Verzasca Group’s Le Jardin Residences, a boutique condo project in Bay Harbor Islands, has avoided foreclosure and can now move forward with selling units.
The condo project filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in July. The bankruptcy filing was unusual because the project was solvent and the developer had significantly more assets than liabilities, according to the filing.
The development group sought bankruptcy because a lender had filed a legal move called a lis pendens, which prevented the developer from selling the units. The lender alleged in a still pending lawsuit that the development group owed money on an EB-5 loan.
This month, Le Jardin Residences’ bankruptcy plan was approved by the federal bankruptcy judge. By reorganizing, the development group will be able to sell the remaining 12 units in the building, according to Brett Lieberman, a partner at Fort Lauderdale-based Edelboim Lieberman Revah Oshinsky PLLC, who represents Le Jardin in the bankruptcy filing. Verzasca previously said the units were nearly sold out, but the project’s attorney now said the development is 60 percent sold.
“Their [the lender’s] claim in the bankruptcy case was creating this unreasonable pressure on the company,” Lieberman said.
Verzasca Group can now pay over $4 million in debt to its creditors and will plan to pay its other creditors as more units are sold, according to Lieberman.
In its bankruptcy filing, the group reported it had $27.5 million in assets and only $7.1 million in liabilities, including a $5.9 million loan on the property.
Verzasca Group developed the seven-story, 30-unit Le Jardin at 1150 and 1160 102nd Street in Bay Harbor Islands. Le Jardin has already received its temporary certificate of occupancy, and residents are living in the development, according to Lieberman.
The company is also building Aurora, a 17-story, 61-unit condo tower at 17550 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. The Bay Harbor Islands-based development firm is led by president and former NHL player Darius Kasparaitis and Tim Lobanov. It also has projects in Russia and Europe.