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Boutique condo project draws $17M construction loan

30 Thirty North Ocean rendering

The developer of a boutique condominium near the beach in Fort Lauderdale got a $17 million construction loan to build the 24-unit building.

Cavache Properties closed the loan to build 30 Thirty North Ocean on April 30. Site work is under way.

Slightly more than one acre, the development site at 3310 Northeast 33 Street is across North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard from the twin 27-story buildings that compose the L’Hermitage condominium, a beachfront high-rise built in 1998.

Brett Forman, president and CEO of Trez Forman Capital Group, arranged the $17 million construction loan.

Adam Adache of Adache Real Estate represented the borrower, according to a press release by Trez Forman.

Adache also is managing director of Cavache Properties and one of the investors who bought the development site for $3.3 million in 2016.

Formed in 2016, Trez Forman is a joint venture of Trez Capital Group of Vancouver, a leading commercial mortgage lender in Canada, and Palm Beach-based Forman Capital.

Trez Forman closed more than $200 million in commercial mortgage financing in the first quarter, and the venture expects to close $400 million this year.– Mike Seemuth

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Local governments face money-losing municipal golf courses across Florida

Martin County Golf Course

Municipal golf courses in Florida have lost $100 million in the last five years, leading some local governments to limit losses on golf courses while others invest in them.

An investigation by USA Today Network-Florida also shows that county-owned and city-owned golf courses across the state got $64.9 million of public subsidies from 2013 through 2017.

More subsidies for municipal golf courses are under consideration in many areas of the state.

Martin County, for example, is considering whether to spend $12.3 million to redesign its golf course and build a clubhouse there, even though the Martin County Golf Course has lost about $6.6 million since 2015.

Kevin Abbate, Martin County’s director of parks and recreation, said the spending plan is justified because the golf course is among 34 in the county that compete for players.

In Sarasota, the city-owned Bobby Jones Golf Club has lost approximately $3.7 million in the last five years and will need a subsidy of nearly $1 million to cover expenses.

Hagen Brody, a city commissioner in Sarasota, said golf is an expensive sport that people with limited income should be able to play.

Some local governments have hired private companies to manage their municipal golf courses. But private operators and public golf courses aren’t always an ideal match.

Brevard County hired Orlando-based Integrity Golf Co. to run its three golf courses. But after 18 months, Integrity gave two weeks’ notice before terminating its money-losing management agreement with the county.

Brevard County commissioners decided in March to dispose of all three of its golf courses.

The sport’s declining popularity is an ongoing challenge for cities and counties that own golf courses.

The National Golf Foundation reported that 23.8 million people who played a round of golf in the United States in 2016, down from 30 million in 2005. [TCPalm.com] – Mike Seemuth

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Special masters eyed for Cohen probe all have RE fraud experience

From left: Frank Maas, Michael Cohen, Theodore Katz and James C Francis IV (Credit: Getty Images)

From TRD NYC: Following the raid of Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s hotel room on April 9, prosecutors in Manhattan have been making the case for internal control over the review of the records they seized, which were taken in connection with an investigation of Cohen and his personal business dealings.

Cohen, who joined the Trump Organization in 2006 and remained Donald Trump’s personal attorney after he was elected president, has been under criminal investigation for months, the Justice Department revealed last week.

Cohen’s attorneys asked Judge Kimba Wood to employ a “special master” to preside over the seized records and determine if their usage in the investigation would violate attorney-client privilege laws. Prosecutors have insisted that no special master is necessary, given what they see as Cohen’s weak arguments that he has any real clients apart from President Trump. But in the event that Wood appoints a special master anyway, prosecutors have recommended three judges for the post, all of whom, it turns out, have experience with cases involving fraud or money laundering in real estate.

The lawyers, however, are being chosen for their expertise in electronic discovery and attorney-client privilege. They would simply make determinations as to whether certain records can be viewed and would not participate as investigators.

Frank Maas, a former federal judge in the Southern District of New York, assisted in a 2016 case brought by Preet Bharara against Rockwell Gajwani, the CEO of Manhattan real estate firm Trevi Retail, who pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion and embezzling $1.6 million from his real estate business. (The company is now known as Hubb NYC.)

Another recommended special master, retired federal judge James C Francis IV, assisted the bench as a magistrate judge during the 2017 prosecution of Robert Guzman, a Bronx man accused of running an apartment search scam that charged customers to view apartments but then never showed them. Francis was also involved in a $100 million Russian money laundering case in 2013 that alleged the laundering of illicit funds into American real estate via Cyprus shell companies.

