-bedroom unit’s features include ultra-modern style, with furnishings and a summer kitchen.
After that whopper, closing prices for the week’s remaining most-expensive sales dropped dramatically. Second place goes to a unit that closed for just shy of $1 million at the Yacht Club in South Beach. Unit 1702 practically flew off the market, closing after only 24 days under Darin Tansey of Douglas Elliman. It boasts ocean views, modern style and updated kitchen appliances.
And the county’s third-priciest trade last week was unit 1201 at the Atlantic III building in Aventura. Natalie Gaylis of Coldwell Banker had that listing for 193 days before it closed at $877,850, or $359 per square foot. Arguably its most impressive feature is a pair of huge bronze double-doors that separate the unit from its private elevator. Other features include marble floors, motorized blinds and water views.
The remaining seven condos among Miami-Dade’s most expensive sales last week ranged in price between $860,000 and $570,000. A total of 99 condos were sold last week for $31.02 million, which means the market held mostly steady compared to the previous week. Average prices were $313,334 per unit and $179 per square foot.
Here’s a breakdown of the data for the week of Dec. 26 to January 2. Click on the map for more information:
Most expensive The Mansions at Acqualina, Sunny Isles Beach | $7.25M | $1,573 psf | 104 days on market | Michael Goldstein of Acqualina Realty
Least expensive Two Midtown, Miami | $570,000 | $363 psf | 206 days on market | Pablo Guerra of Keller Williams
Most days on marketJade Brickell, Miami | $860,000 | $562 psf | 551 days on market | Diego Arnaud of DA Luxury Realty
Least days on marketYacht Club, South Beach | 24 days on market | $995,000 | $880 psf | Darin Tansey of Douglas Elliman
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 22:15:08 +0000

10905 Biscayne Boulevard and inset photo of Lucille Ball at Casa Santino
A former Miami restaurant and social club that hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Lucille Ball has sold for $1.2 million, or about $330 per square foot. 
Casa Santino
The property, at 10905 Biscayne Boulevard, was the site of Casa Santino, brokers Jonathan Molano and Fabio Faerman of FA Commercial Advisors/Fortune International Realty told The Real Deal. It was reportedly a popular hangout for celebrities in the 1940s and 1950s.
The 8,909-square-foot property was last on the market for $1.45 million. It includes a 3,644-square-foot building, which was constructed in 1948. Miami-Dade County records show the property, which is zoned for retail, last sold for $95,000 in 1973.
Calibrin Corp., led by Santino Cascio, sold the property to Asaf Horesh, county records show. According to his LinkedIn profile, Horesh is a principal at Vintage Investment Partners, an Israel-based fund manager.
If sold for the land, it traded for $135 per square foot. The sale closed on Dec. 15.
Molano said he has seen per square foot prices in the area nearly double over the last eight months. The corner parcel is surrounded by a planned Fiat dealership in a neighborhood that is between North Miami and Miami Shores. It’s also across the street from La Fontana shops, a new retail development that will include a Dunkin’ Donuts and UFC Gym.
Biscayne Boulevard is in the midst of a commercial resurgence. Bay Harbor Islands developer Taubco flipped a development site on the boulevard and 111th Street for $16 million in July. A few blocks north of that, an investment group led by Nancy Karp paid $2.7 million for a commercial building with plans to renovate the property – Molano and Faerman brokered that deal as well.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 21:30:28 +0000

Doral Court
A 9.4 acre slice of prime land in Doral that includes a 210,000 square-foot office complex is going to auction on March 2. The bankruptcy trustee for Doral Court, located at 8600 Northwest 36th Street, is accepting bids starting at $26.8 million through Feb. 19, with an auction to be held two weeks later, according to court documents reviewed by The Real Deal.
“It is a highly sought after property due to its large size and its incredible location,” said Don Ginsburg, president and CEO of Realty Masters Advisors, the firm handling the marketing and sale of Doral Court. “There have already been previous offers in the low $30 million range. We are pretty confident it will meet or exceed current expectations.”
Doral Court is in close proximity of Codina Partners’ Downtown Doral project and CityPlace Doral by The Related Group and Shoma Homes, as well as the Trump National Doral Miami golf resort, Ginsburg said. “We expect to get a lot of local, national and international attention,” he added. “Doral is hot.”
The site became available in early August when 29 entities called NNN Doral Court, as tenant-in-common owners of 92 percent of the property, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in Miami federal court. NNN Doral Court had previously lost a $22.7 million foreclosure judgement to its lender, an affiliate of New York-based Triangle Capital Group called Doral Court Debt Holdings, which was first reported by the South Florida Business Journal.
Last month, a federal bankruptcy judge approved the liquidation plan submitted by the court appointed trustee, Barry Mukamal. Bidders must submit a purchase price that is equal to or greater than the $26.8 million stalking horse bid by Miami-based Banyan Street Capital, which had filed a separate lawsuit alleging it had a contract to buy the office complex when the foreclosure was still pending.
According to court records, NNN Doral Court had received higher offers from three different suitors, including one for $31 million by an affiliate of North Miami-based IMC Equity Group. Mukamal negotiated a settlement with Banyan that would pay the investment firm a portion of the profits from the sale of Doral Court. Banyan Street would get 80 percent of the amount over $26.7 million if the property is sold to a third-party for between $26.7 million and $30.7 million. Should Doral Court sell for more than $30.85 million, Banyan would get half of the extra amount over $26.7 million.
Ginsburg told TRD that potential buyers can keep the office complex or redevelop the entire property into a mixed-use project that complements the new master planned neighborhoods like Downtown Doral and CityPlace Doral.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 20:45:40 +0000

A rendering of the Center for Intelligent Buildings, which nabbed county approval in 2015
An affiliate of United Technologies Corp. just closed on a $17.25 million land deal in Palm Beach Gardens, where it plans to build a cutting-edge innovation center for showcasing new building technologies.
The deal includes about 30 acres of wooded land at the southeastern corner of I-95 and Donald Ross Road, near the Scripps Research Institute in northern Palm Beach County.
The site represents one small piece of a roughly 600-acre swath of land that real estate firm Kolter Group bought for $127 million in 2013.
United, known for its commercial subsidiaries like Otis Elevator Co., announced plans to build a technology hub called the Center for Intelligent Buildings on Kolter’s land in July 2015.
The proposed building would measure about 250,000 square feet and would show off new building technology, while also housing offices for researchers and other staff.
The company made its land purchase through Carrier Corp., its climate control division that handles air conditioning and refrigeration. The price breaks down to $575,000 an acre, or about $13 per square foot.
Despite objections from Scripps — which contended in letters sent in February and March 2015 to Palm Beach County that the center wouldn’t fit in with the parcel’s intended use as a biotechnology hub — county officials granted Carrier approvals for its project in Spring 2015.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 20:00:53 +0000
From left: Sandy Tamer, Carlos Betancourt and Tony Tamer (Credit: World Red Eye)Puerto Rican artist Carlos Betancourt held a book signing at Pérez Art Museum Miami for the release of “Imperfect Utopia.” … [more]]]>

Puerto Rican artist Carlos Betancourt held a book signing at Pérez Art Museum Miami for the release of “Imperfect Utopia.”
Art and architecture industry insiders celebrated the book launch at the museum, which was completed in 2013. Jorge Pérez, president of the Related Group, donated $40 million to the development.
The museum is in the bayfront Museum Park, which includes the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, a $300 million complex that is set to open this summer. – TRD

]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 19:15:55 +0000

(Credit: Business Insider Australia)
It’s 2016’s first day of trading, and markets around the world are getting slammed.
The U.S. stock market is plunging with the Dow down 450 points (2.6%), S&P 500 down 52 points (2.5%), and Nasdaq down 155 points (3.0%).
Europe is getting smoked, with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 2.2%, Germany’s DAX down 4.1%, and France’s CAC 40 down 2.5%.
The big headline maker was China, where the CSI 300 stock market index crashed 7% before markets were halted for the day.
Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng followed China lower, closing down 3.0% and 2.7%, respectively.
New data out of China confirmed that manufacturing in the world’s second-largest economy was still contracting. The Caixin-Markit manufacturing PMI unexpectedly fell to 48.2 in December from 48.6 in November. The official NBS manufacturing PMI stood at 49.7 in December. (Any reading below 50 signals contraction.)
“This shows that the forces driving an economic recovery have encountered obstacles and the economy is facing a greater risk of weakening,” Caixin chief economist He Fan said. “More fluctuations in global markets are expected now that the US Federal Reserve has started raising interest rates. The government needs to pay more attention to external risk factors in the short term and fine-tune macroeconomic policies accordingly so the economy does not fall off a cliff.”
Perhaps it’s the risk of a “fall off a cliff” scenario that has traders and investors rattled.
Elsewhere in the markets, oil continues to trade with a lot of volatility. Oil prices initially spiked by as much as 3.5% after news that Saudi Arabia was severing diplomatic ties with Iran, a sign of escalating tensions between the oil-rich nations. Prices, however, are well off of their highs.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 18:35:55 +0000

Continuum unit 3501 and cabana
A unit and cabana owned by Continuum investor Stuart Eichner will hit the market for $12.9 million, or $4,257 per square foot. 
Listing agent Samantha Elenson
The 3,030-square-foot unit includes four balconies, three bedrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows, listing agent Samantha Elenson told The Real Deal. Eichner, a private investor in the Continuum, is the brother of developer Ian Bruce Eichner, whose Continuum Company built the $440 million, two-tower condominium.
“They had not seriously considered selling prior, but the husband [Stuart Eichner] is passionate about catamarans and they decided at this time in their lives to build a custom catamaran to sail around the world together,” Elenson, of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, said. She’s marketing the unit to domestic buyers and foreign nationals, and has received interest from Saudi buyers. If sold at listing price, it would set a record for the South-of-Fifth development.
The listing also includes the poolside two-story, 600-square-foot loft-style cabana – as well as five parking spaces. “You couldn’t buy five prime parking spots even if you wanted to,” Elenson said.
Unit 3501 and cabana 4, at 50 South Pointe Drive, was recently renovated and includes views of the ocean, bay and city. The corner unit was designed by Eichner’s wife, a former set designer and stylist and include details such as custom-made wood cabinets, which were lacquered at a local body shop, Elenson said.
Eichner paid $4.1 million for the condominium, according to Miami-Dade County property records. Elenson said the unit has never been listed before.
The Continuum includes the 317-unit south tower, completed in 2002, and the 213-unit north tower, which was completed in 2008. The north tower, which is where Eichner’s unit is located, also includes 12,000 square feet of commercial space and 12,000 square feet of restaurant space. The development sits on a 12-acre property and features two lagoon pools, a spa and gym, and 1,000 feet of beach frontage.
Last year, Ian Bruce Eichner listed his four-story penthouse at the Continuum for $50 million, or $4,519 per square foot.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 17:45:04 +0000

