After 25 years of joint ownership of the family real estate development company, Turnberry Associates, siblings, co-CEOs and co-chairmen Jackie and Jeffrey Soffer have split up to pursue individual projects.
Jackie Soffer will retain the Turnberry Associates brand as CEO and chairman, and will be the principal owner of Aventura Mall and Town Center Aventura. She will also continue to develop the 800-key hotel connected to the Miami Beach Convention Center with Terra’s David Martin, and will own various select-service hotels in Florida.
“We’re at an age where we are independent,” said Soffer, 53, calling the parting a positive move. “We have different ideas of what we want to focus on, and at this point in my life, it’s not all about creating wealth for myself. I want to give back.”
Yet it’s not a complete separation. The two will continue to be partners on $1 billion of assets, Jeffrey Soffer said, sharing ownership and oversight of the JW Marriott – Nashville, Hilton Downtown Nashville and Fontainebleau Aviation. They will also continue to develop the 184-acre mixed-use project Solé Mia in North Miami, along with partner LeFrak.
Jeffrey Soffer, 51, will now head a separate company, Aventura-based Fontainebleau Development. He will own the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, as well as the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa and Turnberry Ocean Club Residences, the latter two under licenses to use the Turnberry name.
“Family business – it’s difficult at certain times, and you have different generations come in, so it’s a clean platform for me,” said Jeffrey Soffer from the Bahamas, where he’s vacationing with his children. He referred to the split as amicable, adding that they have different interests and abilities. “She’s my sister and I wish her the best in her new ventures.”
Soffer said he was already the majority owner of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and various other hotels and residential projects. He also owns the Mardi Gras Casino and Race Track in Hallandale Beach, a property he purchased independently of Turnberry last year.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to continue on with the growth of what I have done in the past 25 years and expand the Fontainebleau brand,” he said. He plans to pursue opening more Fontainebleau hotels in the United States and overseas.
His Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel is viewed as a competitor to the convention center hotel his sister is building with developer Martin.
Jackie Soffer will retain ownership of other hotels: Residence Inn by Marriott – Aventura, Courtyard by Marriott – Aventura, Courtyard by Marriott – Orlando and Hampton Inn – Aventura.
Their father, Donald Soffer, founded Turnberry Associates in 1967, creating the city of Aventura.
In recent years, Jackie Soffer has expanded Aventura Mall, adding a new three-level wing with retail shops and restaurants. More additions to the mall are in the works, as well as other future development projects, she said.
“We still have a lot that we share, but moving forward there are projects he wants to pursue and projects I want to pursue, and it makes sense, it’s better,” she said. “It’s a healthier way to move forward.”