Monthly Archives: March 2017

Auto industry mogul spends $25M for Porsche Design PH with room for 11 cars

From left: A photo of Porsche Design Tower and renderings of the penthouse. Inset: developer Gil Dezer

Developer Gil Dezer has sold the penthouse at his newly developed Porsche Design Tower for $25 million to an undisclosed ultra-wealthy buyer in the U.S. auto industry.

The four-story penthouse, at 18555 Collins Avenue, traded at a 23 percent discount off its $32.5 million price tag, Dezer Development said on Friday. It starts on the 56th floor of the 60-story tower, which is centered around the “Dezervator” that takes residents up to units in their cars. The deal comes about two weeks after Dezer hosted a blowout party with a fireworks display and a performance by Alicia Keys to celebrate the tower’s opening.

Dan Goodstadt of Douglas Elliman told The Real Deal he represented the buyer of the 9,560-square-foot unit. It closed for $2,615 per square foot on Friday morning, Goodstadt said. Dezer, who was looking to buy a yacht, met the buyer, who was selling his yacht, through Goodstadt. Dezer didn’t end up buying the boat, but he did sell one of the two tower suites, both priced at $32.5 million.

“I was the man in the middle of two billionaires and my job was to make sure both parties were happy,” Goodstadt said.

The deal has not yet cleared records. The buyer had already purchased a smaller unit in the building when he “fell in love” with the penthouse and plans to list the smaller one for sale when an interior designer completes it, Goodstadt said.

The penthouse includes the standard two two-car garages found in other Porshe Design units, plus a seven-car gallery that can also house a living room, bar and billiard table. It has five bedrooms, an office, family room, flex room, two private pools, two outdoor kitchens, two balconies, a terrace and a rooftop. In total, it has nearly 20,000 square feet.

Property records have revealed the identities of buyers at Porsche Design, including Mexican billionaire Carlos Peralta Quintero, Russian real estate investor Chingiz Askerov, Polish investor Dariusz Robert Wojdyga and the daughter of an alleged mobster. Records show 105 units have closed at the 132-unit building.

Dezer estimates the tower’s sellout at $840 million. He said last year that he plans to launch another car-branded condo tower soon.

Source:: The Real Deal

Coldwell Banker parent Realogy’s “recruiting machine” eyes new CEO

Corcoran Group CEO Pam Liebman and Realogy CEO Richard Smith

From TRD New York: There’s going to be a new captain steering Realogy’s ship, just not quite yet.

The New Jersey-based parent company of Coldwell Banker, the Corcoran Group and Citi Habitats is officially hunting for a chief executive to succeed Smith, who last month vowed that Realogy would become a “recruiting machine” for top agents. Earlier this month, the board offered Smith a new, two-year contract while it formalizes a succession plan for the 63-year-old executive, according to regulatory filings.

Terms of Smith’s new contract include a $1 million base salary and other benefits, including $6.5 million in long-term incentives, the filings said.

Last year, Smith took home $8.65 million, including salary and benefits, according to filings. But thanks to a smaller bonus, that was shy of 2015’s total compensation of $9.1 million.

Realogy officials declined to elaborate on what’s likely to be an internal and external search, but analysts have been keeping tabs on Smith’s contract, which was to expire next month. Smith was named CEO in 2007 after spending 10 years at the helm of Cendant Corp.’s real estate division, which was spun off to create Realogy. Last year, Realogy generated $5.8 billion in revenue, up 2 percent from 2015.

Anthony Paolone, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase who follows Realogy, said since that Smith’s goal has been to get the business back on track, drive growth and pay down debt since the company’s IPO in 2012. He’s largely accomplished those goals. “He navigated Realogy through the worst housing crisis in history,” Paolone said. “This puts succession on the table.”

At 63, Smith is also nearing the traditional age of retirement. And while privately-held real estate firms have historically neglected succession planning, the boards of public companies are focused on ensuring the business can survive a leadership transition.

Still, Realogy may have to confront a lack of candidates ready to take over the C-suite. The housing crisis depleted the ranks of mid-level execs who would be candidates for top jobs today, according to Graham Beatty, a partner in the New York office of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. Beatty, who leads the firm’s real estate division, described a “barbell effect.”

“There are very senior and junior folks. But that mid-level has been impacted by the financial crisis,” he said. “Oftentimes, talent has left the real estate world and gone into different industries.”

