Aby Rosen under contract to sell distressed Lincoln Road retail building for $14M

His RFR Realty was hit with a $15M foreclosure suit in January

Aby Rosen Selling Distressed Lincoln Road Site to Tricera
Aby Rosen of RFR Realty and of Ben Mandell of Tricera Capital with the retail building at 318-334 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach (Google Maps, Getty, Tricera Capital)

Aby Rosen is under contract to sell his distressed retail building on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road for $13.6 million, The Real Deal has learned. 

Ben Mandell’s Tricera Capital is the contract buyer of the one-story building at 318-334 Lincoln Road, according to sources. Tricera has partners on the purchase, but the sources declined to identify them. 

The deal could resolve Rosen’s debt woes on the half-vacant building. 

In January, Wilmington Trust, as trustee for lender Areit 2019-CRE3 Trust, sued the Rosen-led entity that owns the building, alleging it defaulted on November and December payments on a $17 million mortgage. The foreclosure filing claimed Rosen’s affiliate owes $15.1 million, including the balance on the principal and default interest. 

Eric Williams of JLL listed the property after the foreclosure suit was filed. The building, completed in 1945 on 0.4 acres, is 49.7 percent leased, according to the listing. Tenants include Mr. Jones nightclub, Sweet Life Gelato and South Beach Munchies Latin Cafe. 

Rosen’s real estate firm, New York-based RFR Realty, and Mandell declined to comment. Williams didn’t return a request for comment. 

The $13.6 million price would mark a 33.7 percent discount off RFR’s purchase price for the 24,000-square-foot building five years ago. In 2019, the New York-based firm dropped $20.5 million for the property, according to records. At the time, RFR took out a $17 million loan from New York-based Argentic Real Estate Investment. Argentic later assigned the loan to Areit 2019-CRE3 Trust. 

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The sale price also would fall short of the $15.1 million that RFR allegedly owes the lender. Wilmington’s attorneys declined to comment on how and whether the $1.5 million shortfall would be covered. 

Miami-based Tricera is an investment firm focused on retail, office and mixed-use real estate. It has purchased about 30 properties spanning 2.7 million square feet, with a total value of $1 billion, according to its website. 

In May, Tricera, Alex Karakhanian’s Lndmrk Development and Michael Simkins’ Lion Development Group paid $22.5 million for the 32,000-square-foot ground-floor retail space at the Society Wynwood apartment building. The recently completed nine-story building is at 2431 Northwest Second Avenue in Miami. 

For his part, Rosen has bigger problems in New York than in South Florida. Last week, Credit Suisse affiliate Column Financial filed to foreclose on Rosen’s 522 Fifth Avenue, alleging RFR failed to pay off a $224 million mortgage when it matured. That came on the heels of RFR allegedly defaulting on an $80 million mortgage backing a 827-unit development site at 175 Third Street in Gowanus. Madison Realty Capital bought the distressed note in May, with plans to foreclose on RFR. 

In South Florida, Rosen has development plans. Last summer, RFR filed an application for a supertall in downtown Miami with a 252-key hotel, 1,074 residential units and a 1,013-space garage at 130 and 136 Biscayne Boulevard, as well as 141 Northeast Third Avenue. Rosen owns the site, which now is home to a garage, the YVE Hotel Miami and the Biscayne Office Center. 

South Florida is coming off a four-year leasing and investment sales frenzy fueled by an influx of residents and businesses. Elevated interest rates, skyrocketing insurance and skittish lenders unwilling to refinance maturing loans have cooled the party and led to debt woes. 

The dollar volume of allegedly unpaid commercial real estate debt subject to foreclosure in South Florida hit $226.3 million so far this year, according to real estate database Vizzda. That’s a 108 percent increase from the second half of last year. 

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