Moishe Mana sells Hibiscus Island home for $12M, CitizenM scores $48M loan to build Brickell hotel

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

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The founder of Cash4Gold bought a waterfront home in Miami Beach’s La Gorce Island for $19.6 million. The home sold at a 44 percent discount from its listing nearly four years ago. Jeff Aronson and his wife Carolyn bought the 10,094-square-foot estate at 100 La Gorce Drive for $1,941 per square foot. Rapa Holdings, which is managed by Andrew Feldman, sold the property. [TRD]

Diesel family dishes on Wynwood condo project. Diesel launched a marketing campaign for its condo development, offering to sell 143 “one-of-a-kind” T-shirts starting at just under $1.6 million. With the shirt, the buyer would receive a condo. [TRD]

Moishe Mana sells Hibiscus Island home for $12M. Developer Moishe Mana sold a 1937 home in Miami Beach to a buyer who plans to build a new modern mansion on the property. Mana’s Martini Realty LLC sold the 5,492-square-foot home at 420 South Hibiscus Drive on Hibiscus Island to 420 S Hibiscus Drive SFH LLC, a Delaware company, for $12 million. [TRD]

Miami may be closer to banning Special Area Plans. On Jan. 15, the city of Miami’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board will discuss proposed legislation that could do away with SAPs altogether. The board voted Wednesday to discuss a rule at its Jan. 15 meeting that would recommend that the city remove SAPs from the Miami 21 zoning code. [TRD]

Breather bloodbath: Flex-office startup fires 17% of staff. Breather, an on-demand workspace company, fired almost a fifth of its staff Thursday. The Montreal-based firm, which provides office space across 10 different cities and has more than 100 employees, laid off at least 18 staffers, The Real Deal has learned. [TRD]

CitizenM scores $48M loan to build Brickell hotel. CitizenM scored a $48.3 million construction loan to build a new hotel at the former site of Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe in Brickell. The hotelier secured the loan from Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co. for the 252-key hotel at 955 South Miami Avenue in Miami. [TRD]

AquaBlue Group owner lists South Beach apartments for $14M. A company tied to AquaBlue Group owner Philippe Harari is looking to sell a South Beach apartment complex for $13.9 million. Greenview Courtyard, at 2021-2035 Meridian Avenue, across from the Miami Beach Golf Club, includes three buildings with a total of 30 units. The price breaks down to about $463,000 per apartment. [TRD]

Catsimatidis scores approval for $300M tower in St. Petersburg. Greek-American billionaire John Catsimatidis landed approval for what could become the tallest condo tower on the west coast of Florida. Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group received site plan approval from the St. Petersburg’s Development Review Commission on Wednesday for a $300 million mixed-use project, the Tampa Bay Times reported. [TRD]

Lawsuit seeks to halt new EB-5 regulations. Less than a month after the new EB-5 rules came out, a Florida regional center has filed a motion in federal court, seeking a temporary restraining order to halt enforcement. The company, Florida EB5 Investments, alleges the new requirements — which took effect Nov. 21 — violate the U.S. Constitution, were not properly reviewed for potential fallout and will end up killing business. [TRD]

Some roads in the Florida Keys may be abandoned due to sea-level rise. Raising three miles of Old State Road 4A in the Keys to withstand sea-level rise and king tide by 2025 could cost $75 million, according to the Miami Herald. In 2045 the costs could increase to $128 million. In 2060, the costs could rise to $181 million. Monroe County asked for $150 million to address sea-level rise for the whole county. [Miami Herald]

Joe Biden proposes $1 Trillion in new corporate taxes. Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden proposed nearly $1 trillion in new corporate taxes on Wednesday as part of a plan to bring in more revenue in order to pay for healthcare, climate, infrastructure and education costs, according to the Wall Street Journal. Part of his plan would be to tax companies like Amazon.com that show little or no U.S. tax costs. [WSJ]

Blackstone sells Marriott in Weston, Sapir Corp.’s stock tumbles

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 6:00 p.m.

Blackstone sells Weston hotel for $12 million. Blackstone sold a 94-key Marriott hotel in Weston for $12.38 million, three years after purchasing the property. The New York-based private equity firm sold Towneplace Suites by Marriott at 1545 Three Villages Road for $131,702 per key, records show. Coral Gables-based Kenne RE, led by Gustavo Blanco, purchased the property. [TRD]

Sapir Corp.’s stock drops in Tel Aviv. The NoMo SoHo hotel owned by the Sapir Corp. saw its net operating income fall in the third quarter, dragging down the company’s overall performance. In the last week, Alex Sapir’s real estate company, which trades on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, saw its stock price fall by about 18 percent. [TRD]