In SEC filings, Realogy said it launched a committee in October to formally search for a CEO to succeed Smith. As part of the process, the committee is also looking for someone to fill a newly-created role of president and COO.

“We’re creating a new COO role to ensure we have a deep bench of management talent,” said Mark Panus, Realogy’s senior vice president of corporate communications.
Corcoran Group CEO Pam Liebman’s track record in New York has fed speculation that she’s being eyed for a larger role within NRT, the division of Realogy that owns Corcoran, Citi Habitats and Sotheby’s International Realty’s New York office. “She’s capable of running something much larger,” Smith told The Real Deal last year. “Someday, she could run NRT.”

Meanwhile, Smith is orchestrating more recruiting companywide.

“Don’t think there’s a start and finish to our recruitment efforts, we’re going to continue,” he said during a Feb. 24 earnings call. “We’re turning this company into a recruiting machine and that’s not going to stop.”

Miriam Hall contributed reporting.

Source:: The Real Deal

More incentives: Marina Palms offers a year of no taxes, fees to unload leftover units

Marina Palms and Michael Internoscia

Marina Palms in North Miami Beach is piling on incentives to sell its remaining units, marking the latest project to try to capture buyers’ attention amid a sluggish market, The Real Deal has learned.

The twin-tower condominium project is offering a year free of taxes and homeowners’ association fees for those who sign contracts in April, as South Florida’s selling season wanes.

“The market has slowed down, said Michael Internoscia, managing broker of Marina Palms Realty, “and incentives drive brokers and drive clients to make decisions.”

An agent with Marina Palms‘ in-house brokerage just sent out an email blast touting the incentives at The Reserve at Marina Palms, the project’s second tower.

Internoscia said the project’s first 234-unit tower is sold out and its second tower, The Reserve, has 26 units remaining of 234, including 13 penthouses. Prices range from $990,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit with 1,560 square feet to $4 million for penthouses spanning 3,700 square feet, with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms.

At an average price of $1.3 million and 2,000 square feet, and maintenance at $.50 a square foot, he estimates the maintenance savings would amount to $1,000 a month or $12,000 for the year. A year of taxes is estimated to average $10,000, based on current developer tax records. That’s a total of about $22,000 in incentives, on average.

The Plaza Group and DevStar Group are the developers behind Marina Palms’s two 25-story tower project on 172nd Street and Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami Beach.

Closings for The Reserve began in late February, with about 160 units closed so far, and construction financing has now been repaid, Internoscia said. Buyers have hailed mostly from Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the Northeast and California, with just one sale to a local family.

“When you get to the end of your project, you’re looking to finish,” Internoscia said. The developers are looking into other condo projects in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, he added, but declined to elaborate.

The condo market in South Florida has slowed significantly in the past year, as foreign buyers face economic and currency woes. Internoscia acknowledged that the market has changed and said the selling season lasts just through the end of April.

“We like to do our last big hit in April, then cruise through the summertime and then be done by the end of this year,” he said.

The 14.5-acre Marina Palms project includes a marina with 112 slips, a sundry store, boat and jet ski rentals. Each tower has an infinity pool, sauna and steam room and gym, and Internoscia said the second tower has added amenities, including a yoga deck and Brazilian rodizio grilling station. A Rolls-Royce Ghost is also available to ferry residents within a five-mile radius. Palms was built by Coastal Construction and Steven G handled interior design.

Marina Palms is the first major project to be completed in North Miami Beach this cycle, and the first one in Miami-Dade with a new full-service marina in two decades, the developers have said.

Other South Florida developers are also increasingly turning to incentives to unload units. Last week, the Related Group unleashed a slew of incentives for its Paraiso condo towers in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood. Fortune International Group, which handles sales for the project, sent out an email boasting free maintenance for a year on new contracts signed by March 31, and offered 30 percent deposits, rather than the usual 50 percent, which has been the standard among new condo developments this cycle. Commissions at Paraiso were already raised to 8 percent to 10 percent, depending on the tower, far above the original 5 percent.

Peter Zalewski, principal of Cranespotters, said incentives are becoming more common in slow market. “A developer does not want to cut pricing, so what a developer will do first is raise commissions for brokers; second, eliminate or offer free maintenance; third is provide an incentive or credit for buildout of units; and the final step is reduce prices,” Zalewski said last week. “So we are about halfway through the process when you have too many units and not enough buyers.

