The Real Deal Miami

Privé developers close on $25M loan, continue building

Mortgage can be boosted to $200M, developer said
By Katherine Kallergis | October 28, 2015 01:15PM

Privé at Island Estates construction as of Oct. 23, 2015

The developers of the much litigated Privé at Island Estates projects on Friday closed on a $25 million loan for the 160-unit development in Aventura.

Privé Developers LLC, led by Gary Cohen and BH3, are the borrowers for the mortgage, which can be increased to $200 million, Dan Lebensohn of BH3 said. New York-based Maxim Credit Group is the lender.

Homeowners from the Williams Island Property Owners’ Association have repeatedly fought the development. On Friday, both parties went before Miami-Dade County Judge Jerald Bagley to bypass a trial regarding development rights. Bagley granted the developers’ motion for summary judgment in part, and denied the homeowners’ full motion for summary judgment.

“The judge said we have vested rights and said they are constitutionally protected, never waived never abandoned,” Lebensohn told The Real Deal.

The developers closed the loan during the hearing on Friday, Lebensohn said.

“Anyone who has money in Prive is at risk because a court has determined that there are legitimate issues about whether Mr. Cohen has the right to build this project. We look forward to trial,” Susan Raffanello, attorney for the opposing homeowners, said in a statement.

Lebensohn said, “[Rafanello] is simply shirking the canons of legal ethics by making  damaging statements to instill fear in the market place, when in fact she knows she is fighting a losing battle and is stuck with this ego based client grasping at straws.”

Construction on the site began earlier this year. The city of Aventura issued a building permit in March, and developers held an official groundbreaking ceremony in June.

“We have nonappealable permits and site plan approvals,” Lebensohn told TRD. “We’re on the third story of the second tower. Construction is ongoing.”

When completed, Privé will feature a 10,000-square-foot gym and spa in each tower, private dining, a poolside cafe, wine and cigar rooms, tennis courts, swimming pools, a marina and private pier, a nature trail, beach, and jogging path.