The Firestone building at 1575 Alton Road and developer Russell Galbut in an interview for the Miami Beach Visual Memoirs project (Credit: Carl Hersh)
A company linked to developer Russell Galbut just bought a tire shop on Miami Beach’s Alton Road for $10 million — almost 30 times what it last sold for in the 1980’s.
The building, located at 1575 Alton Road, measures 11,849 square feet and sits on a 15,000-square-foot lot.
It was first purchased by Firestone in 1986 for only $337,600. Two years later, the tire company was acquired by Bridgestone Corp. for a whopping $2.6 billion, and this property was passed along as a result.
After 29 years, the 11,849-square-foot building has again been sold, this time to a Miami limited liability company called ARRP Miami IV. It’s managed by David Smith and shares an address with Russel Galbut’s development firm Crescent Heights.
A listing for the Firestone property with brokerage HFF said it wasn’t encumbered by any historic designation, “freeing a new owner to complete an adaptive re-use of the existing improvements or develop a new mixed-use, multi-level structure up to 22,250 square feet.”
Galbut is in the midst of developing a number of properties in Miami Beach, including the mixed-use project 1212 Lincoln Road. Plans for that project have met resistance from current tenants who are hesitant to make way for Galbut’s wrecking ball.
Crescent Heights is also working on the Wave, a mixed-use, four-building project that is projected to have 300,000-square feet of residential space, including 321 apartments, and approximately 50,000 square feet of retail space. The Wave will be located between Fifth and Seventh streets and between Alton Road and West Avenue.
Along with those two projects, the development firm has also received design approval for its plans to build a new 50,000-square foot project at 1901 Alton Road that will include a new 40,000-square foot Whole Foods Market.
In July, another company affiliated with Crescent paid $300 per square foot for an Alton Road parking lot.
For this Firestone purchase, Galbut’s company paid more than double that — $667 per square foot of land.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 17:00:55 +0000

Liongate, the Bel-Air estate once home to singer Kenny Rogers, sold for $46.25 million.
From the New York website: The Los Angeles Times has rounded up the 10 most expensive single-family homes sold in the greater Los Angeles area from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, according to Propertyshark. Check them out after the jump.
$60 million — Malibu
Producer Marcy Carsey sold her Malibu beachfront estate to Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine.
The 2.2-acre compound includes a 2,500-square-foot main house on a bluff, two guest houses, a cottage near the sand, a swimming pool and a tennis court.
$59.36 million — Holmby Hills
The Singleton House, a Holmby Hills estate estate built for Teledyne co-founder Henry Singleton, sold in April.
The 15,520-square-foot home opens to a grand entry with an oval foyer. Formal areas, a wood-paneled study, 10 bedrooms and 12.5 bathrooms are within the Southern Colonial-style house.
$50.5 million — Malibu
An oceanfront compound in Malibu’s Encinal Bluffs area sold in an off-market exchange involving a pair of blind trusts.
While details are scarce, tax records indicate show multiple structures including a four-bedroom main house and two guest cottages. A tennis court and a swimming pool are within grounds of about six acres.
$47.85 million — Bel-Air
Guess Jeans co-founder Maurice Marciano sold his 2.7-acre estate to hotel and casino magnate Steve Wynn for $47,851,500 in August in an off-market deal.
The 19,299-square-foot contemporary-style mansion has eight bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, according to tax records. A large motor court, tiered patios, large expanses of lawn and a swimming pool and spa sit within the hedged and gated grounds.
$46.25 million — Bel-Air
Liongate, the Bel-Air estate once home to singer Kenny Rogers, sold to philanthropists James and Eleanor Randall.
The mansion was rebuilt and expanded in 2013 and has 11 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms in nearly 24,000 square feet of interiors. Among amenities are three living rooms, a 12-seat theater and a master suite spanning 3,000 square feet. A glass elevator leads to a formal ballroom.
$44 million — Malibu
Investment banker and politician Jack Ryan sold a compound to a nondescript limited liability company in March in another off-market sale in Malibu.
The estate includes an unfinished Traditional-style main house and a pool house totaling 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms in about 13,000 square feet.
$38 million — Bel-Air
The Mediterranean-style Westside mansion on nearly two acres in Bel-Air was once owned by Georgia Frontiere, the late St. Louis Rams owner responsible for moving the football franchise from the Southland to St. Louis in 1995.
The two-story villa includes a home theater, a library, a bar, an art studio and a wine cellar. A total of 10 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms are within 17,700 square feet of living space.
$36 million — Beverly Hills
The onetime 90210 address of Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores came to market in September for $43.5 million and ultimately sold for $36 million — the most expensive sale of a publicly listed home in Beverly Hills in 2015, public records show.
The 14,422 square feet of living space features eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, inlaid marble and walnut floors, coffered ceilings, custom millwork and seven antique fireplaces..
$34.5 million — Bel-Air
In June, the estate of late radio and television personality Art Linkletter quietly changed hands in an off-market deal. Mortgage documents later revealed the buyer to be Canadian billionaire and Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz.
The nearly five-acre property features views on the surrounding canyons, Century City and downtown L.A.
$32.67 million — Beverly Crest
Following on the heels of brother Maurice’s sale in Beverly Hills, Guess co-founder Armand Marciano sold his Beverly Crest-area estate.
The Mediterranean-style mansion has 10 bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms and 12 powder rooms/bathrooms in nearly 25,000 square feet of living space. Three floors of living, designed for large-scale entertaining, include a professional screening room, a wine cellar, a game room and an elevator. [LAT] — TRD
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 16:15:39 +0000

Aventura Mall
The owners of Aventura Mall have closed on a $213.5 million mortgage for the upscale shopping center as it embarks on an expansion.
Miami-Dade County records show a Turnberry Associates affiliate closed on the financing on New Year’s Eve. The mall, at 19501 Biscayne Boulevard, is anchored by Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s and features 300 stores. Other tenants include Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Burberry, Gap, J. Crew, Anthropologie and Zara.
Simon Property Group has a 33.3 percent interest in the mall’s ownership. In addition to owning the remaining 66.7 percent, Turnberry also manages the property. JP Morgan Chase is the lead lender, according to county records.
In 2014, Turnberry announced it was expanding Aventura Mall to include a new three-story, 241,000-square-foot retail wing and parking garage in 2014. The mall first opened in 1983, then doubled its size in 1997 and in 2007, added Nordstrom and a three-level wing of high-end stores. It has more than 2.7 million square feet of space, making it the third largest shopping mall in the United States, behind Mall of the America in Minnesota and King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania.
Jackie Soffer, co-chair and CEO of Turnberry Associates, heads the company’s retail, hospitality and office divisions. She could not immediately be reached for comment.
Turnberry is partnering with LeFrak on SoLē Mia, a $4 billion, 183-acre master-planned community in North Miami that broke ground last summer. The Soffer, LeFrak joint venture will include 12 residential buildings, 4,390 residential units, nearly 1 million square feet of commercial space and 37 acres of parks when completed.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 15:30:59 +0000

The shopping center at 131 North Alternate A1A
Blackstone Real Estate Partners and DDR Corp. rang in the new year with this purchase: the joint venture just paid $26.4 million for a fully leased Jupiter retail center.
The Concourse Village shops, at 131 North Alternate A1A, measures 132,970 square feet and was built in 1983. It’s anchored by three major tenants — T.J. Maxx, Ross and Shoe Carnival.
It was sold by an affiliate of the Morris Companies, based in New Jersey. According to Palm Beach County records, the real estate firm paid about $18.36 million for the center in 2004. That price equates to $138 per square foot.
After 11 years of holding the property, Morris sold Concourse Village for just less than $200 a square foot.
Blackstone and DDR financed their purchase with a loan issued by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, which acted as a trustee for the holders of commercial mortgage pass-through certificates.
DDR is a public company that owns and manages 378 retail properties throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, according to the firm’s website. Its partner, Blackstone, is one of the world’s largest real estate investment companies.
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 14:45:48 +0000

Chad Oppenheim
From the New York magazine’s December issue: Chad Oppenheim runs Oppenheim Architecture, a Miami-based firm with a global slate of projects. In addition to the U.S., he has designed in places like Australia, the Philippines and Jordan. Since its 1999 launch, the firm has grown to 40 employees, with additional offices in NYC and Switzerland.
Oppenheim, a 44-year-old Miami Beach resident who grew up in New Jersey, serves as the creative lead. [more]
]]> 0 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 14:00:27 +0000

Current reader favorites:1. Where is Miami in the real estate cycle on the eve of 2016?2. Former Matheson estate in Key Biscayne sells for record $47M3. Rubio helped cocaine-trafficking brother become Miami Realtor4. The number of Orange County auctions of foreclosed Disney timeshare units tops 900 a year5. PMG borrows $34M for unsold units at Echo Aventura
]]> 0 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 20:00:49 +0000

The 235-acre site of the planned Tomoka Town Center in Daytona Beach (Credit: Daytona Beach News-Journal)
The Canadian owner of the Mall of the Americas in Miami paid $5.2 million for 37 acres of a planned retail center in Daytona Beach.
Toronto-based North American Development Group (NADG) also acquired options to buy another 86 acres at the 235-acre site of the planned retail center, called Tomoka Town Center, just east of Interstate 95.
The seller of the land is Daytona Beach-based Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., which expects NADG to complete site work on the 37-acre tract by the end of summer.
John Albright, president and CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka, told the Daytona News-Journal that NADG plans to build restaurants, retail stores and perhaps a hotel on its portion of Tomoka Town Center.
NADG, which has an office in West Palm Beach, is a shopping center developer with “a long track record” and “a very good reputation,” Albright told the News-Journal.
NADG  owns several Florida shopping centers. The largest is the 798,000-square-foot Mall of the Americas in Miami. NADG also owns University Plaza in Winter Park, Loop West in Orlando and Riverside Market Square in Jacksonville. According to its website, the Canadian company also is developing a 39-acre retail project in Titusville.
Consolidated-Tomoka recently sold 18 acres of the planned Tomoka Town Center to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which will build a 14,000-square-foot Sam’s Club store there.
A North Carolina-based company called Tanger is developing a 350,000-square-foot outlet mall on 39 acres of the Tomoka Town Center site.
Bruce Teeters, a commercial real estate agent who formerly served as chief financial officer of Consolidated-Tomoka, told the News-Journal that the area encompassing the location of the Tomoka Town Center is becoming “the hottest area  in Volusia County” for real estate development. [Daytona Beach News-Journal] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 19:00:43 +0000

