Owner of troubled Fort Lauderdale hotel scores $63M refi

The condo-hotel has been tied up in litigation and faced years of delays before opening in late 2017
By Keith Larsen | June 04, 2019 01:30PM

Pierre Heafey, Heafey Group CEO and the Conrad Hotel (Credit: Booking)

Pierre Heafey, Heafey Group CEO and the Conrad Hotel (Credit: Booking)

The ownership group behind the Conrad Fort Lauderdale scored a $62.9 million refinance from City National Bank.

A company tied to the Heafey Group said it will use the financing to replace a previous loan for the property at 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, according to Carmine Zayoun, vice president of operations at Heafey Group.

The 24-story, 290 unit condo-hotel has been tied up in litigation and faced years of delays, but opened finally in December 2017. The oceanfront property has been marred by setbacks and funding issues since it was conceived in 2004 as the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

The project is co-owned by the Cabanas and the Heafey Group of Canada, according to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court last year.

The Cabanas were part of an investment group that bought the project in 2013 for $115 million with plans to spend $40 million to finish the Conrad as a 290-unit tower with 109 condos and 181 condo-hotel units.

In December 2016, the Heafey Group became a 51 percent owner in the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, the lawsuit states.

Property records show the Cabanas’ partnership sold 232 units plus commercial and common space to Heafey affiliates in four separate transactions totaling $100 million. Heafey also assumed a $236.5 million mortgage from Ladder Capital Finance.

In 2018, the two development groups then sued each other, alleging breach of contract and self dealing. The lawsuit filed by a Heafey affiliate is still open.