Source:: The Real Deal

Federal judge approves Trump University settlement

Donald Trump (credit: Getty Images) and Judge Gonzalo Curiel

From TRD New York: U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego approved Donald Trump’s $25 million Trump University settlement Friday, bringing an end to years of litigation centered on fraudulent business practices by the former real estate school headed by the President of the United States.

The Friday ruling settles lawsuits in both California and New York, including the civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman accused Trump of running a “bait-and-switch scheme” with the now defunct Trump University, misleading students into believing that Donald Trump himself was designing courses that would help them get rich in the real estate business. The state’s complaint also alleged that Trump University instructors frequently told their students they needed to purchase “elite” course packages costing as much as $35,000 and encouraged students to go into debt in order to buy them.

Attorneys for former Trump University participants said thousands of them will get “at least 90 percent of their money back,” Time reported.

Trump has often bragged that he never settles, but his election to country’s highest office made settling by far the easiest option. As a consequence of the settlement, Trump will admit no wrongdoing. [TIME] — Will Parker

Source:: The Real Deal

Ohio developer scores $26M construction loan for Palm Beach Gardens rentals

Renderings of Central Gardens

An Ohio-based developer just closed on a $26 million construction loan for a 124-unit apartment complex in Palm Beach Gardens.

Property records show Central Gardens LLC, an affiliate of Columbus, Ohio-based Schottenstein Real Estate Group, secured the financing from PNC Bank and filed a notice of commencement for the project on the corner of Central Boulevard and I-95.

Schottenstein, which is active in the Midwest and Southeastern U.S., focuses on residential and mixed-use developments. Central Gardens is slated to open during the summer of 2018 and will have units ranging from 844-square-foot, one-bedroom apartments to 1,628-square-foot, three-bedroom apartments, according to its website. It’s being built on the last plot in the Central Gardens planned community development.

Amenities will include a fitness center, resort-style pool, business center and cafe, outdoor lounge, juice bar and more.

Previous sales information for the 7.5-acre site is not available online.

Multifamily construction loans generally range from 60 percent to 70 percent loan-to-cost ratio, which means that Central Gardens could cost between $37 million and $43 million.

Construction financing for multifamily development is still “relatively stable,” Bilzin Sumberg partner Suzanne Amaducci said in The Real Deal‘s March issue, while condo projects have become increasingly difficult to finance. In October, the development arm of Florida Crystals closed on a $50 million construction loan for Atlantico at Palm Beach Gardens, a 350-plus unit apartment complex near Douglas Road. PNC is also the lender for that project.

Schottenstein is also developing the 13,500-square-foot mansion at 520 Island Drive on Everglades Island in Palm Beach, which will be priced at about $40 million or $3,000 a square foot.

Source:: The Real Deal

Ocean Land unveils plans for $200M luxury senior living project in Fort Lauderdale

Rendering of Riverwalk Residences and the building that’s currently on the property

Ocean Land Investments has revealed plans for its Riverwalk Residences of Las Olas, a luxury senior project proposed for downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Ocean Land, led by Jean Francois Roy, is under contract to buy the site at 333 North New River Drive East, which went before the Fort Lauderdale Development Review Committee this week. Roy said he will respond to the committee’s questions before the project goes to the city’s planning and zoning board later this year.

Records show Riverwalk Plaza Associates owns the nearly 33,000-square-foot site. The company paid $624,000 for the property, which houses the four-story Riverwalk Plaza building, in 1986.

Roy declined to provide a purchase price for the land, but said the project would cost between $175 million and $200 million to develop.

As planned, the 42-story, 401-unit tower would include 192 independent living units, 152 assisted living units and 57 “memory care” residences. Also on site would be doctors’ offices, physical therapy and adult daycare. Roy said the development will fill a void in the neighborhood for active senior living, connecting residents to landmarks like the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and nearby museums.

The developer has five Aqua-branded boutique condo projects under construction or recently completed in the Las Olas neighborhood, which he said are about 85 percent presold. Roy’s career has spanned 40 years, building high-rise retirement homes in Montreal and high-rise condominiums in South Florida.

He expects to break ground on Riverwalk Residences next summer with delivery expected about 30 months from then, he said.

Borges Architects + Associates is designing the project, which would feature restaurants, a rooftop bar, a spa, gym, outdoor pool and a hotel component. As planned, it will also have an indoor-outdoor plaza on the ground level, a sky garden at the tower level, and a gourmet market along the riverwalk.

