The Real Deal Miami

Judge sides with Trump in Fort Lauderdale case

Investors in beachfront project can't collect punitive damages
November 13, 2013 01:00PM

Rendering of Conrad Hotel at 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard

Rendering of Conrad Hotel

Celebrity developer Donald Trump notched a recent legal victory when a Broward Circuit judge denied investors in a scuttled Fort Lauderdale project a chance to recover up to $8 million in damages.

Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld would not revisit a prior rejection of punitive damages during a Nov. 1 hearing, Daily Business Review reported. The investors are attempting to recover deposits from an abandoned condo project planned for Fort Lauderdale Beach. Trump initially promoted the development before walking away in 2009. He is the only defendant in a trial scheduled for early 2014.

The investors did not provide enough evidence of “intentional misconduct” by Trump, Streitfeld wrote in his order. After the ruling, only out-of-pocket expenses, interest and attorney fees can be pursued.

While the case plays out, the future of the 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard property is coming into focus. Conrad FLB Partnership has a contract to purchase the property and plans a $100 million redevelopment with 181 hotel rooms and 109 condos. The completed tower would be known as the Conrad Hotel.

The sale to the partnership is not expected to close until the litigation is concluded. [Daily Business Review]Eric Kalis