Courtesy of The Miami Herald
Published November 5, 2015
The developers of a proposed condominium project on an
Aventura island said they have secured up to $200 million in financing,
despite a lawsuit clouding whether the project can be built.
Privé at Island Estate’s developers, Gary Cohen and BH3, said they have
received $250 million through deposits on sales of more than half of the
project’s 160 units. With financing from New York-based Maxim Capital —
which will begin with an advance of $25 million and go up to $200 million —
project executives are saying the two-tower project should be completed by
|Not so fast, say homeowners living on
a neighboring island, who are suing the developers and the
city of Aventura, contending the developers don’t have the
right to build on the site, an eight-acre vacant island in
the Intracoastal Waterway in Aventura. The homeowners, in
their suit, allege the city of Aventura approved a
single-family home community, not the condo towers.
The issue: The city of Aventura has insisted the developers
build a sidewalk on Island Estates —where the homeowners
live—to deal with increased pedestrian traffic. The proposed
condo towers are connected by bridge to Island Estates. The
homeowners contend the sidewalk has been built on their land
“Anyone who has money in Privé is at risk because a court
has determined that there are legitimate issues about
whether Mr. Cohen has the right to build this project,” said
Susan Raffanello, an attorney for the homeowners.
On Friday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge
Jerald Bagley ruled the dispute between the homeowners and
the developers will have to be decided in a trial. While
Bagley found that Cohen had “vested rights” to build on the
lot, he said there were “issues of concern” whether he
violated zoning and public notice procedures when he changed
the plans to condominiums.
Work is underway at Privé at Island Estates, despite
pending litigation to block the construction of the two proposed
condo towers in Aventura. A trial date has been set for Nov. 19
Originally, Cohen pushed for single-family homes, but in 2013, “Casas de
Oro,” a cluster of 17 single-family homes changed to the Privé high-rise
A trial date has been set for Nov. 19.