Baptist Health South Florida just closed on a site in Coral Gables for $37 million that was at the center of a contentious lawsuit between developers Masoud Shojaee and Ugo Colombo.
Shojaee, a homebuilder, and Colombo, a developer and owner of the Collection luxury car dealership, had previously planned to jointly develop the Collection Residences on the 2.8-acre property at 250 Bird Road. They planned to build 128 condos along with retail space on the site until their partnership ended nearly three years ago and litigation pursued.
The Real Deal first reported in July that Baptist Health was under contract to buy the property, next to Colombo’s dealership and near the Shops at Merrick Park.
Avison Young’s Michael Fay, John Crotty, David Duckworth and Brian de la Fé brokered the deal.
Avison Young declined to comment on the sale and Baptist Health said it has not finalized its plans for the site.
In 2016, Shojaee’s Shoma Coral Gables filed suit against Ugo Colombo and his companies, alleging breach of contract and other charges. The suit sought between $4 million and $5 million in damages. The lawsuit alleged that Colombo sabotaged the project, “causing substantial damages to Shoma.” Colombo denied the charges. After more than two years, a Miami-Dade County judge dismissed most of the charges in August 2018.
Earlier this month, Safe Harbor Equity filed a $16.2 million foreclosure lawsuit against the joint venture that owned the Collection Residences over nonpayments. A judge recently dismissed the suit with prejudice, according to Ralph Serrano, managing director of the Miami-based lender. Now that the sale has closed, Safe Harbor Equity will get paid back the $16.2 million.
Records show Colombo and Shojaee’s joint venture paid $27 million for the property in 2013.
Baptist has been expanding throughout South Florida. It recently opened a four-story, 60,000-square-foot outpatient facility at Crescent Heights’ mixed-use development at 709 Alton Road in Miami Beach. Earlier this month, Baptist acquired a former Toys “R” Us in Royal Palm Beach for $15.8 million.