David Martin slashes ask of Grove at Grand Bay PH. The developer dropped the price of his penthouse to $19.8 million, a 29 percent cut from the original preconstruction price. The 10,118-square-foot, six-bedroom condo, at 2675 South Bayshore Drive, was relisted in 2018 with Carmenate and Duchon for $25 million. [TRD]

Blackstone sells Weston hotel for $12 million. Blackstone sold a 94-key Marriott hotel in Weston for $12.38 million, three years after purchasing the property. The New York-based private equity firm sold Towneplace Suites by Marriott at 1545 Three Villages Road for $131,702 per key, records show. Coral Gables-based Kenne RE, led by Gustavo Blanco, purchased the property. [TRD]

Missouri investor sells Palm Beach Gardens charter school. A charter school in Palm Beach Gardens sold for $21.2 million amid a growing interest in non-traditional schools from out-of-state investors. Kansas City, Missouri-based EPR Properties sold the 74,872-square-foot Franklin Academy at 5651 Hood Road for $283 per square foot, records show. [TRD]

Youngwoo’s latest development play is a vineyard in Argentina. Just before the 2008 crash, developer Young Woo made a big investment in an unlikely venture: South American farmland. Woo and his partner Margarette Lee bought a 2,000-acre plot of farmland less than an hour outside of Mendoza. [TRD]

Len Blavatnik teams with Vlad Doronin on Aman-branded towers in Faena District. Billionaires Len Blavatnik and Vlad Doronin are partnering to build the first Aman-branded development in the Miami area. Blavatnik’s Access Industries and Doronin’s OKO Group plan to build two towers on the site of the former Versailles Hotel at 3425 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. [TRD]

Katerra CEO Michael Marks and its factory in Pheonix, Arizona (Credit: Katerra, Google Maps)Katerra closes Phoenix factory. Katerra, a Silicon Valley startup backed by SoftBank, has closed a large factory in Phoenix, weeks after one of its co-founders left the firm. The Menlo Park–based firm, which is valued at more than $4 billion, says it uses tech to deliver construction projects inexpensively. But it has a history of delaying or abandoning projects and in recent months has laid off hundreds of employees. [TRD]

The demolition of an unfinished Boynton Beach development begins after long wait. Demolition has begun at Estates of Boynton Waters where the first of five homes with no roofs were torn down on Monday, according to the Palm Beach Post. The troubled developer, John Kennelly, was supposed to either complete the project or tear them down in 2016. The county eventually stepped in in 2018 to finish the project. [Palm Beach Post]

Rendering of Regatta Harbour

Rendering of Regatta Harbour

Luxury gym concept Anatomy will open in Coconut Grove next year. Anatomy inked a lease for 14,500 square feet at Regatta Harbour, The Real Deal has learned. Treo Group is developing the mixed-use project at 3385 Pan American Drive. Anatomy will be located in ground-floor retail space on the south side of the development [TRD]

Kolter Homes launched sales for Cresswind Lakewood Ranch near Sarasota. The new 55+ community will have 10 model homes designed by Design Environments Interiors and Masterpiece Interiors. Homes will range from two to four bedrooms. It is located in a 31,000-acre master-planned community featuring shopping, dining, entertainment, a hospital, golf and the Sarasota Polo Club.

Palm Beach estate hits market for $110M, Gulfstream Park bets on $20M renovation

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 6:20 p.m.

An oceanfront Palm Beach estate re-enters the market for $110M.  The property at 1341 South Ocean Boulevard was previously on the market for two years and is the most expensive home advertised in Palm Beach, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. The house has 170 feet of oceanfront and seven bedrooms. [Palm Beach Daily News

Trulia hit with lawsuit over Premier Agent. Trulia was slapped with a federal lawsuit assailing its Premier Agent advertising program as “unfair” and “deceptive,” and accusing it of diverting home buyers away from listing agents. [TRD

Walmart-anchored shopping center in WPB sells for $20M. Riverstone Capital Group bought a Walmart-anchored shopping center in West Palm Beach for $19.6 million. The Coral Gables-based investment group bought the 112,364-square-foot Shoppes of Forest Hill at 4316-4450 Forest Hill Boulevard for $174 per square foot, records show. New York-based Trinity Place Holdings sold the property. [TRD

Gulfstream Park bets on $20M renovation. South Florida’s thoroughbred horse racing venue is betting on $20 million in renovations. The Stronach Group plans to modernize Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach with a new open-air dining terrace overlooking the racetrack. [TRD

Tax refugee? Stifel bigwig nabs penthouse at 57 Ocean. Financial adviser Chuck Roberts is purchasing a penthouse at 57 Ocean, an oceanfront condo building under construction in Miami Beach. Roberts, managing director of investments at Stifel in New York, is paying $10.9 million for penthouse two at 5775 Collins Avenue. [TRD

