Ina Cordle

  • From left: James Grage, Matthew Elliott, and Marc Hameroff, with the home

    From left: James Grage, Matthew Elliott, and Marc Hameroff, with the home (Credit: Facebook)

    A fitness expert, bodybuilder and supplement maker is looking to shed his waterfront estate in Hollywood.

    James Grage, co-founder and vice president of BPI Sports Fitness Supplements, is selling the house at 1215 Diplomat Parkway, within Hollywood Golf Estates, at auction on Nov. 25.

    Platinum Luxury Auctions is handling the auction, which will be held without a reserve or minimum price, according to a release. The home hit the market in April, priced at $5.39 million, listed by Jay Pierre of Coral Shores Realty. Marc Hameroff and Matthew Elliott of Engel & Völkers Miami have had the listing since September and are taking it to auction.

    The front of the home

    The front of the home

    Hameroff said Grage is moving to western Broward County and wanted to auction the property for a quick sale. “The seller understands that the traditional sales process may require a longer period of time to find the right buyer,” Hameroff said. “He instead wants a more expedient sale process, and the luxury auction short timeframe and date certainty of the sale appeal to him.”

    The five-bedroom, six-and-a-half bathroom house, built in 2013, spans 7,264 square feet, on a nearly half-acre lot. It has 150 feet of frontage on a 120-foot canal. Records show Grage paid $810,000 for the property in 2011.

    The kitchen in the home

    The kitchen in the home

    Grage had the home custom built and has lived there with his family for the past six years, Hameroff said.

    The home’s features include open-concept formal living room with a large gas fireplace and NanaWalls opening to the patio, a gourmet kitchen with Viking and Miele appliances, and an infinity pool and fire pit.

  • David Jeans

  • SEC launches WeWork probe: report

    November 15, 2019 04:05PM By David Jeans
    WeWork is reportedly facing an SEC probe

    WeWork is reportedly facing an SEC probe (Credit: iStock)

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an inquiry into WeWork to determine if the company violated reporting rules ahead of its doomed planned public offering.

    Citing two unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported that SEC investigators are scrutinizing disclosures made to investors while the company embarked on aggressive fundraising efforts and completed transactions that posed potential conflicts of interest.

    The agency’s inquiry is reportedly in its early stages, and may not lead to allegations of wrongdoing. WeWork has reportedly retained Andrew Ceresney, a former head of the SEC’s enforcement unit.

    A WeWork spokesperson declined to comment.

    The report adds to mounting concerns for shareholders. During a period that involved the departure of CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann and a $39 billion drop in valuation, WeWork reported to shareholders Wednesday that it lost $1.25 billion in the third quarter as expenses again trumped growth.

    And on Thursday, The Real Deal reported that SoftBank has delayed the launch of its promised $3 billion tender offer for more than a week. The offer is contingent on meeting “required regulatory approvals” and the absence of litigation, bankruptcy proceedings and debt defaults. Following the report, WeWork’s junk bonds value sunk while their risk jumped.

    Some shareholders have begun to revolt. A former WeWork employee and shareholder filed a derivative lawsuit in California last month, accusing Neumann, other key executives and its main investor, SoftBank, of self-dealing and unjustly enriching themselves. The lawsuit is seeking class-action status.

    The SEC inquiry is reportedly focused on claims WeWork executives made to investors ahead of the planned IPO. According to Bloomberg, WeWork spent big ahead of the IPO to demonstrate expansive growth to existing investors. By doing so, it depleted cash reserves and shortened the timeframe in which WeWork would run out of cash. SoftBank, its largest investor, ultimately saved the company and committed to a $9.5 billion lifeline, which included the $3 billion tender offer.

    Multiple transactions disclosed in the company’s pre-IPO filing to the SEC, known as an S-1, have faced extensive scrutiny by investors, including a $5.9 million payment to Neumann for giving the company rights to the trademark “We.” Other transactions involved WeWork leases with buildings owned by Neumann. These arrangements have since been unwound.

    However, another transaction that has been scrutinized is WeWork’s $850 million purchase of the Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan. Multiple executives — including Eric Gross and Neumann — had dual interests in the acquisition, as TRD previously reported. Board member and investor Steven Langman had interests in three sides of the deal.

  • Katherine Kallergis

  • Jorge Pérez and Jon Paul Pérez (Credit: Wikipedia)

    Jorge Pérez and Jon Paul Pérez (Credit: Wikipedia)

    Miami’s condo king is preparing to hand over the title of president to his son within the next year.

