South Beach king’s fate hinges on Karachi dream

May 21, 2013 12:00PM

Thomas Kramer

Whether Thomas Kramer, the German developer who spearheaded the revival of Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood, will evade ruin depends on the success of a $20 billion island city project in Karachi, the New Times reported.

Among South Florida real estate’s most eccentric doyens, Kramer was brought to his knees by a Swiss court’s January ruling ordering him to repay $200 million to the heirs of a German bank-note printing company.

After pawning off a collection of watches, Kramer was forced to liquidate his Star Island mansion, cellar full of vintage wines and even a taxidermied giraffe, according to the article, whose author worked for Kramer as an in-house writer.

Entrusted in 1992 with the untaxed 200-million Deutschemark fortune of a German currency printing magnate, Kramer used the cash to buy up property on Miami Beach’s Southern tip, erecting its first successful high-rise condo, the Portofino.

Unless Kramer can pull off the dreamed-up project of Pakistani property tycoon Milak Riaz, his tumultuous 20-year real estate tenure will come to a close. [New Times]Emily Schmall