Ari Pearl JV pays $32M for Bay Harbor Islands condo complex

Pearl-led LLC paid more than $1M per unit for the waterfront Bay Harbor Towers

From left: Jonathan Leifer and Ari Pearl with Bay Harbor Towers
From left: Jonathan Leifer and Ari Pearl with Bay Harbor Towers (MSP Group/Blanca)

Developer Ari Pearl and investor Jonathan Leifer paid $32 million to acquire all of the units in an older Bay Harbor Islands condo complex on a waterfront property that they could redevelop.

Nearly 30 individual owners at Bay Harbor Towers, at 10141 and 10143 East Bay Harbor Drive, sold their units to Pearl and Leifer, records show. Pearl’s PPG BHT Owner LLC financed the 30-unit deal with a $70 million loan from an affiliate of New York-based MSD Partners, an investment firm that invests on behalf of Michael Dell, his family and other investors.

The owners banded together last year following the deadly Surfside condo collapse to seek a bulk buyer for their complex. The Art Deco-style Bay Harbor Towers property was developed in 1956.

The collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside last year put pressure on owners of older buildings across South Florida to bring their properties up to code, or sell in bulk to a developer or investor.

Bay Harbor Towers’ condo board tapped Blanca Commercial Real Estate’s Cary Cohen and MSP Group’s Deme Mekras to market the 1-acre property for sale last winter. The site can be developed into a 72-unit project, according to marketing materials.

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Faisal Ashraf of Lotus Capital Partners arranged the financing.

Pearl declined to comment on specific plans for the property. He said he and his partner are “planning something that the Bay Harbor community will be very proud of.” Pearl’s son, Andrew, initiated the deal, he said.

It marks the second joint venture partnership for Pearl and Leifer in Bay Harbor Islands. Pearl, founder & CEO of Hallandale Beach-based PPG Development, and Leifer, principal of New York-based L3C Capital Partners, bought the waterfront hotel at 9540 West Bay Harbor Drive out of foreclosure for $30 million in 2020. They converted it to a condo-hotel, and have been selling units since October, records show. It’s now called The Altair.

Developers, including Ugo Colombo and Valerio Morabito, Alta Developers, Bruce Eichner, Clara Homes and Terra all have residential projects in the pipeline in Bay Harbor Islands.

Colombo and Morabito recently secured a $64.5 million construction loan from Bank OZK for a 41-unit, eight-story condo development planned for the site at 1135 103rd Street.

James Curnin’s Clara Homes plans to develop an assemblage at 10200 and 10290 East Bay Harbor Drive into a 150-unit luxury apartment complex.

Alta Developers recently launched sales of Alana, a seven-story, 30-unit luxury condo planned for the site at 9901 West Bay Harbor Drive. Alta took over the project, previously called Ambienta Bay Harbor Islands, after the previous developer was unable to build it due to rising construction costs and its inability to secure construction financing.