    Jorge Pérez, president and CEO of Related Group, will give up some control to his son, Jon Paul Pérez, in 2020, an executive at the company said during a Bisnow event on Thursday.

    “Twenty years ago, Jorge made it very clear this is a family business and it will continue to be a family business,” said Matthew Allen, executive vice president and COO of Related Group. “That was always really key for us to make sure we guide him. He’s still learning. Really, he’s grown up tremendously. It’s amazing what he’s done.”

    Jon Paul was promoted to executive vice president over the summer, a spokesperson confirmed. South Florida Business & Wealth first reported that Jon Paul will become president within a year, and CEO within two years.

    The Related Group is South Florida’s largest condo developer, and has expanded into multifamily, affordable housing and hotels in recent years.

    Allen spoke in a keynote conversation with Arden Karson, senior managing director of South Florida at CBRE — and a former Related executive — at the Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference. The event was held at the W Fort Lauderdale, a Related Companies-owned development. Related Cos. owner Stephen Ross owns a minority stake in the Related Group.

    Billionaire Jorge Pérez, who founded Related Group in 1979, has spoken about his succession plan in the past without a specific timeline. Both Jon Paul and his brother Nick worked for Related Companies in New York. Nick joined the Related Group in 2018 and is spearheading the development of the company’s new Coconut Grove headquarters alongside Vice President Patrick Campbell, a spokesperson said.

    Jon Paul joined his father’s company in 2012, and has worked on projects such as Brickell Heights and Wynwood 25. When Jorge steps down, the senior leadership, which includes Allen, Carlos Rosso, Steve Patterson and Albert Milo Jr., will remain in place, Allen said.

    “It’s a plan that’s been put into action since day one. But as I tell everybody … the day [Jorge Perez] is not at Related is the day we put him in his grave. I mean, he ain’t going anywhere. He will always have his eyes on everything,” Allen said. “Instead of putting in 80 hours at the office, he’ll only put in 40 hours a week and spend more time traveling and doing his art.”

  • Keith Larsen

  • The Club at Crystal Lake, AHS Residential’s Ernesto Lopes

    The Club at Crystal Lake, AHS Residential’s Ernesto Lopes

    Landmark Co.s snagged a new Deerfield Beach apartment complex for $30 million.

    Landmark Companies bought the 125-unit property at 3800-3816 Crystal Lake Drive for $240,000 per unit. AHS Residential, which is managed by Ernesto Lopes, sold the complex. It was built this year.

    Keasbey, New Jersey-based Landmark secured a $17.5 million loan from JPMorgan Chase to buy the complex.

    AHS Residential purchased the property for $1.4 million in 2014, records show.

    The complex, known as the Club at Crystal Lake, totals 144,205 square feet and sits on about 5 acres. The apartments range from one to three bedrooms with prices starting at $1,449 per month, according to its website.

    Club at Crystal Lake sits in front of the site of the former Crystal Lake Golf Club. at the corner of Military and Sample roads. Lennar Corp. is planning to build 415 single-family homes and townhomes on the former golf club.

    Lennar purchased the property in March for $12.8 million from Hoyer Homes.

    Miami-based AHS Residential was founded in 2012 by Lopes and Rubens Menin Texeira de Souza to develop, build and manage multifamily properties. The company focuses on workforce housing and is currently developing Deering Groves, a 280-unit rental community in south Miami-Dade County.

    In October, AHS Residential sold a seven-story apartment complex in Dania Beach for $38 million to a California-based trust.

  • E.B. Solomont

  • Bill Cunningham and Citi Habitat's Gary Malin. The longtime president of sales is leaving the firm.

    Bill Cunningham and Citi Habitat’s Gary Malin. The longtime president of sales is leaving the firm.

    Bill Cunningham, the Corcoran Group’s president of sales, is leaving the firm, The Real Deal has learned. The move is part of a broader shakeup that will also see Gary Malin, president of sister firm Citi Habitats, add the role of COO of Corcoran to his responsibilities.

    Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman

    In an email to agents Thursday, Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman said Cunningham’s departure is one of several changes underway at the company, which is a subsidiary of publicly traded Realogy. Corcoran is realigning its management team to focus on a “regional support structure” that Liebman will oversee, she wrote. In Cunningham’s wake, Michael Sorrentino, who oversees Brooklyn sales, will add oversight of Manhattan to his responsibilities.

