5 Years Late, Former Trump Fort Lauderdale Project Saddled By Allegations Published on 3/27/2012 5:48:25 PM
The troubled 298-unit condo-hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach formerly known as the Trump International Hotel and Tower should be celebrating its five-year anniversary but instead the immediate focus of the incoming ownership is on just completing construction of the 24-story project.
The lender of record - Corus Construction Venture LLC's 551 North FLB Marketing LLC based in Delaware - is awaiting the formal issuance of title for the project after winning a March 2012 online Broward County foreclosure auction based on its "final judgment of foreclosure" in the amount of nearly $166 million, according to Broward County Clerk of the Court records.
As the incoming ownership prepares to take control, investors are shifting their attention to determining why the project was "plagued" even though "buyers spent an average of 38 percent more per square foot for a Trump unit than the other condo-hotels on the beach" in Fort Lauderdale, according to the Miami Herald.
Allegations have surfaced of "problems far more serious than the slumping economy" as the cause of the delays for the project located on the west side of Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, according to the report.
Claims have been made ranging from "allegations of tax fraud" to a threat of "being killed" made against an executive, combined with the alleged involvement of a "New York crime family associate" and an individual who was "arrested in Turkey on suspicion of organizing a prostitution ring of Ukrainian and Russian women" before the charges were dropped "on the first day of trial," according to the Miami Herald.
Prior to the March 2012 auction, the project was tied up in court for nearly two years after a notice of Lis Pendens - the first step in the foreclosure process - was originally filed in March 2010, according to Broward County records.
Originally slated to be the Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York real estate developer Donald J. Trump has since withdrawn his name from the Fort Lauderdale Beach project that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
As the battle for ownership of the former Trump International project progressed in the court, the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach condo market experienced a surge in sales of new units created since 2003, according to an analysis based on the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Downtown Fort Lauderdale And The Beach™.
The Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach market stretches from Sunrise Boulevard south to State Road 84, and the Atlantic Ocean west to Northwest 7th / Southwest 4th avenues, according to the Condo Vultures® Official Condo Buyers Guide To Downtown Fort Lauderdale And The Beach™.
As of Dec. 31, 2011, less than 50 developer condos out of a total of nearly 5,100 units created during the boom era in the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach market are unsold, according to a recent CondoVultures.com report.
The new condo total does not include the former Trump International Hotel and Tower inventory as the "condominium documents" for the project have not been filed as of March 28, 2012, according to Broward County records.
Also excluded from the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and Beach coastal condo market total is the 171-unit Fort Lauderdale Residences project - known as the W Fort Lauderdale - on Bayshore Drive that was formally converted into a condo-hotel a year ago in March 2011.
On the resale market in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach, there are currently nearly 200 condo units created since 2003 available for purchase as of March 28, 2012, according to an analysis by the licensed Florida real estate brokerage CVR Realty™.
In the 2011, buyers purchased an average of 33 condos per month on the resale market that were created during the boom, according to Florida Association of Realtors data.
In previous years, buyers purchased an average of 35 units per month in 2010 and an average of 24 units per month in 2009.
Demand for condos is coming from foreign investors who are attempting to capitalize on the current price discounts coupled with the stronger rental rates being achieved in the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach market, industry watchers said.
Overall, buyers have purchased more than 99 percent of 5,100 developer units that were created since 2003. The overall purchase price is more than $2.3 billion for more than 6.5 million square feet of space, according to an analysis of Broward County records.
Developer condos from the boom have sold for an average of nearly $360 per square foot, according to an analysis of the Broward County Property Appraiser records.
Since 2003, developers constructed and converted 47 projects of 15 units or more in the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach market to increase the existing inventory by 66 percent in less than a decade, according to the report.
It is important to note there are various stages to a residential real estate transaction in South Florida.
A transaction begins when a property is made available for sale and ends when a title is conveyed from one party to another party as a result of the recording of a deed with the local government.
As part of the process, a property typically goes under contract and into a due diligence phase by which a deal can be canceled.
The CondoVultures.com new condo sales report is based on completed transactions where a deed is recorded and taxes paid as a result of the sale.
Condo Vultures® LLC is a real estate consultancy and marketing company based at 1005 Kane Concourse, Suite 205, Bal Harbour, Florida, 33154. You can reach Condo Vultures® LLC at 800-750-0517.
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