Lionheart Capital secured a temporary certificate of occupancy for its long-delayed luxury condo project The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach.
The TCO from the city of Miami Beach means that closings can finally begin at the 111-unit, 15-villa luxury development at 4701 Meridian Avenue, where prices range from $2 million to over $40 million. The project is currently more than 70 percent presold, according to a press release from the development group.
Ritz-Carlton Residences sits in a quiet residential area of Miami Beach overlooking Surprise Lake, and is the first full-scale architectural project in the U.S. by Piero Lissoni, an acclaimed Italian architect who is known for his minimalist design. It was developed by Lionheart Capital, led by Ophir Sternberg and Ricardo Dunin, and Elliott Management Corp.
Sales at Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach initially began in 2014 and the project was supposed to be substantially completed by 2017, according to marketing materials.
The project was hindered, however, by construction delays, and seven buyers sued the development group seeking to get their deposits back. Three of the lawsuits remain pending in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, including one from Marsha Soffer of the Turnberry Associates family, court documents show.
The development group has not publicly commented on the delays or if it plans to settle the lawsuits. Plaza Construction, the contractor on the project, also has not commented on the delays.
“To compensate that we were late we are going to deliver a product a lot beyond what people expect,” Dunin told The Real Deal in February, when he expected the TCO to be issued in April. This includes importing furniture for the common areas from top European designers, purchased at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy, last April.
The adaptive reuse project features 60 distinct floor plans and was built on the former site of the Miami Heart Institute.
Lionheart Capital paid Mount Sinai Medical Center $20 million for the property in February 2012. The development group secured a $105 million construction loan from Bank of the Ozarks, now known as Bank OZK, in the summer of 2015, including assuming $10 million in existing construction financing.
In addition to the condos and villas, Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach will feature gardens, pools and 36 private boat slips.
Shared amenities will include an art studio, a rooftop pool deck with private cabanas and a restaurant, a waterfront bar and social room, pet grooming facilities, indoor and outdoor yoga studios, a meditation garden and car wash facilities.