Miami River Commission approves yacht building and restaurant. The Miami River Commission on Monday backed a proposal to build a six-story marine facility and an adjacent 90-seat restaurant on properties once owned by a Cuban exile accused of plotting to assassinate Fidel Castro. [TRD

Black Friday foot traffic falls from last year. Foot traffic to U.S. stores fell about 6.2 percent on Black Friday, according to ShopperTrak, the Wall Street Journal reported. More people continue to shop online than go to brick and mortar stores as online sales reached $7.4 billion on Black Friday, up from $6.2 billion last year, according to Adobe Analytics. [WSJ]

Apartment leasing startup signs a lease for a new hotel near Wynwood Walls. Sonder, a San Francisco-based startup that leases apartments and rents them out on a short-term basis, signed a lease for a new hotel development near the Wynwood Walls. The short-term rental operator will manage the 72-key project at 111 Northwest 26th Street in the artsy Miami neighborhood. [TRD]

Compiled by Keith Larsen

Griffin gets biggest tax bill in Palm Beach, late billionaire’s islands hit the market for $30M

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 4:30 p.m.

Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is facing a $5.37 million property tax bill for 2019, the biggest in Palm Beach. Like property owners throughout Florida, Griffin received his bill in November. Griffin is one of nearly 60 property owners on the island who are billed at least $500,000 in property taxes, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. In Palm Beach, taxable values for residential properties rose to $17.32 billion, a 5.37 percent year-over-year increase. [TRD

A group of private islands in the Bahamas that hosted President Richard Nixon will hit the market for nearly $30 million. The nine islands were owned by the late billionaire Chris Cline, who died in a helicopter crash in July on his way off the property. Cline’s estate is selling the Bahamian compound, which is made up of 277 acres in the Abaco Islands, the Wall Street Journal reported. [TRD

Rent freeze in Berlin ends calls for expropriation, but may spark disinvestment. Deutsche Wohnen CFO Philip Grosse said in an interview with Bloomberg that the firm is holding off on construction in Berlin, and instead will look to other cities to make new investments. The company said earlier this month that limits on raising rents and potential mandated rent cuts put cash flow at risk. [TRD

Glenn Straub loses appeal on Palm House sale. Creditors of the Palm Beach condo-hotel project that was once at the center of South Florida’s largest EB-5 fraud case may be one step closer to getting paid. A federal appeals court denied an appeal by Wellington developer Glenn Straub to overturn the sale of the Palm House Hotel, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. [TRD

Disgraced casino mogul Steve Wynn to pay $20M to settle shareholder suit. The damages that Wynn will pay, with an additional $21 million from insurance carriers for Wynn Resorts employees, must be approved by a Las Vegas judge, according to the Los Angeles Times. Wynn has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in connection with the allegations of sexual abuse. [TRD]

FEMA aid slow to reach Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands. Of more than 9,000 requests to fund long-term recovery projects in Puerto Rico, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has only funded 190. And in the Virgin Islands, only 218 such projects of more than 1,500 requests have received funding, according to the New York Times. [TRD

Millennials in search of more affordable digs are heading west, swapping Brooklyn for Boulder. And institutional investors are taking the hint. Apartment building rental income nearly doubled between 2004 and 2018 in the eight Mountain States, according to a report from Trepp that examined properties in eight states, as cited in the Wall Street Journal. [TRD]

Tiger Woods’ ex-wife Elin Nordegren relisted her North Palm Beach estate for $44.5 million. The former model first listed the 11-bedroom, 18-bathroom mansion last year for $49.5 million, according to the L.A. Times. Nordegren married Woods in 2004 and the couple got divorced in 2010, at which point she received a settlement of $100 million. [LAT]

CVS will demolish a Wellington store after it was deemed an unsafe structure. The pharmacy chain will keep the foundation, submit new permit applications to Wellington, and rebuild the store at 11936 Forest Hill Boulevard, according to the Palm Beach Post. A village building official said there “so many errors in this building” including builder errors, incorrect materials, issues with the roof system and the manufacturer. [Palm Beach Post]

From left: Joseph P. Thomas and Scott Havericak, with 3001 N. Federal Highway (Credit: Google Maps)

From left: Joseph P. Thomas and Scott Havericak, with 3001 N. Federal Highway (Credit: Google Maps)

The site of a bankrupt hotel in Fort Lauderdale sold for $10 million. Fort Lauderdale investor Michael Daniel bought the 102,000-square-foot property at 3001 North Federal Highway for $98 per square foot. The property is occupied by a vacant, 105-room, 45,432-square-foot former Ramada Inn. [TRD]

Compiled by Katherine Kallergis

Bahamian islands owned by late coal billionaire ask $30M

Cline’s Bahamian compound (Credit: Corcoran Group)

Cline’s Bahamian compound (Credit: Corcoran Group)

A group of private islands in the Bahamas that hosted President Richard Nixon will hit the market for nearly $30 million.

