The SoFla lowdown: Trump Group’s big loan, spec home partners form amid slowdown and investors target mobile home parks

Miami /
Oct.October 08, 2018 02:45 PM

Jules Trump, Philip Levine, Alex Ruiz, rendering of The Estates of Acqualina

A Trump-sized loan: It was among the biggest financing deals to hit the South Florida condo market. The Trump Group’s $558 million construction loan for The Estates at Acqualina in Sunny Isles turned heads. Not surprisingly, it was Bank OZK that provided the loan. Formerly Bank of the Ozarks, the deal again shows the Arkansas-based bank’s aggressiveness  in the local condo market, where it has financed much of the recent boom.

With the funding, Jules Trump, (no relation to the president) his wife Stephanie and his brother Eddie now can build both 50-story towers of The Estates at Acqualina, as well as the amenity villa, called Villa Acqualina. That’s a change in direction for the developers. In 2016, Jules Trump had put sales and construction of the $1.5 billion project’s north tower on hold amid the market slowdown.

Trump recently said that sales are above 65 percent for the south tower, which broke ground in May. With markets like Brazil and Russia pulling back on foreign spending, the developers have switched their focus to the U.S., including those markets in the Northeast that have state income tax, he said.

From mobile home to multifamily: As developers search for land, an increasing number are targeting mobile home parks. A joint venture of Prestige Companies and Summit Property Group wants to build a $100 million multifamily community — with up to 800 apartments — to replace a mobile home park near the planned Ludlam Trail in Miami.

Power partners: Amid a slowdown in luxury spec home development in Miami Beach, a new partnership team has formed with an eye on Palm Beach. Todd Michael Glaser, former Miami Beach mayor and one-time gubernatorial hopeful Philip Levine, Scott Robins and Jonathan Fryd bought a Palm Beach site with plans to build two luxury spec homes. It’s the group’s first deal together, and they’re hoping for a big payback. The partners paid $9 million for the site, and intend to spend another $7 million on construction. Once completed, they’ll price the completed spec homes at $15.5 million and $12.5 million, for a total of $28 million — which could net them a $12 million profit.

Off with their price: Now for a reminder that there is a limit to everything, even ultra-luxury home prices. A Versailles-inspired estate in Hillsboro Beach that has been on and off the market for years — and was priced at up to $159 million — is now heading to auction, without a reserve price.


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