Miami-Dade judge sides with Caroline Weiss in property dispute with daughter

Adeena Weiss-Ortiz alleges her developer mom fraudulently obtained $21M mortgage tied to Blue Lagoon dev site

Adeena Weiss Ortiz and map view of 4865 Northwest 7th Street in Miami (WeissOrtiz Law, Google Maps)
Adeena Weiss Ortiz and map view of 4865 Northwest 7th Street in Miami (WeissOrtiz Law, Google Maps)

With the recent dismissal of a lawsuit filed by her daughter, Caroline Weiss is one step closer to removing a familial obstacle blocking development of a 7-acre site in Miami’s Blue Lagoon.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Alan Fine on Tuesday tossed a complaint Adeena Weiss-Ortiz filed in April against two entities controlled by her mother and TIG Romspen, a lender that provided a $21.3 million loan to the entities in 2020. Weiss-Ortiz alleged that her mother fraudulently transferred ownership of the assemblage at 4865 Northwest 7th Street to the two entities.

Weiss-Ortiz claims the property belongs to her and her sister, and that her mother has no ownership interest in the land, therefore the TIG Romspen loan agreement, signed by Weiss, should be voided.

Michael Schlesinger, Weiss’ attorney, declined comment. Previously, Schlesinger said Weiss was in the process of discussing with potential unnamed partners a joint venture to develop the assemblage. Attorneys for Weiss-Ortiz and TIG Romspen also declined comment.

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Weiss-Ortiz has already filed an appeal of Fine’s ruling, court records show.

In his ruling, Fine determined that the judge in a separate pending case involving a previous lender and other Weiss entities had already dismissed Weiss-Ortiz’s claim to void the mortgage when the amount was $5 million. In March, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens ruled the loan was valid. But Sanchez-Llorens has not ruled on other claims by Weiss-Ortiz since the end of a non-jury trial in April, court records show. Two years ago, TIG Romspen assumed the $5 million loan and increased the amount by another $16.3 million, records show.

Weiss-Ortiz is also appealing the Sanchez-Llorens ruling.

As part of his ruling, Fine also dismissed a lis pendens — a mechanism that puts land under the court’s control until a property dispute is resolved — that was placed on the Blue Lagoon assemblage. Unencumbered by a lis pendens, Weiss could sell the land, refinance the TIG Romspen mortgage or enter into a joint venture to develop the site.

In 2019, the Miami City Commission approved a zoning change for the assemblage that increased the maximum building height from eight to 16 stories. Miami-based Weiss Group of Companies, led by Weiss, had planned a mixed-use project with two hotels with a total of 433 rooms and a rental tower with 882 apartments.