The Real Deal Miami

Quebec-based Heafey Group buys Conrad Fort Lauderdale for $100M

Project launched in 2004 as Trump International Hotel & Tower

Rendering of the Conrad Fort Lauderdale. Inset: buyer Pierre Heafey

The Quebec, Canada-based Heafey Group paid nearly $100 million to acquire the remaining unsold units of the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach condo-hotel. 

The sale marks a capital infusion for the project, which has already been through years of delays and a failed Trump branding. Last year, The Real Deal reported that the project’s latest developer, Orchestra Hotels + Resorts, was over-budget, months behind schedule, and facing liens from contractors.

In 2013, Orchestra, led by Andreas Ioannou and Jose Luis Zapata, bought out the project at 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard for $115 million. Orchestra originally planned to spend $40 million to complete and renovate the building into a 290-unit tower with 109 Ocean Resort Residences condos and 181 condo-hotel units, but expanded its budget to at least $70 million. It was set to open in early 2015 and now shows a July 2017 date on its website. Hilton Worldwide’s Conrad Hotels and Resorts will manage the condo-hotel rooms.

In August, Iannou told TRD that selling was not part of his business plan, “though you should never say no if someone comes in and wants to spend a lot of money.” He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Now, records show Doral-based CFLB Partnership LLC, which is managed Jose E. Cabanas, sold 232 units, plus commercial and common space in four transactions on Dec. 30:

  • $37.76 million for 50 units to FLB-U Units LLC
  • $53.26 million for 182 units to FLB R-Units LLC
  • $7.4 million for three commercial units and common space to FLB Hotel LLC
  • $1.48 million for the 7,584-square-foot restaurant space to FLB Restaurant LLC

That leaves out 58 units that previously sold to unit owners. The Heafey affiliates also assumed a $136.5 million mortgage from Ladder Capital Finance.

Originally known as the Trump International Hotel & Tower, the project launched in 2004 with Roy Stillman’s SB Hotel Associates as the developer and a licensing agreement from the president-elect. Litigation between buyers and the developer, who ran out of financing before completing the tower, ultimately led that project to fail.

The Conrad’s new owner, the Heafey Group, is led by Pierre Heafey. The private investment firm, with offices in Miami and Quebec, owns the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach, the Miami Woman’s Club, and plans to develop the Bentley Edgewater Hotel & Residences. Heafey could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prices at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach range from the $400,000s and to more than $1 million. Cervera Real Estate is handling sales.