Lender sues owners of downtown Miami WeWork building over allegedly unpaid loan

Platform Capital Funding seeks $38M for loan, plus $5M deposit and interest

117 Northeast First Avenue (Getty, Gut Miami via Twitter)
117 Northeast First Avenue (Getty, Gut Miami via Twitter)

UPDATED, Jan. 26, 2:15 p.m.: The owners of a historic downtown Miami office building that is fully leased to WeWork are facing a foreclosure lawsuit.

Platform Capital Funding sued the owners of the Security Building, tied to an outstanding loan. The lender is seeking more than $46 million, including principal, interest, late fees and a deposit from a failed sale of the building, according to court records. The complaint was filed against Security Building AR Owner, Andrew Joblon, Richard Weisfisch, Arash Gohari and Daniel Gohari.

WeWork is not named in the suit, but it is the sole tenant of the 15-story building at 117 Northeast First Avenue. Security Building AR Owner, led by Weisfisch, paid $23.5 million for the property in 2015, converted it from residential condos back to office space, and secured WeWork as the main tenant.

Alan M. Grunspan, a shareholder at the law firm Carlton Fields who is representing the owner of the Security Building, said in a statement to The Real Deal that the owner was “surprised to learn” about the foreclosure. “The owner and lender have worked closely together since the pandemic began, and coordinated the use of WeWork’s security deposit to make all loan payments and keep the loan current,” Grunspan said, adding that the owner plans to file a motion to dismiss.

Platform Capital Funding’s attorney, Henry Bolz, did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Joblon, who is managing principal of Turnbridge Equities, said he is a non-controlling minority partner in the building’s ownership and declined to comment further.

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Platform Capital is seeking full repayment of the $38 million loan, which it alleges it has not received, plus a $5 million deposit from the failed sale to Inveniam Capital Partners, a finance and tech firm that planned to purchase the building in part with funds raised from a cryptocurrency auction.

The sale never went through and the auction was canceled after the buyer alleged that his senior lender changed the language of the agreed-upon deal.

The foreclosure suit alleges that even though the sale was terminated, the borrower “failed to deliver” the deposit to the lender, which was required under the loan agreement.

The building, built in 1926, was designated on the list of National Register of Historic Places in 1989. WeWork opened in early 2018.

The co-working giant has consolidated its locations around the world over the past year. In Miami Beach, it announced it would be closing its 350 Lincoln Road location. The landlord, SML 350 Lincoln Inc., sued in August seeking allegedly unpaid rent totaling more than $19.5 million.