Surprise bidder snags Sunny Isles property

Miami /
Nov.November 21, 2013 12:05 PM

UPDATED, 12:05 p.m., Nov. 21: A third-party bidder with ties to Fortune International and Chateau Group has swooped in and acquired the Sunny Isles Beach site of the delayed Solis Resort Spa & Residences project with a $41 million bid in a foreclosure auction, The Real Deal has learned.

Sunny Isles Property Venture won Wednesday’s auction for the nearly one-acre property at 15701 Collins Avenue, according to Miami-Dade County records. Miami-based Fortune International is identified in state corporate records as the manager of Sunny Isles Property.

Fortune is an active developer in Sunny Isles. Its projects in the city include Jade Beach, Jade Ocean and Jade Signature.

For the Solis site acquisition, Fortune is part of a joint venture with Chateau Group, according to Fortune. Chateau is another company with a presence in Sunny Isles. It is currently developing the luxury Chateau Beach Residences at 17475 Collins Avenue.

This is the first time Fortune and Chateau have officially teamed up on a development, Fortune president and CEO Edgardo Defortuna told The Real Deal. But Defortuna has had a long-term friendship fellow Argentina natives Sergio and Manuel Grosskopf, the father-and-son Chateau principals.

Development plans for the site have not been determined, Defortuna said. But the existing structure will “most likely” be demolished to make way for a brand-new residential building. Potential partnerships with a hotel or resort brand will be explored.

“We thought it was a great piece of property, and getting land on the ocean today is more and more difficult,” he said. “The plan is to slowly figure out what we are going to do and do something spectacular. There is no rush.”

In the meantime, both companies are focused on their existing projects in the Sunny Isles area.

The auction result is a surprise, as prolific condo developer Gil Dezer was expected to take title to the property. Dezer-managed Soloser had been awarded a $36.3 million foreclosure judgment against Mansiana Ocean Residences, which was tied to New York City-based Forkosh Development Group. Soloser acquired the distressed mortgage secured by the property in July 2012.

Dezer could not be reached for comment. Calls to Sebastian Tettamanti, Dezer’s senior vice president of development and sales, were not immediately returned.

Like Fortune, Dezer has consistently targeted Sunny Isles for luxury oceanfront condo projects. He is currently developing the Porsche Design Tower in the city.

Sunny Isles commissioners approved Dezer’s request to extend the construction permit for the 52-story Solis in July. At the time, Dezer told the commission he would submit updated development plans in the near future.

Construction of Solis began in 2007, but little progress was made before the project stalled. Original plans called for 135 residences and 140 guestrooms.

Mansiana paid $26 million for the property in 2005. It was hit with a foreclosure action from Mercantil Commercebank five years later. The bank eventually sold the note to Dezer’s company.


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