Brokerage tied to Coral Gables mayor netted $690K commission on Rishi Kapoor deal

Location Ventures bought dev site marketed by Rosa Commercial Real Estate

Rishi Kapoor Deal Netted $690K For Mayor’s Brokerage

From left: Mayor of Coral Gables Vince Lago, Rishi Kapoor and 1505 Ponce De Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables (Getty, Location Ventures, Hamed Rodriguez Architects)

The brokerage linked to Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago netted a $690,000 commission in December from the sale of a development site in the city to Rishi Kapoor’s Location Ventures.

Lago, who abstained from city commission votes involving the property, then worked behind the scenes at City Hall to help Location Ventures land a separate deal to possibly develop a parking lot owned by Coral Gables, the Miami Herald reported. 

It’s the latest revelation of alleged conflicts of interest and improper business practices during Kapoor’s tenure as CEO of Location Ventures, the real estate development firm he founded in 2016. Last month, Kapoor resigned from the company as Location Ventures faces a wave of litigation from investors and vendors, as well as the fallout from a burgeoning scandal involving secret consulting payments to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

The business arrangement with Suarez has spawned investigations by Miami-Dade County’s ethics commission, state attorney’s office, the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service

In Coral Gables, Location Ventures bought 1.6 acres at 1505 Ponce de Leon Boulevard for $35.6 million from the Hollo family’s Florida East Coast Realty. The firm had planned to develop the property into a 16-story mixed-use project with 80 condos. 

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Florida East Coast paid the commission to Rosa Commercial Real Estate, which marketed the property. Rosa Commercial Real Estate, led by former Hialeah Councilman Oscar de la Rosa, has five real estate agents whose licenses are registered with the brokerage. Among them are Lago, his chief of staff Chelsea Granell, land use lawyer William Riley and Esteban “Steve” Bovo, the mayor of Hialeah who is also de la Rosa’s stepfather.

Granell, Lago, Riley and Bovo denied involvement in brokering the sale to Location Ventures, and de la Rosa did not respond to requests for comment, the Miami Herald reported. In June of last year, Lago disclosed Rosa Commercial Real Estate’s involvement with the property at 1505 Ponce de Leon Boulevard when he recused himself on the first of several city commission votes on the Location Ventures project. Two days later he registered his real estate license with Rosa Commercial Real Estate, the Miami Herald reported. 

Location Ventures also leases a Coral Gables storefront for $12,400 a month, in a building partially owned by Lago. 

City emails the Miami Herald obtained show that Lago met privately with Kapoor and City Manager Peter Iglesias to get the ball rolling on a potential agreement between Location Ventures and Coral Gables to build a co-living project on a city-owned parking lot. The city commission, with Lago abstaining, approved Location Ventures’ request to enter into formal negotiations. 

– Francisco Alvarado

Recommended For You