A Pittsburgh-based company sued in Miami-Dade County to enforce a Bahamian judgment against Marriott.
The Third District Court of Appeal overturned a lower court’s enforcement of a $7.5 million Bahamian court judgment against Marriott International Inc.  in connection with a failed marina project.
The plaintiff, Pittsburgh-based American Bridge Bahamas Ltd., had won a breach-of-contract case in the Bahamas against Marriott, then successfully sued in Miami-Dade Circuit Court to enforce the judgment.
But the Third District Court of Appeal overturned the circuit court’s enforcement of the $7.5 million judgment against Marriott for breach of contract and an award of punitive damages for two other claims.
The appellate judges found that American Bridge failed to  prove the existence of a joint venture among Marriott, Lehman Brothers and Gencom Group, which contracted with American Bridge to build a 300-slip marina at the Ritz-Carlton Rose Island resort.
American Bridge acknowledged the parties never formalized the joint venture but claimed they shared control over the day-to-day operations of the marina project. The appellate judges found no evidence of shared control.
The appellate panel also reversed claims that Marriott committed fraud by inducing American Bridge to enter into a marina construction contract by misrepresenting the availability of project financing.
The Bahamian court entered a judgment in 2010 against Ritz-Carlton Rose Island Hotel Co. Ltd. (RCRI) , a Bahamian company that Marriott formed in 2005. Lehman Brothers and Gencom later acquired a 75 percent stake in RCRI.
RCRI signed a $32.5 million contract with American Bridge for the marina, and construction began in 2007. But after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt the following year, RCRI could no longer fund the project and asked American Bridge to stop construction.
A Miami-Dade jury found in 2014 that a joint venture existed between Marriott and Gencom and decided RCRI was the agent of the joint venture. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marc Schumacher issued a final judgment in the case that made Marriott liable for the Bahamian judgment against RCRI. [Daily Business Review] — Mike Seemuth

]]> 0 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 18:00:15 +0000

A judge ruled state law preempts the county code.
A circuit court judge struck down a directive by Escambia County commissioners to prohibit short-term rentals of homes in residential neighborhoods.
In doing so, Judge Ross Goodman of the First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida allowed such services as Airbnb,  TurnKey and Vacation Rental By Owner to operate in the City of  Pensacola and in unincorporated Escambia County.
The county notified Margaret Hostetter that short-term rental of her four houses in Pensacola violated the Escambia County land development code. Her case was adjudicated in July by a special magistrate, who ruled that the code makes commercial activity in a residential neighborhood impermissible.
Hostetter appealed that decision to Judge Goodman, who found that state law preempts the county’s land development code.
State law prohibits the enactment of local laws and regulations that “can prohibit vacation rentals or regulate the duration or frequency” of such rentals.
In 2014, state Attorney General Pam Biondi issued an opinion that “zoning may not be used to prohibit vacation rentals in a particular area where residential use is otherwise allowed.” [Pensacola News-Journal] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 17:00:23 +0000

Hillsboro El Rio Park would replace a former landfill near Dixie Highway and Southwest 18 Street.
The Boca Raton City Council has approved a plan to transform a former garbage landfill to a park within five years, starting with selection of an architect.
The park project, called Hillsboro El Rio Park, would replace a former landfill at Dixie Highway and Southwest 18 Street, near a city-0wned baseball diamond and soccer field that opened in 2002
Hillsboro El Rio Park would span 10 acres and would feature a fitness trail and playground, picnic pavilions and restrooms, and a boat-launching location on the El Rio Canal. Other features that may be added include a pier for fishing and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.
The park will cost $6.5 million to develop and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019.
Efforts to put a park on the former garbage  dump in southeast Boca Raton dates back to 1988. The project hit multiple obstacles in the last 27 years, including economic recession and altered city priorities.
The 10-acre site is now littered with plastic bottles, an old tire and other junk. “No Trespassing” signs are posted, and a chain-link fence deters public use of the land.
With approval from the city council, city staff began seeking an architect for the park project. The city council will hold another public hearing on the project. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 16:00:35 +0000

Florida law prohibits the same store from selling groceries and liquor.
National retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens are renewing their campaign to repeal a state law prohibiting the sale of liquor in stores selling groceries.
The retailers have tried in the last two years to convince Florida lawmakers to repeal a state law that restricts the sale of spirits to liquor stores. State legislators have filed bills in the Florida House and Senate that would repeal the Prohibition-era law, but they have barely advanced.
Florida retailers that sell groceries and liquor must do so in separate stores with a separate entrances and a wall between them. Publix, Winn-Dixie and other grocers own liquor stores near their supermarkets. Wal-Mart and Target also have separate liquor stores at a small number of locations in Florida.
Lakeland-based Publix and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits have created a lobbying group called Florida Businesses Unite to maintain the status quo on liquor sales.
The group’s resistance contributed to the failure of a legislative effort last year to allow the installation of doors in walls separating grocery retailers and liquor stores.
Sarah Bascom, a spokeswoman for Florida Businesses Unite, told the Orlando Sentinel that “major policy changes like the fight over the wall, where there is no constituency asking for it and no real need, negatively impact Florida businesses and usually trace back to out-of-state companies seeking to change the law to better fit their business models.” [Orlando Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 15:00:37 +0000

Highland Beach
A development group paid $11 million for a one-acre oceanfront parcel in Highland Beach for townhome construction.
Capital Development Group, Halstall Real Estate Partners and Grafton Street Capital bought the parcel at 3621 Ocean Boulevard for $244 per square foot.
Scott Pressman of Keyes Co. Realtors and Frank Jichetti of United Realty Group represented the seller, Riverside Realty Trust. Jeffery Cohen of Douglas Elliman represented the buyers.
Pressman said in a prepared statement that the one-acre site  in Highland Beach is 200 feet wide, approximately 100 feet wider than most of the nearby parcels.
“The buyers definitely saw some incredible development potential,” Pressman said.
He also said the selling price of $244 per square foot was the highest this year for residential oceanfront land in Palm Beach County. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sun, 03 Jan 2016 14:00:18 +0000

Balcony at Unit 5A at Dunsten House in Palm Beach
A couple from Greenwich, Connecticut, bought a Palm Beach condo with ocean views for $5.25 million,  $250,000 below the asking price.
Mark J. and Patricia L. Davies bought Unit 5A on the fifth floor of Dunster House at 360 South Ocean Boulevard.
The sellers are Elinor C. and Ralph Lubow, who were represented by Heather T. Woolems of Sotheby’s International Realty. Woolems had listed the condo for sale with an asking price of $5.5 million in early October, and by October 15, it was under contract.
Paulette Koch and Dana Koch of the Corcoran Group represented the buyers.
The 2,500-square-foot condo has two bedrooms and a den. Its position on the southeast corner of Dunsten House provides ocean views from multiple rooms.
Elinor Lubow, who owned the condo through a trust, had bought it for $500,000 in 1980 from the late Michael Burrows, the developer of Dunsten House. [Palm Beach Daily News] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 21:00:41 +0000

Aerial view of Lakeland
An Illinois company acquired land in the Interstate 4 corridor for the biggest speculative development of industrial space in Lakeland in almost 10 years.
Rosemont, Illinois-based Big Acquisitions bought 112 acres along I-4 near Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland. The seller is R-G Lakeland, an affiliate of New York-based Rockefeller Group.
Big Acquisitions plans to build distribution centers on the 112-acre tract of land for companies that need 200,000 to 1 million square feet of industrial space.
Big Acquisitions previously had a role in the development of a nearby property called First Park at Bridgewater, a fully occupied industrial center that spans more than 2 million square feet.
Edward Miller, Dolores Seymour and Deborah Mickler of Colliers International Tampa Bay represented the seller of the 112 acres at 3401 Old Polk City Road in Lakeland. The land is near Exit 38 off Interstate 4.
Miller told that the land purchase by Big Acquisitions is an “institutional endorsement of Florida market fundamentals … Together with other recent expansions such as Amazon, WalMart and The Florida Polytechnic University, this development is a welcome affirmation of the future of Central Florida.” [] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 20:00:27 +0000

The Carillon condo hotel and spa in Miami Beach
Executives of Carillon Miami Beach told the South Florida Business Journal  they expect a spring groundbreaking for a $25 million renovation of the historic property, where Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack hung out.
“In its heyday, it was the place to be. Our whole initiative is to reintroduce that 1950s look and feel and make it modern,” Lester Scott, managing director of Carillon Miami Beach, told the Business Journal.
Z Capital Partners acquired the condo hotel and spa with 750 feet of beachfront about a year ago, when it was known as Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, and brought back its original name.
The property has positive momentum: Scott said since the Z Capital takeover of the Carillon, the property has ascended from No. 60 on to No. 2 among the TripAdvisor website’s list of recommended hotels in Miami Beach.
A  three-phase renovation will restore the property’s historic Tambourine Lounge, redesign its Thyme restaurant, upgrade its 70,000-square-foot spa and Palm Court terrace and guestrooms, and add new pool cabanas. The Carillon’s spa will be rebranded with additional services next year.
Much of the property’s redesign will make the Carillon’s beachfront more visible to its guests and residents.
“From Collins Avenue to the beach, this entire location will be renovated, restored and opened up to the outdoors,” Michael Choinierem, director of sales and marketing at Carillon Miami Beach, told the Business Journal.
The Carillon Miami Beach at 6801 Collins Avenue has 580 rooms, including 150 hotel rooms, all suites. Daily room rates range from $400 to $1,200.
Originally opened in 1957, the Carillon will remain open while planning for the renovation continues until January 2017.
“In 2016, we’re going to be action-packed. It’s extremely exciting for us,” Scott said. [South Florida Business Journal] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 19:00:50 +0000

