Final Renzi parcel set for bankruptcy auction

Miami developer has lost numerous sites in past year
By Eric Kalis | January 10, 2014 01:30PM

Renzo Renzi and John Crotty

Renzo Renzi amassed a vast portfolio during the last real estate boom, but rampant overleveraging resulted in a flurry of foreclosure and bankruptcy filings after the market collapsed.

The final piece of the Miami developer’s crumbled empire is set to be sold to the highest bidder next month.

To resolve the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of two Renzi-managed companies, an auction of a vacant Miami property has been scheduled for Feb. 12, according to bankruptcy court records. A hearing to confirm the auction results is scheduled for the following day.

Colliers International South Florida executive vice president and partner John Crotty is marketing the 1.3-acre property at 3170 Southwest 22nd Street. The bidding starts at $3.18 million. Bids are due on Feb. 10.

The property’s zoning allows for residential, hospitality, office and other forms of commercial development, according to marketing materials. Up to 66 residential units per acre can be developed on the land.

Keystone Holdings Group of Miami is serving as the stalking horse bidder for the auction.

The Blue on Coral Way, which was managed by Renzi, paid $1.7 million for the property in 2002, according to Miami-Dade County records. The company was unable to develop the land before the real estate downturn. It lost an $18.2 million foreclosure judgment for that property and a Brickell-area site in December 2012.

In an attempt to avoid losing the properties to foreclosure auctions, Renzi filed multiple bankruptcy petitions early last year. He had already filed a personal Chapter 7 petition in 2011, citing between $10 million and $50 million in debt. The personal bankruptcy petition was rejected.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Isicoff blasted Renzi for “abuse of the bankruptcy system” in a hearing last June. She was particularly incensed over a Renzi company’s Chapter 7 filing made one day before a scheduled foreclosure auction of a small commercial property in Miami.

In an example of the feverish demand for land near the massive Brickell City Centre development, a nearly 34,000-square-foot Renzi property across the street from the project sold for $21.5 million in a transaction approved by Isicoff in June. Russian oligarch Oleg Baibakov is said to have a stake in Watson Investigations, the company that acquired the parcel. Renzi paid a mere $2.4 million for the land in 2002.