Related breaks ground on second phase of CityPlace project

CityPlace was renamed Rosemary Square

From left: Rendering of Rosemary Avenue and the Water Pavilion with Stephen Ross

Related Companies is making progress on its redevelopment of CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

The New York developer announced it is officially changing the property’s name to “Rosemary Square” and is breaking ground on phase two of its plans for the mixed-use property. The project calls for a redesigned plaza, public spaces, green areas, outdoor dining venues, new stores and interactive art, according to a release.

Urban design firm Gehl, architect David Manfredi, landscaper Matt Hadden and sustainability consultant the Spinnaker Group are designing phase two.

Related is planning to invest nearly $550 million into projects in downtown West Palm, including a new mixed-use luxury residential tower, a second hotel next to the Hilton West Palm Beach, and 360 Rosemary, a new 300,000-square-foot office tower. The developer secured approval in November for a 21-story apartment building on the site of a former Macy’s building at CityPlace.

Related is also tied up in litigation with its lenders over CityPlace’s $150 million mortgage. In a counterclaim filed earlier this year, Wells Fargo, a trustee for CityPlace’s lender Credit Suisse Commercial Mortgage, is alleging that CityPlace’s appraisal for its loan was based on misleading and inaccurate information given to its appraiser.

The Rosemary Square project calls for the installation of “Water Pavilion West Palm Beach,” a sculpture by Danish artist Jeppe Hein; the opening of True Food Kitchen, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant that’s expected to open in late fall; seafood restaurant High Dive by Michelin-starred Jeremy Bearman, also set to open in the fall; Sur La Table; Barrio Sangria Bar; and the re-opening of The Shack.

Tacos & Hip Hop by DJ Steve Pershad and local taqueria Zipitios, owned by Ricky Perez, are also planning to open as pop-ups.

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Bankruptcy judge approves sale of Palm House Hotel for $40M

Bankruptcy judge approves sale of Palm House Hotel for $40M

The sale to London + Regional Properties ends the bidding for the unfinished EB-5 project

March 11, 2019 05:30PM

Palm House Hotel

A bankruptcy judge finally approved the sale of the troubled Palm House Hotel to a U.S. affiliate of London + Regional Properties for $39.6 million.

London + Regional Properties, a U.K.-based luxury hotel and resort company, beat Related Cos. to buy the former failed EB-5 project in Palm Beach, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

The judge declined to accept a last minute bid by Wellington developer Glenn Straub whose lawyer said the developer was prepared to pay $40.6 million for the property, according to the Daily News. But the judge ruled it down, saying it came too late in the process. The bankruptcy judge also previously ruled down a “credit bid” by Straub, which would allow him to make an offer without putting down any cash for the condo-hotel project at 160 Royal Palm Way, according to the Daily News.

London + Regional Properties is a private real estate investment firm with almost $12 billion in assets. The company owns the 453-room London Hilton hotel on Park Lane in London’s Mayfair neighborhood.

Some of the proceeds of the sale would go toward paying EB-5 investors who invested $500,000 in the project in order to get a green card. The investors have not yet been paid back.

Federal officials have charged the former developer of the Palm House, Robert Matthews, with multiple counts of wire and bank fraud and money laundering over the development.

[Palm Beach Daily News] — Keith Larsen

Related offers two-year leaseback option at W Fort Lauderdale

Stephen Ross, Craig Studnicky and the W Fort Lauderdale
RelatedISG is now offering buyers a two-year leaseback option for units at the W Residences Fort Lauderdale.
The program is aimed at attracting buyers to the waterfront Fort Lauderdale Beach condo-hotel. The developer, Related Companies, paid $90 million for the project from the Y Group in 2009 after it was completed. The Y Group had sold 24 of 171 units at the time. Since then, Related sold 65 units, according to RelatedISG principal Craig Studnicky. That brings sales up to 50 percent.
Studnicky hopes the program will give buyers confidence in the development. “Psychologically, it takes the nervousness away from the buyer,” he said. “It gives the buyers and real estate brokers in South Florida tremendous confidence in the market. From a PR standpoint, it’s perfect.”
Under the leaseback program, buyers would receive 8 percent of the net purchase price on some two-bedroom, oceanfront units for two years. Prices range from $900,000 to more than $1 million, which means buyers would receive at least $72,000 annually for two years. After Related signs leaseback agreements with buyers, it then turns the units over to Starwood Hotels & Resorts to manage.
In the past, RelatedISG has offered to credit the project’s buyers’ condo fees, which average $1,400 a month or nearly $17,000 a year, but Studnicky said the new program “trumps everything.” Last year, the brokerage announced it was offering 6 percent referral fees to agents from New York in a push to attract buyers from the Big Apple.
Sales are led by Rebecca Batterman, who has four agents working on the project.
Related is also wrapping up a $60 million renovation of the project, led by Meyer Davis Studio.
Last year, the Related Group and Dezer Development announced a similar leaseback program to buyers at Hyde Midtown, which is now nearly 90 percent sold.

Source: The Real Deal Miami