Varde files foreclosure against Kayak Miami Beach hotel owner

Raven Capital Management allegedly missed maturity payment on $14M mortgage debt

Raven Capital Management's Josh Green and the Kayak Miami Beach hotel at 2216 Park Avenue
Raven Capital Management's Josh Green and the Kayak Miami Beach hotel at 2216 Park Avenue (Google Maps, Raven Capital Management)

Two years after opening the Kayak Miami Beach, the hotel’s owner is facing foreclosure over an allegedly unpaid $13.9 million mortgage debt. 

Minneapolis-based Varde Partners sued New York-based and Santa Monica, California-based Raven Capital Management last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, according to Vizzda and court records. The complaint alleges Raven’s hotel ownership entity missed its maturity date payment in December, and has failed to settle the debt. 

Varde, a global alternative investment firm led by CEO Ilfryn Carstairs, extended the maturity date three times prior to filing its foreclosure action, the lawsuit states. 

Annie Gamez, Varde’s attorney, declined comment. Raven executives did not respond to requests for comment. 

Varde also filed a motion seeking to appoint Jeffrey Kolessar, founder of Philadelphia-based hospitality management firm GF Hotels & Resorts, as receiver. 

In 2018, Raven financed its $20 million purchase of the two-story, 51-unit hotel with a $13.6 million loan from Varde, records show. The building at 2216 Park Avenue was completed in 1936, and Raven rebranded the property under the Kayak Hotels banner in 2021 after renovating it. 

Led by CEO Josh Green, Raven is a private equity firm founded in 2008 that has $2.1 billion in assets under management, according to a press release. In February, MetLife Investment Management entered into an agreement to buy Raven for an undisclosed amount, according to published reports.

In 2018, Raven partnered with New York-based and Miami-based Property Markets Group to launch a multifamily development company called X Social Communities. At the time, the joint venture announced X Social had 10,000 units across the U.S. in its pipeline.

Since the onset of the pandemic, several South Florida hotel owners have faced foreclosure actions. This month, Colorado-based Westside Investment Partners submitted a $102 million stalking horse bid for West Palm Beach’s Banyan Cay Resort and Golf Club. The project’s developer filed for bankruptcy protection in March to stave off a $95.1 million foreclosure final judgment.

In December, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge ruled against New York-based Chetrit Group in a foreclosure lawsuit filed by Safe Harbor Equity. The lender accused Chetrit of not paying a $45 million loan Safe Harbor acquired from Ocean Bank. Judge Pedro Echarte Jr. found that Chetrit owes Safe Harbor $82.1 million with $48 million representing the interest owed on the note, which is tied to Chetrit’s Tides South Beach hotel. Chetrit appealed the ruling, which is pending.

Last year, the owner of an Aloft-branded hotel in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood exited bankruptcy protection after resolving a foreclosure action with its New York-based lender, Torchlight Investors. The hotel owner, an entity headed by Miami developer Pedro Villar, allegedly owed default rate interest, special servicer fees and legal fees on a $17 million loan.