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JCatalano200x300-200x300ORivera2014An article authored by the firm’s Oscar R. Rivera and John Catalano is now featured on the homepage and will soon appear in the print edition of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper.  The article, which is titled “Ruling Reminds Fla.’s Courts, Property Owners of Legal Precedents for Removal of Obsolete Restrictive Covenants,” focuses on the takeaways from a recent decision by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal on the state’s legal procedure for making antiquated restrictive covenants that have been rendered obsolete by modern development go away.  Their article reads:

. . . The decision came in mid-October in Gate Venture v. Arthur Chester Skinner. The case stems from a 2007 transaction in which Skinner et al. conveyed to Gateway Professional Campus, LLC approximately 15 acres pursuant to a warranty deed that included restrictions limiting future development solely to professional and medical offices.

Since the time of the conveyance, significant development of the surrounding properties and changes to their zoning classifications have taken place, and Skinner et al. no longer owns any adjacent or nearby real estate. This led Gateway to pursue the removal of the restrictions via an agreement with Skinner and its partners, and it provided the original sellers with a site plan and information on its intentions to now develop the property as a multi-family community that would complement, not compete with, the surrounding properties.

dbr-logo-1-300x57Unfortunately for Gateway, its complaint alleges the request was “met with opposition” and could not be accommodated. Among the “opposition,” the representatives of the original sellers indicated they would agree to remove the restrictions in exchange for $6 million.

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Oscar R. Rivera, our firm’s managing shareholder, was the first and the penultimate local business leader quoted in the Sun Sentinel‘s article on the repercussions of Hurricane Ian featured on the front page of today’s edition of the newspaper. The article, which is titled “Survivors’ Decision: Rebuild or Relocate?”, focuses on the consequences of the devastating storm for residents and business owners throughout the impacted areas. It reads:

Hurricane Ian gave southwest Floridians plenty of reasons to leave: It killed at least 115 people, crushed countless homes and businesses, turned area waterways into toxic soups and caused at least $50 to $65 billion in damages.

But as residents and business owners assess the devastation and reach for insurance policies that may or may not cover all of their losses, there appears to be an emerging consensus for rebuilding, and not relocating to areas perceived to be less vulnerable to catastrophic storms.

ORivera-SS-clip-for-blog-10-10-22-134x300It is a mindset, analysts say, driven by a long-standing affinity for Gulf Coast living, a strong resolve among public and private sector interests, and a growing tolerance of devastating hurricanes as life disruptors.

“We have already been contacted by numerous clients and potential clients,” said Oscar Rivera, managing shareholder of the Siegfried Rivera law firm in Miami, which represents condominium owners, associations and commercial real estate investors. “Everyone we have spoken to is committed to rebuilding.”. . .

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ORivera2014Firm managing shareholder Oscar R. Rivera authored an article that is featured in the online edition of today’s Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper, and will soon be appearing in the “Board of Contributors” page of the print edition.  The article, which is titled “Potential Pitfalls to Avoid with Restrictive Clauses in Outparcel Sales, Developments for CRE Owners,” focuses on the growing trend of the carving out of parts of shopping centers and mall parking lots to create “outparcels” for stores, restaurants, and even multi-family apartments.  He notes that the growth of online shopping and curbside pickup at major big-box retailers and grocery chains has diminished the need for vast parking fields for in-store shoppers, and property owners are trying to tap into the growing appeal of mixed-use sites that provide a live, work and play experience.  Oscar’s article reads:

. . . However, for commercial real estate owners hoping to create and sell an outparcel for further redevelopment, or even acquire an existing outparcel owned by others for their own redevelopment, there is a significant potential hitch that must be addressed prior to closing. This issue requires the utmost care and attention, and is oftentimes overlooked, only to cause potential snags down the line.

out-parcel-300x166The application of a property’s current restrictive covenants with existing tenants in outparcel deals can become a challenge depending on the nature of the plans for the new or redeveloped site. CRE owners can never lose sight of the fact that the new store/restaurant category or other planned use for a newly created outparcel being marketed and sold to a third party should not run afoul of the restrictive use clauses contained in the lease agreements with their property’s existing tenants. Otherwise, they can expose themselves to serious legal liability if the new enterprise planned for the outparcel is in a category that is a protected exclusive for any of the current tenant(s) at the property or a prohibited use that is forbidden by existing leases.

Therefore, always in close consultation with experienced CRE attorneys, owners need to address any such restricted uses that may be in play with all the parties prior to finalizing any transaction. dbr-logo-300x57The most efficient and effective way to do so would be to make the outparcel buyer aware of all the existing exclusives and restricted uses, and then negotiate their inclusion in the sales contract as an exhibit and as a covenant running with the parcel being purchased. The latter causes these exclusives and restricted uses to be a title burden that runs with the land and binds not only the current owner, but also all future owners and tenants on the outparcel.

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ORivera2014The latest edition of the firm’s exclusive Real Estate Counselor column in the Miami Herald appeared in today’s Neighbors section and was authored by managing shareholder Oscar R. Rivera.  Titled “Condo Terminations Take Hold as an Exit Strategy for Owners at Aging Towers,” the article focuses on the legal termination of older condominium communities and buyout of all the unit owners to make way for new construction.  Oscar writes that the owners of units in aging condo communities near the water are receiving more offers from industry-leading developers than ever before, and some of these offers are coming just as the 40- and 50-year recertifications for their towers come due.  His article reads:

. . . The costs for repairs, even at the 40-year mark, can be too much for many unit owners to afford. Some associations’ financial reserves are woefully inadequate, or even nonexistent, so they would need to impose significant special assessments to pay for major repairs.

