Thursday, August 20, 2009

First New Miami Condo Tower Files for Chapter 11

MIAMI, FL—The bankruptcy bell has rung in the Miami-Dade luxury condominium market for one of the highest-profile Downtown residential communities.

Saddled with estimated debt that could reach $500 million to 200 creditors, Cabi Downtown LLC, the Mexican owners of the one-year-old, $300 million

Everglades on the Bay (centered photo below) community have filed for Chapter 11 protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The twin-tower, 49-story project has closed only 9 percent of its 849 units for an estimated total sales of $31 million, according to Bal Harbour, FL-based Condo Vultures® Bulk Deals Database.

A hearing is set for Sept. 2 to clarify the total debt and assets involved, as well as drafting a more complete list of creditors, according to court records.

The owners stated in their Aug.18 bankruptcy filing they owed between $100 million and $500 million.

A $256 million first mortgage was due in February of this year. The condo is located on the former site of the Everglades Hotel at 250 Biscayne Blvd.

"This is the first new condo tower in Greater Downtown Miami to seek bankruptcy protection," says Peter Zalewski, (middle right photo) a principal with Condo Vultures® LLC, a real estate consultant.

"The action must have become necessary as the number of closings at this Class A project slowed to a trickle in recent months. The primary reason is the current pricing at Everglades on the Bay is more reflective of the boom years rather than today's tumultuous market.”

"There is every reason to think this project will sell out rapidly to individuals and/or bulk buyers once the pricing is brought in line with current market conditions," adds Zalewski.

The average purchase price on the 75 units that have closed at the Everglades on the Bay project between November 2008 and June 30, 2009, is more than $425 per square foot, according to the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Miami™.

By comparison, many of the Greater Downtown Miami condo projects today are priced between $200 and $300 per square foot.

“Several of these projects are experiencing brisk sales as foreign nationals, investors, and first-time home buyers are increasingly entering the market looking for value,” says Zalewski.

The 20 largest creditors to be identified to date are owed more than $2.6 million, according to the filing.Gryphon Construction in Fort Lauderdale is the largest single creditor identified in the filing with an outstanding balance due of $912,272.25 for trade work.

The Coral Gables law firm of Siegfried, River, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel PA is the second largest creditor with an unpaid balance of $395,456.98 for professional fees.

Rounding out the top three largest creditors is Holly Sime Realty, a Miami-based real estate brokerage that is owed $193,750 for professional services, according to the filing.

Many of the other large creditors are law firms, construction companies, and product/parts suppliers. Zalewski says “two sizable creditors worth noting are the separate condominium associations for each of the two towers in the complex.”

The Everglades on the Bay North Condominium Association is owed $106,394.10, and the Everglades on the Bay South Condominium Association is owed $38,283.73, according to the filing.

Bank of America, the lead construction lender on the project, is not named in the bankruptcy filing. Bank of America provided a construction loan of $243.4 million in December 2005 for a term of three years.

Under the mortgage terms, the loan amount could be increased to a maximum amount of $256 million and extended through February 2009, which it was in November 2008. It is unclear at this point how much is still owed to Bank of America as more than $31 million in sales have been recorded through the end of the second quarter, according to the Condo Vultures® Bulk Deals Database.

On Jan. 26, 2008, Cabi CEO Jacobo Cababie died, prompting a management change in the corporation that owns Everglades on the Bay.

Elias Cababie, chairman of Mexican development giant GICSA, took over as head of Cabi, the U.S. subsidiary of GICSA.

He also appointed two senior GICSA people to help him. Elias Amkie became senior VP of operations and Rafael Harari became senior VP of development. Misha Mladenovic continued as Cabi’s VP of development.

Cabi Downtown LLC, with member Elias Amkie Levy as signatory, filed the bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Southern District of Florida in Downtown Miami.

Cabi Downtown's members are Levy, Elias Cababie Daniel, Abraham Cababie Daniel, Rafael Harari Tussie, and Jaime Dayan Tawil, according to the Florida Secretary of State.

HFF retained to broker sale of former top national Chevrolet dealership in Orlando

MIAMI, FL – The Miami, Atlanta and Dallas offices of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today they have been retained as the exclusive listing broker for the sale of a former “top national volume” Chevrolet dealership in Orlando, Florida.

HFF senior managing directors Whitney Knoll (Atlanta) (middle left photo) and Doug Hazelbaker (Dallas) (bottom right photo) and managing director Brad Peterson (Miami) (top right photo) will lead the investment sales team on behalf of the owner, GE Capital Real Estate, who recently foreclosed on the site.

Completed in 2001, the former dealership is situated on 27.7 acres at 127 North Oregon Street in Sanford, approximately 20 miles northeast of Orlando.

According to the 2008 edition of the Dealer 500 list published by Ward’s Dealer Business, the former Chevrolet dealership in Sanford had 2007 total volume of nearly $145 million, with 3,350 in new unit sales and 1,713 in used unit sales before it closed in September 2008.

“The former Chevrolet dealership may present an opportunity for a new auto dealer or auto dealer with multiple dealerships to upgrade location and consolidate operations.

Also, because of its outstanding Interstate 4 highway frontage, it could be an excellent redevelopment site for an office, multifamily, retail or hotel project,” said Peterson.


H. Bradley Peterson, HFF Managing Director, (407) 286-5224,

Kristen M. Murphy, HFF
Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,

CB Richard Ellis and Maury L. Carter & Associates Broker Sale of Southpointe Commons in Fort Myers, FL

FORT MYERS, FL, Aug. 20, 2009 – CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), the world's leading commercial real estate services provider, and Maury L. Carter & Associates, Inc. announce the sale of Southpointe Commons, a neighborhood shopping center located on College Parkway in Fort Myers, Fla. (middle right map)

The property was acquired by 5999 South Point, LLC.

