The Real Deal Miami

Miami-Dade judge to rule on contentious Privé project

Construction for the 160-unit Aventura development began earlier this year

October 22, 2015 04:45PM
By Katherine Kallergis

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Privé at Island Estates construction as of Oct. 23, 2015

Four months after breaking ground, developers of the controversial Privé at Island Estates will come before a Miami-Dade County judge Friday morning, in a key hearing that could determine if the case will go to trial in the spring.

Litigation has pitted nearby homeowners against the developers of the twin 16-story towers, which are located on the north island between Williams Island and Sunny Isles Beach.

Homeowners from the Williams Island Property Owners’ Association have repeatedly fought the development, and are arguing that developer Gary Cohen’s rights apply only to the development of single-family homes. Privé Developers is led by BH3 and Cohen.

Both sides in the ongoing dispute have filed motions for summary judgment, to bypass a trial.

“Either side could win or the judge could determine whether it goes to trial [in March],” Susan Raffanello, attorney for the opposing homeowners, told The Real Deal.

She said the 160-unit development has been unable to secure construction financing because of the ongoing litigation and has been funding construction using buyers’ deposits. Construction on the site began earlier this year. The city of Aventura issued a building permit in March, and developers held an official groundbreaking ceremony in June.

Rafanello is also requesting that Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Jerald Bagley rule on the validity of an easement agreement that allowed Cohen to build the roadway that connects Island Estates homeowners to the north island.

If completed as planned, Privé will feature a 10,000-square-foot gym and spa in each tower, private dining, a poolside cafe, wine and cigar rooms, tennis courts, swimming pools, a marina and private pier, a nature trail, beach, and jogging path.

This story will be updated with more information if it becomes available.