Monthly Archives: July 2017

Company tied to Steve Jobs’ widow buys Wellington land for $8M

Laurene Powell Jobs and aerial view of the Wellington property

A company tied to billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs just spent $8.25 million for land next to her Wellington estate, property records show.

Elite Equestrian Estates sold the 7.2-acre plot at 13700 Quarter Horse Trail to Palo Alto, California-based Even Stride LLC, which is tied to Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The Daily Mail reported last year that Powell Jobs is the true owner of Even Stride, although the company has also been tied to a California venture capitalist.

Powell Jobs is worth $20.6 billion, according to Forbes. She is founder and chair of the Emerson Collective, a nonprofit that recently purchased a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine.

Information on the seller, a New Haven, Connecticut-based LLC, is not available online. It purchased a 9-acre nearby estate from billionaire developer Frank McCourt in June for $12 million.

Last year, Even Stride paid $15.3 million for the 3.6-acre estate next door at 13770 Quarter Horse Trail, which has a four-bedroom home with a pool, barn and horse training loops. The LLC now owns at least 11 acres on Quarter Horse Trail, which is within walking distance of Bill Gates’ roughly 20-acre assemblage. Gates spent more than $38 million acquiring properties on Mallet Hill Court over a three-year span.

Carol Sollak of Engel & Volkers Wellington represented the seller, and David Wells of Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer. They both declined to comment.

Wellington has turned into a winter oasis for the wealthy, horse-riding elite. In addition to Gates and Powell Jobs, other part-time Wellington residents include Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Source:: The Real Deal

Here are the world’s top 25 skylines

Chongqing is flying up the Emporis ranking (Credit: sanfamedia/Flickr)

From Business Insider: Every city in the world has a unique skyline. But is it possible to say which is the best?

The international building database Emporis attempts to quantify skylines by looking at the number and height of buildings in the world’s major cities. The result is an ever-changing ranking of the world’s most impressive cityscapes.

To rank skylines, Emporis looks at completed skyscrapers (40 floors or more) and high-rises (12 to 39 floors), and assigns each building a point value based on its floor count. Taller buildings receive significantly higher values (see Emporis’ complete methodology here). TV towers, masts, bridges, and other structures are excluded.

Chongqing, China jumped an impressive 14 spots, to #3 this year.

Read the full story here.

Source:: The Real Deal

Renaissance Charter School in Tamarac sells for $22M

8399 North University Drive, Inset: Achikam Yogev of Colliers International Education Services Group

AEP Charter Renaissance, an affiliate of Portland-based Charter School Capital, just purchased a 105,002-square-foot charter school in Tamarac for $22 million.

Aventura-based ESJ Capital Partners and Hollywood-based MG3 Development Group traded Renaissance Charter School, at 8399 North University Drive, for about $210 per square foot.

Colliers International Education Services Group ‘s Todd Noel, from Phoenix, and Miami-based Achikam Yogev represented the sellers.

The companies bought the property in 2012 for $6.3 million and built the school. MG3 principal Hernan Leonoff said the site was originally a Target retail store.

As part of the latest deal, CSC also purchased a charter school called Kid’s Community College South in Riverview, in Hillborough County. That school sold for $11 million, bringing the total sale to $33 million.

Charter schools have caught the attention of developers since their inception more than two decades ago. Though they’re publicly funded, charter schools still have to pay rent if they don’t own their facilities — translating to steady income for investors like Charter School Capital.

CSC has acquired other charter schools in Florida in recent years. Last year the firm scooped up five charter schools in Riverview, Vero Beach, Coral Springs, Davie and Plantation for $71.7 million. The portfolio encompassed 295,992 square feet spread across the five schools. Last month, CSC took out a $38.2 million mortgage for two of the charter schools that it owns in Broward County.

Source:: The Real Deal

Tennis great Andy Murray finally sells his Brickell condo for $2.4M

Andy Murray (Credit: Creative Commons user Francisco Diez) and his Jade Brickell unit

Game, set, match.

Andy Murray, the top-ranked men’s tennis player, just sold his Brickell condo for $2.4 million, listing agent Jon Jacobs told The Real Deal. The sale of Jade Residences unit 4501 closed on Friday after more than two-and-a-half years on the market.

Murray used the four-bedroom, 3,415-square-foot unit for players and friends “going in and out of tournaments in Miami,” said Jacobs, of City Realty Group International. Claudine Letz of Fortune International Group represented the buyer, whom Jacobs declined to identify. Letz could not immediately be reached for comment.

