Monthly Archives: April 2018

ISG takes over sales at Brickell City Centre from Fortune and One Sotheby’s

From left: Mayi de la Vega, Walter Defortuna, and Craig Studnicky with Brickell City Centre

ISG is taking over the remaining condo sales at Brickell City Centre on Tuesday from Fortune International Realty and One Sotheby’s International Realty, The Real Deal has learned.

Swire Properties had issued a request for proposals for one brokerage to handle sales and marketing of the remaining 200 units at Reach and Rise, the 760-unit condo component of Brickell City Centre, sources said.

ISG co-founder and principal Craig Studnicky confirmed it won the bid. “Swire made a decision around six months or so ago that they only wanted one company to take over,” Studnicky said. “[Fortune and One Sotheby’s] didn’t do it as a joint venture; they were competing against each other.”

Maile Aguila, senior vice president of residential sales for Swire, said late last year that she divided buyers and leads evenly between Fortune and One Sotheby’s. The sales team had also been cut in half to about a half dozen agents. Aguila could not immediately be reached for comment.

Fortune, led by Walter Defortuna, and One Sotheby’s, led by Mayi de la Vega, launched sales of Reach and Rise, both 380-unit, 43-story condo towers at the mixed-use development at 701 South Miami Avenue, in 2014. The buildings were completed about two years later.

A Swire spokesperson called the company’s partnership with both brokerages a successful one, and that after reaching 75 percent in sales “now is a good time to shift our strategy to sell the remaining units.”

Swire and ISG will move the sales center from Swire’s office at 700 Brickell Avenue to Brickell City Centre. Prices at Reach and Rise are still being finalized, but Studnicky said they’ll range from about $650,000 to $1.5 million, excluding penthouses. Studnicky hopes to sell the remaining 25 percent of units within a year-and-a-half.

The slowdown in luxury condo sales in South Florida has led a number of developers to switch sales teams. Last year, One Sotheby’s took over the remaining inventory at the Miami Beach Edition from Douglas Elliman. Fortune International Group, led by Edgardo Defortuna, took over sales of Brickell Flatiron from Cervera Real Estate.

Walter Defortuna, chairman of Fortune International Realty, said Swire wasn’t concerned with the slowdown. “They understand the market here more than anyone else,” Defortuna said. “Everybody would like to be sold out when the project is finished, but they understand the play, they understand the market.”

Fortune represented the developer in more than 330 unit sales, Defortuna said. That comes out to about 57 percent of the 578 units sold.

Fortune International Realty, One Sotheby’s, ISG, Compass and EWM Realty International were invited to bid on the remaining sales last year, sources said. Neither Fortune nor One Sotheby’s submitted proposals.

In a statement, One Sotheby’s said it will be launching a new project in downtown Miami in the coming weeks. The firm also said it was grateful for the opportunity to work with Swire.

ISG originally bid on sales and marketing of Reach and Rise in 2013, but withdrew its proposal due to its relationship with Property Markets Group, which was building the Echo Brickell condo tower nearby. Now, only four units remain at Echo Brickell, according to Studnicky, who said he received PMG’s blessing to take over Brickell City Centre.

Aguila said in December that Swire won’t launch Brickell City Centre’s second phase — including hiring a brokerage — until Reach and Rise are sold out. The first phase of Brickell City Centre includes the completed 500,000-square-foot shopping center, office building and the 40-story East, Miami hotel.

Source:: The Real Deal

Singaporean investment group pays $61.5M for industrial buildings in South Florida

Mapletree Investments CEO Hiew Yoon Khong and the inside of a warehouse (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A Singaporean investment group just paid $61.5 million for a bundle of industrial buildings throughout South Florida as part of a national portfolio sale.

Mapletree Investments purchased two buildings in Boca Raton, seven in Tamarac, one in Weston and one in Pompano Beach from Philadelphia-based Exeter Property Group, according to property records.

In Boca Raton, Mapletree bought the 55,899-square-foot building at 6400 Park of Commerce Boulevard and the adjacent 82,882-square-foot warehouse at 6500 Park of Commerce Blvd for a total of $19.1 million. Exeter had originally purchased the properties in 2012 for $12.5 million, records show.

The Singaporean real estate investment company, which has more than $39.5 billion in assets, also purchased seven office spaces at two different locations in Tamarac from Exeter. It bought three warehouse spaces at 6200-6320 North Hiatus Road for $15.4 million. The properties last sold for $11.5 million. The company also purchased four industrial buildings at 10300-10458 West McNab Road in Tamarac for $14.2 million. The property last sold for $10.1 million, according to property records.

In addition, Mapletree purchased a warehouse facility in Weston at 1700-1778 North Commerce Parkway for $7.7 million and an industrial property in Pompano Beach at 2025 Northwest 15th Avenue from Exeter for $6.1 million. The Weston property was last sold for $6.05 million in 2015 and the Pompano Beach was last sold $3.9 million in 2015, records show.

The Singaporean firm also purchased a GE Healthcare repair operations facility in Milwaukee for $31.1 million from Exeter on Monday, according to the Milwaukee Business News website BizTimes.

