Remy Jacobson allegedly in default on Design District loan: lawsuit

The suit alleges the building’s owners failed to provide more equity to fund construction costs

Miami /
Jun.June 04, 2020 04:30 PM
Remy Jacobson, Jean-Marc Jacobson, 4141 North Miami Avenue (Credit: Google Maps and REALTOKEN)

Remy Jacobson, Jean-Marc Jacobson, 4141 North Miami Avenue (Credit: Google Maps and REALTOKEN)

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts Remy Jacobson and his brother Jean-Marc Jacobson turned to an Arkansas community bank last year to finance the redevelopment of a historic building in the Miami Design District.

But now, the Jacobsons are facing a lawsuit from Conway, Arkansas-based Centennial Bank, alleging that Remy Jacobson, Vanessa Jacobson and Jean-Marc Jacobson are in default on $8.4 million in loan payments on the three-story commercial building at 4141 North Miami Avenue. The suit alleges that the Jacobsons failed to meet the bank’s request to provide more equity to pay for construction costs.

The Jacobsons are in the process of filing a countersuit, and their lawyer, Joe Herndandez of Weiss Serota, said the loan was never in default and the development group never missed a payment.

“In my 25-year career, I have represented banks my whole career. Of all the workouts I have ever seen, this is one of the ones that would have been one of the easiest to work out,” Hernandez said. “We are frankly surprised and disappointed. We are scratching our heads on this.”

Centennial Bank and the bank’s attorney Thomas P. Angelo of Angelo Law declined to comment on the litigation.

The bank has expanded its South Florida presence since acquiring Pompano Beach-based Stonegate Bank in 2017.

Centennial Bank has become one of the area’s most active construction lenders, including lending to billionaire Moishe Mana’s Asia Americas trade hub in Miami that has yet to get off the ground. Banking experts say that a heavy concentration in out-of-state construction loans is a risky strategy, and regulators have warned banks to limit their exposure to construction lending.

According to the lawsuit, on May 22, 2019, Centennial Bank took over an existing loan from City National Bank and increased the loan amount to $11.92 million.

Based on a review, Centennial Bank said it found that the Jacobsons had insufficient funds to pay the remaining portion of construction costs to complete the project, the suit states.

As a result, on Feb. 26 Centennial Bank requested that the Jacobsons cough up more $1.8 million in equity within 10 business days, according to the lawsuit. The development group failed to provide Centennial with the $1.8 million, and the loan went into default, according to the suit.

The lawsuit also alleges the Jacobsons were required to keep a minimum monthly balance of $2 million in their account with Centennial Bank at all times, but they failed to do so.

On May 6, the loan was placed in default. Centennial Bank claims it is owed $8.4 million along with interest from April 22 to May 6 and attorney fees and late fees.

The Jacobsons’ 4141 Design LLC paid $10.5 million for the 15,900-square-foot commercial building in 2016 and received historic designation from the city of Miami shortly after that. The group planned to renovate the building and bring in new tenants, including a Blockchain company. The building was built in 1961 on a 9,700-square-foot lot.

Remy Jacobson and Marc-Jean Jacobson launched a crowdfunding platform in May 2019 called RealT that allows cryptocurrency investors to invest in real estate assets, starting with rental homes in Detroit, Michigan.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Surfside collapse condo site at 8777 Collins Avenue (Getty)
Surfside bidder gets extension for due diligence, pushing auction to April
Surfside bidder gets extension for due diligence, pushing auction to April
From left: Pedro Villar, owner of Aloft Miami Brickell, along with his attorney Joe Pack (Newstar Media)
Aloft Miami-Brickell exits bankruptcy, staves off foreclosure
Aloft Miami-Brickell exits bankruptcy, staves off foreclosure
One Bal Harbour at 10295 Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour, FL (Seaside Properties Group, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
One Bal Harbour associations settle suit over shared utility, valet expenses
One Bal Harbour associations settle suit over shared utility, valet expenses
RFR Holding's Aby Rosen (Getty), East End Capital's Jonathon Yormak (East End Capital) and 100 Biscayne Boulevard (iStock)
Aby Rosen’s RFR buys 100 Biscayne office tower in downtown Miami for about $90M: sources
Aby Rosen’s RFR buys 100 Biscayne office tower in downtown Miami for about $90M: sources
Z Ocean Hotel in Miami Beach
Appeals court upholds $8M judgment against former Z Ocean condo-hotel partners
Appeals court upholds $8M judgment against former Z Ocean condo-hotel partners
(Apartments.com, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Little Havana apartment building targeted in $15M mortgage foreclosure suit
Little Havana apartment building targeted in $15M mortgage foreclosure suit
From left: James Vosotas and Branden Muhl, former partners who teamed up to renovate and reopen Hotel Greystone (Vos Hospitality, Mahaska, LoopNet)
Partner in South Beach’s Hotel Greystone hit with $19M judgment
Partner in South Beach’s Hotel Greystone hit with $19M judgment
Judge Michael Hanzman and the Surfside condo collapse site (Getty, iStock)
Surfside collapse trial delayed to March 2023
Surfside collapse trial delayed to March 2023
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...