Out with a bang: Anbang reportedly ends bid for Starwood

The W South Beach is one of Starwood’s South Florida hotels
From the New York website: Anbang Insurance Group is reportedly giving up on its bid to take over Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The move likely ends a two-week bidding war with Marriott International that grabbed headlines around the world.
The Wall Street Journal broke the news late Thursday afternoon.
The decision to end the deal comes a week after Chinese news site Caixin reported that China’s insurance regulator could reject a takeover, citing rules that limit insurance companies to invest no more than 15 percent of their assets abroad. The New York Times also recently questioned the deal’s feasibility, arguing that Starwood would have few options to enforce it.
Starwood has yet to confirm that Anbang is withdrawing its bid. The Wall Street Journal report cited unnamed sources close to the talks.
Anbang, known for its opaque ownership and aggressive expansion over the past two years, launched a bidding war for Starwood with an unsolicited $13.2 billion offer two weeks ago. Marriott had agreed to buy the rival hotel company last year, but the deal hasn’t closed yet.
Starwood accepted Anbang’s offer, but last week Marriott responded with a new bid worth $13.6 billion. On Monday, Anbang again raised its offer, this time to $14 billion, before withdrawing its bid Thursday.
Despite its Starwood ambitions falling through, Anbang won’t end March empty-handed. Earlier this month, the firm agreed to buy 16 U.S. hotels, including the Essex House on Central Park South, from Blackstone Group for $6.5 billion. Anbang already owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel, which it bought from Blackstone for $1.95 billion last year. — Konrad Putzier

Source: The Real Deal Miami

The Wrap: Famed architect Rafael Moneo to design Apeiron at Jockey Club, sea-level rise could destroy Miami’s historic architecture…and more

A rendering of the two-tower Apeiron at the Jockey Club project in North Miami” target=”_blank”>Keith Allison)
1. Famed architect Rafael Moneo to design Apeiron at Jockey Club [Curbed Miami]
2. Sea-level rise could destroy Miami’s historic architecture [Miami New Times]
3. Restaurant in business 24 years to relocate Miami Beach store [SFBJ]
4. Real estate runs in family for many power players [Wall Street Journal]
— Sean Stewart-Muniz

Source: The Real Deal Miami

Gil Dezer shows off his cars and private jet: VIDEO

South Florida developer Gil Dezer has always had a fixation for things that go fast. And last night, the real estate tycoon/self-proclaimed motorhead showed off his private jet and collection of pricey super cars for CNBC’s “Secret Lives of the Super Rich.”
Dezer, whose firm Dezer Development has erected several residential high-rises in Sunny Isles Beach and is on the eve of opening its Porsche Design Tower condominium, appeared on the Wednesday night season premiere of CNBC’s “Secret Lives of the Secret Rich” for an inside look at the developer’s most expensive toys.
“They’re investments you can enjoy,” he said on the show.
His collection of customized Porsches is valued in the millions, and each one is painted his favorite shade of silver, according to the show. He even named his $1 million Porsche 918 Spider “Dezerv8r” after the “Dezervator” car elevator in the Porsche Design Tower.
The most expensive of the lot shown in his collection is a $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron, of which 450 were ever made.
Dezer’s prized possession, however, is his $17 million Gulfstream IV private jet. Even that received his personal touch: the whole plane is that particular silver, and he replaced all of the seats with ones similar to his Ferrari 458 Italia. Each one costs about $55,000, by the way.
“If it looks good in the car, it probably looks good in the plane too,” he told CNBC. — Sean Stewart-Muniz

Source: The Real Deal Miami

Jeff Greene on WPB: “We’re on the runway about to take off”

