Feds probe Related and other developers, condo owners fight New York firm’s development plans and more…

South Florida briefs

Aug.August 01, 2017 11:00 AM

1111 Lincoln Road

Two Lincoln Road properties fetch $283 million

German institutional investor Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK) paid $283 million for 1111 Lincoln Road, a seven-story, mixed-use property, and an adjacent retail space. At $1,932 per square foot, the deal is one of the biggest on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road.

CBRE Global Investors and German investment firm Universal-Investment acquired the two properties on behalf of BVK, CBRE announced.

Eastdil Secured represented the seller, Robert Wennett, said Stuart Sziklas, a managing director at CBRE. Property records show Wennett paid $23.5 million for the site in 2005, before developing the two properties.

The mixed-use building, which sits at the northwest entrance of the Lincoln Road mall, was designed by Herzog & de Meuron Architects and includes 94,488 square feet of office space, 51,839 square feet of retail space, and a 300-space parking garage and event space. The other property is a newly-constructed retail space at 1664 Lenox Avenue and 1666 Lenox Avenue, according to Sziklas.

Adolfo Henriques

Feds probe Related Group, other affordable housing developers

A slew of South Florida developers are being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of a probe into the area’s affordable housing industry.

Related Group, South Florida’s largest developer, is among those under investigation. Authorities are looking into whether the firm’s affordable housing arm, Related Urban Development Group, pocketed money by boosting construction costs on a senior housing project in Miami’s Shenandoah neighborhood.

Adolfo Henriques, vice chairman of Related Group, told the Miami Herald that the company has cooperated with federal prosecutors and all fees paid to Related Urban in connection with affordable housing projects in Miami-Dade were “completely appropriate.” The firm has also repeatedly disputed that it is a target of the investigation.

Miami-Dade County was issued a subpoena for the records  of at least a dozen publicly subsidized developments by other developers, including Biscayne Housing Group, Carlisle Development Group, Carrfour Supportive Housing and Pinnacle Housing Group. Federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether developers inflated construction costs to steal money from the Miami-Dade County’s bond-funded affordable housing program.

Keys retreat or rip-off?

Developers Martin Levine and John Grunow’s plan to rebuild Golf Village Condominium Apartments, a 1970s condominium building in Key Largo, is being met with stiff opposition.

Eight condo residents, who together constitute roughly 14.6 percent of the complex’s owners, are accusing Levine, principal of New York City-based Redwood Real Estate Group, and Grunow, president of leasing company Reef Rentals, of trying to muscle them out through a condo termination agreement. As of July 1, Florida state’s condo laws bar condo terminations if 5 percent of unit owners do not want to sell.

Levine and Grunow are proposing tearing down the current structure and replacing it with the Residences at Ocean Reef. The new property would have the same number of units, but with a larger footprint and luxury amenities, according to the developers.

Levine said that he and Grunow have been paying $300,000 to $350,000 for individual units, which is “more than they could trade for today.” In addition, owners who do not buy another property in Ocean Reef can sell back their equity membership to the golf club.

In a June 29 phone interview, Levine downplayed the stalemate with the unit owners, insisting he and Grunow had reached “an understanding” with the holdouts. Yet a day earlier, attorneys for the eight opponents filed an objection to the termination plan.

Debra Overholt, one of owners, said that Levine and Grunow want to take over their properties for “pennies on the dollar.”

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