Group spends $120M on Singer Island bulk buy

Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 5:33pm EDT | Modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 12:58pm

Group spends $120M on Singer Island bulk buy

South Florida Business Journal – by Oscar Pedro Musibay

An investment group led by New York-based OZ Holdings paid nearly $120 million for 146 condominium units in the upscale 2700 North Ocean, which was built by Dan Catalfumo on Singer Island in Riviera Beach.

The buying group also includes the Ricardo Dunin-led Flagler Holdings. The group paid $117.31 million, which equals $803,483 a unit or $263.24 a square foot. The purchase price ranks the bulk deal as the ninth-highest dollar amount paid for new and completely refurbished condos in South Florida since July 2008. The top five bulk deals all took place in Miami-Dade County, with Canyon Ranch, which had 336 units sell for $291 million, or $672 a square foot, in November, as the top deal, according to real estate consultancy Condo Vultures.

As part of the 2700 Ocean purchase, the group assumed an $86.1 million mortgage.

The move may be an effort on Catalfumo’s part to shore up his finances. He has been personally sued by lenders that have declared him in default on more than $120 million in loans. However, 2700 North Ocean was not in foreclosure.

The group bought 54 condo-hotel units and 92 condo units. The units ranged in size from just over 1,700 square feet to about 7,500 square feet, according to public records Condo Vultures analyzed.

The original $190 million mortgage was signed in April 2006 for construction of two towers totaling 242 units. That means the developer was on the hook to the lender for an estimated $257 a square foot.

The project’s two 27-story towers sit on 8.8 waterfront acres, which include two pools, a fitness center, a theater room and water views for each unit. Pricing has ranged from $1.3 million to more than $7 million a unit.

Dunin has lots of local condo-hotel experience. His group bought the Mutiny condo-hotel in Coconut Grove, developed the Sonesta Bayfront Hotel next door and the Meridian condominium on Miami Beach.

Condo Vultures Principal Peter Zalewski said the quality of the 2700 North Ocean project would spur bulk pricing in Miami Beach at $500 a square foot. But, everything outside Miami-Dade is considered less desirable.

“Bulk buyers, increasingly, are running out of opportunity in Miami-Dade, so they are going to markets they wouldn’t normally consider, like Palm Beach County,” Zalewski said. “The buyer here paid a premium that would be attractive in Miami-Dade County, but the surprising thing is that the units are in Palm Beach County.”

Residential broker John Nugent of Waterfront Properties, which is selling units in 2700 North Ocean, said a rough average of pricing for individual sales in the two buildings is slightly more than $400 a square foot. He said 2700 North Ocean, the nicest project on the island, had not seen significant traction on sales until Catalfumo dropped the price to where it is today.

He expects the new owners to continue marketing the units for sale.