One West Palm and Jeff Greene
Jeff Greene, the billionaire real estate investor who has spent $300 million buying properties in West Palm Beach, remains quite bullish on the city’s real estate prospects, just as you’d expect.
“We’re on the runway about to take off,” he said at an Urban Land Institute conference in West Palm Beach on Thursday.
Of the many plans he has in the works, Greene says his One West Palm project at 550 North Quadrille Boulevard represents the top priority. The planned $250 million development, designed by Arquitectonica of Miami, would take up an entire block and include two 30-floor towers that look like stacked blocks.
The ground floors will contain shops, restaurants and corner parks, as well as a daycare center and a fitness center with indoor and outdoor tennis courts. One tower will include 340,000 square feet of Class A office space, and the other will include a five-star hotel with 209 guest suites and 84 luxury condo or rental units above that.
The city approved the plan in January and Greene hopes to break ground in summer or fall. He said he will finance the development with his own equity and a bank loan and that he’s not taking on any partners in the deal. “I’m in a lucky position that I don’t need to pre-lease,” Greene said. “I’m not subject to the credit markets’ volatility.”
Greene’s second priority is a grocery store that he sees as the lynchpin of more than 5 acres of property he owns in the Northwood neighborhood, which is north of downtown, close to the Intracoastal Waterway. Greene said he can’t reveal the name of the company he’s negotiating with, but in the past he reportedly spoke to Publix about it.
“Hopefully the grocery store will lead to the integration of the neighborhood,” Greene said. “We could have a couple thousand apartments and condos, retailers. Someone even suggested an independent/assisted living facility. There are all kinds of possibilities.” Coordination will be important in the area, he said. “Maybe we’ll want to have one fantastic gym instead of seven separate ones.”  
Greene said he’s not worried about his projects creating a bubble in West Palm’s property market. “I’m going one step at a time,” he said. “I’m not competing with myself. I’m not putting up five high-end condo buildings at once.” In fact, he has submitted to city officials a plan for a 12-story, 400-unit micro-apartment building at 550 Banyan Boulevard.
As for West Palm’s biggest challenges, Greene noted the city doesn’t have a traditional economy. “It’s driven by tourism and retirees,” he said. “It’s all about people. How do you get job creators?” He said projects such as the renovation of the Norton Museum of Art and the construction of a new spring training baseball stadium for the Astros and Nationals have the ball rolling. “Make the city better, and more people will come.”

Source: The Real Deal Miami

Starwood would face problems closing a deal with Anbang

From left: Starwood’s Thomas Mangas, the W Hotel and Anbang’s Wu Xiaohui
From the New York website: If Anbang Insurance Group wins its bidding war for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality firm would still have a lot of work to do to ensure the deal closes. 
When financing or other issues arise, parties generally enforce purchase agreements through the courts, but there are myriad difficulties in suing a firm such Anbang – with most of its assets based in China – for the colossal $14 billion sum that Anbang has offered, the New York Times reported.
The rule of law is notoriously weak in China, and it’s not clear that a Chinese court would enforce a judgement against Anbang. But Starwood still has options.
Many companies doing business internationally – especially in other weak-rule-of-law countries such as Russia – have included contract provisions mandating binding arbitration to settle disputes, instead of the courts.
About 24 national governments around the world, including China’s, have signed on to the 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, known as the New York Convention.
But still, it’s widely believed even this sort of decision doesn’t amount to a guarantee in the case of China, the Times reported. And even if Chinese courts went along, the process would likely take years, far longer than Starwood can afford.
Another avenue for Starwood is demanding that Anbang put up collateral. The problem is that Anbang’s combined assets outside of China – the largest of those being the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which it bought for $1.95 billion in 2014, and the Strategic Hotels and Resorts portfolio it recently bought from Blackstone for $6.5 billion – don’t add up to the value of its $14 billion bid.
Starwood’s lawyers would likely seek a deposit or letter of credit as collateral, the Times reported. Anbang’s opaque ownership structure makes collecting deposits from shareholders unlikely, but the firms could follow the lead of Shuanghui International Holdings, who placed a $275 million termination fee in escrow when it bought Smithfield Foods in 2013, about 5 percent of the purchase price.
Starwood may seek a larger escrow deposit, largely composed of letters of credit and financing letters rather than cash.
There are also likely to be problems with regulatory permission and financing for the purchase, the Times reported.
All these factors suggest Marriott International’s $13.6 billion bid may be relatively more attractive than Anbang’s, despite being lower. [NYT] – Ariel Stulberg