    “Corcoran is an incredibly strong brand, and I am confident these changes will make us even better,” she wrote in the email, a copy of which was reviewed by TRD. Sources familiar with the discussions said that among the changes was Malin’s elevation to the COO role at Corcoran. Malin has been leading Citi Habitats, which specializes in rentals, since 1998.

    Cunningham joined Corcoran in 2001 and worked his way up to running the firm’s flagship office on the East Side. In 2014, he did a brief stint as president of Trump International Realty, before rejoining Corcoran as general sales manager.

    In that role, he served as Liebman’s top deputy and confidante as the firm battled to maintain its dominance in the face of stiff competition and aggressive recruiting, particularly from Compass. With 1,320 Manhattan agents and $4.5 billion in closed sell-side deals, Corcoran was the No. 2 firm in the city last year, down 28 percent year-over-year, according to an analysis by TRD.

    Neither Corcoran nor Cunningham immediately returned calls for comment.

    Cunningham’s departure comes two months after Corcoran was hit by a major data breach, in which agent splits, marketing budgets and gross commission income were leaked to the entire company in an email. Though the email came from Cunningham’s account, Corcoran said criminal hackers were to blame.

    Still, the trove of leaked information shed light on the health of the firm, which is one of the most successful subsidiaries of Realogy. The New Jersey-based conglomerate, which is also the parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty, Citi Habitats and Coldwell Banker, has seen its stock plummet over the past 18 months amid a slowdown in the luxury market and heightened competition for top agents. In addition to rolling out cost-cutting measures, Realogy announced last week that it is selling its relocation business for $400 million to help pay down $3.5 billion in debt.

    In Thursday’s email, Liebman hinted that Corcoran, too, has been impacted by the changes to the brokerage landscape. She called Cunningham a colleague and a “very good friend,” and said she’d be spending more time with agents in the field, “actively listening, collaborating and supporting” them. She also said she’d be attending rotating sales meetings each week, and having biweekly breakfasts with agents.

    “As always, I will be available to help you with my favorite thing, getting your deals done,” she wrote.

    Though she did not address agent departures specifically, this month Brian Meier and his team joined Christie’s International Real Estate from Corcoran. And in the Hamptons, agents Cee Scott Brown and Jack Pearson joined Compass.

  • Keith Larsen

  • Avra Jain and a rendering of 225 NE 34th Street

    Avra Jain and a rendering of 225 NE 34th Street

    Avra Jain is a believer in Miami’s Midtown office market.

    The area, near Wynwood and the Design District, has thousands of apartment and condo units recently constructed. In addition, some of the neighborhood is also in a federally designated Opportunity Zone, allowing Jain, a former Wall Street bond trader, to take advantage of substantial tax breaks.

    Jain is planning to build a 15-story office building at 225 Northeast 34th Street with $33 million in Opportunity Zone money, she told The Real Deal. Jain’s company, Vagabond Group Consulting LLC, partnered with Los Gatos, California-based Bauen Capital to create an Opportunity Zone Fund. The office building will be built on top of an eight-story parking deck and will have a large green space. It will be combined with an existing 47,000-square-foot building that includes Anatomy Gym.

    In 2017, Jain, Joe Del Vecchio and partners paid $13 million for the property at 3415 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami. It included the three-story, 52,500-square-foot building with the parking garage. Altogether the land totals 35,320 square foot, according to property records.

    Jain said she is looking to fill a void in the market by creating a creative Class A office building for entrepreneurial and tech tenants looking to build their businesses in an Opportunity Zone.

    Construction of the new addition is expected to begin in six to 12 months, according to Jain, who is best known for redeveloping the historic Vagabond Hotel in Miami’s MiMo district.

    Jain was one of the first developers in Miami who sought to take advantage of the Opportunity Zone tax break. Vagabond Group Consulting and Coconut Grove-based Terra are also looking to take advantage of the program to redevelop a 6-acre industrial complex at 4800 Northwest 37th Avenue in Hialeah. Jain is structuring her funds on a project-specific basis, which means she is creating a fund to invest in each individual project rather than a blind pool to invest in multiple assets.

    The federal program allows investors, businesses and developers to defer or forgo capital gains taxes if they build or invest in one of 8,700 designated Opportunity Zones throughout the country. Investors are able to forgo their capital gains if they put their money in an Opportunity Zone for at least ten years.