Source:: The Real Deal

Terranova to open Miami Beach food hall off Lincoln Road next year

Renderings of the Lincoln Eatery

On the ground floor of the new Marshalls building just off of Lincoln Road, Terranova Corp. plans to open a food hall by the summer of 2018.

The Lincoln Eatery, at 723 North Lincoln Lane, will join a handful of new food halls planned for the Miami area. Miami Beach-based Terranova is handling the management and leasing of the project, a 9,600-square-foot food hall that will have roughly 16 eateries, juicers and coffee-type tenants, Terranova Executive Vice President Mindy McIlroy told The Real Deal.

Within the food hall, spaces will range from 115 square feet to nearly 500 square feet, and spaces can be combined depending on the tenant. About 4,400 square feet will be leased to tenants and the remaining 5,200 square feet will be for seating and other common space. McIlroy declined to provide asking rents, but said they will be driven by expected sales volume.

“The goal is to bring more unique, local, curated [eateries],” she said. Other food halls in the works include the Time Out Market, a gourmet food hall planned for 1601 Drexel Avenue, and La Centrale at Brickell City Centre.

The Lincoln Eatery will also have a rooftop with about 1,000 leasable square feet, which will be liquor/beverage-focused, and will have open-air space for seating.

Site plan (click to enlarge)

Property records show PPF 723 Lincoln Lane LLC, a company controlled by Terranova Chairman and founder Stephen Bittel, owns the building. The LLC paid $33.2 million for the property in 2014, and took out a $18 million construction loan for the site in 2015.

McIlroy said the food hall expects to receive approvals from the Miami Beach Design Review Board in the coming months and secure building permits by July so that it can deliver “plug and play” spaces to the tenants by the beginning of the second quarter of next year, and open by the summer of 2018.

The project is part of Terranova’s plans for the Lincoln Lane district, an area just north of Lincoln Road where the company is also spearheading the development and leasing of the building across the Meridian Avenue, where Anthropologie is slated to open in July. That project, at 801 Lincoln Road, will also include a restaurant on the rooftop.

Source:: The Real Deal

Affordable housing stock in Miami-Dade is shrinking: panel

Downtown Miami (Credit Azeez Bakare Studios)

Between 2000 and 2015, the number of single family homes in Wynwood rented by low- to middle-income households dropped from 38 percent to 20 percent, according a new report by the Urban Institute.

The findings stress the need in Miami for more housing that a majority of city residents can afford, according to the report’s authors.

“You see neighborhoods like Wynwood going through a transition,” said Diana Elliott, a Urban Institute senior research associate. “You have residents who are struggling to keep pace.”

Elliott, along with her colleague, Urban Institute fellow and urban policy initiative director Erika Poethig, presented the report shortly before a panel discussion about the state of low and middle-income housing in Miami.

The panel included Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Pacific National Bank President and CEO Carlos Fernandez Guzman, BAC Funding Corp CEO and Chairman Ronald Frazier and Atlantic Pacific Vice President Lindsay Lecour. Held at the Hilton Downtown Miami, the event was hosted by the housing solutions task force of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

According to the report, a majority of Miami’s low- to middle-income households are located in downtown Miami, West Flagler, Flagami, Allapattah and Little Havana. “There is a tremendous need to preserve [housing] in those areas, perhaps right now,” Elliott said.

The report also noted that Coconut Grove, the Upper Eastside and Edgewater are the top neighborhoods when it comes to economic success for residents. “These are places where residents are not struggling as much,” Elliott said.

Poethig said the biggest challenge for creating affordable housing for low- to middle-income households is the absence of available land. She suggested city and county governments should consider authorizing a community land bank. “[The] county could take land, bank it and make it available for affordable housing,” Poethig said, “using tax delinquency as a tool, private donations or land already owned by the county.”

She said small community banks could form a consortium that can provide small-scale loans for landlords in order to buy or renovate properties. Panelist Fernandez Guzman said market forces also dictate what type of residential projects developers pursue.

“This has been a recurring problem because of the cycles of Miami real estate,” Fernandez Guzman said. “But if we are going to continue to flourish as a business community and build around a core element of a sustainable workforce, this is an absolute necessity for the business community to address.”

He said one option is to pursue affordable housing developers that have not entered the South Florida market. ‘These are issues we need to face as a coalition for solutions,” Fernandez Guzman said.

