Monthly Archives: December 2015

Happy New Year from The Real Deal!

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.

Source:: The Real Deal

The Wrap: This lush Boca manse is asking $5.5 million, fire engulfs luxury apartments in downtown Dubai…and 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

Source:: The Real Deal

Rubio helped cocaine-trafficking brother become Miami Realtor

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

Source:: The Real Deal

Biggest Miami-Dade residential sales of 2015

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

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

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]

North Bay Road and Phil Collins

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]

17 Indian Creek Drive

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

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

Source:: The Real Deal

Biggest South Florida office leases of 2015

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

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

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

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.

Source:: The Real Deal

South Miami office building trades for $40M

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.

Source:: The Real Deal

The list of missing Chinese financial execs keeps getting longer

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.

Source:: The Real Deal

The Wrap: Court slams Miami Open’s bid to expand, Feds move to seize 16 South Florida properties from alleged marijuana trafficker…and 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

Source:: The Real Deal

Where is Miami in the real estate cycle on the eve of 2016?

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.”

Source:: The Real Deal

Pine Tree Drive mid-century home lists for $19.9M

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.

Source:: The Real Deal