The biggest Sonic location is a former Perkins Restaurant & Bakery in Cheektowga, New York.
Sonic Corp. has increased its conversion of commercial properties at high-traffic locations in Florida and other states to drive-in outlets for the quick-service restaurant chain.
The Oklahoma City-based company has converted banks as well as former quick-service and casual-dining locations to Sonic locations, Andrew “Drew” Ritger Jr., Sonic’s senior vice president of development, told Nation’s Restaurant News.
“As we expand, we found there was an opportunity to repurpose other restaurant locations,” Ritger said. “Many times, they are on great real estate, but they had run into some conditions like the operator of the other concept got into some financial trouble, or the license term or contract had ended and weren’t renewed.”
Sonic introduced its conversion format about two years in Childress, Texas. “What we normally do is take the shell of the building, and then we convert it to our kitchen layout,” Ritger told Nation’s Restaurant News. “Our kitchen designs can be put into just about every concept. Occasionally we have extra space for employee lockers or meeting rooms.”
Compared to constructing Sonic locations from the ground up, conversions usually have “lower investment cost and a faster construction cycle,” Ritger said.
Conversions can unfold up to 120 days faster than a typical Sonic location’s six-to-eight-month development schedule, and the cost savings are as much as 40 percent, he said.
Sonic’s conversions have been especially effective in expensive real estate markets of California and the Northeast.
Other markets where Sonic has repurposed locations include Alabama, Connecticut, Florida and Rhode Island. “It depends on what the opportunity is and if the franchisee believes it’s good real estate and a good business opportunity,” Ritger told Nation’s Restaurant News.
The largest restaurant in Sonic’s system is now in Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, which recently opened in a converted Perkins Restaurant & Bakery location. The restaurant spans 5,000 square feet and seats about 80 people. Ritger said business there been robust since the November 5 opening.
Sonic has converted former Burger King and Wendy’s restaurants in California, former Wendy’s and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery locations in New York, bank buildings in  New York and New Jersey, a former Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Cleveland and a former Wendy’s location in South Carolina.
Ritger told Nation’s Restaurant News that “most of the [conversion] locations already have the right conditional-use and drive-thru permits. These are things that save the franchisee time and money.”
Sonic had 3,526 drive-ins in 45 states as of August 31. [Nation’s Restaurant News] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 18:00:54 +0000

Downtown Winter Park’s historic district
A survey shows that Winter Park has the biggest share of the most valuable homes in Central Florida, ahead of Windermere, which has the second-biggest share.
The third annual survey by Potomac Land Co. for the Orlando Sentinel shows that Winter Park surpassed Windermere as the community with the largest share of the 100 most valuable homes in Central Florida, based on appraisals for property tax purposes.
In years past, wealthy newcomers to Central Florida tended to prefer the gated communities of Windermere to the lakefront residences of Winter Park.
But now, “we see more equilibrium between Windermere and Winter Park,” said Bill Sullivan, division president of Potomac Land Co., told the Orlando Sentinel.
Orlando Magic basketball player Vince Carter owns the most valuable home in Central Florida, a 20,000-square-foot residence at  the Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere appraised at $9.92 million.
Joyce Potts, an appraiser in Orlando, said other sports stars including Shaquille O’Neal and Ken Griffey Jr. own homes in Windermere, where proximity to theme parks is one of the attractions.
But the Potomac Land Co. found that the oak-tree-lined brick streets of Winter Park are home to the largest share of the 100 most valuable Central Florida homes.
Real estate developer Jerome Henin owns a Winter Park residence appraised at $4.1 million, making it one of the most valuable homes in Central Florida.
Henin, a native of France, told the Sentinel that his Winter Park address near Palmer Avenue along Lake Osceola is Central Florida’s  best location for strolls to restaurants and chance encounters with friends and acquaintances. “I walk two blocks,” he said, “and I’m eating whatever I want.” [Orlando Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 17:00:06 +0000

Downtown Clearwater
City leaders in Clearwater are soliciting proposals for residential developments in the city’s aging downtown.
“You need people to be living here, to use the services and the amenities, for a more vibrant downtown,” Geri Campos Lopez, the city’s director of economic development and housing, told the Tampa Tribune. “That’s a very critical component.”
Condominium buildings have opened downtown in recent years, including the 26-story Water’s Edge. The 51-unit SkyView condominium tower is under construction at 400 Cleveland Street. Another 257 apartments are under construction in the 1000 block of Cleveland Street.
The Urban Land Institute conducted a downtown study for the city in 2014 and estimated that downtown Clearwater could support 400 to 600 additional rental apartments in the next five years.
Following the release of the Urban Land Institute’s study, the city identified six properties for possible apartment developments and has listed them in a brochure distributed to developers, builders and architects. “Our goal is just to get the word out,” Lopez told the Tribune.
Lopez said the six properties are located in the city’s redevelopment district, which could make them eligible for development incentives.
The six properties are just east of the downtown area’s core and include a 3.7-acre site in the 1100 block south of Cleveland Street.
A vacant building in the 1100 block of Cleveland Street is owned by Clearwater Espacio Development, which planned to build condos and retail space on the site of the building. The project stalled during the recession, and city inspectors have since cited the owner for multiple building-code violations.
The city ordered demolition of the building, and in July, Clearwater Espacio filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the order. Lopez told the Tribune the owner is interested in selling the building and the city has had inquiries about it, “so that’s positive.”
The site of the vacant building is big enough for construction of 130 to 180 high-rise residential units plus ground-floor retail shops. [Tampa Tribune]— Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 16:00:04 +0000

The Coral Palms apartment complex in Golden Gate
Minnesota-based TE Miller Development LLC,  paid $58 million for two Naples-area apartment complexes with a total of 504 units.
The Oasis in North Naples and Coral Palms in Golden Gate are both 100 percent leased. Toronto-based Homestead Properties sold both apartment complexes.
The Oasis, located at 2277 Arbour Walk Circle in North Naples, has 216 units and was built in 1991. Coral Palms at 4539 Coral Palms Lane in Golden Gate is a 288-unit property built in 1988.
The  president and owner of TE Miller, Tom Miller, has been visiting the Naples area for more than 30 years, Mike Garvin, the company’s vice president, told the Naples Daily News. “We think Naples and Southwest Florida in general is a pretty place, and we really like the rental market down there,” he said. ”
TE Miller owns than 1,800 apartments units. Most are located in Minnesota. Garvin said the company recently sold apartments in Colorado and plans further acquisitions in Florida: We would like to grow in that area … buy other assets.”
Asking prices for Minnesota apartments have escalated, hindering efforts by TE Miller to expand its property portfolio there. [Naples Daily News] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 15:00:01 +0000

Kevin Daves
Developer Kevin Daves proposed a $200 million mixed-use development with condominiums, retail stores, offices and entertainment space in Sarasota County.
Daves wants to put the development, called Cassia Cay, on a 31-acre site near Sarasota Square Mall. The project is pending approval by Sarasota County approval.
Daves’ company, Core Development Inc., would acquire the land for Cassia Cay once approvals have been obtained.
Daves told the Business Observer the location of Cassia Cay is “extremely underserved” with respect to retail stores and restaurants.
Core Development and Naples-based Apogee Realty Advisors LLC plan to build 203 condos, office space totaling 60,000 square feet and 178,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space.
The condos are expected to sell at prices from $500,000 to $4 million. The Tampa office of real estate brokerage CBRE will market the commercial space at Cassia Cay.
Daves expects to start construction late next year and finish in 2018. He told the Business Observer that Cassia Cay would be patterned after the Mercato lifestyle center in Naples, which Prudential Real Estate Investors acquired in early 2015  for $240 million.
Daves is a co-developer of the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota and the upscale, golf-centered Concession community in east Manatee County.
Cassia Cay is “in exactly the same place as those projects were, in terms of potential,” Daves told the Business Observer. “It’s 31 acres on the water and U.S. 41, for one thing. If you pull back and look at the demographics in the area, this is a more logical site for development than either of the other places were.” [Business Observer] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 14:00:31 +0000

Lyme Stone Ranch Apartments in New Smyrna Beach
Commercial real estate brokerage CBRE arranged a $16.27 million loan to refinance of a 216-unit residential apartment complex in New Smyrna Beach.
Charles Foschini and Christopher Apone of CBRE’s Miami office arranged the financing on behalf Advenir, LLC, the owner of the Lyme Stone Ranch Apartments.
Freddie Mac provided the 10-year fixed-rate loan with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio.
The Freddie Mac loan replaced a HUD loan that CBRE originated for the borrower more than a decade ago.
Built in 2004, the Lyme Stone Ranch Apartments spans 20 acres. The property at 10101 Lymestone Court in New Smyrna Beach has a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom upscale apartments.
Among the amenities are a clubhouse overlooking a sun deck, a swimming pool, business center, 24-hour fitness center, car care area, and detached carports and garages.
]]> 0 Sat, 02 Jan 2016 13:00:26 +0000

Disney’s Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort
Disney World is a big draw for buyers of timeshare units, but proximity to the Magic Kingdom is no guarantee that the buyers will avoid foreclosure.
The number of foreclosed timeshare units near Disney World in the Orlando area has fallen from the levels of 2011 and 2012 but still tops 900 a year.
The Walt Disney Company did not disclose the  default rate on timeshare loans originated by the Disney Vacation Club. But the company said it is “significantly less” than the industry-wide 6.3 percent default rate on timeshare loans calculated by the American Resort Development Association.
Palm Financial Services, a Disney affiliate that handles all foreclosures on timeshare units financed by the Disney Vacation Club, handled 928 in 2014 in Orange County and more than 900 last year, according to county records.
Many of the units the Disney Vacation Club has foreclosed are concentrated in three resorts near Disney World: the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, the Animal Kingdom Villas and Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort.
Disney timeshares tend to have high resale value, so some industry observers are surprised that hundreds are sold annually at foreclosure auctions in Orange County.
Chris Skeldon, vice president of sales at Fidelity Real Estate, which resells timeshares, told the Orlando Sentinel he is “shocked and surprised. I think virtually anyone who’s in foreclosure with a Disney property, the vast majority of them have options they may not know about.”
Disney often buys back the deed to a timeshare unit in foreclosure, often for a nominal bid. But in some cases, multiple bidders emerge to acquire timeshares in foreclosure.
Indianapolis residents Brad Shaffer and Keith Dickerson bought about 20 Disney timeshare units in foreclosure last year. Shaffer told the Orlando Sentinel that “it looks like a lot more people have been bidding — not winning, but bidding.” [Orlando Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 23:15:02 +0000

In honor of the New Year holiday, we won’t be posting on Friday (but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for breaking news). The Real Deal wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday, and a joyous 2016! Be sure to check back bright and early on Saturday, for the start of TRD‘s weekend edition.
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 23:00:13 +0000
The Boca Raton mansion at 1720 Sable Palms Drive What can $5.5 million get you in Boca Raton? How about a grotto and wood-fire oven — both of which this lush mansion offer. A fire engulfed a luxe residential building in downtown Dubai on Thursday. And Florida International University is a planning a $25 million expansion at its west Miami-Dade County campus. Read these stories and more after the jump. … [more]]]>