    The program was intended to spur investment in distressed and low-income areas, but critics charge the program is simply a tax break for the wealthy and for mega projects such as the $4 billion SoLe Mia mixed-use project in North Miami.

    Developers have until the end of the year to claim the biggest tax benefit from the program.

    Jain said the Opportunity Zone program can make securing financing easier. “Banks are not always favorable toward office,” said Jain. “It is encouraging people to spend money where they may not have spent it before.”

  • Katherine Kallergis

  • Mika Mattingly and Cecilia Estevez with the Mid Bay Club Apartments

    Mika Mattingly and Cecilia Estevez with the Mid Bay Club Apartments

    UPDATED, Nov. 15, 8:47 a.m.: A South Florida family is looking to cash out on a waterfront development site in North Miami.

    The Mid Bay Club Apartments, a 34,275-square-foot site at 11950 North Bayshore Drive, hit the market with brokers Mika Mattingly and Cecilia Estevez of Colliers International South Florida, Mattingly said.

    Property records show an LLC controlled by William R., William E. and Eileen Prevatel, and Patricia Wood, own the property. It includes a 27-unit apartment building completed with one and two-bedroom units. It was built in 1964.

    The building is generating $470,000 a year in gross income. Comparable properties have sold for $400 to $500 per square foot, Mattingly said. Based on an average of $450 per square foot, the site could trade for roughly $15.4 million. Mattingly said she expects it sell for a higher price because of the property’s wide bay frontage.

    It’s zoned B-Z, which stands for Bayshore Zone, and allows 100 units per acre, or 90 units for that specific property. The zoning also allows for 115 feet, or roughly 11 stories, with over 200,000 square feet of development, according to a release.

    Mattingly called it “the only covered land play” in the area, meaning the only income-producing development site on the water in North Miami. A buyer could also assemble land to the north and south to build a larger project.

    The building last sold in 2011 for $1.5 million, records show.

    The property offers views of Indian Creek Village, Bay Harbor Islands and North Bay Village. North Miami is going through a renaissance, Mattingly said. A number of projects are underway, including LeFrak and Turnberry Associates’ $4 billion Solé Mia project, which is located on 184 acres in a designated Opportunity Zone.

    Former NFL player Elvis Dumervil has assembled more than 700 apartment units in North Miami and North Miami Beach.

    Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem is also partnering with a developer to build a 134-unit rental apartment project for low-income residents of North Miami.

  • Keith Larsen

  • Smart Brickell and Santiago Vanegas

    Smart Brickell and Santiago Vanegas

    Habitat Group is moving forward with the construction of a large condo and hotel project in Brickell after scoring a $24 million loan.

    Habitat secured the construction loan from Miami-based Ocean Bank to build Smart Brickell’s Tower 1 at 239 Southwest 9th Street in Miami’s West Brickell neighborhood. The tower will have 50 hotel rooms and 50 condos and is planned for completion in 2021.

    Smart Brickell is a three-building condo and hotel project that will offer owners the ability to rent their units out 50 times a year. In all, the project will have nearly 300 units and about 12,000 square feet of commercial space for a cafe, restaurant and retail. Tower 2 is expected to break ground in early 2020.

    Santiago Vanegas, CEO and president of Habitat Group, said Smart Brickell Tower 1 is already sold out, while Smart Brickell Tower 2 is about 80 percent sold.

    Miami-based Cervera Real Estate is handling sales for Smart Brickell. Hernando Carrillo is the architect. Condo prices range from $300,000 to $600,000.

    Habitat Group is focusing on West Brickell. The company recently paid $6.1 million for a site at 1200 Southwest Second Avenue where it’s planning to build Brickell 12, a 96-key hotel project. The company’s other projects include the Brickell Lux and Millux Hotel, according to its website.

    With just over $4 billion in assets, Ocean Bank is an active construction lender in South Florida. Last year, the community bank provided an $85 million construction for Melo Group’s Art Plaza Apartment. This comes at a time when many banks in South Florida are backing away from construction lending due to heightened regulatory scrutiny.

  • Francisco Alvarado

  • Richard LeFrak and Solé Mia

    Richard LeFrak and Solé Mia

    Richard LeFrak recounted the moment roughly nine years ago when he received a call gauging his interest in 184 acres of waterfront land fronting Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami. “It’s a [former] landfill and it’s kind of had a checkered past,” LeFrak recalled the unnamed individual on the line telling him. “I asked what’s the minimum bid? He said $21 million. That’s all I had to hear.”

