The Real Deal Miami

NY investment firm pays $14M for Little Havana apartments

Sale marks second apartment building purchased by Burke this year
The Ipanema Apartments at 120 Southwest 8th Avenue in Little Havana

The Ipanema Apartments at 120 Southwest 8th Avenue in Little Havana

Burke Leighton Asset Management, a private New York investment firm, just closed an off-market deal to purchase the Ipanema Apartments in Little Havana for $13.6 million.

The 63-unit apartment building is located at 120 Southwest Eighth Avenue near Riverside Park. It was sold by Veneto Group LLC, an investment company whose managing members are Alejandro and Sergio Villamizar.

Burke Leighton paid about $215,873 per unit, marking the firm’s second apartment purchase in Little Havana this year. The company also purchased the nearby Miramar Apartments for $10.7 million in June. And in late November, it bought a 63-unit apartment building in the Venetian Isles area of Hollywood for $7.2 million.

Fortune International Realty agent Alfonso Jaramillo

Fortune International Realty agent Alfonso Jaramillo

Miami-based MFM Construction Corp. first started building the Ipanema Apartments in 2006, originally with the intent of selling the units as condos, according to property records. The property fell into financial trouble in 2009 when MFM’s lender Pensum Capital filed a foreclosure suit, which ended with a seizure of the construction site.

Pensum hoped to finish the building itself and convert the units into rentals, according to a 2009 report in the South Florida Business Journal. The lender sold Ipanema to the Veneto Group in 2010, the same year work finished on the building.

Joseph Zichelle and Jesse Spencer of One Sotheby's International Realty

Joseph Zichelle and Jesse Spencer of One Sotheby’s International Realty

Alfonso Jaramillo of Fortune International Realty and Mauricio Oyola of Bill Keller Realty represented Veneto for the sale. On the other side of the deal was Joseph Zichelle and Jesse Spencer of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented Burke.

Spencer told The Real Deal that this was an investment purchase for Burke, which owns a sizable portfolio of apartment rentals in New York. The firm hopes to reproduce its holdings in the Miami area.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Pensam Capital was the previous developer’s lender. The correct spelling of the firm is Pensum Capital.