The Real Deal Miami

Former Biogenesis office part of $20M sale

Gables Waterway Executive Center and four residential properties acquired by Miami investor
By Eric Kalis | June 06, 2014 11:15AM

Aerial of Gables Waterway site

The former Coral Gables headquarters of Biogenesis of America, the anti-aging clinic linked to Major League Baseball’s most recent performance enhancing drug scandal, was part of the $20 million sale of five properties, The Real Deal has learned.

Amace Properties sold the Gables Waterway Executive Center at 1390 South Dixie Highway and four vacant residential parcels on May 29, according to Miami-Dade County records. The company paid $10.2 million for the 80,466-square-foot office building and four properties in June 2000. Amace submitted plans to the city for a mixed-use development with more than 200,000 square feet of offices and at least 20 residences, but the project was never built.

Gables Waterway Property of Miami is the buyer. The company is managed by Arturo Siso, managing director of private equity firm Aventin Corp. It assumed an Ocean Bank mortgage with an existing balance of about $7.4 million and borrowed an additional $2.1 million.

Biogenesis briefly operated out of the office building before closing in December 2012. One month later, the Miami New Times reported that numerous Major League Baseball stars, including New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Ryan Braun, received performance enhancing drugs from the clinic. Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch agreed to cooperate with the league, who eventually suspended about 15 players – including Rodriguez and Braun – for their involvement with the clinic.

Amace president Armando Guerra was involved in lengthy litigation with Coral Gables residents over a marina he operated behind the office building. The dispute dates back to several zoning code violations levied against Guerra in 2004. The city never shut down the marina despite the violations, so two individual neighbors and a neighborhood association sued the city and Guerra in 2007.

A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge ruled against the homeowners, and the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court dismissal in December 2013. The appellate panel did acknowledge being “sympathetic to the frustration of” the neighbors in its written opinion but noted “the courts have no role in advising or directing a government when, if, and how to maintain an administrative enforcement action.”