Fortune scores $36M predevelopment loan for Casa Tua condo tower

Edgardo Defortuna’s firm closed on the Brickell land in a deal valued at about $70M

Fortune Scores $36M Loan for Casa Tua Condo Tower in Brickell
The site at 1210 Brickell Avenue with a rendering of Ora by Casa Tua with Micky Grendene and Edgardo Defortuna (Google Maps, Instagram/CasaTuaLife, Nick Garcia)

Edgardo Defortuna’s Fortune International Group closed on the development site of its planned Ora by Casa Tua mixed-use condo tower and secured financing for the project. 

Brickell-based Fortune acquired the garage and land at 1210 Brickell Avenue in Miami in a deal that values the site at about $70 million. The firm already owned the air rights, so it paid about $30 million for the land, which includes the garage, Defortuna said. 

Property records show Patagonian Investment Internacional LLC sold the 1-acre property. Fortune has had the site under contract for years. 

Ora by Casa Tua, a planned 77-story, 533-unit condo building, marks the first residential tower for the Casa Tua hospitality brand, owned by Micky and Leticia Grendene. 

Amerant Bank provided the $36 million pre-development loan for the project, according to a press release. Berkadia’s Scott Wadler and Michael Basinski arranged the financing.

Wadler said the financing has “the most attractive interest rate for a pre-development loan” that he and his team have worked on in the last several years. He declined to disclose the terms.

“We received a significant number of bids from banks and debt fund providers, and the banks were attracted to the combination of the sponsorship, the presales and the buyer deposits,” he said.

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The short-term rental-friendly condo project is about 45 percent presold, Defortuna said. Sales launched last year with unit prices starting at $800,000. The units will have up to four bedrooms. 

Next, Fortune will convert the reservations into contracts. The firm plans to demolish the existing garage and break ground on the new building between the end of the year and the first quarter of 2025, Defortuna said. 

About 65 percent of the buyers are foreign investors. Short-term rental-friendly condos are appealing to investors because they can use the units while they are in Miami and generate income renting them out for the rest of the year, plus the units are typically smaller than standard condos so they are more affordable, Defortuna said. 

South Florida developers have pounced on the trend, with more than two dozen projects in the pipeline. Most are concentrated in Greater Downtown Miami. 

At Ora by Casa Tua, the units, ranging from studios to four-bedroom condos, will be delivered fully furnished, designed by Italian interior design firm m2 Atelier. 

Arquitectonica is designing the tower, which will feature four restaurant concepts by Casa Tua, a gourmet market and a 40-foot-tall sky park with walking parkings, a meditation and sculpture garden and recreation lawn.

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