The Real Deal Miami

Fontainebleau Miami Beach units to be auctioned

Owner was ordered to turn over property to satisfy debts
By Sean Stewart-Muniz | June 08, 2015 05:15PM

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Three condo-hotel units at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach are headed for auction this Thursday after their owner filed for bankruptcy.

Units 714, 716 and 2202 at the Fontainebleau II Tresor will be sold in an auction held by the Maltz Auctions company. The auction is on behalf of LaMonica, Herbst & Maniscalco, a New York-based bankruptcy law firm.

Live bidding will be available in New York and Florida, though the casual bidder need not apply — interested parties have to bring a $40,000 cashier’s check to bid on units 2201 and 716, while a $60,000 cashier’s check is required for unit 714. The units can be purchased separately or in a bundle, as a press release for the auction suggests units 714 and 716 can be combined into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence.

All three units were owned by a company titled Imperial Capital, which has a Nevada mailing address. Its managing members are Mel Cooper and David Cooper, who were named in New York Supreme Court documents asking them to turn over a portion of their property holdings to satisfy a $4.1 million debt.

Those holdings include the three units at the Fontainebleau, which were purchased by either Mel or David and then transferred to Imperial Capital, along with an apartment in New York’s Trump Tower and interests in several businesses.

Mel Cooper was also accused by his lender, Elaine Thompson, of transferring his New York apartment to Imperial Capital in order to avoid paying the debt.

Cooper filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach, designed by prominent architect Morris Lapidus, first opened in 1954, according to the resort’s website. Hotel owners spent $1 billion on a 2008 renovation of the 20-acre oceanfront resort.