Foreclosures Leave Imprint on Miami’s Condo Market

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor The 22-story condo tower at 275 N.E. 18th Street, 1800 Biscayne Plaza has recently been bought out by Javier Cervera. A $7 million investment was required in order for Cervera to pay off debt and buy [...]

The 22-story condo tower at 275 N.E. 18th Street, 1800 Biscayne Plaza has recently been bought out by Javier Cervera. A $7 million investment was required in order for Cervera to pay off debt and buy out his partner in the joint venture, a partner whose name has not been disclosed. However, according to South Florida Business Journal, Cecile Barker—chairman of the board of SoBe Entertainment LLC—is listed as partner in the joint ventures created for both Biscayne Plaza and Biscayne Plaza II.

The units of the Biscayne Plaza, ranging from one to four bedrooms, have sold for more than $450,000. Cervera now has seven condos left for sale and 20,000 sq. ft. of street-level retail space to lease with the help of his company, Cervera RE Ventures. He has also hired Metro Consultants to assist with managing the investment.

Miami Beach’s NoBe Bay condo project’s fate was less fortunate as its developer, Merco Group, has recently lost it in a $47.3 million foreclosure judgment. The loss of the unfinished 98-unit project, set at 6700 Indian Creek Drive, is merely one in a streak of foreclosure actions Merco Group has faced in the past years, ending in the loss of the Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove, the Aventura Landings, and the 2675 S. Bayshore Drive Coconut Grove.

Yet the most important acquisition comes from Jorge Pérez and his Related Group which has recently taken control of the Omni Center in downtown Miami. Jorge Pérez, known as the “condo king of Miami,” is now attempting a comeback, after losing two of his trophy buildings—the Icon Brickell and the Trump Hollywood—to foreclosures.

Related Group formed a joint venture with Tate Capital Real Estate Solutions and ROK Acquisitions in order to pay the $100 million senior promissory note secured by the Omni Center and Hilton Miami Downtown. The large complex stands on 14 gross acres of land along Biscayne Boulevard and is comprised of nearly 1.5 million sq. ft. of office, retail and hotel as well as a 2,700-space parking garage. Home to the Miami International University of Art & Design, the federal government’s General Services Administration Passport Control and Diplomatic Security Service offices and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Omni complex still holds thousands of square feet of empty retail and office space.