Oceanfront Miami Beach condo ordered evacuated following bulk buyout deal

Mast Capital is proposing a 19-story resi building on the beachfront site

La Costa condo building and Mast Capital Princial Camilo Miguel Jr (Mast, Douglas Elliman)
La Costa condo building and Mast Capital Princial Camilo Miguel Jr (Mast, Douglas Elliman)

An oceanfront Miami Beach condo building that recently sold in a bulk buyout deal to developer Mast Capital is declared unsafe by the city and ordered evacuated by mid-August, The Real Deal has learned.

Residents of the 124-unit La Costa building at 5333 Collins Avenue have until Aug. 16 to vacate the property, according to a photo of a notice obtained by TRD, dated July 13 from the city of Miami Beach.

The city did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

The 14-story condo tower, built in 1964, marks at least the second building in Miami Beach to receive such a notice since the Champlain Towers South partially collapsed in late June, in the neighboring town of Surfside.

Coconut Grove-based Mast Capital, led by Camilo Miguel Jr., bought out a vast majority of the unit owners of La Costa, according to deeds filed in May and June. Mast Capital has spent nearly $100.8 million acquiring 108 units, a spokesperson told TRD. That accounts for 87 percent of the units.

Lawyers and brokers predict there will be a rise in condo terminations, in part due to the Surfside collapse that trapped and killed at least 97 people. The Champlain building had just started work related to its 40-year recertification, a requirement in Miami-Dade County, before the building caved into itself.

Such restoration and repair projects, which bring older buildings up to code, are expensive, lengthy, and often result in special assessments on unit owners, which can motivate them to sell. Special assessments are separate from monthly homeowner association dues. Assessments can be financed on a monthly basis with a loan or unit owners may be required to pay them in one lump sum.

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According to the city’s permit database, La Costa in Miami Beach applied to begin its 40-year recertification in 2016, but it does not appear to have started any construction. The building features a rooftop pool.

Mast Capital is proposing to build a 19-story residential tower on the site, according to city records. The developer will be seeking design review board approval for the nearly 318,000-square-foot project. The company did not respond to questions regarding its plans for the site.

This week, Miami Beach also deemed Devon Apartments at 6881 Indian Creek Drive unsafe and issued an order to evacuate, giving residents one week to do so. The building owner, 6881 Indian Creek LLC, was already planning to tear down the 1939 building and replace it with townhouses.

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Earlier this month, North Miami Beach officials evacuated about 300 people from Crestview Towers after an overdue engineering report submitted by the condominium declared that the structure was unsafe.

Miami Beach City Manager Alina Hudak sent out inspectors to perform visual inspections for more than buildings older than 40 years of age, and told building owners and associations to provide reports proving that the structures can be occupied.

Cities and counties throughout South Florida have started auditing older buildings following the deadly collapse in Surfside.