The Real Deal Miami

Judge approves sale of distressed Port St. Lucie property to Hollywood-based firm

Biscayne Atlantic is set to buy the 21-acre site from the SEC for $750,000 and to pay off $24 million of past-due property taxes and assessments on the property
September 30, 2018 01:00PM

The 21-acre City Center development site in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Alan Diaz | Associated Press)

A federal judge approved the sale of 22 acres of distressed real estate in Port St. Lucie to Hollywood-based real estate investment firm Biscayne Atlantic.

The Hollywood-based firm would pay $750,000 to acquire the 22-acre site and would assume responsibility for paying $24 million in past-due property taxes and assessments on the property.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard authorized the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell the property “with all faults” for $750,000 to Biscayne Atlantic, led by principal David Garfinkle.

The SEC would require Biscayne Atlantic to pay the $24 million of past-due property taxes and assessments through a clause in the deed for the 21-acre site.

Sarah Prohaska, a spokeswoman for the city government, said Biscayne Atlantic has a contract to purchase the 21-acre site.

Garfinkle declined to comment on Biscayne Atlantic’s plan for the Port St. Lucie property.

The SEC seized the 21-acre site after suing a previous owner, Lin “Lily” Zhong, alleging she misled foreign investors to convince them to invest in her planned development of the property.

Zhong had planned to develop a mixed-use commercial complex called City Center but never built anything on the property before the SEC seized it and started seeking a buyer.

Michael Goldberg, the SEC receiver who controls the property, retained brokerage firm Avison Young in July 2017 to market it.

The 21-acre site at Walton Road and U.S. Highway 1 in Port St. Lucie has a market value of $5.5 million, according to property appraiser records. []Mike Seemuth