Partner at Miami law firm resigns amid conflict of interest allegation tied to zoning issue, Redfin will disclose commissions in this US city: Daily digest

A daily roundup of South Florida real estate news, deals and more for Sept. 6, 2019

TRD MIAMI /
Sep.September 06, 2019 05:30 PM

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 5:30 p.m.

 

Greenspoon Marder partner William Riley Jr., who was representing the controversial Centner Academy in the Miami Design District, resigned from the law firm. Mayor Francis Suarez is of counsel at Greenspoon Marder, which no longer represents the private school. Neighbors who are challenging the site’s recent zoning change recently alleged that the property owners’ law firm presented a conflict of interest for the city as they fight the appeal. [DBR]

 

Redfin plans to disclose broker commissions on all Seattle listings — for both the buyer’s and seller’s agents. The discount firm will do so starting Oct. 1, when the Northwest MLS will also allow 30,000 agents and brokers to publish how much sellers pay the buyer’s broker. The change was announced in July. Last week, Redfin said it would disclose how much it pays buyers’ agents in an effort to be more transparent. “My experience is that when one MLS makes a shift like this others will follow suit,” Kelman told Inman. [Inman]

 
HS Residential Ernesto Lopes and the Deering Groves,

HS Residential Ernesto Lopes and the Deering Groves,

The largest homebuilder in Brazil is looking to invest more than $200 million in AHS Residential, a South Florida multifamily builder. MRV Engenharia E Participacoes S.A. plans to acquire a 50 percent stake in AHS Residential, which will allow the company to expand and develop more apartment buildings throughout South Florida. [TRD]

 

Though Hurricane Dorian didn’t make landfall in South Florida, it heightened concerns for real estate buyers and brokers, who saw the catastrophic damage that it caused in the northern Bahamas. Brokers in South Florida say the once-Category 5 hurricane won’t have a lasting impact on buyers and sellers’ minds. But the hurricane, which hit the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama on Labor Day weekend, killing at least 30 people and destroying entire communities, is giving some buyers and sellers pause. [TRD]

 
Alexandra Lalos and Max Comess

Alexandra Lalos and Max Comess

Two former HFF hotel brokers found a new home in Miami, after being courted by competing firms. Max Comess and Alexandra Lalos joined Hodges Ward Elliott to launch the Atlanta-based real estate firm’s Miami office. JLL closed on the $2 billion acquisition of HFF in July. HWE will open a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Miami or Brickell and plans to hire brokers focused on the hotel, general commercial real estate and financing parts of the business, Comess said. [TRD]

Miami-Dade County gave the initial OK to set aside about $645 million for housing in the mayor’s budget, but residents weren’t too happy. That would mean the housing budget is up 15 percent compared to this year’s budget, ending at the end of the month, according to the Miami Herald. At a county commission meeting that ended after 10 p.m. on Thursday, in response to affordable housing advocates’ frustrations with the how long it takes the county to get housing projects built, Commissioner Eileen Higgins said that “ actually getting the money spent is part of what we need to do, rather than just getting it in the budget.” [Miami Herald]

 

Real estate isn’t doing as well as the broader market (Credit: iStock)

In the three days since the markets opened after the final long weekend of summer, real estate stocks have bumped up marginally. The increase trailed that of the broader S&P 500, according to an analysis of 28 real estate stocks by TRD. The S&P 500 since Tuesday morning increased about 2.3 percent, with a boost on Thursday amid, once again, news of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, and news that the Federal Reserve will likely cut its benchmark interest rate by just 25 basis points later this month. [TRD]

 

Urbanica The Hotels is hosting a Bahamas Hurricane Relief BBQ on Friday to collect donations for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Proceeds from the event, hosted at the Meridian Hotel in Miami Beach from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will go to the Global Empowerment Fund. Brokerages in South Florida have also been collecting donations for victims of the hurricane.

 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t going anywhere yet. The U.S. Treasury Department released its housing reform plan yesterday and, based on the report’s language, it seems that mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not getting out from under the government’s thumb anytime soon. Though the Trump Administration has recommended recapitalizing the companies and giving them independence, a clear plan for getting them the funds is vague. [WSJ]

 

Dwellowner’s Eric Eckhardt (Credit: iStock)

Former Purplebricks executive Eric Eckardt is seeking up to $10 million to help grow Dwellowner, a cloud-based discount brokerage, via a security token offering. An unnamed investor has already committed to chipping in $3 million, Eckardt said in a video posted to Dwellowner’s website this week. Eckardt left Purplebricks in February, which has since experienced massive losses and pulled out of the United States and Australia. [TRD]

 

Compiled by Katherine Kallergis


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