Palm House, a condo-hotel project that has been mired in lawsuits and financial trouble, was granted a one-year extension to find financing or sell to a new owner.
The Palm Beach Town Council unanimously approved the extension on Wednesday, the Palm Beach Daily News reported. The court-appointed receiver, Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein, said there’s significant buyer interest for the project, which has been through a number of owners. More recently, it’s been the subject of an alleged $50 million EB-5 scheme.
More than 50 Chinese and Iranian investors claim they were the victims of fraud, and are suing 33 defendants, including developer Robert Matthews and his wife Mia Matthews, brother Gerry Matthews, Ryan Black, Joseph Walsh and Joseph Walsh Jr. The suit alleges the money improperly transferred into other accounts and then used to buy homes, luxury cars, a 151-foot, nearly $6 million yacht, and even to pay off millions of dollars of personal debt.
“I will tell you I am really tired and I think the rest of this town are really sick of this project,” Councilwoman Danielle Moore said before voting for the extension, according to the newspaper.
Construction began in 2007 and was originally set to open by 2014. [Palm Beach Daily News] – Katherine Kallergis