The owner of a development site, planned for the mixed-use project Triptych, near Midtown Miami, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid foreclosure.
The companies that own the property at 3601 North Miami Avenue are controlled by HES Group CEO and managing partner Francisco Arocha, and managing partner Alberto Abilahoud. Those companies filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, records show.
The bankruptcy filing comes six months after the owners’ entities, Aventura Hotel Properties LLC and QR Triptych LLC, were sued by their lender, LV Midtown LLC, to foreclose on a $15 million loan. The borrowers also have a second mortgage for $8.2 million.
Triptych, spanning 475,000 square feet of developed space, was slated to include a nearly 300-room Hilton Curio Collection hotel and about 38,000 square feet of retail space, 60,000 square feet office space, and a 400-space parking garage. The site hit the market in October.
The property is visible from the Shops at Midtown Miami and the exit from I-195 onto 36th Street, south of the Miami Design District.
Attorney Jesus Suarez, a partner at Genovese Joblove & Battista Law who represents Aventura Hotel Properties, called bankruptcy “an incredible tool” his client hopes to use “in order to bring new capital into the project and move forward with the development.”
Selling the site is also an option, he said.
According to the bankruptcy filing, the largest unsecured creditors include architecture and engineering firm Bermello Ajamil & Partners, owed nearly $427,000; the Miami-Dade County tax collector, owed $422,592 in unpaid property taxes; and OHL Building, owed nearly $291,000. Other creditors include New York-based Hospitality House, Greenberg Traurig and Miami-based Republica Havas.
“Chapter 11 gives breathing room for the project to deal with its creditors and ways to bring in new capital,” Suarez said.
In December 2019, the 1-acre property was appraised by CBRE at $42 million. In Arocha’s declaration, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Florida, he blames the global pandemic for delaying the project’s progress.
Arocha wrote that the developer planned to secure construction financing and break ground on Triptych in October, but the pandemic “frustrated its ability to close on a construction loan and has affected the development of the Triptych Project in almost every respect.”
He added that his Aventura Hotel Properties’ plans were further complicated by market volatility associated with the presidential election and subsequent events.
Suarez said his client is looking to bring in new investors to the project, but that the companies are also evaluating selling the property, which Suarez called “one of the greatest properties in Miami.”
Aventura Hotel Properties will file a reorganization plan in a couple of months, Suarez said.