Chetrit scores loan for Miami River project, buys out JDS stake

The $55M loan is the second pre-development financing for the Miami River site

A rendering of the project and Joseph Chetrit
A rendering of the project and Joseph Chetrit

The Chetrit Group closed on $55 million in financing for its long-planned mixed-use Miami River development, The Real Deal has learned.

Rabina Properties is providing the pre-development loan to Chetrit for the planned $1 billion development, according to a source. Chetrit, a New York-based real estate investor and developer, bought out its former partner, Michael Stern’s JDS Development, in the project, sources said.

Galaxy Capital’s Henry Bodek brokered the loan. Rabina Properties, a New York-based real estate investment, development and management firm, owns more than 7 million square feet of apartment houses, office buildings, retail and industrial properties, according to its website.

The Miami River mega project, planned for 401 Southwest Third Avenue in Miami, would be built in five phases and would ultimately include 1,678 residential units, 330 hotel rooms, 266,000 square feet of retail and office space, and more than 2,000 parking spaces.

Plans for the site include four towers, a hotel, shops, restaurants, and a public river walk with boat slips. Phase one would have a 56-story building with a 207-room hotel, 334 condos, 42,100 square feet of retail and a parking garage. JDS and Chetrit were seeking $130 million in EB-5 financing for the project.

Chetrit could not immediately be reached for comment. Stern declined to comment.

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Condo sales for new projects along the Miami River have stagnated in recent years.

After closing on a $49 million pre-development loan from Natixis Real Estate Capital in late 2016, Chetrit and JDS were slow to make progress on the project. That same year, they hired Fortune International Group to handle condo sales, which did not launch. A major hotel flag was also expected to be announced, but that also did not come to fruition.

In December, Ari Pearl, a former consultant for the development and a longtime partner of the Chetrit family in South Florida, filed a lawsuit against Chetrit affiliate Miami River JV LLC for the final piece of his exit settlement, which was $1.125 million.

Earlier this year, Chetrit closed the Miami Beach Resort that it owns at 4833 Collins Avenue with plans for a major renovation of the oceanfront hotel.

In South Florida, Stern, who is also a New York developer, is building Monad Terrace, a 59-unit, Jean Nouvel-designed condo building at 1300 Monad Terrace in Miami Beach. JDS and its partners closed on a $137 million construction loan for that project last year.

Hiten Samtani contributed reporting.