NASCAR champ in dispute over Ocean Blvd mansions

January 05, 2012 02:15PM

From left: Gene Haas and 401 and 229 Ocean Boulevard

Gene Haas, the owner of the Stewart Haas Racing team that won the NASCAR championship in November, was the highest bidder on a pair of Ocean Boulevard mansions owned by brothers that began marketing them simultaneously for more than $11 million each. But according to the Miami Herald, the car-racing magnet reneged on his bid and won’t allow the brothers to collect the $500,000 they’re each owed as a guarantee.

Haas bid $12.4 million for the two homes, at 229 and 401 Ocean Boulevard, in a Nov. 10 auction but refused to sign the contracts. Auction rules mandated that all participants place a $500,000 deposit in escrow, held by the Newman Guarantee Title Insurance Agency, for each home on which they intended to bid. Newman needs a declaration that the funds belong to the brothers, but Haas has refused to sign off on it.

The homes were ultimately sold to other auction participants, who paid about $1 million less in total for the two homes than Haas did. But the brothers have been unable to recoup the $1 million in escrow that would subsidize the difference, so they have filed suit. [Miami Herald]