Monthly Archives: January 2018

Privé developers win $26M jury verdict against Williams Island homeowners

Prive at Island Estates and BH3’s Charlie Phelan, Greg Freedman and Daniel Lebensohn and Gary Cohen

Score a court victory for the developers of Privé at Island Estates in Aventura. Builders Gary Cohen and BH3 are walking away with a $26 million jury verdict against the Williams Island Property Owners’ Association, which had sought to stop the luxury two-tower development since 2013.

On Tuesday, after a seven-day trial, a jury in Miami-Dade Circuit Court ruled that the association breached a 1982 agreement requiring it not to object or oppose future developments by Cohen on the 84-acre Williams Island. Jurors awarded Cohen and BH3 $26 million in damages according to the verdict form, and there is an additional $8 million in interest the association will also have to pay, said Glen Waldman, the developers’ attorney.

“My clients have been wrongfully attacked from all sides for so long,” Waldman said. “They feel very good that a jury listened to the evidence, got it right and ordered substantial damages against the people who caused harm to the project.”

Jeffrey T. Foreman, lead lawyer for Williams Island Property Owners’ Association, declined comment. Waldman said he expects the association to appeal.

The developers’ win comes seven months after Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas, who presided over the case, dealt a signficant blow to the association’s complaint and a separate lawsuit filed by the Island Estates Homeowners Association, which represents another group of homeowners. Thomas ruled the statute of limitations had long expired for both associations to challenge a vested rights determination agreement.

Williams Island Property Owners’ Association originally sued the City of Aventura, Cohen and Prive Developers LLC, a partnership between BH3 and Cohen in April 2013. The Island Estates group sued in October 2013 and filed a separate complaint a year later accusing the city of allowing BH3 to build an illegal sidewalk that encroached on homeowners’ properties. A judge ruled in favor of Island Estates in October.

Waldman said Cohen and Williams Island Property Owners’ Association are bound by a 1982 settlement agreement between the original developers of the 84-acre luxury enclave in which neither parties would interfere with new projects. “Neither guy would mess with one another’s development plans they had on the islands,” Waldman said. “They also would not encourage or participate with others to object. It is that simple.”

Williams Island Property Association violated the agreement by filing its lawsuit and encouraging Island Estates Homeowners Association to also sue Privé’s developers, Waldman said. “These three lawsuits really hurt us,” he said. “Instead of being able to obtain a conventional loan at a 5.5 percent interest rate for a project that was awesome in terms of loan to value and contracts already in place, we could only get vulture funding at a 15 to 18 percent interest rate.”

As a result, the developers had to pay roughly $21 million in interest, Waldman added. Furthermore, the ongoing litigation put a cloud over the project that resulted in delays in selling out units. “Buyers were scared,” he said. “Brokers testified that they wouldn’t even go to the project. We should have sold out two years ago.”

The 150-unit project at 5000 Island Boulevard is 75 percent sold out and opened two weeks ago.

Condos range from 2,500 to 6,200 square feet and priced from $2.3 million to $8.6 million.

“We have our temporary certificate of occupancy and people are moving in,” Waldman said. “We are looking forward and not looking back.”

Source:: The Real Deal

Trump International Realty plans SoFla expansion

Eric and Donald Trump with a photo of the Fort Lauderdale listing

The Trump Organization’s boutique real estate brokerage is expanding in South Florida, adding the company’s most expensive listing to date.

Trump International Realty is “expanding in Jupiter and big time in Miami,” Eric Trump told the Palm Beach Post earlier this month. The move makes sense given that the president’s company owns Mar-a-Lago, Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter and Trump National Doral Miami. Since Donald Trump took office, the initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago has doubled to $200,000.

Both Trump International offices at the Jupiter and Doral resorts have added agents over the past few months, according to the Palm Beach Post. The brokerage is also planning on expanding into commercial real estate. In September, it brought on Heidi Brzyski as managing broker of the Jupiter and Miami offices.

Agents Katrina Campins and Jennifer Barnett recently listed a waterfront Fort Lauderdale property for $39 million, the priciest home Trump International has ever listed. [Palm Beach Post] – Katherine Kallergis

Source:: The Real Deal

Super Bowl champ Jonathan Vilma sells Tahiti Beach mansion

17 Tahiti Beach Island Road and Jonathan Vilma (Credit: Zillow, Wikimedia Commons)

Super Bowl winner Jonathan Vilma just sold his waterfront Tahiti Beach estate for $14.375 million, according to his listing agent’s Instagram account.