The Boca Raton mansion at 1720 Sable Palms Drive
1. This lush Boca manse is asking $5.5 million [Miami Today]2. Fire engulfs luxury apartments in downtown Dubai [Miami Herald] 3. Miami University center plans $25 million expansion [SFBJ]4.  South Beach’s most interesting pizzeria expanding to Wynwood [Miami New Times]
— Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 21:30:48 +0000

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Credit: Gaga Skidmore)
Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio reportedly helped his brother-in-law, a convicted cocaine trafficker, get his Florida real estate license so he could practice in Miami.
Back in 2002, when Rubio held a senior role in the Florida House of Representatives, he wrote a letter to the Florida Division of Real Estate that recommended Orlando Cicilia for licensing, according to a report in the Washington Post.
What Rubio didn’t mention at the time was that Cicilia was married to his sister and living in his parents’ West Miami home, according to the Post.
Cicilia was arrested for cocaine trafficking in 1987 — when Rubio was only 16 years old — during a federal raid dubbed “Operation Cobra,” according to reports. He was convicted two years later for his role in distributing about $15 million worth of cocaine.
“Marco has recommended scores of Floridians for various professional positions and after Orlando paid his debt to society, Marco was happy to recommend him as well,” Todd Harris, Rubio’s presidential campaign advisor, wrote to the Washington Post in an email. “He believed Orlando should be judged on his own merits and felt it would be highly inappropriate, and could be perceived as exerting undue pressure, if his letter stated that Orlando was a relative.”
State documents show Cicilia is a licensed sales associate for Centrust Realty, a Coral Gables brokerage. His Realtor’s website shows no active listings. [Washington Post] — Sean Stewart-Muniz
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 20:45:15 +0000

Clockwise from left: 5800 North Bay Road and Phil Collins, Faena House and Ken Griffin, and 17 Indian Creek
Spec homes, mega-mansions, and vacant land — oh my. It was a banner year for residential sales in Miami, with big houses trading between even bigger names, from January all the way to December. 
The Real Deal compiled a list of Miami-Dade County’s biggest home and condo sales using archived stories and MLS data. The five properties that topped the list ranged from $23 million to $60 million and were located in South Florida’s meccas for glamorous houses: Miami Beach, Indian Creek Village and Key Biscayne.
Faena District
1. Hedge funder behind $60M Faena penthouse
Billionaire hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin paid $60 million for two penthouse units at the newly completed Faena House in Miami Beach, blowing past all records for residential sales in Miami-Dade County.
The massive 12,500-square-foot unit in Miami Beach was purchased in September through an LLC registered in Delaware. Griffin had the penthouse under contract for over a year, and he paid $10 million more than its asking price.
The Faena sale exceeded Miami’s record price for a condo unit, which was set by a $27.5 million unit in Miami Beach’s Continuum in December 2014. It even beat the record price for a single-family home that previously belonged to the $47 million sale of 3 Indian Creek Island Road.
Griffin, the CEO of investment company Citadel, has reportedly dropped just less than $300 million on properties in Chicago, New York and Miami Beach over the last two years. [more]
775 South Mashta Drive in Key Biscayne
2. Key Biscayne estate sells for record $47M
The former estate of one of Key Biscayne’s founding family members sold for $47 million to an undisclosed buyer, marking the most expensive sale ever on the island and tying the record for single-family home sales in Miami-Dade County.

The 11,600-square-foot mansion, at 775 South Mashta Drive, was listed for a then-record $60 million in 2014. The waterfront five-story estate spans 2 acres and includes 2,000 feet of water frontage. It features 360-degree views, a pool and gazebo area, and a private deep water yacht harbor.
The property was the “playground of America’s elite at the turn of the century.” William J. Matheson built the original home, known as Mashta House, in 1917. ONE Sotheby’s International Realty agents Jorge Uribe and Tata Botero represented the seller, and Uribe also represented the buyer. [more]

5800 North Bay Road and Phil Collins
3. Phil Collins picks up J. Lo’s former Miami Beach manse for $33M 
Singer-songwriter Phil Collins is the new owner of Jennifer Lopez’s former North Bay Road mansion, paying a whopping $33 million for the property in June.
Healthcare executive Mark Gainor and his wife were the sellers of the waterfront Miami Beach estate at 5800 North Bay Road. EWM’s Nelson Gonzalez represented the couple. Mathieu Rochette of Barclay’s Real Estate Group represented the buyer.
Lopez initially sold the 1.2-acre property in 2005 to Gainor for $13.9 million. The 12,153-square-foot mansion includes seven bedrooms, eight full baths, three half-baths, a pool and Jacuzzi. It was built in 1929 and features 200 feet of Biscayne Bay frontage. [more]
Aerial view of 17 Indian Creek Drive
4. Buyer of $30M Indian Creek mansion revealed as former US Airways CEO 
Rakesh Gangwal, a former CEO of U.S. Airways, purchased a Miami Beach mansion for $30 million in February.
Financier Charles Johnson sold the 16,393-square-foot home at 17 Indian Creek Island Road to Rakesh and Shobha Gangwal, Miami-Dade County records show. Gangwal, co-founder of IndiGo, an Indian budget airline, was CEO of U.S. Airways from 1991 to 1998.
He also led Worldspan Technologies, a travel technology and information services company as its CEO from 2003 to 2007. Nelson Gonzalez of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell/Christie’s represented both the seller — the retired founder of Franklin Templeton Funds — and the buyer of 17 Indian Creek Island Road.
The 16,393-square-foot waterfront estate sits on an 80,000-square-foot lot and has five bedrooms, five baths and three half-baths. [more]
9 Indian Creek Drive
5. founder sells lot on Indian Creek for $25.7M founder Robert Diener and his wife Michelle Diener sold the lot at 9 Indian Creek Drive in March. The Dieners sold the 1.8-acre property to Vladimir Krasavtsev for $25.69 million, or about $321 per square foot. That marks a new record for vacant land on Indian Creek Island.
Before that, Barry Schwartz, the co-founder and chairman of Calvin Klein, sold the lot for $19.2 million in 2012.
Robert Diener is also president and co-founder of travel website

]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 20:10:15 +0000

Clockwise from left: Motorola Solutions campus, Miami Center and the Airport Corporate Center
Cruise lines, tech companies and health care firms were among the largest office tenants inked in 2015. 
Click to enlarge
The top five deals ranged from 120,000 square feet at Miami Center to nearly 260,000 square feet at a Plantation office campus. The Real Deal analyzed CoStar Group data for the tri-county area in 2015 by square footage.
Those that missed the cut include Simply Healthcare at the Flagler Corporate Center in Miami and WeWork, which leased nearly 100,000 square feet in downtown Miami. Check out the list:
1. Magic Leap leases 260K square feet at Plantation office complex
3-D software developer Magic Leap signed a lease for 259,737 square feet at the former Motorola Mobility headquarters.
Magic Leap has started moving into its new space at 8000 West Sunrise Boulevard. The company expects make a capital investment of $150 million in Broward, according to the county’s economic development department in November.
Torburn Partners, privately owned Illinois-based commercial real estate company firm, refinanced the 77-acre office campus in August with a $43 million loan.
Motorola Solutions campus in Plantation
2. AmSurg Corp. inks 166K square feet at Plantation office campus
AmSurg, a publicly traded health care company, signed a lease for 166,793 square feet at the same office complex as Magic Leap. The Nashville, Tennessee-based firm was set to move in by September and expand by 55,000 square feet in 2017.
AmSurg agreed to pay $1.7 million in rent from Sept. 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
3. Royal Caribbean renews Miramar office lease
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited signed a lease renewal and extension with then-Chambers Street Properties, a real estate investment trust. Chambers Street merged with New York-based Gramercy Property Trust this month.
Royal Caribbean, the world’s largest cruise line, inked the 128,540-square-foot lease at the Miramar II building, at 14700 Royal Caribbean Way in Miramar. The Class A office building is adjacent to the I-75 Miramar Parkway exit.
The deal extends the lease to 2028, according to a press release.
Airport Corporate Center
4. Norwegian Cruise Line expands Doral headquarters
Norwegian Cruise Line in February renewed and expanded the lease for its corporate headquarters in Doral. NCL’s offices are located at Airport Corporate Center, a 1-million-square-foot, 11-building office park.
It added about 70,000 square feet to its existing lease, bringing the total to 276,364 square feet, the largest office lease signed in South Florida over the past five years, according to CBRE Research.
CBRE’s Diana Parker, Richard Bamonte and Janette Driggers represented the landlord, CBRE Global Investors. Stuart Gordon of Flagler Brokerage and Management Services, together with Jim Travers and Stewart Niles of Travers Cresa, represented NCL.
Miami Center
5. Citi renews 125K square foot lease at Miami Center
In June, Citigroup renewed its 15-year lease as the anchor tenant of Miami Center, a 34-story office tower in downtown Miami. Owner and landlord Crocker Partners has invested $20 million in renovations to the tower.
Citigroup’s lease spans 125,000 square feet, the largest in the building. Jon Blunk of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the lease for Crocker Partners, while Patrick Duffy of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented Citigroup.
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 19:30:38 +0000

The nine-story office building at 6262 Southwest Sunrise Drive in South Miami
The real estate arm of a Fortune 500 company just paid $40 million for a fully leased office building in South Miami.
USAA Real Estate Co., which invests in properties on behalf of the United Services Automobile Association, purchased the nine-story building at 6262 Southwest Sunset Drive through a deed recorded this week.
The building was sold by JW Advance, a Boca Raton company headed by Jeffrey J. Weiss. Miami-Dade County records show he built the office tower, though it’s unclear how much he paid for the 0.85 acres of land where it stands today.
Measuring 198,669 square feet, the building was first put up in 1986. It has 100,798 square feet of leasable space, all of which is taken up by Interval International — a leisure company that offers memberships to owners of timeshares in resorts around the world. The property is across the street from a development site that sold for $347 per square foot, or $8.8 million, in July.
Interval International has based its headquarters in the South Miami tower since its doors first opened in 1986, according to a LoopNet listing. The company still has roughly four years left on its lease, which is set to expire on December 31, 2020.
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 19:00:46 +0000

