Updated, 5:55 p.m., Aug. 29: Developer P3 Investments is suing tenants of its Bay Harbor Islands building, claiming they are illegally occupying the once-historic property.
P3 plans to knock down the Bay Harbor Continental, a co-op built in 1938 and designed by architect Charles McKirahan. The developer closed on the property earlier this year for $16.5 million following a contentious battle. The wedge-shaped building, at 1135 103rd Street, was granted historic designation status early last year by the Miami-Dade Historic Preservation Board.
But county commissioners overturned the ruling in July 2015, which allowed for the sale of the co-op by its 35 owners. At the time, 86 percent of the Continental’s residents wanted to sell their units because they couldn’t afford the necessary renovations, and 13 of the owners opposed the deal on the grounds that they would have nowhere else to go.
P3 Investments is suing Lisa E. Mann and John E. Timinsky for “wrongfully and illegally” occupying unit G3 at the co-op, according to the lawsuit. The developer alleges that they failed to leave the unit and are still in possession of it, and that they’ve refused to turn the unit over to the developer.
In the suit, P3 says it is “entitled to the monthly rental value of the subject unit” and that it’s also entitled to double the monthly rent from the time of the developer’s April closing on the property. A letter attached to the suit shows P3 notified the Timinsky and Mann they had an additional 14 days to leave the building.
In a response filed with the court on Aug. 11, Mann and Timinsky claim that the case P3 is citing as grounds to evict them “does not involve the same parties, the same facts, the same causes of action, or the same legal issues.” The case, Solomon Nehmad v. Bay Harbor Continental, resulted in the eviction of Solomon and Florence Nehmad from the building in July. According to that lawsuit, Florence Nehmad claimed she had not been validly served, and did not remove her possessions from the apartment.
“This is just one of a series of frivolous actions that P3 has filed against my clients,” attorney Robert Stok of Stok Folk + Kon told TRD. Stok said Mann and Timinsky have a 99-year proprietary lease, and that the lease runs with the land sale.
The developer has also filed similar suits against other residents. Some are still open, while other tenants have been evicted. Stok told TRD that while there are clear laws in Florida for bulk condo sales, the same does not apply to co-ops.
Bay Harbor Islands is in the midst of explosive growth. At least 26 new projects are in some stage of development on the neighborhood’s two islands, many of them boutique condo buildings and townhouses, including Sereno, Akua, Bay Harbor Gardens, Pearl House and Le Jardin.
In place of the Bay Harbor Continental, P3 plans to build a 28-unit, seven-story condo. It will be designed by Pininfarina, the Italian design firm known for its Ferraris, Alfa Romeos and more.