The nine islands were owned by the late billionaire Chris Cline, who died in a helicopter crash in July on his way off the property. Cline’s estate is selling the Bahamian compound, which is made up of 277 acres in the Abaco Islands, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Cline was killed over the summer along with his daughter, friends of hers and the pilots.

The islands are less than 70 miles away from South Florida’s coastline. They include Big Grand Cay, with seven houses, staff homes, a dorm-style building, a pool, marinas, a gym, tennis, pickleball and basketball courts, and a professional kitchen.

Hurricane Dorian, which wreaked destruction to part of the northern Bahamas, caused only minimal damage to Cline’s property, the Journal reported. The main island has generators that power the entire property.

Nixon was a visitor to the Bahamian islands when they were owned by the late Robert H. Abplanalp, who invented a modern version of the aerosol valve.

Bill Yahn of the Corcoran Group and John Christie of H.G. Christie Ltd. in Nassau share the listing. [WSJ]Katherine Kallergis

Monroe County seeks $150M to combat sea level rise, Bloomberg’s record may polarize voters

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 5:45 p.m.

Noah Bachow and a rendering of Flagler Creative

Developer Noah Bachow and a rendering of Flagler Creative

Fort Lauderdale urges redesign of Flagler Village project that features co-living. The city’s mayor thinks downtown area architecture is too boxy, and his desire for better design may lead to tweaks in the look of high-rise developments, starting with Flagler Creative, a 30-story rental apartment development with 316 units including 100 co-living units in the Flagler Village area just north of downtown. [TRD]

English singer Craig David sells Miami Beach condo. David sold the 1,895-square-foot tower suite 5 at the Mondrian South Beach for $4.3 million, or $2,269 per square foot. Property records show the unit last sold in 2009 for $4.68 million, which means David sold it at a loss. [TRD]

Elizabeth Warren calls WeWork an “example of a rigged and corrupt system.” The democratic presidential candidate pointed to CEO Adam Neumann’s “$1.7 billion golden parachute” on Twitter on Friday, as the co-working firm plans to lay off 2,400 employees, or about a fifth of its headcount worldwide. SoftBank’s $3 billion tender offer to WeWork is set to launch this week, following weeks of delays, and Neumann is set to net up to $970 million in the process. [BI]

Monty’s Raw Bar

Monty’s Raw Bar

Suntex Marinas is trying to evict Monty’s from Miami Beach property. Suntex is alleging the seafood restaurant has health code violations, dated menu items, and failed to pay its rent. Monty’s Sunset Miami Beach claims the landlord is just being crabby and is trying to find a way to take over the lease of the property, according to the Daily Business Review. [TRD]

Developer Ian Bruce Eichner slashed the price of his Continuum South Beach penthouse as he mulls his next project in Miami. Eichner cut the price of the 11,031-square-foot, seven-bedroom unit to $39.9 million. That’s 20 percent below the original $50 million ask. [TRD]

After WeWork, investors are taking a closer look at SoftBank’s accounting. SoftBank has participated in fundraising rounds that have added more than $150 billion in value to private companies, a Bloomberg analysis found. Masayoshi Son’s firm can book a profit by buying shares in a firm and then investing again — resulting in gains that insiders say is “meaningless,” although current accounting rules offer no better alternatives. [Bloomberg]

Florida’s most vulnerable county to sea level rise is asking for $150M to keep itself dry. Monroe County is seeking a portion of the $633 million Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity received from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to raise roads and elevate buildings and homes, according to the Miami Herald. Sea levels in the Florida Keys are predicted to rise two feet by 2060. [Miami Herald]

Michael Bloomberg (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Love, hate, and real estate: Bloomberg’s record may polarize voters. As mayor from 2002 through 2013, Bloomberg’s pro-development policies were credited by business interests for powering New York City’s comeback and denounced by critics for increasing homelessness and inequality. Even decisions that seemed moderate or progressive at the time no longer do in the context of today’s politics, sources said. [TRD]

Fritz Wolff (Credit: Katerra)

SoftBank-backed Katerra co-founder leaves company’s board. Fritz Wolff, who also heads his family’s eponymous private equity firm, the Wolff Company, is no longer a board member but “maintains an advisory role as a co-founder of Katerra,” a spokesperson said. Like other SoftBank investments, Katerra has been facing heightened scrutiny in the wake of WeWork’s botched initial public offering. [TRD]

Compiled by Katherine Kallergis

LVMH in early talks to buy Tiffany for $16B, Riviera Beach residents being evicted

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 6:10 a.m.

