Boynton Beach condo owners try to stop conversion

Via Lugano
Via Lugano

Condo owners at Via Lugano in Boynton Beach filed a lawsuit to stop a company from converting the community into rental apartments.

The lawsuit accuses Newton, Mass.-based Northland Investment Corp. of trying to coax unit owners into selling their condos to the company. Northland owns 90 percent of Via Lugano’s units. A state law allows the company to convert the condos as long as it offers fair market value to the owners or gives them a stake in the converted apartment complex.

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Northwood “would threaten the unit owners and scare them into believing that if they didn’t sell their homes before the Plan of Termination was recorded, there would be no money left over to distribute to the remaining owners after termination,” according to the lawsuit, as cited by the Palm Beach Post. “The acquisitionist also told remaining owners that the developer turnover was inevitable and that they would lose their homes no matter what they did.”

Many Via Lugano owners acquired their units during last decade’s real estate boom. That would leave them potentially owing deficiencies to their lenders if they sold for today’s fair market value. [Palm Beach Post]Eric Kalis