Herald-ORivera-print-clip-2-13-22-300x300In such cases, offers that are sometimes two to three times over market value for each unit can become a very appealing exit strategy for owners, and Florida has a legal mechanism for such condominium terminations that has proven to be effective. Terminations led to the development of the Armani/Casa tower in Sunny Isles Beach and the Una Residences now under construction in the Brickell area.

For developers, the math is even simpler than that of the unit owners. Once the value of the land for redevelopment becomes greater than that of the combined property values of all the existing units in a community, a condominium termination presents a fruitful opportunity.

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The firm’s real estate practice group assisted client Forum Capital LLC, an affiliate of Triarch Capital Group, in the sale of two office buildings located in West Palm Beach. The buildings, totaling 185,650 square feet, sold for $29.25 million to commercial real estate firm David Associates, marking a 30 percent gain since the Forum office towers last sold for $22.5 million in 2017.

We are proud to have assisted our client with the sale of 1655 and 1675 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. (pictured below).  The transaction was covered recently by the South Florida Business Journal.  Click here to read the complete report in the business weekly’s website (registration required).

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Oscar-Rivera-2015-hi-res-200x300Managing shareholder Oscar R. Rivera was proud to be selected by the editors of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper, for the publication’s weekly “Leading the Way” column featuring extensive Q&A interviews with South Florida legal leaders.  Now closing in on his fourth decade with the firm, Oscar discusses in today’s article the changes that the firm and the entire legal profession have experienced during the pandemic, and how we have successfully contended with all of the challenges and continued growing.  The article reads:

. . . While Rivera has worked on some of Miami’s most visible developments since joining the firm in 1984 — including representing the developer of 200,000-square-foot Mary Brickell Village — he hasn’t encountered every legal issue his clients face.

Putting heads together to solve new problems was easier before COVID, Rivera said. So was getting to know law clerks’ personalities and training young lawyers. And even if the pandemic were eradicated tomorrow, Rivera knows that many lawyers and staff, including those at his own firm, don’t want to come back every day.

dbr-logo-300x57At the end of 2021, firm founder Steven Siegfried stepped down from his role as co-managing partner, leaving Rivera to lead the evolution of Siegfried Rivera in an eventual post-COVID world.

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As we approach the last quarter of 2021, I wanted to check in with our readers to provide some updates from our firm.

While many of us expected the pandemic to be in our rearview mirror, COVID-19 continues to affect our community, creating challenges for how we all live and work. As a business, we have felt the importance of our mission to be a reliable resource for our clients more than ever. We continue to publish articles and offer webinars to provide you with real-time updates and helpful information to help you make better decisions for your business/community.

Our firm has also hit some significant milestones this year. We’ve added new members to our team and hope to continue growing our Siegfried work family in the coming months. Together, we’ve been able to showcase our expertise both in the media and virtually, sharing our insights with thousands of people on several important topics.

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Oscar-Rivera-2014The firm’s Oscar Rivera authored an article that was featured as the “Board of Contributors” guest commentary column on the homepage of the website of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper, and will soon be appearing in the newspaper’s print edition.  The article, which is titled “Caveat Emptor Still Dictates in Florida’s Courts for Real Estate Buyers,” focuses on a recent ruling by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal on the doctrine of caveat emptor, which holds that buyers are solely responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before purchase.  The decision reaffirmed that the principle still holds true in the state for real estate buyers who seek to have their property acquisitions nullified by the courts due to alleged misrepresentations and hidden defects.  Oscar’s article reads:

. . . In Florida Holding 4800 v. Lauderhill Mall Investment, Florida Holding purchased a commercial property from Lauderhill Mall, then sued the seller for alleged misrepresentations and concealments of its physical condition. The trial court entered final summary judgment in favor of the seller, concluding that the buyer’s claims were all expressly contradicted by the purchase and sale agreement that the parties had executed.

dbr-logo-300x57In the buyer’s subsequent appeal, the Fourth DCA panel found that the sale agreement stipulated it was an “as is” sale, using language that is standard for the industry. It noted that the seller made absolutely no warranties, representations or covenants to the buyer regarding the condition of the property, and the buyer acknowledged that it was purchasing the property in its “as is” condition and based solely on its own inspection, investigation and evaluation.

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Steve-Siegfried-2013-srhl-lawIt is hard to believe that we are officially one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. As the entire world continues to battle the virus and adjusts to the daily changes in protocol and restrictions, our firm remains fully operational, staying up-to-date with the latest news and making decisions based on those developments.

With our staff’s, clients’, and families’ health and safety remaining of utmost importance, our firm continues to operate with a majority of our attorneys and support staff working remotely. We are happy to say that we have all remained safe during this time and the initial closures never caused any interruptions or delays in service. We have also pivoted in the way we serve our clients by upgrading our network’s infrastructure and making improvements to how we conduct business, such as enhancing our data security and offering digital document signature options as well as online notaries. Though we’ve all had to overcome our own set of challenges, we have conquered them together and have only become stronger.

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Firm shareholders Oscar R. Rivera and John Catalano represented the sellers, Aligned Bayshore Marina and Aligned Bayshore Raw Bar, in the sale of Monty’s Bayshore located in Coconut Grove.  This fully leased mixed-use property features offices, retail and restaurants, including the iconic Tiki Style waterfront restaurant Monty’s Raw Bar.  The enormous property, which is pictured along the waterfront below, boasts over 30,000 square feet of retail and office space, a 111-slip marina, and a 750-seat restaurant that has been at the same location for 50 years.  The notable transaction has been covered by publications such as the Miami Herald and CityBizList.

We are proud to have represented our clients in this transaction, and our firm would like to commend Oscar, John and the supporting real estate staff on all their hard work!

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