Prominent Miami hotel owner dies, downtown condo market cools, and more...

Snapshots of real estate news from the Sunshine State

Apr.April 01, 2016 12:00 PM
(Photo: Sagamore Hotel on Instagram)

(Photo: Sagamore Hotel on Instagram)

Sagamore Hotel owner dies

Martin Taplin, a prominent Miami real estate developer and art collector who owned the Sagamore Hotel in South Beach, died last month after falling from the 25th-floor balcony of a penthouse in Bal Harbour. Police are investigating whether he fell accidentally or committed suicide. Taplin was 77.

Sinking under a mound of debt, Taplin’s oceanfront hotel was facing a balloon payment of $31.5 million plus $14 million in interest due on April 11, sources said. In early March, Taplin signed a contract to sell the property for $63 million to the Fort Lauderdale-based InSite Group, after reportedly already signing a different deal to sell the hotel. Taplin and his partners had faced hard financial times before, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011.

Taplin and his wife, Christine “Cricket” Taplin, bought the 93-room Sagamore Hotel in the late 1990s and decorated the interiors with their personal art collection. They are credited with spurring a global trend of boutique art hotels.

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami

Report: downtown Miami condo market is cooling

Amid a decline in foreign investment, downtown Miami’s condo market will continue cooling off this year, according to a report from the Miami Downtown Development Authority. The Annual Residential Market Study Update found that sales activity last year dipped substantially when compared to the growth seen in 2014.

The slowdown is already evident in the condo pipeline. Condo units in contract fell by 42 percent at the beginning of 2016. Most of that dip is due to a dramatic fall in the number of reservation agreements to buy condos in pre-construction, which fell to 207 units from 1,598 last year. Prices are also starting to drop. South Florida’s most prolific condo builder, the Related Group, has lowered deposits on several of its downtown projects.

New York buyers are in blue and all other investment is in red.

New York buyers are in blue and all other investment is in red.

New York investors target area in downtown Miami

New Yorkers have spent at least $586.5 million in property concentrated in one square mile of downtown Miami. Commercial broker Mika Mattingly looked at commercial property sales between the Miami River to Northeast Sixth Street and east of I-95 to Biscayne Bay from the past two years.

New York buyers acquired at least 1.28 million square feet of buildings and at least 1.1 million square feet of land. They represent about 56 percent of total dollar investment in an area that is in the beginning stages of a renaissance. On Flager Street, one of the main corridors, a $13 million improvement plan is underway. Moishe Mana represented roughly 30 percent, or about $170 million, of New York investment. Other properties were purchased by New York-based Edens Investment Trust, Ashkenazy Acquisition, KAR Properties and Brickman, which  recently closed on the Courthouse Tower at 44 West Flagler Street for $27.5 million.


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