Investor buys Wynwood warehouses: $6M

Buyer was involved in puzzling flip of a South Beach condo to a Panamanian entity

Sep.September 02, 2016 03:00 PM

UPDATED: Sept. 20, 11:35 a.m.: Matteo Soldatini, a Miami investor recently linked to a questionable offshore transaction involving a Miami Beach condo, just paid $6.3 million for a pair of Wynwood warehouses.

The deal covers the small mid-century commercial buildings at 328 and 330 Northwest 29th Street. Together, the warehouses have about 11,000 square feet of air-conditioned space, and are adjoined with a 7,000-square-foot connected parking lot next door.

County records show Soldatini and his partner Samuel Strauch, principal of Miami Beach brokerage Metrik Real Estate, bought the properties from developer Joe Del Vecchio. The deal was seller financed with a $3.15 million loan.

Miami Herald article identified Soldatini as having bought a small South Beach condo in January of this year for $162,000 and quickly flipping it for $258,000, marking a 60 percent gain in only two months. The buyer was a private entity called the Navajo Overseas Foundation, managed by Panamanian lawyer Digna Perez Martinez. The lawyer was cited in a Miami Herald investigation into the Panama Papers, a massive data leak from Panamian law firm Mossack Fonsaca that set up shell companies for the world’s rich and powerful.

Soldatini maintained to the Herald that the transaction was legitimate. He did the same when contacted by The Real Deal about his most recent acquisition in Wynwood.

“None of our investments has any relation with [the Panama Papers],” he told TRD.

The two warehouses are fully occupied by two tenants: Howard Design Group, an interior decorator, and the U.S. headquarters for Venezuelan developer HES Group, which is planning a mixed-use project in the Design District called Triptych Miami.

Del Vecchio said he purchased the buildings in 2012, gut renovated them and brought in the two tenants to raise their value.

He said he had no idea who the buyers were, as the sale was handled through brokerage Metro 1. County records show he paid $1.6 million for all three parcels in 2012, breaking down to about $145 per square foot. The latest sales price: $572 per foot.

“I didn’t really care,” Del Vecchio said. “I thought the price was pretty fair and I liquidated.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Soldatini was cited in the Panama Papers investigation. He was only mentioned as having sold a property to a buyer whose manager was cited in the Panama Papers.

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