Collective undone: Lender targets planned co-living site in Wynwood

Gamma Real Estate seeks to foreclose on property, with auction set for Wednesday

The Collective's Reza Merchant and renderings of new Miami location (The Collective, LinkedIn)
The Collective's Reza Merchant and renderings of new Miami location (The Collective, LinkedIn)

British co-living company The Collective collapsed last year after failing to find a buyer, and is now facing foreclosure on its Wynwood development site.

New York-based Gamma Real Estate, led by the Kalikow family, filed a UCC foreclosure auction for The Collective’s Wynwood site at 166 Northwest 29th Street in Miami, according to a public notice of sale. The auction is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday and will be conducted by Matthew Mannion of Mannion Auctions.

The Collective, founded by Reza Merchant in 2010, arrived in Miami with much fanfare. The co-living firm said it planned to invest $210 million in the Wynwood project in 2019 and partnered with Metro1’s Tony Cho. That same year it scored a $23 million loan from Gamma Real Estate, property records show. Gamma did not respond to a request for comment.

Last year, The Collective revealed its plans for the site, which included an eight-story to 12-story co-living building with 180 residential units, 70 lodging rooms and 9,508 square feet of ground-floor retail. Units would range from studios to six-bedroom apartments geared toward young professionals, according to the developer’s proposal.

The city of Miami’s Urban Development Review Board approved the plans in May.

At that time, The Collective operated 1,664 co-living units in six cities in four countries and had 19 projects under development.

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But The Collective had fallen on hard times during the pandemic. In September, the company filed for administration in the United Kingdom, the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as occupancy levels at its co-living locations dropped, and the pandemic forced delays at its pipeline of projects.

The company’s net loss of about $13 million in 2019 jumped to a loss of about $48.8 million in 2020, according to a report by FTI Consulting, which was appointed administrators of the company’s U.K. bankruptcy. FTI Consulting did not respond to a request for comment.

As a result of its struggles, the company faced foreclosures on its key Brooklyn properties.

In January, the firm sold its development site in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg for $54 million, avoiding a foreclosure. That money was used to pay off a $49 million mortgage held by the Kalikow family. The company also recently lost another Brooklyn property in Bed-Stuy to a foreclosure.

The Collective still has locations in West London and Canary Wharf in the U.K., and The Paper Factory in New York City’s Long Island City neighborhood, according to its website.