Craig Robins’ claim that Ugo Colombo bribed juror in private jet case doesn’t fly with Miami judge. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman tossed out Craig Robins’ Dacra Development’s claim that Ugo Colombo and his CMC Group bribed a member of a jury — including promising a luxury condo — tied to their dispute over the $22 million private jet. [TRD]

Domio inks deal for first apartment-hotel in Wynwood. The short-term rental operator signed a deal to take over the residential component of the Related Group and Block Capital Group’s 175-unit project. Domio signed a lease for the apartments at The Bradley, a mixed-use project under construction at 51 Northwest 26th Street. [TRD]

SoftBank will move forward with its WeWork stock tender offer this week. The $3 billion offer includes up to $970 million that co-founder Adam Neumann owns. SoftBank was expected to launch the offer earlier this month, but it was delayed after the bank tried to make technical revisions to the offer documents. [Reuters]

Insurance executive Peter Worth just paid $8.8 million for a unit at the Bristol, months after closing on a Palm Beach home. Worth sold his employee benefits consulting firm, American Benefits Consulting, to Alliant Insurance Services in 2015. He closed on unit 1802 at the Bristol, a 25-story, 69-unit luxury tower in West Palm Beach. [TRD]

A wealthy Latvian family paid $6.5 million for a shopping center in North Bay Village. Lexi Commons LLC, managed by real estate agent Val Zevel and Ilmax LLC, purchased the 19,438-square-foot retail space at 1700 John F Kennedy Causeway. Records show Ilmax LLC is controlled by Leonids and Maksims Esterkins, who are real estate investors from Latvia. [TRD]

WeWork may look to its Japanese unit to figure out how to become profitable. The unit is already in the black and will be the springboard for a new service called Passport that WeWork plans to introduce across the globe. Passport users will be given “flexible” access to desks and shared spaces in an aim to boost occupancy. [Bloomberg]

Aging baby boomers are preparing to sell millions of homes, but the younger generations might not want them. A quarter of homes seniors are set to vacate by 2037 are primarily in traditional retirement communities: Florida, Arizona or in areas of the Rust Belt that have long been losing population. Those areas may not attract Generation X and millennial buyers. [WSJ]

Financial firms think that returning Fannie and Freddie to private ownership could be a risky and disruptive move. Investors from firms including BlackRock and Fidelity Investments have told the federal government that any attempt to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should include an explicit guarantee of the $5 trillion they issue in mortgage-backed securities, something only Congress can provide. The Trump administration has said it would move forward without this guarantee and that the government needs to reduce its role in housing. [WSJ]

LVMH to acquire Tiffany & Co. in $16B deal. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reached a preliminary agreement to take over the American luxury jeweler in a deal that values Tiffany at $135 a share, according to the Wall Street Journal. It would be the largest acquisition for LVMH under French billionaire Bernard Arnault. Tiffany has more than 300 stores around the world and about $4.4 billion in annual revenue. [WSJ]

Millennia Companies is evicting Riviera Beach residents after they sued over conditions in the rental community. The Palm Beach County Tenants Union said six of the seven residents of the Stonybrook Apartments who were served seven-day eviction notices are plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Millennia. The tenants are suing over alleged toxic mold, asbestos, rats and more. [Sun Sentinel]

Alan Levan is the next president and CEO of Bluegreen Vacations Corp. Levan will be taking over from Shawn B. Pearson, who is stepping down at the end of the year due to family reasons, according to the South Florida Business Journal. Levan, the CEO of BBX Capital Corp., has been Bluegreen’s chairman for over 15 years. [SFBJ]

From left: Arnaud Karsenti, Nelson Stabile, and Victor Ballestas with a rendering of Sereno at Bay Harbor Islands

From left: Arnaud Karsenti, Nelson Stabile, and Victor Ballestas with a rendering of Sereno at Bay Harbor Islands

Sereno condo association sues alleging poor workmanship. Residents of Sereno at Bay Harbor Islands are alleging that water is intruding in various locations, access gates and doors are improperly installed and stucco is cracking on exterior walls, according to a lawsuit filed this month. The Sereno Residences Condominium Association sued Bay Harbor Holdings, a partnership between 13th Floor Investments and Integra Investments, as well as companies that worked on the design and construction of the 38-unit building completed in 2017. [TRD]

Compiled by Katherine Kallergis

South Florida home sales struggle in October, Cipriani and Terra plan luxury condo

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 6 p.m.