From left: Chang Xiaobing, Guo Guangchang and Zhang Yun
Being in charge of a large Chinese company or investment firm might be one of the most dangerous jobs out there at the moment.
On Wednesday, Chang Xiaobing, CEO of the state-owned telecoms giant China Telecom, resigned after becoming the latest Chinese executive to go missing amid a government-led nationwide crackdown on corruption.
Multiple high-profile executives have gone missing in recent months, in the wake of China’s stock market crash. As many as 36 companies reported executives missing from January to September, according to a Bloomberg report.
The Beijing-based independent magazine Caijing reported on Sunday that Xiaobing was “lost” and uncontactable via mobile phone. The report said he had been “taken away because of serious disciplinary review,” and it featured a picture claiming to show his office had been sealed.
What is clear is his fate isn’t unique. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the highest-profile and most important execs who have gone missing:
In December, 48-year-old Guo Guangchang, known as “China’s Warren Buffett,” who is the head of China’s Fosun Group, went missing. Guo is worth an estimated $6.9 billion (£4.5 billion). His investment group, Fosun, owns Club Med and Cirque du Soleil among others. He reappeared in the U.S. after about a week spent out of contact.
Yim Fung, chairman and CEO of the Hong Kong-listed Guotai Junan International Holdings, went missing in November. Guotai shares tumbled 12% when his disappearance was announced.
Two senior executives, Chen Jun and Yan Jianlin, of China’s Citic Securities — the firm at the centre of a government investigation into China’s stock-market rout — disappeared in November. Their involvement in the investigation brings to at least 10 the number of Citic Securities executives implicated in the investigations to determine the causes of the stock plunge that wiped out $5 trillion of market value.
Zhang Yun, president of the Agricultural Bank of China, one of China’s four massive, state-owned banks, was detained in October as part of a corruption investigation. The bank is ranked as the world’s third-largest bank with $2.7 trillion in assets, according to SNL Financial.
Poon Ho Man, CEO of China Aircraft Leasing Group, resigned by letter while on holiday in June and hasn’t been in contact since.
Xu Jun, chairman of the department-store operator Ningbo Zhongbai, disappeared and couldn’t answer questions over his personal connection with the hedge fund manager Xu Xiang, who is under investigation for suspected insider trading, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 18:30:12 +0000
From left: renderings of Aria on the Bay, the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo, and One River Point

Record-breaking sales weren’t the only byproduct of a hot year for South Florida’s real estate market: design companies came up with some seriously eye-popping renderings of new developments, and even conjured images of what the region could look like in future years.

The Real Deal picked out a few of 2015’s hottest renderings so you can reflect on another year of explosive development in South Florida. … [more]]]>

From left: renderings of Aria on the Bay, the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo, and One River Point
Record-breaking sales weren’t the only byproduct of a hot year for South Florida’s real estate market: design companies came up with some seriously eye-popping renderings of new developments this year, and even conjured images of what the region could look like in the future.
The Real Deal picked out a few of 2015’s hottest renderings so you can reflect on another year of explosive development in South Florida.
The VisualHouse rendering of the downtown Miami skyline in 2030 (Aerial photography credit: SkyPan International)
#1 What will downtown Miami look like in 2030?
This rendering from design firm VisualHouse was a big hit on TRD’s website. It takes an educated guess at what the downtown Miami skyline will look like in the next 15 years — assuming no new projects are proposed and built between now and then. The image is a real photo of the downtown Miami skyline, interlaced with computerized versions of 11 upcoming skyscrapers that are approved or are already under construction. Some of the buildings included are SkyRise Miami, the 1,000-foot observation tower being developed by Jeff Berkowitz, and Ugo Colombo’s Brickell Flatiron, which evokes a similar style to New York City’s famed Flatiron Building.
Rendering of Elysee in East Edgewater
#2 Elysee Residences 
Amid the building boom in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood is Elysee, an all-glass tower that will eventually stretch 57 stories at 700 Northeast 23rd Street. The project is headed by Two Roads Development, who are also involved in the nearby Biscayne Beach condo project that’s under construction. The team made a big splash when it announced Elysee in August, claiming the tower will be Edgewater’s tallest when it’s finished in 2018.
A rendering of the two-tower Apeiron at the Jockey Club project in North Miami
#3 Apeiron at the Jockey Club
A development led by the former COO of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. hopes to revitalize an aging condo complex in North Miami called the Jockey Club. Included in its plans are two sleek side-by-side towers with 240 residences and 90 hotel rooms. Their uneven elevations make it look like there are four towers instead of two, though their glass exteriors contrast sharply with the condo complex’s existing 1960s-era buildings.
A rendering of the Miami Beach Convention Center project
#4 Miami Beach Convention Headquarter Hotel
Designed by architecture firm John Portman & Associates, the hotel portion of the proposed Miami Beach Convention Center redevelopment project would feature 800 rooms, rooftop lounge and several food and beverage outlets. Miami Beach residents still need to give the project at least 60 percent of their votes for Portman to move forward, but the firm hopes to have the hotel built by Art Basel 2018.
Fasano Hotel + Residences at Shore Club (Credit: Visualhouse)
#5 Fasano Hotel + Residences at Shore Club
Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld is leading the redesign of the Shore Club, which will reopen under the Fasano brand name in 2017. On the development side, New York’s HFZ Capital Group will head construction for the 100-room hotel, which will also feature 75 residential units. The north tower will be converted to an eight-story structure, while the south tower will retain most of the property’s historic details, including the main hotel lobby. Units will range from 800 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet, and include floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces, some of which will exceed 3,000 square feet.
Amenities villa at the Estates at Acqualina (Credit: ArX Solutions)
#6 The Estates at Acqualina
The Trump Group, of no relation to Donald, is developing the Estates at Acqualina, a 5.6-acre, 50-story waterfront tower at 17901 Collins Avenue. When completed in 2019, the Estates will include an amenities villa complete with an ice skating rink, bowling, a movie theater, and a “Wall Street Trader’s Club” with a ticker tape. Outside, the project will feature a sculpture garden, walking trails, and six pools —  with a FlowRider for surfing, bocce court, dog park, soccer field and basketball court. ArX Solutions created the renderings, which were released in June.
Renderings of the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo Center
#7 Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo
Yet another piece of the massive Miami Worldcenter project was revealed earlier this year, when developer MDM Group unveiled its plans for a quad-tower Marriott hotel with more than 600,000 square feet of convention space. Dubbed the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo, the 1,800-room hotel will be the largest in South Florida when it opens in 2018. That honor is currently held by the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which has 1,500 rooms.
A rendering of the Bal Harbour Shops renovation and expansion plan
#8 Bal Harbour Shops 
The luxe Bal Harbour Shops is on the brink of undergoing a $400 million face lift, courtesy of Whitman Family Development. In June, the family owned real estate company revealed it planned to renovate the shops — which have sat untouched for the last two decades — as well as expand several of the major tenants. A vital land swap with between Bal Harbour Village and Whitman passed this year, and groundbreaking is expected in the near future. 
Rendering of Jeff Greene’s One West Palm project in West Palm Beach
#9 One West Palm 
Talk about going green: In November, billionaire real estate mogul Jeff Greene gave the public a revised look at his One West Palm project, which features twin towers decked out with rooftop green spaces and a vine-covered retail podium. The project would total about 829,000 square feet, split between offices, residences and a 200-room hotel. The bottom floors would also house a conference center, spa and retail space. One West Palm’s design resembles two 30-story stacks of glassy cubes that don’t quite line up with one another.
The top floors of developer Shahab Karmely’s One River Point
#10 One River Point 
Last but certainly not least is this shot of developer Shahab Karmely’s ritzy One River Point project in Miami. These twin 60-story towers will be connected by a massive three-story bridge dubbed the “Sky Club,” complete with its own selection of two restaurants, cigar club and movie screening room. Another one of this project’s notable features, not pictured here, is an 85-foot waterfall that flows down a floating podium. Call it luxury or extravagance, designer Rafael Viñoly wanted to pack it all into one development.
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 17:45:11 +0000

AMLI Doral
Chicago-based AMLI Residential scored a $56.9 million mortgage for its Doral apartment complex, Miami-Dade County records show. 
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company is the lender, according to mortgage documents. The 14.5-acre community, at 11481 Northwest 41st Street, was completed in 2013. It includes 352 apartments, a pool, fitness center, resident lounge and business center, and saunas.
AMLI acquired the complex, which surrounds a lake, in April for $103.5 million. Codina-Carr Residential sold what is now AMLI Doral, which is north of Dolphin Mall and east of the Florida Turnpike. Monthly rents for the one, two and three-bedroom apartments range from $1,670 to $2,265.
AMLI has been active in South Florida in 2015. The Chicago-based luxury apartment developer purchased a Midtown Miami development site for $55 million and with approval to build 700 units. It also paid in April $104.5 million for a 350-apartment community in Kendall.
Doral has seen an influx of new developments this cycle. Its urban transformation includes the addition of two mixed-use, master-planned communities: Downtown Doral, developed by Codina Partners, and CityPlace Doral, developed by the Related Group, Shoma Homes and Prudential. Sergio Pino’s Century Homebuilders Group is also planning a mixed-use development, Midtown Doral, a four-phase development near the corner of Northwest 107th Avenue and Northwest 74th Street.
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 17:00:14 +0000

775 South Mashta Drive in Key Biscayne
The former estate of one of Key Biscayne’s founding family members has sold for $47 million, marking the second most expensive residential sale in Miami-Dade County this year and the most expensive ever on the island.

775 South Mashta Drive (click to enlarge)
The 11,600-square-foot mansion, at 775 South Mashta Drive, was listed for $60 million in 2014. The waterfront five-story estate spans 2 acres and includes 2,000 feet of water frontage. It features 360-degree views, a pool and gazebo area, and a private deep water yacht harbor.
The home sold for $4,052 per square foot.
According to the listing, the property was the “playground of America’s elite at the turn of the century.” William J. Matheson built the original home, known as Mashta House, in 1917. Guests such as the Vanderbilts, Carnegies and Mellons stayed in the Key Biscayne home in the ’20s and ’30s – arriving by yacht, the Miami Herald reported. That structure was reportedly demolished in the 1950s. In 1991, the current six-bedroom, eight-bedroom home was developed on the property, according to
ONE Sotheby’s International Realty agents Jorge Uribe and Tata Botero listed the estate in September 2014 for $60 million, then dropped the price to $55 million in May. The Southeast Florida MLS shows that the $47 million transaction closed on Dec. 23.
Uribe declined to comment on the sale, but said that he also represented the buyer. A buyer was not listed on the MLS and the sale has not yet been uploaded to Miami-Dade County records. The seller is Pitu Inc., which managed by local attorney William C. Lewis Jr. The entity paid $1.3 million for the land in 1989, records show.
The sale matches the record for single-family homes in Miami-Dade – the $47 million sale of 3 Indian Creek Island Road in 2012. It comes in second for all residential sales this year, superseded by the sale of a penthouse at the newly completed Faena House condominium in Miami Beach. Billionaire Ken Griffin paid $60 million for the condo, setting an all-time residential record in the county.

