Doronin, partner buy aging waterfront Palm Beach co-ops for $147M

OKO Group and Cain International’s purchase comes as developers are zeroing in on older, coastal residential properties following the deadly Surfside collapse

OKO's Vlad Doronin and Cain International's Jonathan Goldstein with 2730 South Ocean Boulevard and 2720 South Ocean Boulevard (Getty, Cain International, Google Maps)
OKO's Vlad Doronin and Cain International's Jonathan Goldstein with 2730 South Ocean Boulevard and 2720 South Ocean Boulevard (Getty, Cain International, Google Maps)

Vlad Doronin’s OKO Group and partner Cain International bought a pair of co-op buildings in Palm Beach for a combined $146.6 million.

The purchase comes as real estate investors have targeted aging waterfront structures for redevelopment, following the deadly Surfside condo collapse last year that thrust older buildings’ safety — and expensive repairs — into question.

OKO and Cain bought The Ambassador Palm Beach Hotel & Residences at 2730 South Ocean Boulevard for $87.7 million, as well as the Edgewater House at 2720 South Ocean Boulevard for $48.6 million, according to records. Seller Richard Schlesinger, of West Palm Beach-based Copperline Partners, signed off on lease and occupancy assignments for both buildings, and also on a $10.2 million deed for Edgewater House.

The deal gives OKO and Cain ownership of all 97 units at the oceanfront Ambassador Palm Beach, which was built in 1963 and is run as a hotel. The duo also now own all 36 units at Edgewater House, constructed in 1967 along the Intracoastal Waterway.

New York-based MSD Capital, through an affiliate, provided a $105 million mortgage to the buyers, records show.

OKO and Cain didn’t say if they plan to redevelop the properties, only allowing in an emailed statement that the Ambassador will stay open.

This is at least the fifth South Florida joint venture for Miami-based OKO and London-based Cain. They are developing the 55-story 830 Brickell office tower, which has become a magnet for companies expanding or relocating to South Florida. Among them is billionaire Ken Griffin’s hedge fund Citadel, which took roughly 90,000 square feet at the tower.

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In July, OKO and Cain scored a $97.2 million construction loan for their One River project, a 34-story, 251-unit apartment tower slated to rise at 629 Southeast Fifth Avenue in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

OKO and Cain also are developing the Missoni Baia condominium in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood and the high-end Una Residences condo in Brickell.

The Champlain Towers South collapse last year that killed 98 people prompted South Florida condominium residents to consider selling, and developers have targeted the properties for development sites.

In May, Joseph Chetrit’s Chetrit Group bought 102 condos at the 96-year-old Hollywood Beach Resort at 101 North Ocean Drive for $15.5 million.

Jorge Pérez’s Related Group, Two Roads Development and Rockpoint plan the 24-story, 61-unit Residences at Bal Harbour on the former site of Carlton Terrace condominium.

Condo buyouts, however, are not easy feats for buyers, as they require approval from a majority of unit owners. Related and 13th Floor Investments’ bid to buy the Castle Beach Club in Miami Beach was foiled when it was unable to secure the necessary number of purchase agreements.