October was a rough month for home sales in South Florida. Single-family home sales rose in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in October, but fell in Palm Beach County, and condo sales fell across the region, according to newly released figures from the Miami Association of Realtors. [TRD]

The Cipriani family’s next project will be a luxury condo tower in Coconut Grove. Less than a year after opening its Mr. C Miami hotel in the Grove, the Ciprianis are working with David Martin’s Terra to launch a Mr. C branded mixed-use condo project nearby at 2655 South Bayshore Drive, according to a press release. The development is the first major residential project for the Mr. C brand. [TRD]

The Miami Association of Realtors launched a commercial multiple listing service. South Florida Commercial Property Search is the only commercial MLS in South Florida with a consumer-facing website, according to a press release. The website was launched with the Beacon Council and Florida Power & Light. [TRD]

SoftBank is looking to whittle down its WeWork rescue package. The $9.5 billion agreement has drawn ire from WeWork employees because of a generous payout to founder and former CEO Adam Neumann, according to Bloomberg. [TRD]

The Related Group’s Jon Paul Pérez is partnering with an affordable housing developer to launch a new venture focused on Section 42 housing. Pérez, executive vice president at Related, is working with Patrick Plunkett on Perez Housing Associates. The company will operate independently from Related, and will focus solely on buying, rehabbing and running properties under Section 42 of the low income housing tax credit program. [TRD]

The Green Companies purchased a four-story Class A office building in Kendall for $13.2 million. The Green Companies bought the 63,206-square-foot building at 11731 Mills Drive in Miami for $209 per square foot, records show. The seller is Nuveen, a subsidiary of TIAA. The property is 84.6 percent occupied by two tenants, Everglades University and VITAS Healthcare. [TRD]

These stores are defying the retail norm. Department stores like Macy’s are struggling while discount stores like Target, Walmart, TJMaxx and Marshalls have increased their market share. Macy’s sales fell 3.9 percent at stores that have been open for at least a year. Target’s physical stores and online shop saw a 4.5 percent bump, with a 10 percent increase in clothing sales. [CNN]

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s housing plan has a $1 trillion price tag. The plan seeks to create 12 million affordable units and repeal the Faircloth Amendment, which has barred the construction of public housing units since 1998. The plan comes on the heels of plans released by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. [TRD]

Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Maxine Waters are the latest federal politicians to introduce a housing bill. The proposal, dubbed the Housing is Infrastructure Act, would invest $70 billion in the construction of new public housing and $10 billion to ease zoning restrictions for new affordable housing. The pair also proposed $6 billion to invest in housing for the elderly, the disabled or veterans. [CNBC]

Do not hide or delete documents, WeWork execs tell employees amid layoffs. As thousands of WeWork employees prepare to be laid off this week, the embattled company’s leadership has issued a warning to them: don’t leak information, and don’t delete anything. [TRD]

Software exec sells Palm Beach vacant lot for $17M. A software executive sold a vacant lot in Palm Beach for $17 million, after receiving town approval for a new custom home. Bill and Julie McDermott sold the 0.8-acre property at 445 North Lake Way for $475 per square foot, records show. 444 North Lake LLC, led by Holly Gershon of Boca Raton, bought the property. [TRD]

Bridgewater wagers $1B on market drop. Bridgewater Associates LP has bet more than $1 billion that stock markets around the world will decline by March, according to the Wall Street Journal. The bet would pay off for Bridgewater if either the S&P 500 or the Euro Stoxx 50 decline, according to the Journal. [WSJ]

Brokers secretly conspire to launch a Hamptons-only MLS

(Illustration by Hannah Drossman/The Real Deal)

Secret meetings are being held in the Hamptons.

Brokers have quietly been drawing up plans to protect their market share in one of the priciest areas in the country.

The discussions in these clandestine meetings revolve around the creation of a listings database, tentatively named after the group that’s forming to support it — the Hamptons Real Estate Association (HREA). The new portal would function as a listings service only for brokers in the Hamptons (read: excluding the North Fork, which HANFRA, the current East End MLS, includes). The HREA would work in tandem with a front-facing marketplace for consumers.

But few are willing to go on the record to talk about it, and no one will say if the brokerages powerful enough to create a sea change — Douglas Elliman and the Corcoran Group — are on board. Why all the mystery?

It’s a highly charged situation, according to those in the know, like Bespoke Real Estate co-founder Cody Vichinsky.

“It’s almost pathetic that in this day and age the systems are so rudimentary and the politics around them are so childish,” he said.

The battle for a comprehensive listings service in the Hamptons has been raging for years. New York City and the Hamptons have been among the only areas in the United States without a centralized listings system.

In most of the country, real estate brokerages amicably share data, storing information about their listings and properties in trademarked multiple listing services that are overseen by the Council of Multiple Listing Services, or CMLS.

But the number of MLS sites nationwide is shrinking due to mergers, CMLS CEO Denee Evans said. There are now roughly 600 systems nationwide, down from 900 when Evans joined the CMLS in 2015, she said.

MLS systems are businesses, after all, so they buy each other out and consolidate to serve mutual interests.