Property records show Murray’s AM 007 LLC paid $1.575 million for the condo in 2008, which means he just sold it for a profit of $825,000 in nine years, despite at one point being listed for nearly $3 million. It had been under contract three times and the most recent asking price was $2.5 million.

It sold for more than $700 per square foot.

The Jade Brickell condo features wraparound views of the bay and of the skyline, as well as three terraces with 868 feet of outdoor space. It includes a private elevator lobby, bedroom suites, marble flooring, hardwood floor boards, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The 48-story tower was designed by Bernard Zyscovich and completed in 2004. Amenities include a sky lounge, fitness center and spa, and a pool deck with two infinity-edged pools. It was developed by Fortune International Group.

In 2012, Latin Grammy winner and singer Luis Miguel sold his Jade unit in Brickell for $2.2 million.

Murray still owns a home in Miami, Jacobs said.

Source:: The Real Deal

Lender sues former Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach developer allegedly hit with multimillion-dollar loss on sale

Rendering of the Conrad Fort Lauderdale. Inset: buyer Pierre Heafey

One of the previous developers of the oft-delayed, oft-troubled Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach condo-hotel project lost between $55 million to $85 million when it sold its stake to Quebec, Canada-based Heafey Group seven months ago, according to a lawsuit recently filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

As a result, the former developer, Doral-based Conrad FLB Management is unable to pay back a $1 million promissory note plus accrued unpaid interest it obtained from Diego Investments Ltd. in 2013, the lawsuit states. Diego Investments is suing Conrad FLB for allegedly defaulting on the loan and unjust enrichment.

On Dec. 30, 2016, an affiliate of Conrad FLB — CFLB Partnership LLC, which is managed by Jose and Joseph Cabanas — sold 232 units plus commercial and common space to Heafey affiliated companies in four separate transactions totaling $100 million. The Heafey affiliates also assumed a $236.5 million mortgage from Ladder Capital Finance. The Cabanas and their representatives, Sergio Pagliery and Candido Viyella, could not be reached for comment.

The Cabanas were part of an investment group led by hotel developer Orchestra Hotels + Resorts that bought the project in 2013 for $115 million. Their plan was to spend $40 million to complete and renovate the unfinished building at 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard into a 290-unit tower with 109 condos and 181 condo-hotel units. The budget ballooned by at least $70 million and the completion date has been pushed back several times.

According to the lawsuit, the principals and promoters for the project secured the $1 million note from Diego Investments on October 28, 2013. Jason Giller, Diego Investments’ attorney, said the Cabanas and Orchestra touted their past developments and guaranteed success.

However, on the third anniversary of the loan, Diego Investments exercised an option for full payment of the note, plus accrued unpaid interest, the lawsuit claims. Unbeknownst to Diego Investments, Conrad FLB’s affiliate sold its stake to Heafey at a “material loss” and “the borrower is now in an inferior financial position” than at the time the note was issued, according to the suit.

“When the note was called, they were nowhere to be found,” Giller said. “And it was only during our investigation did we learn that the project was surreptitiously sold, without notice, consent or substitution.”

Giller also said Conrad FLB closed a bad deal despite the strong luxury condo submarket in Fort Lauderdale. “These shocking events are not only unfortunate, but bewildering,” Giller said.

The Conrad originally launched in 2004 as the Trump International Hotel & Tower. Developer Roy Stillman’s SB Hotel Associates had obtained a licensing agreement with the Trump Organization, but litigation between buyers and SB resulted in the builder running out of money. The project ultimately failed.

Source:: The Real Deal

Construction on the first part of Trump’s US-Mexico border wall will begin this fall in a Texas wildlife refuge

Trump and the wall

From TRD New York: U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it’s already received from Congress.

That’s what a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official recently told a nonprofit group that raises money to support two national wildlife refuges in South Texas, according to the group’s vice president.

“I was alarmed,” said Jim Chapman of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor. “It was not good news.”

For the past six months, CBP has been quietly preparing a site to build a nearly 3-mile border barrier through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, according to The Texas Observer. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also has reportedly begun drilling and soil testing in California and New Mexico.

But construction on the wall was not expected to begin until January because Congress has yet to approve CBP’s budget. On Thursday, the House approved a spending bill that contained $1.6 billion to build segments of the wall in Texas and California. Its fate in the Senate is uncertain.

However, CBP recently told a senior Fish and Wildlife Service official in Texas that the agency would shift funds to pay for the new segment out of its current budget. The official passed on the news to Chapman’s group this week.

The Fish and Wildlife Service official confirmed the remarks, but asked not to be identified for fear of losing his job.