The CBRE Florida National Retail Investment Group exclusively represented the Chicago-based seller, which was a fund advised by Prudential Real Estate Investors. Daryl M. Carter (bottom left photo) and Orme Miller with Maury L. Carter & Associates, Inc. represented the buyer which was a family investment trust.

"Southpointe Commons is a Class A shopping center anchored by Publix. The property has a lengthy history of successful operations and an excellent location in its trade area," said Casey Rosen,(top left photo) senior vice president for CBRE.

"The buyer was interested in a stable, low-risk investment opportunity involving high quality real estate and this property met that criterion."

Anchored by a 44,270-sq. ft. Publix grocery store, the 58,670-sq. ft. shopping center features national and regional tenants including Blockbuster, GNC and Papa Johns.

The property is strategically located on the "going home" side of College Parkway, immediately east of the southernmost bridge between Fort Myers and Cape Coral serving a high-growth suburban trade area.

Contact: Rachel Andreozzi, 954.745.7464,

Sale of Washington, D.C.’s Potomac Center North closed by HFF

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington, D.C. office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has closed the sale of Potomac Center North, (centered photo below) a 497,196-square-foot, Class A office building in downtown Washington, D.C.

The HFF investment sales team was led by executive managing director Stephen Conley (middle right photo) and managing director Andrew Weir, (middle left photo) who represented the seller, investors advised by Prudential Real Estate Investors. Invesco Real Estate, working on behalf of a pension fund client, purchased the property free and clear of debt for an undisclosed amount.

Potomac Center North is fully leased to the United States Government through 2018 for the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a sub-agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

Redeveloped in 2005, the 11-story property is LEED-Silver certified and meets the Department of Justice Level IV security requirements for blast design.

Building amenities include a three-level, 350-space underground parking garage, a cafeteria, a conference/meeting facility and a fitness center. Potomac Center North is located at 500 12th Street, SW close to the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station, which provides access to four subway lines and the Virginia Railway Express commuter rail.

Established in 1993, Invesco Real Estate manages $23 billion of real estate investments in both direct property and real estate securities.

With 221 employees worldwide, the group focuses on top-down market and property type fundamentals combined with bottom-up local market intelligence.

The firm manages approximately $19.4 billion in direct real estate portfolios and $5.5 billion in real estate securities portfolios. Invesco Real Estate is an investment center of Invesco Institutional (N.A.), Inc., a subsidiary of Invesco Ltd. (IVZ) which is a publicly traded money management firm.


Stephen C. Conley, HFF Executive Managing Director, (202) 533-2500,

Andrew M. Weir, HFF Managing Director, (202) 533-2500,

Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing (713) 852-3500,

$25.24M financing arranged by HFF for affordable housing community in northwest Orange County, CA

IRVINE, CA – The Orange County office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today that it has arranged $25.24 million in financing for Continental Garden Apartments, (top left photo) a 297-unit affordable housing community in Stanton, California.

HFF managing director David Bleiweiss (bottom right photo) worked on behalf of Bertram Partners, Inc. to secure the 10-year, fixed-rate loan through Wachovia Multifamily Capital, Inc. – FNMA (Fannie Mae).

The conventional loan was used to retire bond financing that was set to mature. Bertram Partners, Inc. is a private multifamily owner and operator based in Laguna Hills, California.

Continental Garden Apartments is located at 8101 Cerritos Avenue close to the Santa Ana and Garden Grove Freeways in the northwest Orange County town of Stanton.

The property has 98 buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 1,000 square feet each. Continental Garden Apartments is 99% leased and is an affordable project with rents set by regulatory agreements from both the City of Stanton and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee at 60% of area media income (AMI).

“Despite the downturn in the economic climate, financing for multifamily properties has remained fairly steady, despite the credit squeeze for other property types,” said Bleiweiss.

“HFF has been very busy consistently arranging and closing both Freddie and Fannie loans for multifamily product across the country.”

David A. Bleiweiss, HFF Managing Director, (949) 253-8800,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500, ,

$57.5M sale of Fairfax, VA luxury multifamily community closed by HFF

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington, D.C. office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) announced today it has closed the sale of Post Forest, (top right photo) a 364-unit multifamily community in Fairfax, Virginia.

HFF directors Dave Nachison (middle left photo) and Alan Davis (bottom right photo) led the marketing efforts on behalf of the seller, Post Properties, Inc.

Pantzer Properties purchased Post Forest for $57.5 million free and clear and placed a new mortgage through Freddie Mac.

Post Forest is located at 12101 Pine Forest Circle adjacent to the Fairfax County Government Center in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax.

The 97% leased property has studio, one- and two-bedroom units averaging 835 square feet each. Residents have access to a community room, fitness center, swimming pool, business center, two tennis courts, laundry facility, car wash facility and an exercise trail.

“Post Forest is a community that blends core quality and location with the value-add potential to enhance rents through minor renovations, further increasing performance margins and ensuring the property’s continued position at the top of the market,” said Nachison.

Post Properties, Inc., founded more than 38 years ago, is a developer and operator of upscale multifamily communities throughout the United States.

The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and has operations in nine markets across the country.

Headquartered in New York City and Saddle Brook, New Jersey, Pantzer Properties is a fully integrated owner/operator of investment properties in the east coast of the United States.

David R. Nachison, HFF Director, (202) 533-2500,
Alan M. Davis, HFF Director, (202) 533-2500,
Kristen M. Murphy, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, (713) 852-3500,