The former NFL linebacker and ESPN analyst sold the 8,000-square-foot, five-bedroom mansion at 17 Tahiti Beach Island Road in Coral Gables. The home hit the market last year with Douglas Elliman’s Chad Carroll for $18.5 million, which means it sold at a 22 percent discount.

Miami-Dade County has not recorded the deed, so the buyer is unknown. Carroll declined to comment.

Vilma, who played for the University of Miami Hurricanes, the New York Jets and won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, paid $6 million for the property in 2011 and later built the house. It features floor-to-ceiling windows, tile flooring, 12-foot tall ceilings, an elevator, a chef’s kitchen, a home theater and a three-car garage. It also includes a pool with a waterfall and 161 feet of frontage on Biscayne Bay.

A number of CEOs, athletes and celebrities have called the island home, including the former CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines Bob Dickinson and his ex-wife Jodie Dickinson , Cher and basketball legend Ray Allen. The ritzy island enclave has 26 houses.

Source:: The Real Deal

Sergio Pino’s Century Homebuilders buys land, scores financing for new single-family home community near Tamiami

Rendering of homes at Century Lakes III and Sergio Pino (Credit: Century Homebuilders Group)

Sergio Pino’s Century Homebuilders Group just paid $8.85 million for a large vacant lot west of Tamiami and is about to break ground on Century Lakes III, a planned single-family home community, The Real Deal has learned.

Century Lakes III will be built on a 12.5-acre lot south of Coral Way and just east of Southwest 152nd Avenue. The land traded for about $16 per square foot. Pino said the company plans to break ground in the beginning of April.

Records show Cypress Lake Homestar LLC, led by Jose Fernandez, sold the property. Fernandez paid $4.3 million for the three-parcel lot in August. The site now traded with rights to build up to 59 single-family homes, Pino said.

Records show Pino’s company scored an $11.6 million construction loan from Apollo Bank.

Home prices will range from $439,000 to $527,000, with one- and two-story houses spanning from 2,500 square feet to 4,100 square feet. About 40 percent of the homes will be facing a lake, Pino said.

Century Lakes III is set to be completed by December 2019. Pino said he hopes to complete sales by the end of the year.

Century is also developing Midtown Doral, a mixed-use project that will include more than 1,500 condos, as well as retail space and offices. In October, Pino announced that he would shrink the size of some of the condos and turn them into micro units – a move he said is geared to attract more local buyers.

Source:: The Real Deal

Miami office rents increased, I-sales fell in 2017: report

Downtown Miami skyline (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Despite increases in rent and absorption, sales volume fell dramatically for Miami-Dade’s office market in 2017, according to a report from Avison Young.

Sales volume dropped 58 percent from the previous year to more than $816 million. In 2016, investment sales totaled more than $2.3 billion thanks to the $516 million trade of the Southeast Financial Center and the $220 million sale of the Miami Tower, both Class A office towers in downtown Miami. The biggest investment deals last year were the $155 million sale of 1221 Brickell and the $96 million trade of Park Square at Doral.

In 2017, the average asking rent for full-service, Class A space in Miami-Dade County was $45.10 per square foot, up 9 percent from $41.26 per square foot in 2016, the report shows.

Net absorption was negative along the Biscayne corridor, in Miami Beach and in South Dade, but overall vacancy improved slightly, falling to 10.10 percent from nearly 11 percent in 2016, as about 310,000 square feet of space was absorbed in 2017.

The 115,000-square-foot renewal and expansion of Amadeus North America at One Park Square at Doral in the third quarter topped the year’s list of biggest leases. It was followed by the renewal of Merrill Lynch’s nearly 106,000-square-foot lease at the Bank of America Tower in downtown Miami in the fourth quarter. And the third largest deal was a short-term lease for FEMA in Doral, according to the report. The Federal Emergency Management Agency took the 94,000-square-foot building at 2001 Northwest 107th Avenue in Doral to service the Florida Keys post-Irma.

