Rishi Kapoor enlisted Francis Suarez to draft unsuccessful co-living law

Developer sought Miami mayor to write legislation that would have benefitted his Coconut Grove mixed-use project

Location Ventures' Rishi Kapoor and Mayor Francis Suarez
Location Ventures' Rishi Kapoor and Mayor Francis Suarez (Location Ventures, Getty)

Before hiring Francis Suarez as his paid consultant, developer Rishi Kapoor helped Miami’s mayor draft legislation that would have benefited his Coconut Grove project.

The proposed measure was never approved, but Suarez’s involvement reveals a deeper connection between the mayor and Kapoor, CEO of Coral Gables-based Location Ventures, according to the Miami Herald

State and federal investigators are probing the business dealings involving Kapoor and Suarez, who worked a side gig as a private consultant for a Location Ventures subsidiary. 

The $10,000-a-month consulting job earned Suarez at least $170,000 since 2021, but the mayor has never reported the income on his annual financial statements that he is required to submit to the state of Florida. 

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The Miami Herald obtained emails and other city documents showing Suarez, Kapoor and city staffers met at least a half dozen times between 2019 and 2021 to hammer out changes to Miami’s zoning code to make it easier to build co-living condos and micro-units in the city. Location Ventures is developing Urbin Coconut Grove, a mixed-use, co-living project at 3162 Commodore Plaza in Miami. 

Kapoor’s development entity abandoned its involvement in changing the code, and applied for a permit for the project in 2021, the Miami Herald reported. 

In January, a group of investors sued Urbin Coconut Grove’s development entity in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. The complaint seeks to remove Kapoor as development manager for the project.

Kapoor is also facing trouble with his firm’s co-living project at 1234 and 1260 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. This month, six contractors filed liens totaling a combined $1.2 million for alleged nonpayment of materials and services. The city of Miami Beach also issued a stop work order at the Urbin Miami Beach development site after Location Ventures began construction without a permit. 

Greg Brooks, ex-CFO for Location Ventures, also has a pending lawsuit against the company, alleging he is owed $80,000 in unpaid commissions. In his complaint, Brooks alleges Kapoor misrepresented financial information to investors, and used company funds to personally buy himself a McLaren sports car and a Coral Gables mansion. Kpoor denied the allegations in a response to the lawsuit. 

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