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Articles Posted in Sales and Acquisitions

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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JCatalanoSRHL2ORivera2014Firm shareholders Oscar R. Rivera and John Catalano successfully concluded work recently on a $79 million purchase by client Bar Invest Residential 4 LLC, a Bar Invest Group division.

The transaction involved the purchase of an apartment complex known as The Landings at Pembroke Lakes, a large community located in Pembroke Pines, Florida (pictured below).  The multifamily residential rental complex houses 358 units, as well as a clubhouse with resort-style amenities.  REIT counsel at Greenberg Traurig assisted our team in the acquisition of this project, and our client obtained financing through BankUnited.

Our firm congratulates and salutes Oscar, John and their support staff for all of the hard work they put forth in completing this transaction for our client.

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ORivera2014Firm shareholders Oscar R. Rivera and John Catalano represented our clients, PM Edgartown, LLC and PM Vineyard Haven, LLC in two separate sale transactions. The first transaction involved Prime Marina Vineyard Haven’s sale, a property located on Martha’s Vineyard.  Prime Vineyard Haven has the largest set of seasonal private docks and slips available on the vineyard.  It also houses a large on-site indoor and outdoor storage facility, as well as other amenities that are made available to its members.

Additionally, our team represented their sister company, PM Edgartown, LLC, on the sale of Edgartown Marine. Edgartown Marine is also located on Martha’s Vineyard and offers a full set of storage, launch, and haul services. The transactions involved the sale of all of the assets and dockage agreements of both operating marinas.

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“America’s business leaders, freed from the office, looked around the country, taking note of its coronavirus lockdowns, taxes and rabble rousers. And many said as if in unison: Miami!”

That’s how a major article on the cover of the Technology section of the Jan. 29 edition of The New York Times begins. It goes on to note that several finance and technology titans as well as Silicon Valley venture capitalists are relocating to Miami, where Mayor Francis X. Suarez has rolled out the red carpet.

The article reads:

“Dozens of big names have arrived. There was a tech contingent: Keith Rabois, a PayPal co-founder and investor, and his husband. Then their friend Peter Thiel, the tech investor and prominent conservative. Jon Oringer, founder of the stock-photography provider Shutterstock, and the media mogul Bryan Goldberg. Steven Galanis, the head of the celebrity-video product Cameo, is here. Elon Musk is talking about building car tunnels under Miami.

nyt-300x193“There are also hedge funds and private equity funds. Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is moving its headquarters to the Miami area, as is Carl Icahn’s firm, Icahn Enterprises. Others are opening major Miami offices: Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel as well as Blackstone Group. Goldman Sachs is weighing moving parts of its operation to Miami.”

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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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The firm’s Oscar R. Rivera was quoted in an article that appeared in the Miami Herald‘s website today and is expected to appear in the print edition in the coming days.  The article, which is titled “The Pandemic Gave Franchisees Shopping South Florida Real Estate a Leg Up,” focuses on opportunities that are now opening up for commercial real estate buyers and franchises catering to middle-market shoppers and diners.  It reads:

. . . A variety of national and local franchisees want to buy: Dunkin’ Donuts, 7-Eleven and Mr. Gomas Tires. Categories include beauty, experiential retail, cloud kitchens — think: co-working facilities for individual professional chefs — and, yes, gyms. . .

. . . But buyers aren’t necessarily finding bargains. While some pre-COVID contracts have been re-negotiated, most prices remain steady, said Oscar Rivera, lawyer and partner at the Coral Gables-based firm Siegfried Rivera, a retail specialist.

MHerald2015-300x72Still, franchise owners are jumping into the market “There’s pent up demand to eat out. There will be a drop off in people’s buying power [due to the economy and job losses]. That will be felt across the board,” Rivera said. “But since the price point in these restaurants are not significantly high compared to other restaurants, it will be felt less so.”. . .

Our firm salutes Oscar for sharing his insights into one of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on commercial real estate in South Florida with the readers of the Miami HeraldClick here to read the complete article in the newspaper’s website.

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Three of the firm’s shareholders finalized several real estate transactions totaling more $76 million in Broward and Monroe counties.  John Catalano represented Konover South and Master Development Partners in their purchase of vacant property in Miramar, Fla. owned by the Cleghorn Shoe Corporation.  The purchase was part of a $41 million acquisition that will pave the way for a 30-acre mixed-use community with 650 apartments to be developed by Altman Cos., while Konover South and Master Development Partners plan to break ground on a 56,000-square-foot retail center.  Click here to read additional information on the deal from the pages of the South Florida Business Journal.