Brightline is also expected to give the tri-county region a boost, especially its office markets. Once the three stations in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and downtown Miami are up and running, proponents hope tenants and residents will move to the urban cores. Brightline’s MiamiCentral station will be adding 300,000 square feet of Class A office space to the area.

Tighter submarkets like Coconut Grove may also see rents drop as new office buildings are delivered, although that may extend into 2019 and 2020. Last year, the Grove’s office market reported a 96 percent occupancy with 21,000 square feet absorbed. Less than 500 square feet of the vacant 42,000 square feet was Class A space, according to the report. About 75,000 square feet of Class A space is now under construction in the Grove.

Source:: The Real Deal

Developer of 321 at Water’s Edge nabs construction loan

Rendering of 321 at Water’s Edge (Credit: SobelCo)

SobelCo just closed on a $26 million construction loan for 321 at Water’s Edge in Fort Lauderdale.

Goldman Sachs is providing the financing, according to a press release. The developer broke ground on the 11-story, 23-unit building earlier this month with a projected completion date of early 2019.

Douglas Elliman took over sales of the boutique waterfront condo project at 321 North Birch Road last year from Engel & Völkers. Buyers are required to put 20 percent down, followed by 10 percent about four months later.

A representative from SobelCo, led by Chairman Samuel Sobel and President Jeffrey Sobel, could not be immediately reached for a sales update.

Prices start at $1.95 million and units will range from 2,600 square feet to more than 3,800 square feet. Condos will include smart home features, designer kitchens, furnishings and bedroom suites. Owners will also have a five-year membership to the private dining club at the Pillars Club nearby.

Records show the developer paid $10 million for the 27,400-square-foot site in May 2015 and announced the project, then called Oceana Fort Lauderdale, months later. It opened a sales center for 321 at Water’s Edge in 2016.

The building will also feature a private wine club and lounge, a sky terrace with a lounge and summer kitchen, pool, Jacuzzi and bar, a 2,400-square-foot gym with ocean views and electric car charging stations.

Source:: The Real Deal

Will 2018 be the “year of the deal”?

80 Park Avenue

It looks like 2018 might be the year of the deal.

Many people know that eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture because when spoken in Cantonese it sounds like the word for “prosperity.” And it turns out 18 might carry the same good fortune.

When spoken aloud, the number sounds like the phrase “I want to be wealthy,” which could make 2018 a lucky year for real estate deals — and some brokers have already seen that in action.

Corcoran Group agent Janet Wang told the Wall Street Journal that five of her clients decided to get serious about buying when 2018 rolled around. “‘Ok, this year we’re really going to look,’” they told Wang, without specifying a reason.

One Beijing-based buyer put off closing on a New York City home in the $5 million range so they could purchase it in the new year instead, said Carrie Law, chief executive of Chinese international real estate website Juwai.com. “There may have been other factors at play, but that’s the reason they gave us,” Law said.

Lucky numbers don’t only dictate when some Chinese buyers will buy, but where. An address or price or with eight is ideal, while addresses with the number four — which sounds like “death” — are avoided.

A condo building at 80 Park Avenue is particularly popular with Chinese buyers, not only because of its address, but because it’s near 38th Street, which in Cantonese sounds like “create wealth,” according to Geovanna Lim, president of Park Avenue International Partners.

Eighteen also plays a special role in the Jewish community, since the Hebrew word for the number, “chai,” also means life. Eastern Consolidated’s Adelaide Polsinelli pointed out its significance at the REBNY gala earlier this month. “It’s a lucky number in the Jewish faith, so 2018 has to be a good year,” she said.

Chinese numerology has ripple effects for non-Chinese buyers, too. In British Columbia, where 80 to 90 percent of condo sales are to Chinese buyers, no one wants purchase a unit with an unlucky address because it will make it harder to sell later on, said Calgary-based broker Peter Ng.

Coco Tan, a broker in Silicon Valley, was skeptical about the connection. She said that if there was a bump in real estate sales at the beginning of 2018, it was more likely because buyers were waiting to see the final tax reform bill.

Law of Juwai.com, however, predicts that August will be a busy for Chinese buyers, particularly the eighth of the month. After all, in Cantonese, the date sounds like “prosperity prosperity I want to be wealthy.” [WSJ] — Chava Gourarie

Source:: The Real Deal

Trump is suing Palm Beach County’s property appraiser for the fifth straight year

Donald Trump and Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter (Credit: Trump National Jupiter, Wikimedia Commons)

President Trump is once again suing the Palm Beach County property appraiser, claiming that the appraised value of Trump National Golf Club is an overestimate.

