As developers Muayad “Mo” Abbas and Michael Bedner fight a hostile takeover bid from their partners in the Apeiron at the Jockey Club project, their company Apeiron Miami allegedly hasn’t paid for landscaping, property management and security services at the North Miami property, according to court documents.
As part of a 2017 court ruling in its favor, Apeiron Miami took over property maintenance of 14 acres of common areas where the company plans to build a 120-unit residential tower. Under the order, Apeiron Miami was required to provide security, landscaping and property management services for the condo associations of three existing buildings on the sprawling development at 11111 Biscayne Boulevard. But recently filed lawsuits and interviews with lawyers for Apeiron Miami and two of the associations reveal Abbas’ company allegedly has been unable to fulfill its obligations.
Visualscape sued Apeiron Miami in November for failing to pay for landscaping services provided in December 2017 and from March 2018 to November 2019. Apeiron Miami was supposed to pay Visualscape $8,870 each month, according to the suit. On Jan. 6, Visualscape filed a motion for default judgement because Apeiron Miami did not respond to its lawsuit and is seeking $197,166 in liquidated damages.
KW Property Management sued Apeiron Miami on Dec. 20, alleging the developer owes $7,403 in management fees. Three days later, US Alliance Management Corp sued Apeiron Miami alleging it hasn’t paid $131,409 in security fees. The lawsuit claims a May 8 check from Apeiron Miami for $129,744 bounced. Attorneys for Visualscape, KW Property Management and US Alliance did not respond to requests for comment.
Glen Waldman, a Miami-based attorney representing the Jockey Club I and II condo owner associations, claims Apeiron Miami has run out of money amid the ongoing dispute between Abbas, Bedner and their partners. “As a consequence, they have not done the things they are required to do by court order to maintain the property,” Waldman said. “We are asking the court to cede back control of the property maintenance to the associations.”
The two associations recently filed motions for sanctions against Apeiron Miami for failing to abide by an Aug. 27 court order to address a 24-item repairs list and to maintain the common areas in a “first-class manner.”
“They are completely in contempt of the order by not doing anything they were required to do,” Waldman said. “If they abandon the property, which we believe they have, we have the right to take it over.”
Chris Smart, an attorney representing Apeiron Miami, said the court order stipulated that the Jockey Club I and II associations had to pay a portion of the repairs, but have refused to do so. “This is about the associations acting in bad faith to get something for nothing,” Smart said. “The true objective is to stop the development.”
He said Apeiron Miami intends to continue to provide property maintenance services notwithstanding the lawsuits. “But you can imagine the cash flow issues Apeiron Miami is experiencing because the associations are refusing to pay,” Smart said. “You have rogue associations that are acting against the best interests of the unit owners.”
Meanwhile, the Apeiron at the Jockey Club project is at a standstill as Apeiron Miami is being sued by and is counter-suing a company called Jockey Segal Upland, which owns 50 percent of the proposed new development. Jockey Segal Upland recently filed a motion seeking a court-appointed receiver take over management of Apeiron Miami until the litigation is resolved.
One of Jockey Segal’s partners, Doron Arad, also recently acquired a nearly $10 million mortgage Apeiron Miami allegedly defaulted on. Arad bought the note through his company Pledger Trust Series 28, which sued Apeiron Miami on Jan. 14 to foreclose on the loan.