Mapletree Investments has grown its presence in the United States by buying up student housing. It has also been buying corporate housing property in Los Angeles.

Exeter also owns other industrial properties in South Florida. In August, the company scored a $108 million loan for properties in several states, including two warehouses in Boynton Beach.

Source:: The Real Deal

Hannity portfolio draws attention to rampant LLC use

Sean Hannity and Uncle Sam (Credit: Getty Images, Public Domain Images, Wikimedia Commons)

The revelation that Sean Hannity quietly amassed a significant real estate portfolio has drawn attention to the vehicle that’s become a fixture in such transactions: limited liability companies.

Hannity used multiple LLCs to purchase at least 877 residential units across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Vermont. He’s not alone: In the last 30 years or so, property owners have increasingly turned to LLCs to keep their names from appearing in public records and to avoid personal liability. According Census Bureau’s Rental Housing Finance Survey, 92 percent of rental properties across the U.S. were owned by individuals in 1991. By 2015, that number was down to 74 percent, mostly due to the emergence of LLCs.

LLCs have a history of making money laundering easier, leading to some reforms. The Treasury Department initially launched the LLC disclosure rule in March 2016 in an attempt to crack down on the flow of illicit funds in high-volume markets. In August, the Treasury Department extended disclosure rules to deals involving wire transfers.

“The lawyer in me that represents clients says ‘privacy, secrecy, keep my people out of the papers,’ ” William Callison, a Denver-based lawyer who specializes in LLC and affordable housing law, told the Times. “The policy guy in me says, ‘Well, wait a second.’ ”

He added, “Because good things happen in the light, and bad things happen in the dark.” [NYT] — Kathryn Brenzel

Source:: The Real Deal

New England Development pays $15M for Palm Beach hotel

Bradley Park Hotel and Khaled Hashem

New England Development paid $15.4 million for the Bradley Park Hotel in Palm Beach, property records show.

The New Bradley House Limited, led by Gayla Sue Levin, sold the 32-key hotel at 280 Sunset Avenue to New England Development affiliate Bradley Park Owner LLC.

The Boston-based buyer plans to renovate and upgrade the landmark property, which was built in 1924. It sold for about $480,500 per key.

The acquisition is the first hotel in South Florida for New England Development, said Khaled Hashem, managing director of hospitality. The firm developed and manages the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach and the adjacent Marketplace at the Outlets. In Boston, it is part owner of the Taj Boston Hotel and developed the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.

The nearly 29,000-square-foot Palm Beach hotel includes Trevini restaurant and C’est Si Bon, a gourmet store and catering company on the ground floor.

Chris Deitz of The Fite Group brokered the off-market deal, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

In December, the Clark family sold its majority interest in the nearby historic Colony Hotel to the son of former minority owner Bob Wetenhall Sr. for $12 million.

Source:: The Real Deal

DDR and Blackstone sell Miramar shopping center for $40M

Fountains of Miramar and Stockbridge’s Terry Fancher and Sol Raso (Credit: Cushman $ Wakefield and Stockbridge)

A joint venture between real estate investment trust DDR Corp. and Blackstone just sold a shopping center in Miramar for $40 million, property records show.

The buyer of the Fountains of Miramar, at 3001 Southwest 160 Avenue, is a company tied to Stockbridge Capital Group. The shopping center spans about 150,000 square feet, and is just west of I-75 where Miramar Parkway meets Dykes Road.

Records show the joint venture bought the property from Prologis in 2015 for about $35.8 million. The shopping center, whose tenants includes Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, Pet Supermarket and a new HomeGoods, features about 1,120 parking spaces, according to online marketing materials.

A representative for DDR Corp. was not immediately available to comment. Neighboring outparcels, not included in the sale, consist of retailers and restaurants like Home Depot, Chipotle, Benihana and a Chick-fil-A.

DDR is a Beachwood, Ohio-based shopping center owner and management company. It’s current CEO, David Lukes, recently announced plans to spin off 50 of DDR’s shopping centers into an independent publicly traded REIT, valued at $3 billion. The REIT will consists of 38 U.S. assets, and DDR’s entire Puerto Rico portfolio of 12 assets, according to Forbes.

In December, Stockbridge Capital paid developer Alex Karakhanian $22 million for a building in the Miami Design District that houses the international fashion school Istituto Marangoni.

Source:: The Real Deal

Guess the new must-have hotel amenity

(Credit: Pixabay)

From TRD NYC: Luxury vacations are increasingly a family experience, which means high-worth individuals are toting their kids around the globe and expecting them to be entertained.

The family travel industry is now worth $500 billion, according to Bloomberg, and hotels from the French Alps’ L’Apogée Courchevel resort to chains like Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton are introducing kids clubs or programmed activities for the little ones. Some programs include adventure activities, others include language lessons.

“After 9/11, people weren’t willing to leave their kids at home anymore—they wanted to be with them,” luxury travel designer Melissa Rosenbloum told Bloomberg.