“Agents are going to battle for clients and to get deals done, and yet we realize we have to cooperate to meet that end goal,” Evans said.

A peaceable local merger is in fact possible. The merger over a year ago of the Hudson Gateway MLS and the Long Island MLS has seemingly been a success. It recently launched a rebranding effort as OneKey and is looking to expand its reach. Meanwhile, a lack of consensus from brokerages in the Hamptons has paved the way for third parties like Zillow to swoop in and attempt a takeover of sorts. But after expressing extreme dissatisfaction with Zillow’s moves in the Hamptons, the local brokerages are taking action to fight back.

The backstory

In the Hamptons, most brokerages once used RealNet, a system not associated with the CMLS. It was owned and operated by Hamptons Real Estate Online (HREO), a privately owned company that also offered a consumer-facing site under the HREO name.

But in 2014, as the site became increasingly expensive, 13 East End brokerages formed a new a trade organization, the East End Real Estate Association (EEREA), to protect and lobby for their interests in a role similar to that of the Real Estate Board of New York in the city. The group, including Brown Harris Stevens, Corcoran, Elliman, Saunders & Associates and Sotheby’s International Realty, named their portal the East End Listing Exchange (EELE).

Then, in 2017, HREO and RealNet sold to Zillow for an undisclosed amount. When that happened, the masterminds behind the EEREA and EELE, who had been working on their own initiatives for three years, announced they were disbanding both.

“There were just too many moving parts in achieving this objective,” EEREA’s director, Joseph Sabella, said in a statement at the time. Sabella said EEREA’s board decided to “wipe the slate clean.”

Zillow rebranded the consumer-facing HREO as Out East and relaunched it in February 2018 with a modernized look and hyperlocal search options for consumers. Broker reception was tepid at best. Zillow’s existing reputation on the Island didn’t help.

“Half the time, on Zillow, they have incorrect taxes, they lack the additional village tax, they usually have the wrong school information,” said Scott Wallace of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Nassau County.

This past April, a little over a year after the Out East launch, Zillow unveiled the new back-end component that would replace RealNet, dubbed Out East Agent Tools. Condemnation of the new tool came swiftly as brokerages bemoaned the bug-ridden site, which was lacking much of the functionality RealNet had offered.

Information on the site is often incorrect and outdated, the formatting gets distorted when brokers try to email or print listings, and the controversial Premier Agent model can confuse consumers about who actually represents a property, brokers said.

Saunders & Associates’ CEO Andrew Saunders reportedly wrote that he assigned a team of administrators to review Out East after encountering “countless issues, many of which compromise our ability to operate.”

“Here’s the company that bought the holy grail, wouldn’t you copy the holy grail, simplify the holy grail?” said Judi Desiderio, president of Town & Country Real Estate, referring to Zillow’s purchase of RealNet. Instead, by dismantling the portal, “they threw the baby out with the bathwater,” she added.

MLS initiative renewed

The revived effort to build a new Hamptons-only listings portal has been underway for over a year, but it’s still very far from launch, according to Bespoke Real Estate COO Michael Cantwell.

Some brokerages, like Cantwell’s firm, have taken measures to resist the play for dominance by outsiders like Zillow and even those on the North Fork.

After Zillow bought HREO, Bespoke took its listings data back behind its castle walls. To buffer the brokerage from the database turmoil, Bespoke built its own exclusive back end and consumer-facing site and does not give its information to Out East or any other site.

There is typically more than one MLS-trademarked site per area. Long Island, for example, has two, MLSLI.com and HANFRA, from the Hamptons and North Fork Realtors Association. But Hamptons brokers want a listings portal that only they can use.

Cantwell said that “there is no use” in joining either of Long Island’s existing MLSes, as they are not geared solely toward the South Fork.

Vichinsky, too, said he is fully on board with the creation of a Hamptons-specific database, noting that there is no consumer-facing site featuring only agents working exclusively in the Hamptons.

“What I care about most is that we are getting accurate information in real time, that our properties are presented in the right way and that users have a sufficient and adequate experience,” he said.

Local agents know more about their area than anyone else and are therefore the most qualified to help consumers buy and sell real estate there, Desiderio said.

“When I go looking in New York City, I’m going to call someone who knows every square inch of Manhattan,” Desiderio said. “I would rather have someone who’s an expert in that area, not somebody who just has access to information.”

And while many Hamptons brokers may be on board with the idea, a critical mass of participants is required to get it off the ground. Desiderio said the HREA or any other site will not survive without the cooperation of the big brokerages, such as Corcoran and Elliman.

She added that she would like to have a separate Hamptons real estate trade organization, governed by a non-broker entity, that objectively fights for the industry’s needs, whether it be through lobbying or other methods. However,  such a group would also need participation from the major firms to be successful, she added.