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Oscar R. Rivera represented the seller in the sale of Palm Square, a 77,621- square-foot shopping center in Broward County that sold for $20.475 million to Galim Capital. The retail strip, located on Pines Boulevard, is at the epicenter of a thriving Broward County submarket, which is in the midst of adding multifamily, retail and mixed-use development to the area.  Click here to access PROFILE Miami’s article and read more on the deal.

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JCatalano200x300-200x300For the second consecutive day, an article by one of the firm’s attorneys is featured as the guest commentary column in today’s edition of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper. The article by shareholder John Catalano, which is titled “New Remote Online Notary Law Brings Notarization Process Into 21st Century in Florida,” discusses the ramifications of the new Florida law authorizing the use of remote online notarization to enable signers and notaries to use audio and video communications to notarize signatures.  His article reads:

. . . The remote online notary (RON) process entails the use of a live two-way video conference, such as Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts, to meet the statutory personal appearance requirements for notarizations. Notaries and signers will be able to see the documents on their screens during the conferences, and they must follow specific procedures for identity proofing. This includes the use of data services to have signers answer questions requiring personal knowledge, and they may also use facial recognition services.

dbr-logo-300x57Notaries using RON must provide a clear video recording with audio of the notarial act along with a post-execution document record, and they must also utilize a comprehensive vendor security program to help ensure data security. They will use their electronic notary seal as well as their signature to secure documents against tampering, and they must retain recordings of the video conferences for at least five years.

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The use of the limited liability company (“LLC”) corporate structure has become very common in the real estate industry. It is the go to structure for the acquisition and development of properties by parties joining together behind a venture.  LLCs are governed by operating agreements among the members. These agreements are akin to the shareholder agreements among the shareholders of closely held corporations, and they govern many aspects of the operations of the venture.  One element in these operating agreements that bears close scrutiny by all of the members is the enforcement mechanisms that they put in place should any members fail to honor their obligations to fund future capital calls.

In truth, many LLC operating agreements contain inadequate payment enforcement provisions, making them potentially problematic and inequitable for the company itself and the members who honor their obligations and make future capital calls on a timely basis.  For example, if a member fails to meet their financial obligations, it is fairly common for these agreements to provide that the other members of the LLC may contribute the missing funds and treat them as a loan to the non-funding member.  Often times, the agreements provide that the loan will then be repaid to the funding members, with interest, once the LLC is in a position to make future distributions to its members, with no further enforcement methodology.

Such arrangements provide an unmerited level of flexibility to the non-funding member, as it enables them to weigh the pros and cons of making their required contributions or taking a loan from their partners to avoid any additional loss risk exposure in the endeavor.

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ORivera2014For the third time this week, an article by one of our firm’s attorneys was featured as the “Board of Contributors” guest commentary column in today’s edition of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper.  Today’s article, which is authored by shareholder Oscar R. Rivera, is titled “Appellate Court Strictly Construes FAR-BAR ‘As Is’ Residential Sales Contract.”  It focuses on a recent appellate ruling that affirmed an $850,000 award for legal fees and costs in a dispute over a $2.85 million residential sale gone awry.  Oscar’s article reads:

The ruling by the Third District Court of Appeal in Diaz v. Kosch, is certainly drawing quite a bit of industry attention, and there are a number of important takeaways from it for buyers, sellers and the professionals who work on their behalf.

The case stems from the sale of a Coral Gables home in 2012 for $2.85 million. After the sales contract was executed and the initial $50,000 deposit had been made, the buyers, who are identified in the ruling as both being “attorneys with substantial experience with real estate transactions and title matters,” notified their broker on the penultimate day of the 10-day inspection period about potential permitting issues with the property. On the following day, the buyers sent an email to the sellers accusing them of “active misrepresentations” and threatening “legal fees and litigation.”

dbr-logo-1-300x57Nonetheless, on the same date, the buyers made the second deposit of $235,000, stating it was “with full rights reserved.” A week and a half later, they emailed a notice of termination to the sellers, who were amendable to it and responded by imposing no conditions on the return of the buyers’ full deposit. However, apparently due to demands for a release from legal liability by the buyers’ own broker (who also served as the escrow agent), the deposit was not returned by the escrow agent.

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