Coconut Grove developer at center of alleged fraud faces eviction

Commercial and residential landlords seeking $180K in unpaid rent

A photo illustration of 2665 Inagua Avenue (left) and 4234 Northwest 37th Avenue (right) (Getty, Google Maps)
A photo illustration of 2665 Inagua Avenue (left) and 4234 Northwest 37th Avenue (right) (Getty, Google Maps)

Coconut Grove builder Doug Cox, who is at the center of multiple lawsuits from lenders, buyers and investors collectively seeking tens of millions of dollars, is also facing eviction of his home and office. 

Cox and his partner, Nicole Pearl, allegedly orchestrated a scheme that involved selling homes in Coconut Grove, some nearly completed, to multiple buyers. He also allegedly lied to lenders and investors, according to the more than half a dozen lawsuits that have been filed against Cox, Pearl and their companies in recent months. 

The eviction complaints cite about $180,000 in allegedly unpaid rent. 

Miami-Dade County records show 112 CC LLC is seeking to evict Cox’s Drive Development from the industrial space at 4234 Northwest 37th Avenue in Hialeah after the firm allegedly failed to pay rent as of May 31. Drive Development’s lease began in May 2017, and it exercised an extension a year ago, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in late June. 

The complaint alleges that Cox now owes more than $24,000, including rent for June. The landlord, a company led by Greg Zeifman, is seeking to collect the remaining rent owed for the rest of the lease, totaling more than $151,000. 

Cox did not respond to a request for comment. Kevin Diaz, the attorney representing the property owner, declined to comment. Zeifman also did not respond to a request for comment. 

In a separate complaint, Lourdes Lorenzo-Luaces is trying to evict Cox from a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home at 2665 Inagua Avenue in Miami, near many of Cox’s properties. Lorenzo-Luaces, a real estate broker, is alleging that Cox failed to pay rent on March 8 for the $12,000 monthly rental. She is seeking at least $29,000 in unpaid rent for the 2,556-square-foot house, according to the complaint, which was filed May 31. She and her attorney, John Paul Arcia, did not respond to requests for comment. 

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

In his motion to dismiss that lawsuit, Cox, who is representing himself, said the landlord erred in her eviction complaint by failing to attach the lease to the eviction notice and by including the wrong due dates in the three-day notice Lorenzo-Luaces provided. A hearing is set for later this month. 

Earlier this year, a Miami-Dade judge appointed Alan Fine as the receiver overseeing the lawsuits filed against Cox, Pearl and their companies. 

At the crux, buyers with contracts allege that Cox and Pearl intentionally delayed completing homes by months, and in some cases years, as the contract purchasers repeatedly tried to get answers and close on the properties. The properties involved in the lawsuits are scattered throughout Coconut Grove, on Coconut Avenue, Bird Road, Virginia Street, Gifford Lane, Woodridge Road and elsewhere. Claims from the buyers, lenders and investors total nearly $80 million, court records show. The properties are valued at about $65 million. 

In a receiver’s motion filed on Tuesday, Fine sought the court’s permission to hire engineering firm and permit expediter MEP Consulting Engineers to help with permit-related issues for the 12 Coconut Avenue properties that are nearly completed. MEP, which worked with the properties before the receiver’s involvement, agreed to work to close all permits and secure certificates of occupancy. A hearing on that motion is set for July 25. Fine could also work with MEP on finalizing the completion of other homes included in the lawsuits. 

Read more

The properties at 2986 Coconut Avenue and 2050 Secoffee Street in Coconut Grove, with a bounced check included in court filings
Residential
South Florida
Coconut Grove builder at center of lawsuits alleging fraud, negligence and more