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Carlos Diaz said it “would be premature to speak about specific locations.” The only South Texas projects authorized under the current budget are the installation of 35 gates at gaps the agency left in the existing border fence, he said.

The 2,088-acre Santa Ana refuge, located along the Rio Grande south of McAllen, Texas, is considered one of the nation’s top bird-watching sites, with more than 400 species of birds. The refuge is also home to two endangered wildcats — the ocelot and jaguarundi — and some of the last surviving stands of sabal palm trees in South Texas.

A wall cutting through the refuge could do serious environmental damage, Chapman said, undermining the reason Congress appropriated money to buy the land in the first place. But under a 2005 law, the Department of Homeland Security can waive any environmental regulations that would normally impede construction in a sensitive wildlife area.

Chapman said his group is now counting on Democrats to halt expansion of the project.

“The Democrats in Congress up to now have been very unified as far as not appropriating money for the wall,” Chapman said.

Trump made construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico the signature promise of his political campaign and told supporters it would be solid concrete, 30 feet high and would stretch the length of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump estimated it would cost perhaps $10 billion to $12 billion — and he vowed the Mexican government would pay the bill. Five days after his inauguration, he signed an executive order to begin the process.

Since then, the wall has faded from the headlines amid other controversies. But Trump has never ceased pursuing its construction, even as he has backed off the most bombastic of his demands.

In February, the CBP launched a bidding contest to build models for the new wall. Both solid concrete and alternative designs were allowed. The project is months behind schedule. CBP officials recently said the winners will be announced in November.

Earlier in July, Trump told reporterson Air Force One that the wall should be see-through. Border patrol agents needed to be able to spot threats on the other side and avoid any “large sacks of drugs” thrown over the top. He also said he favors a wall with solar panels to generate energy and reduce the building cost.

He also opined that only 700 to 900 miles of wall may be needed. About 650 miles of the 2,000-mile long border already has some type of physical barrier. The remaining miles will be guarded by topography, the president said.

“You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing,” he said.

It remains far from clear, however, whether Trump will be able to achieve even his scaled-down version of the wall. The current border fence, a far more modest project built mostly under President Obama, cost between $2.8 million to $3.9 million on average per mile, according to the Government Accountability Office. CBP previously announced that the agency has $20 million on hand for the current fiscal year.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have balked at paying for the wall, which the Department of Homeland Security estimates would cost around $20 billion. Mexican officials have vigorously rejected any proposition of financing construction.

Trump, however, has already taken credit for beginning to fulfill his campaign promise.

“In a true sense, we’ve already started the wall,” he told the reporters.

Read the original article on ProPublica. Copyright 2017. Follow ProPublica on Twitter.

Source:: The Real Deal

PB County may consider selling part of its Agricultural Reserve

Part of the Agricultural Reserve (Credit: Boca Raton magazine)

Palm Beach County commissioners may consider selling a 571-acre tract of land in the Agricultural Reserve, a 22,000-acre zone the county has set aside for conservation and agriculture. Commissioner Steven Abrams said the land may be worth more than $200 million – enough to close the county’s projected budget shortfall of $48 million in 2019.

The county shares ownership of the land with the South Florida Water Management District, which has suggested a joint sale of the land. The water district bought a 61 percent share for $13.7 million in 2006. The proposed county budget for 2018 allocates $3 million as part of a $9 million plan to buy the district’s share of the land in phases. Commissioners expect to finalize the budget in September after two public hearings. [Palm Beach Post] – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal

Venezuelan flight capital takes multiple routes to South Florida

Protesters demonstrating in Caracas, Venezuela (Photo credit: Diego Urdaneta)

Venezuelans still buy homes in South Florida, but many are taking other approaches to distance themselves from the political chaos and social unrest in their home country.

Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, the hand-picked successor of Hugo Chavez, presides over the nation of 31 million residents who are enduring a 700 percent inflation rate, among other problems that have encouraged Venezuelans to move their funds and their families to South Florida.

Weston is nicknamed “Westonzuela” because the Broward County city has so many Venezuelan-born residents. There are 59,000 and they account for 28 percent of city’s population, according to Rafael Pineyro, a native of Venezuela who serves as chief of staff to Juan Carlos Bermudez, mayor of Doral.

Besides just buying South Florida homes, some Venezuelans also invest in South Florida businesses. Foreign nationals seeking U.S. citizenship can qualify for EB-5 visas if they invest at least $500,000 in a business with American employees.

