One Thousand Museum developers refund nearly $1M deposit for condo purchase in legal dispute

$875K of the deposit was returned

Miami /
May.May 19, 2021 11:30 AM
One Thousand Museum with developer Louis Birdman (Getty, One Thousand Museum)

One Thousand Museum with developer Louis Birdman (Getty, One Thousand Museum)

The developers of One Thousand Museum condominium tower in downtown Miami paid back a would-be unit buyer most of his $1 million deposit following a legal battle over emails.

New Yorker Richard Smith, who works in finance, wanted to backtrack from buying unit 3102 for $5.2 million in March 2020, and sued the 1000 Biscayne Tower LLC developers’ group the following month, seeking his deposit. In a countersuit, the developers said Smith missed the deadlines to cancel the purchase and close on the unit, therefore losing his deposit.

One Thousand Museum developers – who include Louis Birdman, Gilberto Bomeny, Kevin Venger and partners Gregg Covin and Todd Michael Glaser – completed the 62-story tower at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard in 2019. Zaha Hadid designed the 84-unit building.

The legal dispute focused on the developer group emailing disclosure forms to Smith’s accountant. The standard documents include details on condo association management and budget.

Smith’s attorney, Sheila Oretsky, said the developers did not meet a requirement to get Smith’s written consent to receive the forms by email, so hard copies should have been mailed. The developer group’s attorney, Stuart Sobel, countered that Smith signed off on getting documents by email and that the developers provided him with everything required.

The two sides settled in April on an $875,000 refund, which has been returned to Smith, according to Oretsky, a shareholder at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

The settlement came after Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Antonio Arzola on April 13 sided in part with Smith, saying the developers were supposed to notify that they would email forms.

It’s unclear why Smith decided to nix buying the unit, as Oretsky said only that he did not like some of the terms in the condo documents.

Emailing condo forms to Smith’s accountant is as odd as “sending a lawyer a copy of his X-rays,” she said. When Smith signed the purchase agreement in February 2020, he also signed a form confirming he had received the disclosures. But that form was false, as it said he received hard copies, Oretsky said. Smith, who is 81, signed without an attorney first reviewing the forms on his behalf.

Sobel countered that Smith in fact did not want the paper copies. “Then he didn’t like getting it by email,” Sobel said. “There was nothing that we were supposed to disclose that we didn’t. It’s really not fair to say we did not give every disclosure to which he was entitled.”

The developer group fought for the deposit to recoup losses from the failed deal, but was more open to settling after selling the unit, Sobel said. A deed shows Derek Dixon, as trustee of the Derek M. Dixon Trust, paid $5.3 million for the unit in July.

This is not the first legal woe One Thousand Museum has faced, as London-based Reuben Brothers sued in March to foreclose on 15 unsold units, saying the developers owed the balance of the mortgage, totaling $82.7 million plus interest.

The development team secured a lifeline soon afterward in the form of a $90 million condo inventory loan from Cirrus Real Estate Partners.






    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Champlain Tower South at 9301 Collins Avenue (Getty)
    99 missing in deadly Surfside condo collapse: Here’s what we know
    99 missing in deadly Surfside condo collapse: Here’s what we know
    South Florida Home Sales Rise in May 2021 (iStock)
    May resi sales increase to nearly $7B in South Florida
    May resi sales increase to nearly $7B in South Florida
    The Faena House at 3315 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (Foster + Partners)
    Miami-Dade condo sales dollar volume rises in mid-June
    Miami-Dade condo sales dollar volume rises in mid-June
    From left: 501 Northwest 46th Street in Miami, Global Horizons' Shai Yitzhaki, Guy Goldberg and 521 NW 49th Street in Miami (Google Maps)
    Global Horizons buys Buena Vista and Little Haiti portfolio for $13M
    Global Horizons buys Buena Vista and Little Haiti portfolio for $13M
    Lucille R. Zanghi and the Palazzo Della Luna (Facebook, Palazzo Della Luna)
    Cashing in shares? Retired stockbroker spends $11M on a Fisher Island condo
    Cashing in shares? Retired stockbroker spends $11M on a Fisher Island condo
    Karen H. Bechtel and Continuum South Beach (100 South Pointe Drive, Miami Beach) (Bechtel via Carlyle)
    Private equity power couple sell 36th floor condo for $30M
    Private equity power couple sell 36th floor condo for $30M
    Faena House and a photo illustration of Ken Griffin (Foster + Partners, Getty, iStock)
    Ken Griffin sells remaining Faena House condo for $11.2M
    Ken Griffin sells remaining Faena House condo for $11.2M
    An aerial of the proposed development site and warehouse with Sergio Rok and Jimmy Tate
    Neighbor sues to short-circuit Jimmy Tate and Sergio Rok’s no-bid North Miami project
    Neighbor sues to short-circuit Jimmy Tate and Sergio Rok’s no-bid North Miami project
    arrow_forward_ios

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

    Loading...