A spokesperson for Corcoran did not respond to requests for comment on this story, and Elliman declined to comment. Representatives from Zillow and its affiliate websites also declined to comment.

Rallying around OneKey

In other parts of the tri-state, collaboration between regional entities has been far more successful.

The Hudson Valley and Westchester Association of Realtors’ Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR), the Connecticut MLS and MLSLI.com merged in September 2018. The rebranding as OneKey was announced last month.

The platform currently has 47,000 listings from the Catskills to Montauk, including the five boroughs of New York City. OneKey CEO Richard Haggerty said he’s confident that his company has the momentum and resources to become the go-to MLS for the entire New York metropolitan region.

“It may sound like a big goal, and we may not be able to achieve it overnight, but ultimately I think it would be a great solution for real estate brokers in this geography to access data from one source,” Haggerty said. “It’s an offer of participation of all cooperating brokers, where they share listing data within 24 hours and it’s accurate and comprehensive.”

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Garden City is joining OneKey. Scott Wallace said he feels that the MLS makes it easy for agents to find and advertise properties in a variety of geographic areas. If sellers want to keep their listings off an MLS or limited to a select set of buyers, that should be solely their decision, he said.

“If you’re trying to sell a house, especially now while the market is a little soft for high-end properties, you need to have the most exposure possible,” Wallace said. “Your buyer can be anywhere, so your brokerage needs to be everywhere.”

OneKey will cost $2,200 per year per office, with agents paying $110 per year. Currently, there are no charges for listings on the site.

New York City also has a database called the RLS, which is provided and regulated by the Real Estate Board of New York, the trade association and lobbying group for the New York City industry.

But both REBNY and its RLS need to step up their game to become better resources for the industry, said Clelia Peters, president of Warburg Realty and co-chair of the RLS board at REBNY.

The RLS currently doesn’t have complete, comprehensive, real-time storage of information, she said.

Meanwhile, despite the Big Apple being one of the biggest hubs for tech advancement in all industries, several New York brokerages use inefficient and downright archaic computer interfaces in storing their listing information, which makes it difficult for the RLS to pull that information, Peters added.

Getting everyone in the city to agree to unite under one system has been a challenge, too. Bosses of the biggest brokerages, including Corcoran and Elliman, tried to agree on a system as far back as 2001, in a meeting described at the time as being similar to that of mob families.

“We’re an anomaly in New York and the Hamptons in that our system is so deeply disjointed,” Peters said. “I was motivated to get involved with the RLS because it was so clear to me that there are much more functional systems in other parts of the country, and I didn’t understand why we couldn’t move toward that.”

South Florida home sales choppy in October

South Florida’s housing market was a mixed bag in October

South Florida’s housing market was a mixed bag in October

October was a rough month for home sales in South Florida.

Single-family home sales rose in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in October, but fell in Palm Beach County, and condo sales declined across the region, according to newly released figures from the Miami Association of Realtors.

The October results follow a strong third quarter, when sales rose across the tri-county region, with the exception of condo sales in Palm Beach County. The third quarter figures reflected a strong September, when sales in Miami-Dade and Broward counties climbed by double digits.

Miami-Dade

In October, total sales in Miami-Dade County rose 3.1 percent, year over year, to 2,355. Single-family home sales jumped 6.8 percent to 1,146. Condo sales declined marginally by 0.2 percent to 1,209.

Meanwhile, luxury sales of over $1 million climbed 13.8 percent in October, year over year, to 140. Luxury single-family sales surged 16.7 percent to 77, while luxury condo sales rose 10.5 percent to 63.

As a result, single-family sales dollar volume jumped 7.7 percent to $563.1 million, while condo sales dollar volume rose 8.1 percent, to $460.7 million.

The median price for single-family homes increased 6.8 percent to $365,000, while the median price for condos rose 5.1 percent to $247,000.

Broward

In Broward County, total sales decreased 5.9 percent, year-over-year to 2,632, due to a lack of inventory at lower prices, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Single-family home sales increased 1.7 percent to 1,344 sales. Condo sales fell 12.8 percent to 1,288.

Single-family dollar volume was up 3.6 percent to $611.6 million. Condo sales dollar volume plummeted 16.9 percent to $272.9 million.

The median price for a single-family home increased to $362,000, a 2 percent jump; and the median price for a condo increased 7 percent, to $168,000.

Palm Beach

Total Palm Beach County sales fell 4.8 percent to 2,412. Single-family home sales declined 6.2 percent to 1,369, while condo sales dropped 2.9 percent to 1,043.

Dollar volume also plummeted, down 10.8 percent for single-family homes, to $790.3 million, and down 0.3 percent for condos, to $284 million.

The median price for single-family homes rose 3.3 percent to $359,000, while the median price for condos decreased 7 percent to $172,000.