The programs cost parents up to $100 a day, though sometimes the packages are included as part of their stay.

“It’s not a revenue play,” Rosenbloum continued. “Hotels are doing this to compete. Otherwise, they’re not going to get business from the parents.” [Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson

Source:: The Real Deal

Lennar buys farmland near Zoo Miami approved for 85 houses

18870 Southwest 134 Street (Credit: Redfin/Google)

Miami-based home builder Lennar Corp. paid $4.5 million for 32.7 acres of farmland in southern Miami-Dade County near Zoo Miami.

Lennar paid $137,614 per acre for the land, which has county approval for construction of 85 “estate” houses with 3,001 to 5,000 square feet of space.

The property’s zoning designation is estate residential, which requires a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet.

Quail Roost Realty Management, managed by Judith M. King in Denver, sold the property at 18870 Southwest 134 Street.

It was the latest in a series of Miami-Dade property acquisitions by Lennar over the past year and a half.

In October, the company paid $40 million for a 181-acre property in northern Miami-Dade at 20898 San Simeon Way.

Last summer, Lennar paid $10.75 million for about 77 acres in Homestead just west of Florida’s Turnpike along Mowry Drive and Southwest 152 Avenue.

Near the end of 2016, the home builder paid $51 million for more than 100 acres in northern Miami-Dade near the site of the planned American Dream mega mall. [South Florida Business Journal] – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal

Bridge Investment Group pays $35M for Plant City rental property

Plantation at Walden Lake

Bridge Investment Group, an active investor in South Florida properties, looked north and bought an apartment complex about 25 miles east of Tampa for $35.7 million.

Salt Lake City-based Bridge Investment paid about $101,400 per unit for the 23-building complex in Plant City called Plantation at Walden Lake, which is 95 percent leased.

Constructed in phases from 1990 to 1994, the rental complex has 352 apartments with one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans, plus 716 surface parking spaces. Among the common-area amenities are a swimming pool, gym, dog park, playground and an area for picnics and barbecues.

The 43-acre site of the property at 1400 Plantation Boulevard is located within easy driving distance of Brandon, Lakeland and other employment centers along Interstate 75.

The seller, Mercury Investment, has completed a multimillion-dollar capital improvement program at Plantation at Walden Lakes over the last three years.

Some of the 352 units were not renovated, however.

“Renovating the remaining units will help the property compete with newer communities nearby and will significantly enhance revenue,” Luis Elorza, a senior director of Cushman & Wakefield, said in a prepared statement.

Elorza and another senior director of Cushman, Brad Capas, represented Mercury Investment in the transaction together with Robert Given, vice chairman.

Bridge Investment’s South Florida property acquisitions since last summer include its January purchase of an office building in Tamarac for $13.6 million, its December purchase of an office complex in Boca Raton for $54.5 million, and its September acquisition a luxury senior housing development in Lantana for $77.2 million. – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal

Willow Street Capital advances hotel project in Melbourne

Miguel Rivera, co-founder of Willow Street Capital

Willow Street Capital, a development firm with offices in Miami and New York City, won initial approval of its plan to build a 156-room hotel in Melbourne that join the Tapestry Collection by Hilton chain.

According to Miguel Rivera, a co-founder of Willow Street, the firm has letters of intent from a lender and a group of equity investors to fund the development, estimated to cost $33 million.

The Melbourne City Council gave preliminary approval of a zoning ordinance and site plan for the 11-story hotel development. The city council may consider whether to grant final approval as soon as May 8.

The zoning ordinance would permit Willow Street to build a 123-foot hotel in downtown Melbourne, where the limit on building height is 96 feet.

The development site would be a city-owned parking lot at the southeast corner of Waverly Place and Strawbridge Avenue.

Willow Street also would have to negotiate a development agreement with the city, including the terms of its acquisition of the parking lot.

The firm has proposed a hotel with a 170-space parking garage and a rooftop lounge and event space. [Florida Today] – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal

Miami firm to buy 2 Courtyard by Marriott hotels in Latin America

Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Santo Domingo (Credit:

A Miami-based real estate firm is under contract to buy two Courtyard by Marriott hotels in the capitals of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

Ithaca Capital Partners announced that it agreed to acquire a 120-key Courtyard by Marriott near San Jose, Costa Rica, and the brand’s 145-key location in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. The firm did not disclose the contracted purchase price for either property.

Ithaca said in a press release that the acquisition of the Santo Domingo property along Avenida Máximo Gómez “includes adjacent land parcel for future development.”

Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are “two of the fastest-growing economies in the region,” Orestes Fintiklis, founder of Ithaca Capital, said in a prepared statement.

A gym, an outdoor swimming pool, meeting space, on-site parking, and food and beverage service are among the amenities at both the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Santo Domingo and the smaller Courtyard by Marriott along Próspero Fernández Highway in Escazu, a suburb just west of San Jose.

Ithaca Capital’s advisors in the deal were the Miami law firm of Aleco Haralambides and a LMV Law, a Dominican firm. – Mike Seemuth

Source:: The Real Deal