Edgewater condo owners sue developer Two Roads over termination

Suit alleges the association illegally amended condo documents to lower the requirement to 80% of unit owners from 100%

From left: Two Roads Development’s Taylor Collins and Reid Boren along with the current Biscayne 21 site (left) and a rendering of the planned project at Biscayne 21 (right) (Getty, Two Roads)

From left: Two Roads Development’s Taylor Collins and Reid Boren along with the current Biscayne 21 site (left) and a rendering of the planned project at Biscayne 21 (right) (Getty, Two Roads)

Ten unit owners are fighting Two Roads Development’s termination and planned demolition of their waterfront condo building in Miami’s Edgewater. 

The owners of eight condos at Biscayne 21 filed the lawsuit in mid-May in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. They allege they were “manipulated, bullied, deceived and pressured” to sell their units to the developer, an affiliate of Miami and West Palm Beach-based Two Roads. 

Two Roads, led by managing partners Reid Boren and Taylor Collins, plans a three-tower luxury condo branded by Marriott International’s Edition on the site at 2121 North Bayshore Drive. 

Biscayne 21, the existing 13-story, 192-unit building, was built in 1964 on a 3.5-acre lot that overlooks the bay. 

Two Roads said its affiliate is now the sole owner of the property, which the plaintiffs dispute. 

The developer filed its termination plan last year, but does not yet own nine of the 192 units, though it is listed as the owner of the site on the property appraiser’s website. The unit owners who are trying to block the termination allege the developer-controlled association illegally amended the condo declaration to lower the requirement for termination to 80 percent of owners, from 100 percent, according to the complaint. 

They allege the amendments to the declaration “must be declared void” and that they are immune from a forced sale because most of their units carry homestead exemptions. One owner fighting the redevelopment owns a commercial condo. The others are all residential. 

“They still own their units. They’re still paying their mortgages,” said attorney Glen Waldman of Miami-based Armstrong Teasdale, who represents the plaintiffs. “They live there, they go to work, that’s where they sleep.” 

Two Roads said it followed “all proper protocols and spent months working closely with Biscayne 21’s residents and the condominium association to facilitate a seamless termination plan” that was approved by the state, according to a statement provided to The Real Deal. 

“Ultimately, 95% of the building’s unit owners accepted our purchase offer, which represented a significant premium on the per-unit value,” Two Roads said. 

The developer acquired the majority of units in May of last year for about $150 million. Bank OZK provided $150 million in financing for the deal. 

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Waldman said the developer’s offers to the remaining unit owners are “ridiculously low.” In a letter sent to the Two Roads entity, Waldman writes that the offers, ranging from $300,000 to $650,000, are not fair and reasonable when the Two Roads affiliate paid $1.7 million for one of its units and most of its purchases were over $650,000.  

The lawsuit suggests that developers like Two Roads are taking advantage of aging buildings because they are older. Condo terminations have become a hot topic following the Surfside condo collapse nearly two years ago, which killed 98 people when Champlain Towers South pancaked overnight on June 24, 2021. 

Biscayne 21 completed its 40-year recertification in 2017, after spending about $6.4 million on repairs to the building, according to the lawsuit. It also states that the association certified in 2022 that no life-safety issues existed. 

Biscayne 21 “has stood the test of time and is better maintained, more structurally sound and freer of construction defects than many recently constructed condominiums in the area,” the lawsuit states. A footnote in the complaint cites Two Roads’ nearby Biscayne Beach condo tower as an example, where the condo association sued in 2020 over alleged construction defects. 

The complaint also delves into the history of Biscayne 21’s ownership, including former Douglas Elliman agent Bragi Sigurdsson’s purchase of units over the years. It alleges he obscured his plans to lead the bulk purchase, and that he paid the building manager to steer owners interested in selling to him. 

The lawsuit also alleges that Sigurdsson, who left Elliman last year, stated that Elliman CEO Howard Lorber and Elliman Florida CEO Jay Parker supported his plan to take over the building so that Elliman could eventually lead sales of a planned project. (Elliman is leading sales of the first Edition tower, though Two Roads launched sales after Sigurdsson left Elliman.)

Sigurdsson, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, denied the allegations. He said he bought nearly all his units under one LLC, and that he began purchasing units when he was licensed with another brokerage. He said he didn’t have a relationship with the building manager. 

Elliman declined to comment. The brokerage is not a defendant. 

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Waldman said he will be filing a motion for a temporary injunction with the goal of stopping the demolition of the property and its redevelopment.

“People who have done nothing wrong are being told they can’t live in their safe building anymore,” Waldman said. “They want the ability to remain in their homes until they decide they don’t want to live there anymore.”