Stephen Bander, an immigration lawyer in Miami, said he has helped 50 clients to obtain EB-5 visas in the last five years, and most of them are Venezuelans.

Bander said he successfully requested expedited processing of some of his Venezuelan clients’ EB-5 applications on humanitarian grounds, due to a lack of medical services and supplies in Venezuela.

Mike Pappas, president of The Keyes Company, a South Florida-based residential real estate brokerage, said Venezuelans have contacted Keyes agents in Doral about swapping deeply discounted property in Venezuela for South Florida property.

Pappas told the story of an entrepreneur in Venezuela who sold two companies there at distressed prices but held onto 30 acres of land in Broward worth $1 million per acre, which he wants to develop with his two sons.

Matthew Martinez, principal of Miami-based Beacon Hill Group, said his wealthy Venezuelan clients have acquired portfolios of South Florida property that provide income for family members in the tri-county area as well as those who remain in Venezuela, so a selloff of these South Florida properties is unlikely.

A new wave of working-class Venezuelans is moving to South Florida with such small businesses as beauty salons, bakeries and translation services, said Pedro Freyre, chair of the international practice at the Akerman law firm.

With more working-class Venezuelans relocating to South Florida, Venezuela is losing a large part of its labor force. Stories about highly skilled Venezuelans working as Uber drivers in Miami are commonplace.

Pineyro, the Doral mayor’s chief of staff, said he met a Venezuelan man in his 50s cleaning a Walgreens store who identified himself as a neurologist and said he preferred menial labor in South Florida to his life in Venezuela. [U.S. News & World Report] – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal

Job growth propels South Florida’s multifamily market

Milagro Coral Gables

South Florida’s employment expansion helped to drive strong demand for rental housing and big-ticket sales of apartment properties in the second quarter.

Eleven South Florida multifamily housing properties sold from April through June at prices above $49 million the Daily Business Review reported. Their combined value was $940 million, the newspaper reported.

South Florida employers created about 117,000 new jobs in the 12 months ended in May, lowering the area’s unemployment rate to 4.2 percent from 4.7 percent in May 2016, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This year, the biggest deal for South Florida rental apartments has been Harbor Group International’s $159 million acquisition of the Montage at City Center in Pembroke Pines.

Other big-ticket multifamily deals this year have included Berkshire Group’s $100 million purchase of Aviva Coral Gables, a 276-unit rental apartment complex.

Shortly before that transaction closed, another apartment property in Coral Gables, called Milagro, sold to New York-based Wafra Investment Advisory Group Inc. for $78 million.

In South Florida market forecasts for 2017, real estate brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap reported heightened investor interest in rental apartments.

In Miami-Dade, for example, “Class B and Class C assets are poised to perform well this year,” the firm reported. In Palm Beach County, “healthy market operations going into 2017 will draw greater investment to Palm Beach County’s multifamily stock, supporting asset appreciation.”

Older multifamily housing properties in South Florida will face new competition this year. Marcus & Millichap estimated that developers will finish construction of 15,200 new apartments in South Florida this year, up from 11,400 last year.

Yet the brokerage firm also forecasts 2017 increases in monthly apartment rents in all three counties: 4.7 percent in Broward, 4.4 percent in Miami-Dade, and 3 percent in Palm Beach.

The brokerage firm expects the super-tight, Miami-Dade apartment vacancy rate to dip even further to 2 percent this year from 2.1 percent last year.

The firm also estimates vacancy rates will rise this year to 4.2 percent from 4.1 percent last year in Broward, and will rise to 6.3 percent from 5.2 percent in Palm Beach. [Daily Business Review] – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal

Firm acquires its 3rd Sarasota office building for $23.5M

101 Paramount Drive in Sarasota

Capstone Management LLC acquired its third office building in Sarasota in a $23.5 million deal.

An affiliate of Capstone bought a three-story office building with 157,500 square feet of space. The 18-year-old building at 101 Paramount Drive, called Sarasota Commerce Center II, has tenants that include Universal North America Insurance Co. and Shared Services Center.

The Paramount Drive property had been occupied by accounting firm Arthur Andersen prior to its 2002 collapse.

Sarasota Commerce Center II is Capstone’s third office-building acquisition in Sarasota since 2015.

Capstone paid $15.9 million in February 2016 for the PNC Bank building, a 71,000-square-foot office property in downtown Sarasota, together with two adjacent lots.

In April 2015, Capstone paid $11.5 million for another office property in downtown Sarasota, a five-story, 38,420-square-foot building at 1626 Ringling Boulevard. [Business Observer] – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal