The Real Deal Miami

South Beach king’s fate hinges on Karachi dream

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