]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 16:15:40 +0000

The Modera Town Center Apartments in Miramar
Developer Mill Creek Residential just sold its newly built apartment community in Miramar to a New York firm for $120 million.
The deal includes Modera Town Center Apartments, a rental community with 487 units within the Miramar Town Center development at 11575 City Hall Promenade. The units are split between two apartment complexes with attached parking garages, and a spread of lakeside townhouses at 11571 Canal Street.
An affiliate of Mill Creek built the complex, which sprawls out over just less than 20 acres, after paying New York’s Rockefeller Group $12.5 million for the land. Rockefeller had already developed a neighboring mixed-use project as part of a joint-venture with Kimco Realty.
The buyer is a company linked to Global Securitization Services, a New York firm that specializes in investing on behalf of clients such as banks, finance companies and industrial corporations.
At $120 million, this deal breaks down to about $246,406 per unit. The buyer financed its purchase with a massive $72 million loan from Berkeley Point Capital, according to Broward County records. listings show units at the project range in price from $1,527 to $3,652 per month. Their sizes range between 702 and 1,566 square feet. Some of the complex’s amenities include swimming pools, fitness studio, clubhouse with arcade room and a children’s playground.
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 15:30:58 +0000

Four Seasons Miami
New York-based Westbrook Partners has closed on $80 million in financing for the hotel and shared components of the Four Seasons tower in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood.
Miami-Dade County records show that VII MP Miami Hotel Owner LLC, a Westbrook affiliate, took out the loan for the property at 1435 Brickell Avenue. Delaware Life Insurance Company is the lender.
Westbrook acquired a majority stake in the 221-key luxury hotel in 2010 as part of a three-hotel deal with Millennium Partners, paying $40 million to eliminate debt on the Miami property, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. The sale went through county records at $29.5 million, which at the time was 65 percent less than its assessed value.
The property, also known as the Millennium Tower condo hotel, was developed in 2003 by Millennium Partners. The 70-story, 789-foot tower is currently the tallest in Florida. Hotel amenities include two resort-style pools, a 24-hour business center, private cabanas and access to Equinox fitness classes and a spa.
The Four Seasons also has two restaurants: Edge Steak & Bar and Bahia. The property is in the heart of Brickell, near Brickell City Centre, which when completed will include a 500,000-square-foot shopping component, two condominium towers, two Class A office buildings, and its EAST, Miami Hotel.
Earlier this year, Gaedeke Group paid $142 million for the Espirito Santo Plaza, at 1395 Brickell Avenue. The Conrad Miami, on the same property as the Espirito Santo Plaza, was listed for sale in July and expected to sell for more than $100 million.
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:45:33 +0000

From left: China Oceanwide Holdings’ Lu Zhiqiang and Dalian Wanda’s Wang Jianlin
From the New York website: Much like their crafty stateside competitors, Chinese developers are constructing massive commercial projects in the biggest U.S. cities, and filling the apartments with Chinese citizens.
Seeking a safe, profitable investment outside the reach of the Chinese government, major Chinese players and development companies such as Greenland Holding Group, Dalian Wanda Group and Oceanwide Holdings have bought $5 billion in U.S. commercial real estate this year, up from $2.5 billion last year and $1 billion in 2010.
In many U.S. projects developed by Chinese firms, including Greenland’s “Metropolis,” a three-tower condo project in downtown Los Angeles, more than a third of the buyers are from China, according to the Wall Street Journal. The buyers are generally wealthy and upper-middle-class citizens seeking an investment or a place to send their children while they attend an American university.
The market-at-home and build abroad strategy is logical for the developers. They’re “household names or brand names within China,” said Martin Polevoy, an attorney with DLA Piper in New York who advises Chinese real-estate firms on U.S. property. “People trust them and they will sign on to one of their projects in the U.S.”
According to the Journal, most of the top developers hope to one day collect as much as 20 percent of revenue from Western markets. [WSJ] – James Kleimann
]]> 0 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:00:05 +0000

Current reader favorites:1. Rooms galore: Hotels that opened in 2015 in Miami-Dade2. The Real Deal’s most popular stories of 20153. Where is Miami in the real estate cycle on the eve of 2016?4. Top 5 SoFla preconstruction condo trends that emerged in 20155. Movers & Shakers: Elliman taps Fort Lauderdale managing broker…and more
]]> 0 Wed, 30 Dec 2015 23:00:31 +0000
Serena Williams and Carla Suárez Navarro face off at the 2015 Miami Open (Credit: Christophe95)A tournament organizer’s bid to expand the Miami Open in Key Biscayne has been shot down by a court of appeals. Federal authorities are moving to seize 16 properties in Broward after their owner was hit with charges of alleged marijuana trafficking. And check out this list of some of the hottest interior design trends to look forward to in 2016. Read these stories and more after the jump. … [more]]]>

Serena Williams and Carla Suárez Navarro face off at the 2015 Miami Open (Credit: Christophe95)
1. Court slams Miami Open’s bid to expand [Miami Today]2. Feds move to seize 16 South Florida properties from alleged marijuana trafficker [SFBJ] 3. Top 5 interior design trends for 2016 [Wall Street Journal]4.  Superfood franchise to open its first Florida cafe in South Beach [SFBJ]
— Sean Stewart-Muniz
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Miami skyline (Credit: Wyn Van Devanter), from left: Carlos Melo, Ugo Colombo, Gil Dezer, David Polinsky and Jack McCabe
Despite high confidence among prominent Miami developers that the real estate market is not due for a significant downturn in 2016, some experts are cautioning that sales will continue to dip, which could possibly ignite a mild recession by the end of the year.
“We are going to see prices continue to appreciate through the first half of year, but at a much slower pace,” said Jack McCabe, founder and CEO of McCabe Research and Consulting. “In the last half of the year, we will see prices flatten, increases in inventory and slowing demand from buyers.”
Acknowledging condo sales are moving slower, CMC Group CEO Ugo Colombo told The Real Deal he believes it’s a sign of a healthy real estate market. “It is leveling off at a sustainable rate,” Colombo said. “You cannot expect to keep selling 100 units a month. Right now, there is a healthy balance of supply and demand.”
Since mid-2014, the influx of foreign buyers that fueled an unprecedented condo boom after the 2008 recession has tapered off due to foreign currencies losing value against the rising U.S. dollar. Yet Colombo said the South Florida condo market has become so diversified that it can weather economic trouble in countries from which developers cull buyers.
“We are seeing more Europeans, as well as Middle Eastern and Asian buyers who were not here before,” Colombo said. He added his company’s Brickell Flatiron project is experiencing steady sales activity among buyers from Colombia, Mexico, the Caribbean and domestic markets like New York.
Carlos Melo, a principal of the Melo Group, which has developed apartment and condo projects in Edgewater and the Arts & Entertainment District, said he sees a consolidation in the real estate market in the upcoming year.
“I don’t think there are going to be many new projects getting off the ground if they haven’t already,” Melo said. “We are still absorbing the product that is coming online. We are not getting ahead of ourselves in the real estate industry.”
Gil Dezer, whose company Dezer Development is building Porsche Design Tower and Residences by Armani/Casa in Sunny Isles Beach, told TRD some of the slowdown can be attributed to a more cautious real estate industry.
“All our projects in Sunny Isles Beach have been staggered six to eight months from each other,” Dezer said. “There are not a ton of closings taking place in one day and we are not putting a ton of units out there at one time.”
Dezer said 2016 could see more buyers of condos that have been recently finished or near completion starting to put up their properties for resale as prices for newer pre-construction units become more expensive. “I think resales are going to do very well,” Dezer said.
However, recent statistics indicate the South Florida condo market is beginning to overextend itself. According to a December market report by the Association of Miami Realtors, there were 14,770 existing condo transactions through November, down from 17,142 during the same period in 2013 and 16,409 from January to November 2014.
As sales have slowed, the number of condo buildings under construction or in the planning stages continues to skyrocket. The Realtor’s association report notes 38 towers totaling 3,639 units have been completed east of I-95 in Miami-Dade County since 2011. Another 74 towers with a combined 10,148 units are under construction. An additional 65 towers with a total of 9,131 units have been announced, but have not begun development.
A third-quarter condo market report prepared by Integra Realty Resources for Miami’s Downtown Development Authority noted the downtown Miami residential development was “firmly in the middle of its market cycle.” The report also stated that the beginning of 2016 will mark the largest increase in supply in nearly a decade with more than 3,000 units of rental and condominium inventory.
Furthermore, condo sales are significantly dependent on all cash buyers, who predominantly hail from foreign countries. According to the Realtor’s association, 67.5 percent of condo closings were made in cash in the month of November, which is more than double the average of 24 percent in the rest of the United States.
The combination of primarily relying on all cash buyers, an oversupply of condos, and a slowdown in sales is a recipe for another recession, McCabe told TRD.
“I think there are a lot of people putting blinders on and burying their heads in the sand that there is not going to be a downturn beginning in the next two years,” McCabe said. “They better wake up and start paying attention to the economic indicators. We will see another recession. It won’t be as severe as the last one, but it will have a negative effect on real estate down here.”
David Polinsky, a principal in Fortis Design Build, a firm developing mixed-use projects in Wynwood, said 2016 will serve as a test for luxury condo developers who have not reached the buyer reservation threshold needed to begin construction on their projects. “There will be some thinning out,” Polinsky said. “We don’t expect to see a lot of new condo projects announced this year.”
The glut of luxury condos will benefit mixed-use infill projects away from the waterfront. “Now that there is critical mass in neighborhoods like MiMo, Brickell, downtown Miami, and Wynwood, these areas need better retail components and more rental,” Polinsky said. “Those projects will continue to get activated and get underwritten. It’s a sign the market is maturing.”