The third recommended special master, former federal judge Theodore Katz, did pre-trial work on two civil cases involving some of New York real estate’s biggest names. A decade ago, pre-trial, Katz supervised a $750 million lawsuit brought by investor Leslie Dick against Donald Trump, Sheldon Solow, Harry Macklowe, George Soros, Conseco, Vornado Realty Trust and other plaintiffs, accusing the latter parties of participating in a money laundering and bid-rigging scheme in their own hunts to buy the General Motors Building in Midtown. (Trump and Conseco had sold the building to Macklowe in 2003 and Dick’s suit was eventually dismissed.)

The other civil case Katz supervised also involved Sheldon Solow, who sued Conseco and Macklowe over the sale of the GM building. Solow eventually dropped his suit.

Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His attorneys previously submitted their own choices for special master. They include Bart Schwartz, who previously worked under Rudolph Giuliani when he was a U.S. attorney. Giuliani announced Thursday he is joining President Trump’s legal team at the White House.

The investigation into Cohen, which includes possible concealment and suspected fraud, began on a referral of information from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Mueller is investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian nationals in the 2016 presidential election, but the Trump real estate empire has come into increasing focus. Among the items of reported interest are emails to Cohen from Trump Soho co-developer Felix Sater, in which Sater discussed the development of a Trump Tower in Moscow and says he will get Russia President Vladimir Putin to help get Trump elected. “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater wrote in a 2015 email to Cohen. “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

Last Friday, after prosecutors rejected Cohen’s initial attempts to protect his records from their scrutiny, Cohen was spotted puffing on cigars with real estate investor Rotem Rosen and Deutsche Bank executive Jerry Rotonda.

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Palm Beach development duo plead not guilty to EB-5 fraud charges

160 Royal Palm Way and Robert V. Matthews and Les Evans (Credit: Google, Delray Beach, GoCPG.org and Leslie Robert Evans & Associates, PA)

Developer Robert “Bob” V. Matthews and real estate attorney Leslie Robert Evans pleaded not guilty a month after their arrests on charges that they swindled foreign investors through the U.S. government’s EB-5 visa program.

Prosecutors accused Matthews and Evans of redirecting $50 million EB-5 funds intended for a still-unfinished Palm House condo-hotel project at 160 Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach. Construction at the site stopped in 2014 and a court-appointed receiver now oversees the project.

Based on a grand jury indictment, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut charged both Matthews, 60, and Evans, 70, with wire fraud, bank fraud and illegal monetary transactions.

The defendants pleaded not guilty April 17 at a federal courthouse in Bridgeport, Conn.

They face maximum prison sentences ranging from 10 years for each count of illegal monetary transactions and 20 years for bank fraud to 30 years for each count of wire fraud.

The grand jury’s indictment accuses Matthews of 10 counts of illegal monetary transactions, eight counts of wire fraud, and one count of bank fraud, plus one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

Following his March 15 arrest, Matthews arranged a $500,000 personal surety bond while in federal custody and then at his house in Palm Beach.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman on March 19 ordered Matthews to remain confined in his house at 101 Casa Benita in Palm Beach.

After Matthews posted the personal surety bond, the judge lifted the house-confinement order March 23 but ordered Matthews to wear a personal tracking device. [Palm Beach Daily News]Mike Seemuth

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Developers ask record $40M for Fisher Island penthouse

Heinrich Von Hanau

The developers of luxury condominium Palazzo Della Luna on Fisher Island plan to offer its priciest penthouse for $40 million, which would be a record condo price on the exclusive island.

Miami developer Heinrich von Hanau and PDS Development expect to complete construction of the 50-unit condominium in the summer of 2019.

They launched sales earlier this year but just started marketing the most expensive unit: a seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom penthouse that will have 10,194 square feet of interior space plus 7,322 square feet of wrap-around terraces and rooftop space.

The design of the penthouse features two powder rooms. 15-foot-tall ceilings, a stainless-steel swimming pool and an outdoor summer kitchen. The condo will come with an air-conditioned, two-car garage and Tesla electric car charger.

The penthouse that might fetch $40 million also will have 360-degree views of the Miami skyline and the Atlantic Ocean.

Dora Puig, the condominium project’s director of sales and marketing, told the Wall Street Journal that a Russian last year bought a penthouse at Palazzo Della Luna’s sister development, Palazzo Del Sol, for $31.26 million, the highest price so far for a Fisher Island condo.

A seven-minute ferry ride from Miami Beach, Fisher Island is one of the richest Zip Codes in the nation.

Jonathan Miller, an appraiser with Miller Samuel, told the Wall Street Journal that eight residences on Fisher Island have sold for more than $10 million each since 2015. [Wall Street Journal]Mike Seemuth

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Marriott will put Edition brand on downtown Tampa hotel

Edition Tampa renderingThe Edition hotel brand created by hotelier Ian Schrager and Marriott International is coming to a major mixed-use development in downtown Tampa.

Edition Tampa, a 173-room hotel, will be part of a 26-story building in the middle of the mixed-use development, called Water Street Tampa.