Source: The Real Deal Miami

Miami Beach board backs early last call for bars, restaurants

Clockwise from left: Foxhole Lounge, Bodega, Ricky’s, and the Firestone
In spite of protests from nightlife attorneys and the nephew of a prominent developer, Miami Beach’s Land Use and Development Committee backed the passage of an ordinance that will restrict the hours of operation for new bars opening on the west side of South Beach.
If the proposed ordinance is passed, future bars and alcohol-serving restaurants must close by 2 a.m. if they’re located on the west side of Alton Road from Fifth Street to the Collins Canal and within 100 feet of the south side of 17th Street from Meridian to Lenox Avenue in the Palm View Historic District. Right now, alcohol establishments in those areas, like most of South Beach, can stay open until 5 a.m.
“Nothing good happens in a restaurant after 5 a.m. except drinking,” said Commissioner Joy Malakoff, one of three Miami Beach commissioners who make up the Land Use Committee. Malakoff said the code is meant to protect the West Avenue corridor’s 10,000 residents from the impacts of South Beach nightlife.
But nightlife advocates fear the law will send a message to entrepreneurs not to invest in South Beach. “I am advising people to buy stock in Surfside,” said attorney Steve Polisar who claimed that the new law would send a message to restaurants and bars wishing to set up in Miami Beach that the city may move to restrict them.
The proposed code won’t affect bars and restaurants already open in western West Avenue and Palm View. Establishments not yet open that have already received building permits are also immune under the current draft of the ordinance. However, future establishments with signed leases or still in the midst of permitting will be beholden to the new regulations.
Jared Galbut, managing principal of Menin Hospitality and the nephew of Crescent Heights managing principal Russell Galbut, is afraid the new code will stop his plans to open two new late night eateries in the Palm View district. Both places are still in midst of the permitting process.
One of those restaurants, a barbeque and bar called Ricky’s, is slated to open next to Bodega, another Menin Hospitality establishment operating at 1220 16th Street. Both Bodega and the future Ricky’s are located in a building owned by Crescent Heights, purchased as part of a $14.5 million transaction with Twin City LLC in August 2013.
The other eatery and bar is proposed to open in the Firestone building at 1575 Alton Road, which another Crescent Heights subsidiary bought for $10 million at the end of December. Jared Galbut told the Land Use Committee that he wants to re-open his great-grandfather’s old diner, Al’s, inside the Firestone building.
But Gayle Durham, co-founder of the West Avenue Neighborhood Association, said the Firestone building is really going to be converted into a pseudo nightclub. “They are going to have outdoor drinking at five o’clock in the morning,” said Durham, who also complained about the noise and drunken crowds generated by Bodega.
Besides rolling back licenses by three hours in western Alton Road and Palm View, the proposed code will shut down sidewalk cafes by midnight, shutter rooftop bars by 11 p.m. (midnight on weekends), ban outdoor bar counters, and prohibit special events. Also, nightclubs that play amplified music or have live entertainment must be approved by the Miami Beach Planning Board.
A proposed ordinance must be approved twice by the full Miami Beach City Commission before it can be enacted as law. The ordinance’s first reading is April 13. The second reading could come as soon as May 21.

Source: The Real Deal Miami

Property across from Midtown Walmart sells for $6.5M

2994 North Miami Avenue
A warehouse across from the Shops at Midtown sold for $6.5 million, records show.
The 25,300-square-foot property at 2994 North Miami Avenue is split into three parcels that include a 7,554-square-foot warehouse. The seller, 2994 North Miami Avenue Inc., sold the lots to 2994 NMA Gateway Properties LLC, an entity controlled by Aron Rosenberg of New York, marking his second foray into the neighborhood during the past year.
The seller is controlled by Kevin and Paul Peters of Miami. Property records show it paid a combined $797,500 for the parcels between 2001 and 2008.
Ship repair service Subsea Global Solutions, the previous owner, occupies the building. Together with a neighboring property, the parcels were listed for sale in October for $22.5 million. Marcus & Millichap agents Scott Sandelin and Jonathan de la Rosa were the listing agents.
The properties are across the street from Walmart’s development site. The retail giant is building a 203,000-square-foot store on the 4.6-acre site at 3055 North Miami Avenue. Walmart paid $8.2 million for the property in 2014.
In April 2015, Rosenberg bought a retail building in Wynwood at 2830 North Miami Avenue.

Source: The Real Deal Miami

Lufthansa touches down in Dania with new industrial lease

Port 95 Business Center
Europe’s largest airliner has just landed in Dania Beach.
Lufthansa inked a lease for industrial space at the Port 95 Business Center, where it will house its machine and tech services division.
The lease is for 19,913 square feet of space at the newly built distribution center and warehouse, Cushman & Wakefield said in news release. It is located less than a mile away from the Fort Lauderdale International Airport at 2650 Southwest 36th Street.
A subsidiary of the airline, Lufthansa Technik, will occupy the space starting in June. It specializes in selling, distributing and servicing aircraft parts for the airline’s extensive fleet. The subsidiary already has a location in Miramar.
Port 95 was built by Bridge Development Partners in 2014. The industrial builder sold the 230,036-square-foot center to a company managed by Elion Partners’ Saul Gilinski for nearly $27 million a few months later in November 2014.
For the Lufthansa lease, Christopher Metzger, Richard F. Etner, Christopher Thomson, and Matthew G. McAllister of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the deal on behalf of the landlord. Thompson, Metzger and Etner also represented Bridge when it sold the two-building center in November 2014.

