Embattled developer advances high-rise apartment project in Flagler Village

Rey Grabato-led company won site plan approval in Fort Lauderdale for 200 Third, a 43-story, 388-unit development

Rey Grabato with 200 Third, Miami
Rey Grabato with 200 Third (LinkedIn, Rey Grabato)

Despite his legal woes, a developer won site plan approval for 200 Third, a planned 43-story apartment tower in the Flagler Village area just north of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

New Jersey developer Rey Grabato, who manages the company that won approval for the project, was indicted on federal fraud charges about four months ago.

The site of the 388-unit development is 200-210 Northeast Third Street in Flagler Village. The plan is for a multifamily project, according to broker Greg Greer of CRR of South Florida, who added that Grabato may sell the entire project rather than build it himself. 

Designed by Dallas-based Humphries & Partners Architects LP,  the tower will have a nine-story parking podium topped by 34 floors of apartments. The design of the upper level of the parking podium features a swimming pool, lounge, bar, and seating areas.

The ground floor, designed with a ceiling height of nearly 23 feet, would include 2,682 square feet of commercial space and 7,372 square feet of leasing area and lobby space.

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously granted conditional approval of the 200 Third site plan Tuesday evening.

Prior to receiving a building permit, the developer must meet conditions that include payment of a park impact fee, and it must win Federal Aviation Administration approval of the development’s height, slightly more than 448 feet. In addition, installation of larger sewer pipes to handle wastewater from 200 Third must be completed prior to the issuance of a final certificate of occupancy.

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New Jersey-based Grabato manages 3rd Street Capital 200-210 LLC, the Florida-registered company developing 200 Third, according to state records.

In late 2021, 3rd Street Capital paid $9.8 million to acquire the 0.7-acre development site in a multi-parcel purchase, according to property records. This month, the entity paid $9.3 million more to acquire multiple parcels at 203-215 Northeast Third Street, directly across the street from the 200 Third development site.

In October, the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against Grabato and another man in an 18-count indictment, which accused them of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced the indictments of Grabato, a resident of Hoboken, New Jersey, and the Republic of the Philippines, and Thomas Nicholas Salzano of Secaucus, New Jersey, for their roles in an alleged scheme to defraud more than 2,000 investors in an alleged $650 million Ponzi scheme. The Justice Department also charged Grabato and Salzano with conspiring to evade $26 million in tax liabilities.

Grabato and Salzano allegedly defrauded people who invested in a real estate fund operated by National Realty Investment Advisors (NRIA), based in Secaucus, New Jersey. NRIA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June and listed $50 million to $100 million of assets, and $500 million to $1 billion of debt.

One the same day the Justice Department announced the 18-count indictment, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against NRIA and four former officers of the company, including Grabato, for allegedly running a Ponzi-style scheme.

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