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Miami businessman accused of “elaborate shell game” scheme, Lenny Kravitz’s former home finds buyer, and more…

South Florida briefs
By TRD Miami Staff | February 01, 2018 11:00AM

1800 West 25th Street in Miami Beach

Lenny Kravitz’s former home sells below ask

Lenny Kravitz’s former Miami Beach mansion sold for $16.5 million — a 34 percent discount off the original $25 million price tag.

Stephen Muss, Miami Beach developer and previous owner of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, sold the nearly 12,000-square-foot, two-story, six-bedroom estate at 1800 West 25th Street.

Once the asking price was reduced to $19.5 million, the Mediterranean-style property started garnering attention. The sizable discount is in line with other recent multimillion-dollar home sales in Miami-Dade County, as sellers of luxury homes are issuing increasingly substantial price reductions to move their properties.

Kravitz’s former home sits on a 25,000-square-foot lot on Sunset Island II with 125 feet of frontage on Biscayne Bay, a private beach, saltwater pool, Jacuzzi, cabana and private dock. The estate includes a movie theater, meditation garden, gym, elevator and guest house.

Kravitz paid nearly $9 million for the home in 2001, property records show. He sold it to Muss in 2005 for $14.5 million.

Massive North Beach redevelopment approved

The Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board approved Alex Blavatnik and Sandor Scher’s plans for an ambitious redevelopment in North Beach  but with several conditions.

The developers want to build a 58-unit residential building, a 76-room hotel, a parking garage and 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on a 2.2-acre site that stretches from Collins Avenue to Ocean Avenue between 73rd and 75th streets.

Representatives for their company, Ocean Terrace Holdings, claim their proposal preserves and restores the character of 12 historic buildings — of which substantial portions need to be demolished — but staffers for the Preservation Board questioned the need for some of the demolition work, variances and waivers.

The developers agreed to work with city staff to reconfigure the setbacks for the construction of balconies, a gym terrace, a pool deck and mechanical room, which helped the company win the board’s approval.

Scher called the outcome an “important milestone.” His and Blavatnik’s plans have faced stiff resistance for years. In 2015, Miami Beach voters rejected a zoning change proposal that would have allowed for the project to move forward sooner.

Miami investor accused of “elaborate” real estate scheme

partner of Miami-based investor David Brillembourg is suing him for allegedly stealing money in a labyrinthine shell company scheme.

The plaintiff, Crandal Properties, claims an 88 percent interest in Brilla AJ RMB, a Miami-based LLC that bought the Raleigh Miami Beach hotel  in 2009. Brillembourg managed the company, which was dissolved in 2014, and Crandal is suing Brillembourg on behalf of all members of the company. (Crandal filed the complaint in a Florida state civil court but also has an ongoing suit against Brillembourg in federal court citing different facts.)

Brillembourg categorically denied explosive allegations that former Raleigh hotel investor Luis A. Benshimol leveled against him. A representative for Brillembourg, who runs Bricapital, called the suits an effort “at character assassination” by a “disgruntled investor” using “demonstrably false allegations.”

The state suit alleges that in an “elaborate shell game,” Brillembourg moved an $18 million loan on the Raleigh through two entities exclusively owned by him before lending the money to the developers of a resort called Cap Juluca on the island of Anguilla. Brillembourg eventually took control of the ground leases on three villas at the hotel when the developers defaulted.

In 2012, Brilla AJ RMB sold the Raleigh and paid off the loan. Crandal claims that because that loan was used to make the Cap Juluca investment, it owned 100 percent of the interest in it.

Brillembourg then sold the ground leases on the three villas in May 2017 and allegedly used the money to “pay his creditors from a failed banking operation, and stole the proceeds” of one of the villas, according to the suit.

In doing so, Brillembourg breached his fiduciary duty to Brilla AJ RMB, according to the complaint. Crandal is seeking unspecified compensatory damages, restitution, interest, and costs.