Jury awards $43.9M to Marino, Huizenga and other investors in condo project

Miami /
Mar.March 04, 2017 11:05 AM

A jury awarded $43.9 million in damages to investors in a Plantation condominium development, including the Maroone family, former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and a company controlled by billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga.

Wells Fargo Bank, which would pay the damages, may appeal the amount awarded Thursday by a Broward Circuit Court jury.

The case centered on an email to a potential buyer of a unit at the Veranda condominium in Plantation, a two-phase development initially funded by Marino and the other investors, who were part of a company called West City Realty Advisors.

In 2006, West City Realty Advisors had deposits and preconstruction sales contracts for about 190 of the 200 units at Veranda for a total contracted amount of $79.5 million, according to a suit filed by West City.

According to the suit, the email in question was sent by an employee of the mortgage arm of the old Wachovia Bank, which had been designated as the preferred lender for the Veranda condo project. Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia in 2008.

The Wachovia employee sent the email in October 2007 to one of the potential buyers as a reminder about the scheduled closing date.

In the “CC” or “carbon” copy of the email were the email addresses of more than 100 other people who had made deposits and signed contracts to purchase units at Veranda. According to the suit, the disclosure of the 100-plus email addresses violated a confidentiality clause in the purchase contracts.

The recipient of the email contacted the other potential buyers and united them in an effort to retrieve their deposit money from West City. At that time, the epic crash in the housing market was under way, and the value of comparable condos was dropping.

West City returned approximately $1.6 million in deposits on 80-plus units that were under contract to be sold for a total of about $32.5 million, according to the suit.

Fort Lauderdale attorney William Scherer, who represents West City, told the Sun-Sentinel that only 71 of the 100-plus depositors closed their purchases of condo units at the contracted price in 2008, when the first phase of the Veranda development was completed.

Scherer also told the Sun-Sentinel that a new set of investors, who acquired the development out of foreclosure from construction lender Regent Bank, recently completed the second phase of the Veranda condominium.

According to Scherer, the jury award of  $43.9 million represented the total investment by Marino, Huizenga Holdings, the Maroone family, Rhonda Friednamer and principal developers Ken Simigran and Steve Douglas.

In an email on Thursday, Tom Goyda, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, told the Sun-Sentinel the bank has “numerous strong grounds for an appeal” of the $43.9 million award. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Miami-Dade condo sales map and Continuum South Tower (Google Maps)
$35M Miami Beach sale leads weekly condo sales
$35M Miami Beach sale leads weekly condo sales
American Landmark CEO Joe Lubeck and The Marin. (American Landmark, Arium)
American Landmark buys Plantation apartments for $58M
American Landmark buys Plantation apartments for $58M
Kolter Urban President Bob Vail. (Levy PR, Kolter Urban)
Kolter Urban launches sales of Fort Lauderdale Beach condo towers
Kolter Urban launches sales of Fort Lauderdale Beach condo towers
Executive Court at Jacaranda at 7800-8040 Peters Road (Google Maps)
Intalex Capital buys Plantation office park for $15M
Intalex Capital buys Plantation office park for $15M
Forest Development's Peter Baytarian and Nautilus 220 (Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, Nautilus 220)
Two-tower condo project in Palm Beach County’s Lake Park launches sales
Two-tower condo project in Palm Beach County’s Lake Park launches sales
Rendering of Baccarat Miami (Credit: ArX Solutions)
Miami condo craze returns as developers look to seize the moment
Miami condo craze returns as developers look to seize the moment
PMG principals Kevin Maloney (middle), Ryan Shear (left) and Dan Kaplan with a rendering of Waldorf Astoria Miami (PMG, Muse Residences, Rendering via ArX Solutions)
Waldorf Astoria Miami, planned as the tallest resi tower south of Manhattan, launches sales
Waldorf Astoria Miami, planned as the tallest resi tower south of Manhattan, launches sales
Raanan Katz of RK Centers with the Veranda Shoppes at 500-560 North Pine Island Road in Plantation (Photos via Raanan Katz, Google Maps)
Raanan Katz buys Publix-anchored Plantation shopping center for $17M
Raanan Katz buys Publix-anchored Plantation shopping center for $17M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...