The Miami Beach Club, a 107-unit condominium fronting the ocean, was built in 1951 as part of a larger complex that included the former Seashore Club condo building next door. Related, the Miami-based firm owned by the Pérez family, teamed up with Gil Dezer’s Dezer Development to build the Residences by Armani/Casa on the Seashore Club site.

All the while, the two were planning to also acquire Miami Beach Club. Executives from both firms bought five units at Miami Beach Club in 2014. That’s one way developers approach buyouts, by purchasing individual units one by one. Depending on your perspective, it can be harder to put a deal together this way, especially if other unit owners catch on.

That appears to be what happened here, though Related declined to comment. The developer is in contract to pay $145 million for the majority of units, according to a source. Related plans a luxury condo tower on the 2-acre site.

Richard Meruelo, who we have covered in the past, sold the five units to the current and former Related executives. Investors like Meruelo typically identify waterfront buildings where a buyout and subsequent termination are likely so they can cash in later when a developer comes along.

A lawsuit that the Miami Beach Club condo association filed against the Related/Dezer entity in 2018 alleged that the Related/Dezer entity “engaged in a series of tactics… to reduce the marketability of the Miami Beach Club” to outside buyers, by acquiring individual units and engaging in expensive litigation. That suit was dismissed in 2022.

The upside, if successful, is huge for developers. The Armani/Casa tower next door sold out for nearly $1 billion in 2021, two years after it was completed.

One other interesting side note: Andrew Chesnick, formerly COO at Dezer, owns two of the Miami Beach Club units mentioned above.

Chesnick alleged in a scathing lawsuit filed years ago that a toxic work environment forced him to resign from his role at Dezer. Gil Dezer referred to Chesnick as a “douchebag” and a “fucking moron” in emails, and admitted in a deposition that he may have threatened to kill Chesnick, calling it a “good motivator,” Bisnow reported in 2020. Chesnick alleged Dezer owed him more than $10 million in profits from projects that included the Residences by Armani/Casa.