Frazier said developers of small scale housing projects often avoid inner city neighborhoods because of high pre-construction costs and lack of financing. “The biggest problem they run into is lack of infrastructure,” he said. “There is no water and sewer. That is killing a lot of inner city development.”

Source:: The Real Deal

Jimmy Tate submits new plans for Bahia Mar – sans high-rises

New rendering of Bahia Mar

Developer Jimmy Tate has submitted new plans for his Bahia Mar resort and marina, months after he withdrew his proposal due to increasing opposition.

Tate’s revised plans call for a development with buildings up to 12 stories high, which is significantly lower than the 39-story towers featured in the original plan. The project, which would be built in four phases, also includes 651 residential units in seven buildings, a 250-room hotel, 151,000 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants, a boardwalk surrounding the marina and a pedestrian village on property owned by the city, architect Kobi Karp told the Sun Sentinel.

Karp said the developer hasn’t decided whether the residential units will be apartments or condos.

Tate withdrew his controversial proposal to upgrade the Bahia Mar hotel and marina, also home of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, in June. At the time, he said his investor group failed to negotiate a lease with the operator and the owner of the show that would have made Bahia Mar the long-term home of the annual event. The boat show’s lease ends in 2020, but Tate is expected to negotiate a longer-term lease, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Opponents of the withdrawn Bahia Mar project criticized plans to build condominium buildings and the project’s impact on traffic.

Tate’s group has a 46-year lease on the city-owned land where Bahia Mar is located at the southern end of Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Here are new renderings of the latest proposal:

Rendering of Bahia Mar

Rendering of Bahia Mar

[Sun Sentinel] – Katherine Kallergis

Source:: The Real Deal

Miami Beach condo buyer sues seller and broker over alleged Airbnb misrepresentations

360 Meridian Avenue. Inset: Martina Abosi (Credit: Facebook)

Bahamian investor Martina Abosi wanted to get in on the Airbnb action in Miami Beach to help fund her retirement, so she set out to find a condo in areas of the city where short-term rentals are allowed.

Instead, Abosi paid $330,000 last year for a unit in a 1960s mid-rise tower that was allegedly renovated without permits, located in a neighborhood where short-term rentals are prohibited. And she faces a $20,000 fine should she seek out renters, according to a lawsuit she recently filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Abosi says in the suit that she was unaware of the unpermitted work and that the building at 360 Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach is in a prohibited zone. She is suing the seller, Andre Frings, his broker Oliver Davis and real estate brokerage Keller Williams Miami Beach to get her money back, in addition to an undisclosed amount of damages for the funds she spent getting the unit permitted, plus loss of income from being unable to offer the 6th floor apartment to short-term renters.

Frings did not respond to a voicemail message left on his phone. Michael Rothman, the attorney for Davis and Keller Williams, told The Real Deal Abosi’s lawsuit is without merit. “We have a very strong defense to the claims,” Rothman said. “We believe the plaintiff’s claims are misplaced.”

Abosi’s attorneys did not respond to requests for comment via voicemail and email.

Prior to signing a purchase agreement this past August, Abosi met with Frings and Davis about her desire to buy an investment property in Miami Beach that she could lease to short-term renters who usually use Airbnb or similar web applications, according to her lawsuit.

“The plaintiff explained that the condominium unit would be her principal source of income during her retirement,” the lawsuit states. “Accordingly, the ability of the unit to be rented short-term was a material aspect of the agreement for the purchase.”

Abosi alleges Davis duped her into believing she was getting a good deal. “Davis stated that he understood real estate from both the buying and selling side,” the lawsuit states. “Further he represented that his underlying philosophy was to make all transactions a “win-win for both sides or no deal would be made.’”

She claims Davis assured her that Frings’ 555-square-foot studio could be leased as a short-term rental apartment and called her a “lucky girl,” the lawsuit alleges. After the closing this past September, Abosi claims she found out the studio was not eligible for short-term rentals. She also discovered a large pipe protruding from a wall that Frings had hidden from view by placing a large custom book shelf in front of it, according to the lawsuit. He had left the bookshelf as a parting gift, Abosi alleges.

Lastly, the lawsuit states, Abosi determined that Frings had done significant remodeling work, including removing and relocating interior walls, without obtaining building permits. In order to bring the apartment up to code, she will have to spend money on permit applications by a licensed contractor, procuring building plans and other steps necessary for getting city approval for the unpermitted work.

Source:: The Real Deal