    It was chump change compared to the expected $4 billion LeFrak and his Aventura-based partners, the Soffer family, are putting into building Solé Mia, a master-planned community that will ultimately have 12 residential buildings totaling 4,390 units with more than 1 million square feet of commercial space in North Miami.

    In January, the partnership completed the first phase, with the opening of twin 17-story towers called The Shoreline, a Costco and a 7-acre lagoon. It’s a marked contrast from when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated the tract a Superfund site due to the amount of toxic materials that leached into the soil.

    LeFrak, the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Urban Land Institute Miami Symposium at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, told attendees that developing the massive site isn’t easy. But he’s confident the project will be successful.

    “We had to deal with the politics, straightening out the environmental stuff and doing everything you have to do,” LeFrak said. “And we are going to turn that landfill into a paradise. It takes a lot of capital and effort and faith to envision something that is going to be 20 years away.”

    The New York City developer has been bullish about Miami real estate since the aftermath of the 2008 crash when he became an investor in then-struggling BankUnited and partnered in purchasing the real estate portfolio held by the failed Corus Bank. In 2012, LeFrak partnered with Starwood Capital Group chairman Barry Sternlicht to buy and rebrand the former Gansevoort Miami Beach Hotel into 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach, a luxury condominium and resort. In February, LeFrak and Starwood sold the hotel portion for $610 million.

    “I asked Barry to show me the brand book and he pointed to his head,” LeFrak said. “I had faith in him. He knows how to get things done. Now he’s spreading the 1 Hotels brand around the country and the world.”

    Even as the luxury condo market has stalled in Miami, the population growth and the amount of land available for development and redevelopment, will lead real estate investors to continue flocking to the region, LeFrak said. “You follow the population,” he said. “You don’t create it. You have to be here ready to serve them. So, yes, I do see more investors coming here. I think too many for my taste.”

    He also noted how technology is creating “tremendous disruption in the real estate business.” LeFrak said trends such as co-living and short-term rentals are driven by a younger generation that demands more mobility in their lives. “You’ve got to get in front of it,” he said. “You have to cater to it.”

    As an example, LeFrak said a manager at one of his company’s new apartment buildings recently explained to him that not many new tenants are showing up in moving trucks. “He told me some people are moving in by taxicab,” LeFrak said. “They just bring in their luggage. When I asked what about the rest of it, he said it’s all being sent by Amazon.”

  • David Jeans

  • Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)

    Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)

    After everything that’s happened at WeWork, shareholders now have a new worry.

    SoftBank is delaying a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shareholders. In a letter WeWork sent to shareholders Nov. 8, and obtained by The Real Deal, the Japanese conglomerate’s offer would commence “within five business days of the completion” a $1.5 billion investment in the struggling office startup.

    That $1.5 billion payment was released to the company Oct. 30, which would have made the deadline for the tender offer Wednesday, Nov. 6. But no offer was extended, sources said.

    The delay is the latest pang of uncertainty for WeWork investors, many of whom are employees whose compensation packages include company stock.

    A person close to SoftBank said the tender “is going to happen soon,” but would not provide a timeframe.

    “It’s just taking a little more time than expected due to the time needed to get all the technicalities in order,” the individual said, without providing specifics.

    Following publication of this story Nov. 14, WeWork’s junk bond price dropped and its risk premium jumped to an all-time high as investors reacted to the news, Reuters reported.

    The completion of the tender offer is contingent on “the receipt of required regulatory approvals” and the absence of litigation, bankruptcy proceedings and defaults on any debt owed, according to the letter.

    Representatives for SoftBank and WeWork declined to comment.

    After WeWork abandoned IPO plans because of an icy reception from public investors, SoftBank pushed out co-founder Adam Neumann and took a majority stake in WeWork. The $9.5 billion rescue package — a $5 billion debt facility, the $3 billion tender offer and a $1.5 billion commitment — staved off a potential bankruptcy this month.

    The saga led to WeWork’s valuation dropping from $47 billion — a figure set by SoftBank in January — to $8 billion. Many investors who bought stock in recent years are now underwater.

    WeWork reported to shareholders Wednesday that it lost $1.25 billion in the third quarter as rising expenses outpaced growth.