Hotel Astor owner buys Miami Beach apartment building

Eatontown, New Jersey-based firm wants to add two more floors to Miami Beach rental property

The apartment building at 1770 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach with Victory Investments Group CEO Anil Monga (Google Maps)
The apartment building at 1770 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach with Victory Investments Group CEO Anil Monga (Google Maps)

The Eatontown, New Jersey-based real estate investment firm that acquired Hotel Astor nine months ago picked up its second Miami Beach property for $7 million.

Victory Investments Group, led by CEO Anil Monga, bought a 31-unit apartment building at 1770 Meridian Avenue across the street from the Miami Beach Convention Center, according to records. Monga said he wants to add another two floors to the two-story building completed in 1956.

Victory hired Miami architect Kobi Karp and plans to submit plans to the city of Miami Beach in 30 to 45 days, Monga said. If Victory can add another two floors, the company will double the number of apartments, he said.

The seller, Deco Beach Realty Corp., paid $2.5 million for the rentals in 2018, records show.

The apartment building was listed for $10 million, but the seller accepted Victory’s all cash offer, Monga said. “It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “The building is in an area [where Airbnb is allowed]. And it’s a corner property right across from the convention center. We are going to seek permission to put in elevators, build two more floors and make it beautiful.”

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In September, Victory paid $12.8 million for Hotel Astor in South Beach. The 42-room hotel had been shuttered amid fallout from alleged EB-5 visa fraud and two bankruptcy filings. The property features a swimming pool and more than 4,000 square feet of restaurant space. Built in 1936 on a 14,900-square-foot lot, Hotel Astor was designed by T. Hunter Henderson.

Monga, who is also CEO of fragrance and cosmetics manufacturer and distributor Victory International USA, said Victory has leased Hotel Astor to a hotel management company, and is looking for a partner to run the restaurant space.

Investor interest in older Miami Beach multifamily buildings and boutique hotels has picked up in recent months. A company linked to the “vulture” hedge fund Alden Global Capital paid $6 million this month for the 17-suite Villa Paradiso at 1415 Collins Avenue, and the Nakash family bought a 10-room, three-villa property at 1350 Collins Avenue for $6 million.

In April, Magnum Holding Company paid $15.2 million for the 70-unit Pierre on the Bay apartment complex in the city’s Normandy Isles neighborhood. The same month, a local company affiliated with Gustaf Arnoldsson, CFO of Miami-based hospitality property investor SMS Lodging, bought Normandy Villas for $6.4 million. The 22-unit apartment complex is also in Normandy Isles.

And in February, an entity managed by Michael Fischer and Chaim Gurman bought a 23-unit apartment building in South Beach for $5.9 million.