The lawsuit, filed in December, marks the fifth consecutive year that Trump fights the county’s appraised value, according to the Palm Beach Post. Property appraiser Dorothy Jacks set the value of the Jupiter golf club at $19.7 million, a figure that Trump says is inflated by about $5 million. That’s despite listing the property’s value at “over $50 million” in his financial disclosures for 2016 and 2017, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Last year, the golf club was appraised at $18.4 million, resulting in a $383,171 tax bill. Trump responded to this year’s appraised value with a $296,595 check, less than the $398,315 tab he owes.

Since Trump won the election in 2016, the Trump Organization has doubled the membership fee at Mar-a-Lago to $200,000, a move that has ethics watchdogs on alert. [Palm Beach Post] – Amanda Rabines

Source:: The Real Deal

Kickoff time: David Beckham and partners officially launch Miami MLS franchise

The launch event for David Beckham and his partners’ Major League Soccer franchise (Credit: Katherine Kallergis, GettyImages)

He’s gone up against the toughest bruisers and tactical minds in world soccer. But even for David Beckham, bringing Major League Soccer to Miami was a monumental challenge.

Soccer fans drowned out the sounds of Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” at the Adrienne Arsht Cente Monday as they prepared for the official launch of the franchise, brought to the city by Beckham and his partners – Marcelo Claure, Jorge and Jose Mas, and Simon Fuller. The group was joined onstage at the Knight Concert Hall by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

“The thing that I know and the thing that I tell my children is that things get difficult sometimes,” Beckham said. “The one thing in four years that’s kept me going is you guys,” he added, in a nod to the horde of fans.

After going through multiple sites, including failed bids at PortMiami, in downtown Miami and Little Havana, the investment group is focused on making Overtown work, Beckham told WPLG. In June, the county approved the $9 million land sale of 3 acres in Overtown, part of an assemblage that also includes six privately owned acres the group paid $19 million for in 2016.

But the venture nearly fell apart about two months ago, Claure, the CEO of Sprint, said at the press conference. MLS owners were also reportedly critical of the discounted $25 million expansion fee that Beckham and his partners are paying.

“About 60 days ago, we were done. We were not going to do this,” he said, crediting the MasTec brothers Jorge and Jose Mas with being the missing link the franchise needed to move forward.

The 25,000-square-foot, $200 million stadium will be built on a nine-acre development site between Northwest Sixth and Eighth streets, north of the Miami River in Overtown. Three sites in Overtown were also pitched to Amazon for its second headquarters. Miami was announced as a finalist for the $5 billion development last week.

Source:: The Real Deal

Top 10 US malls haven’t gotten the memo that malls are dying

Sawgrass Mills (Credit: Ruth Hara via Flickr)

The traditional American shopping mall may not be the retail powerhouse it once was, but the best properties in the sector are still delivering for tenants and landlords across the country.

The 10 most valuable malls owned by REITs — which includes Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise — are generating between $960 and $1,450 in sales per square foot, and are worth billions, research firm Boenning & Scattergood told CNBC.

The top 10 malls in the U.S. include four locations in the Northeast. Two are in New York state, one is in New Jersey, and another is in Pennsylvania. The Ala Moana Center in Honolulu tops the list. The 55-year-old open-air mall brings in $1,450 per-square-foot and is worth $5.7 billion. General Growth Properties the Ala Moana Center, along with two more in the top 10.

But those are clearly outliers, in a sector that has been decimated by the likes of Amazon and other ecommerce retailers. Industry experts say 25 percent of U.S. malls will likely shutter in the next five years, or about “300 out of 1,100” that now exist, according to a recent report in CNN Money.

Simon Property Group, the country’s largest mall owner, leads the pack with five in the top 10. Those include Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, which is the second most valuable mall in the country. Sawgrass Mills brings in $1,149 per-square-foot and worth a total of $4.1 billion.

The others on Simon’s list are: Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York; the King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, the Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas; and the Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York. [CNBC] – Dennis Lynch

Source:: The Real Deal