Source: The Real Deal Miami

Starchitect Zaha Hadid dies of a heart attack at 65

Zaha Hadid (credit: (Credit: Angela Pham for BFA)
From the New York website: UPDATED: March 31, 1:08 p.m.: Zaha Hadid, the renowned architect known for her curvy and futuristic designs, has died. She was 65.
Hadid died on Thursday of a heart attack at a Miami hospital, where she was being treated for bronchitis, her company confirmed. The Baghdad-born architect was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize in 2004 and this year became the first woman to win the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal. In his citation commemorating the award, architect Peter Cook called Hadid “larger than life” and “bold as brass.” He described how her early style eventually evolved from “spiky” lines inspired by Russian Constructivism, to the dream-like, flowing lines that characterize her best-known work.
“For three decades now, she has ventured where few would dare: If Paul Klee took a line for a walk, then Zaha took the surfaces that were driven by that line out for a virtual dance and then deftly folded them over and then took them out for a journey into space,” he wrote.
She studied at the Architectural Association, and then joined the Office of Metropolitan Architecture in 1972. It was there that she worked under Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who once famously called the then-young architect “a planet in her own inimitable orbit.”
“When he said it at the time, I was upset,” Hadid told CNN at in 2014. “But in a way he was right — I should not have a conventional career and he was absolutely spot on.”
She started her own practice, Zaha Hadid Architects, in London in 1979. In her early years, she drew attention for her theoretical designs, such as a recreational center on the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, which incorporated the cliffside into the building. Her design won the competition for the recreation center in 1983, but the vision was never realized. Further acclaim followed with her first major commission, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany in 1993, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China in 2010.
She designed the Al Wakrah stadium in Qatar, which will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Her One Thousand Museum in Miami, an ultra luxury 62-story tower, is under construction and currently up to the ninth floor. Her first high-rise in New York City, 520 West 28th Street, an apartment complex that overlooks the High Line, is slated to open in 2017.
Hadid has owned a two-bedroom condo at the W Hotel & Residences South Beach for six years.
Her first project in Miami, the 62-story One Thousand Museum, began vertical construction in late 2015. It was her first-ever residential skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. She also completed designing the interiors of the project, said Louis Birdman, a co-developer on One Thousand Museum, which is now up to the 9th floor. Birdman’s partner, Gregg Covin, had recently given a tour to Hadid’s students from Yale University at her request, and she sent a note just a few days ago thanking him, saying she was excited that the tower was starting to take shape.
Birdman told The Real Deal that he knew Hadid both professionally and socially since she began work on One Thousand Museum more than three years ago, and considered her “the most important architect of our time.”
“The designs that she created were very unique, very ahead of their time, very futuristic, very innovative, and she knew how to push the bounds of design,” said Birdman, who is also an architect.
“It’s a great loss for the world of architecture,” he added. “She was a true visionary in the field.”
Ina Cordle contributed to this report.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 
 

Source: The Real Deal Miami

MDM still on hold for $115M in subsidies from Overtown CRA

An up-to-date rendering of the MDM hotel, left, and an early version, right
The developer of a downtown Miami convention center and hotel is still on hold for a $115 million subsidy package from the Miami community redevelopment agency charged with eliminating slum and blight in Overtown.
At their monthly CRA meeting Wednesday, Miami city commissioners rejected MDM Development Group’s proposal, citing concerns the developer was not offering enough incentives for the poor residents of Overtown.
“I don’t know if we are there,” said Commissioner Frank Carollo. “I just don’t see you getting the support tonight.”
Instead, city commissioners instructed MDM representatives to return to the negotiating table and offer stronger community benefits, including the possibility of giving the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA a minority share in the project’s ownership or its annual revenues – a stipulation the developer has suggested is a deal breaker. The matter was tabled until April 25, the next time city commissioners meet as CRA board members.
Commissioner Keon Hardemon, the Overtown CRA chairman, said staff didn’t bargain enough with MDM. “Every agreement we move forward should be better than the last one,” Hardemon said. “We should have more benefits. I am of the opinion that there is still more work that can be done.”
MDM is proposing a 600,000-square-foot expo center and 1,700-room hotel on the site of the old Miami Arena and within the footprint of the Miami Worldcenter development district. In order to build the project, MDM needs at least a 65 percent rebate on its annual property-tax bill to help finance construction, according to the firm’s attorney, Javier Fernandez.
He said his client needs the tax break because publicly run convention centers typically operate at a loss in order to draw conventioneers to area hotels, restaurants and shops. MDM offered to spend millions of dollars extra by paying higher wages and recruit a percentage of its construction and hospitality workers locally. Fernandez told commissioners that MDM had presented its best offer.
“We have spent the better part of 18 months in conversations and negotiations with the CRA just to get to this point,” Fernandez said. “The chasm is so large, I’m not sure we’ll be able to bridge the gap.”
Overtown community activists also criticized MDM for offering a deal weak on community benefits. “I am extremely disappointed,” said Darryl Holsendolph of the Miami-Dade NAACP. “We need to make a difference today and vote down this project so we will get a chance at the table.”
Added Bishop James Adams: “Why is it that a project that has been touted that is going to help Overtown doesn’t have a revenue sharing agreement? Until they are willing to give Overtown a partnership, this item should be shelved.”
Should MDM secure an agreement with the CRA, the company would still need to get city and county approval by the end of 2017 to get the tax rebate. Miami-Dade would also need to extend the life of the Overtown CRA until 2042 to increase the value of the subsidies.

Source: The Real Deal Miami