Ian Schrager

The Ian Schrager Company will curate the selection of ground-floor restaurants and retail stores at Edition Tampa, expected to open in 2021.

New York-based architect Morris Adjimi designed Edition Tampa in collaboration with Coral Gables-based architecture and planning firm Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates.

Edition hotels currently operate in London, Miami Beach, New York and Sanya, China. Seven more are scheduled to open on three continents this year.

Strategic Property Partners, the developer of Water Street Tampa, also is building a JW Marriott hotel as part of the mixed-use development along the city’s downtown waterfront. Construction of the JW Marriott was scheduled to start by the end of April.

Construction is starting this year on the hotel and other buildings at Water Street Tampa, a master-planned development that eventually would encompass more than 9 million square feet of space for residential, commercial, retail, educational and other types of space.

The Water Street Tampa project also includes work on a third hotel, the existing Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, a 727-room property undergoing renovation. – Mike Seemuth

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Heir of late Mexican singer asks about $8M for 30.8 acres in west Broward

Juan Gabriel and his son Ivan Aguilera (Credit: People en Espanol)

The heir of a deceased Mexican recording artist is asking about $8 million for 30.8 acres of Southwest Ranches properties.

The properties in west-central Broward County were owned by the late Juan Gabriel, a singing star whose real name was Alberto Aguilera. He died in August 2016 at age 66, leaving behind 30-plus properties in Mexico and the United States.

His son and only heir, Broward County resident Ivan Aguilera, is trying to sell his late father’s $30 million of assets, including four properties in Southwest Ranches. Juan Gabriel, whose hit songs included “Amor Eterno” and “Querida,” acquired his Southwest Ranches property portfolio in the mid-2000s, records show.

Aguilera wants $8.2 million for the properties at 13900, 13920 and 14080 Stirling Road, including $2.5 million for a vacant lot (13900), $4.7 million for a 12-bedroom, nine-bathroom house (13920) and $1 million for a smaller house (14080).

Aguilera also wants to sell a vacant lot on nearby Hancock Road but would require the buyer to acquire all four Southwest Ranches properties as a package. [GossipExtra.com]– Mike Seemuth 


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North Austin poised for biggest commercial, residential growth spurt yet

The Domain and its surroundings are already red-hot with development. But hold onto your hat (and your checkbook) as millions more square feet of commercial space and thousands of homes are still on the way.

Source: http://feeds.bizjournals.com/industry_21

Broward may allow development around the BB&T Center


The BB&T Center in Sunrise

Broward County commissioners will consider Tuesday whether to allow development of the area around the county-owned BB&T Center in Sunrise, the home of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.

A 2016 study by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) recommended the development of apartments, entertainment venues, hotel rooms and office space of 140 acres that surround the arena. The 140-acre area is now a surface parking lot and undeveloped wetlands.

County commissioners will consider whether to allow the mix of developments that the ULI recommended. Doing so would require the county to apply to the city government of Sunrise to rescind a land-use designation for the 140 acres known as a Development of Regional Impact.

The ULI study of the area surrounding the BB&T Center recommended development of as many as 1,400 apartments, as much as 180,000 square feet of entertainment venues, 840 hotel rooms and up to 1.6 million square feet of office space.

Lary Mahoney, director of real estate development for Broward County, said retail development around the BB&T Center would not compete with the nearby Sawgrass Mills shopping center. [South Florida Business Journal] – Mike Seemuth

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Loan default stalls Naples-area development of condo-hotel

Anthony Fortino

A condo-hotel development in the Naples area stalled after the developer defaulted on a loan.

David Bartley Sr., the exclusive broker for the development, called Trio, told the Naples Daily News without elaboration that “the project is on hold at this time.”

The developer is Trio Southern Holdings LLC, managed by Anthony Fortino, owner of Naples-based Fortino Construction and Development.

According to Collier County records, Trio Southern defaulted on a loan for the condo-hotel development, and on April 13, a deed to the development site was conveyed to a Massachusetts company that shares the same address as the owner of the defaulted loan, Endeavor Capital Finance.

The development site is located at U.S. Highway 41 and Davis Boulevard, just outside Naples in the Gateway Triangle area of Collier County.

Customers Bank, a Pennsylvania-chartered bank, assigned the loan to Endeavor on April 2. The principal amount of the loan is $4 million.

Trio Southern last summer redesigned its Trio development to reduce the size and price of the condo units.

The developer recently applied to amend its site development plan for the condo-hotel project to reduce the number of condo units and increase the number of hotel rooms.

That application is still pending. Collier County officials haven’t processed it because Trio Southern hasn’t paid more than $25,000 of road impact fees stemming from the Trio development.

On May 8, Collier County commissioners are scheduled to consider approval of another condo-hotel development on a site near the Trio site. [Naples Daily News] – Mike Seemuth

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