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4385 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach
A waterfront estate on Miami Beach’s Pine Tree Drive has hit the market for $19.9 million, next door to a new spec home that sold for $19.5 million last week.
The 6,592-square-foot newly listed property, at 4385 Pine Tree Drive, has eight bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half baths, including a guest house. It has a gated driveway and sits on a 35,300-square-foot lot with 100 feet of water frontage.
Michele Redlich of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate has the listing. The asking price equates to $3,019 per square foot.
Miami-Dade property records show the owner, Alyssa Baumgarten, paid $743,000 for the home in 1990. It was built in 1950. 
The home features a formal dining room, living and media rooms, a master suite with dual bathrooms, and a private guest house. Recent upgrades include a renovated kitchen, with wood cabinetry, granite countertops, dual stainless-steel appliances and an island.  
Pine Tree Drive is among several streets in Miami Beach that have drawn the interest of spec home developers. Last week Todd Glaser and Sean Posner and Jarrett Posner sold a spec home they developed at 4395 Pine Tree Drive for $19.5 million to a trust managed by Lisa A. Schneider.
Douglas Elliman’s Brett Harris, who had listed the home, said the sale marked a new record on the street, following his sale two years ago for a Pine Tree Drive home at $14.25 million.
The owners of Cibo Wine Bar earlier this month listed their newly built home at 5501 Pine Tree Drive for $8.49 million, or $1,633 per square foot.
New rules will affect future home development in Miami Beach. Earlier this month, the Miami Beach Commission moved toward limiting the lot and unit size of new single-family homes being built in Miami Beach. Under the new rules, a developer planning to build a 5,000-square-foot home on a 10,000-square-foot lot would have to reduce the house’s size by 500 square feet.
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From left: Robert Sulentic, CEO of CBRE, and Colin Dyer, CEO of JLL
From the New York website: The biggest commercial real estate brokerages had a voracious appetite for brokerages and other businesses this year, and experts say they are likely to remain hungry in 2016.
CBRE Group and JLL, the largest of their kind in the world, scooped up several brokerages and niche businesses this year, a sign of a thriving market and a shift in demand for firms with greater global clout, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In September, Los Angeles-based CBRE closed on its $1.47 billion acquisition of Johnson Control’s facilities management business, Global Workplace Solutions. It also scooped up United Commercial Realty, Environmental Services Inc. and PKF Consulting. Chicago-based JLL closed or announced 25 deals between the  2014 and the beginning of 2015, totaling more than $500 million, the newspaper reported.
Cushman & Wakefield, however, slowed its acquisitions after its $2 billion merger with DTZ. Analysts said Cushman likely isn’t keeping pace in the acquisition game because it has more debt than JLL and CBRE. The firm, however, seems poised to go public next year, which would help in competing with the two commercial giants.
The volume of acquisitions is, in part, thanks to record-high sales and prices. The firms are also trying to expand their international experience and rely less on volatile broker commissions.  [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel
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Echo Aventura and Kevin Maloney
New York-based Property Markets Group closed on a $33.8 million condo inventory loan last week for unsold units at Echo Aventura, county records show.
Ryan Shear, Carlos Ott and Kevin Maloney
PMG, led by Kevin Maloney, took the low leverage loan out for 25 units, including upper and lower penthouse units. Three units are in the west tower and the remaining 22 are in the east tower, according to the mortgage. The development sold the other 165 units and expects to sell out next year, PMG principal Ryan Shear told The Real Deal.
“It’s typical in projects when we have retired equity and debt and are left with a balance of inventory,” Shear said.
An affiliate of Benefit Street Partners, an investment arm of Providence Equity Partners, is the lender. Benefit Street Partners manages more than $11 billion in assets, according to its website.
Echo Aventura marks the first completed South Florida condo project for PMG this real estate cycle and the third completed condo project in Aventura since the cycle began in 2011. The two 12-story towers, at 3250 and 3300 Northeast 188th Street, include 190 units. PMG began recording closings for the development in mid-August, according to Miami-Dade County records.
Carlos Ott is the project architect and Yabu Pushelberg designed the interiors. The 5-acre development includes amenities such as access to a bayfront infinity edge pool, a 4,000-square-foot fitness center, two private porte cochere entrances and an event room, marketing materials show. Units are fully furnished, and feature summer kitchens and Apple home technology. Prices range from $700 per square foot to more than $1,000 per square foot, Shear said.
Earlier this month, PMG partnered with Greybrook Securities and Greybrook Realty Partners on the luxury condo component of 300 Biscayne in downtown Miami.
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The two homes at 5 and 3 Harborage Isle Drive in Fort Lauderdale
Two deals, one week: The same buyers who paid more than $27 million for David J. Stern’s island estate in Fort Lauderdale just picked up the neighboring house for $8 million.
And they aren’t the only ones making moves this week. The seller of the $8 million home, Sylvia Baldini, is a major property owner on Harborage Isle, and is apparently trying to offload her portfolio of spectacular waterfront mansions.
On Dec. 23, the 888 Property Trust — with Boca Raton lawyer Jeffrey L. Greenberg at its helm — paid $8.2 million for the home at 3 Harborage Isle Drive. That same day, the trust also purchased David J. Stern’s sprawling 1.4-acre estate at 5 Harborage Isle Drive for $27.5 million.
So what does nearly $36 million get you? The trust now controls Harborage Isle’s entire western exposure, which includes more than 2 acres of prime waterfront real estate. That also comes with about 23,000 square feet of residential space between the two houses, which have a combined 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, two pools and a private tennis court.
The home at 3 Harborage Isle, which neighbors Stern’s estate, was sold by Baldini. She originally paid $7.7 million for the 1970s era residence in 2002, and until this year, owned four of the island’s 17 homes.
The four Harborage Isle properties once owned by Sylvia Baldini
Broward County records show Baldini’s holdings used to include the homes at 1, 2, 3 and 9 Harborage Isle Drive. Several news reports said Baldini bought these houses at the same time her husband, Lawrence Duprey, headed the faltering CL Financial insurance conglomerate in the Caribbean. Several executives at one the firm’s subsidiaries, CLICO, were even allegedly accused of siphoning millions of dollars from the company, according to a report in the Trinidad Daily Express. The insurance conglomerate was later bailed out by the government of Trinidad and Tobago to the tune of $7.3 billion, according to a report in the Guardian of Trinidad and Tobago.
Baldini put three of her Harborage Isle homes up for sale last year: the properties at 2, 5 and 9 Harborage Isle Drive. Two successfully sold this year, while the third — 9 Harborage Isle Drive — is still on the market, according to listing service Redfin.
An interesting note is that the listing 3 Harborage Isle Drive, the one 888 Property Trust bought, said it was an “urgent” sale at below market value. County records show Baldini’s ownership on the island has been troubled: the community’s association and various lenders have filed multiple foreclosure suits against the properties for delinquent liens and loans.
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Janet Yellen
From the New York website: Could the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike this month prove the end of an era?
The Fed’s first interest rate increase in nine years may very well signal the end of a cycle that has seen 33 straight months of price growth of at least 10 percent in the commercial real estate sector, padding returns for office towers and luxury hotels alike.
While values aren’t expected to drop steeply, they also aren’t anticipated to climb much higher next year, according to industry analysts.
“A lot of the smart money is saying it’s a better time to sell than to buy,” Tad Philipp, a commercial property debt analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, told Bloomberg. “The warning light is on that the rate of appreciation is poised to decelerate.”
Helped by cheap debt, property values have surged over the past several years across the U.S. as global investors searched for yields and sought safe stores of wealth.
Commercial real estate prices now exceed their 2007 peak by 16 percent, according to a Moody’s and Real Capital Analytics index.
But real estate research firm Green Street Advisors noted this month that market signals “have become notably more bearish” and said it expects commercial property values to drift lower over the course of next year. [Bloomberg] – Rey Mashayekhi
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325 Garden Road in Palm Beach
A newly built home in Palm Beach has sold for $7 million, county records show.
The Thomas Kirchhoff-designed property sits on a 14,000-square-foot lot at 325 Garden Road. An LLC managed by Maura Ziska sold the home to Holly Bartlett. Ziska is a West Palm Beach-based attorney whose firm represents high-net-worth individuals with wills, trusts, estates and real estate. Ziska focuses on high-end residential real estate transactions, according to the firm’s website.
Bartlett has been tied to other luxury home sales in Palm Beach, including a spec mansion on South Ocean Boulevard that sold for $42 million in 2013, the Palm Beach Daily News reported at the time. She was the trustee for the buyer.
The new, four-bedroom, seven-bathroom residence features a pool, private garage access and a library that can be converted into a fifth bedroom. A Zillow listing shows that the 5,675-square-foot home was put on the market in June for $7.395 million. Corcoran Group’s Jim McCann was the listing agent. McCann also represented the seller of a waterfront spec home for $31.4 million last week – one of the city’s priciest residential deals this year.
The 0.32-acre parcel last sold for $1.9 million in 2013, according to Palm Beach County property records.
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More than 250 professionals and city officials attended the event at Building.Co’s Rooftop Garden in downtown Miami, where the Underline’s master plan was unveiled

Friends of the Underline unveiled its master plan for the 10-mile long linear park and trail in early November at a private reception. … [more]]]>

Friends of the Underline unveiled its master plan for the 10-mile long linear park and trail in early November at a private reception.
Meg Daly, the organization’s founder; along with Carlos Rosso, president of the Related Group’s condo division; James Corner, founder of James Corner Field Operations; and Mark Trowbridge, president of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce; held the presentation at Building.Co’s rooftop garden. The event highlighted the Underline’s safety challenges, destination parks and options for public art.
Proponents of the project, valued at $120 million when completed, said at the reception that the Underline is already spurring development nearby, especially in areas such as Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. They also said that it will add to projects such as Brickell City Centre, Brickell Heights and developments near the Miami River.
It starts at the Miami River next to American Social – which is located in the Neo Vertika condo tower – and ends at Southwest 17th Street, across from Simpson Park. – Katherine Kallergis and Sean Stewart-Muniz
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Michael Burry
Michael Burry thinks the “risk-pricing mechanism” of the global economy is broken and we’re “building up terrific stresses in the system.”
Burry is the central character of “The Big Short,” a blockbuster now in theaters that focuses on the latest financial crisis.
The movie, adapted from the best-selling book by Michael Lewis, tells the real-life story of how Burry figured out that the global mortgage market was on the verge of collapse. [more]
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A June 2011 photo of the downtown Miami skyline (Credit: Marc Averette) and a foreclosure sign
A strong housing market kept flushing foreclosures out of Miami-Dade County in October, according to a new CoreLogic report.
Out of all Miami-Dade’s outstanding home mortgages, only 3.21 percent were in some stage of foreclosure. That’s a decrease of 1.81 percentage points compared to the same month last year.
Delinquent mortgages, where debtors haven’t made payments in more than 90 days, were also down considerably during October. The county’s delinquency rate fell from 10.87 percent October of last year to 7.5 percent this October.
Foreclosures in Miami-Dade have gradually fallen as the market regains its strength from the most recent housing crash. For almost two years now, the county’s foreclosure rate has consistently dropped by a fraction of a percentage point each month.
Statewide, the foreclosure rate dropped to 2.45 percent during October, down from 4.08 percent the previous year. The national rate was much steadier, only falling 0.33 percentage points to 1.2 percent. — Sean Stewart-Muniz
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Source: The Real Deal

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