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Terzetto Public Hearing Unfolding

July 5th, 2010 · No Comments

Aventura is known for its luxury condominiums, but an ugly tract of undeveloped, dirt filled land near the southern tip of the city stands out as a visible scar of the real estate crisis that took South Florida’s economy down — and the situation is not likely to improve anytime soon.

Readers of cityofaventurablog.com will be familiar with the saga of Terzetto Villas on NE 185 Street and NE 28 Court. On Tuesday at 6 pm, the city commission will vote on whether or not to extend the various zoning variances and other site approvals that it passed as part of development agreement with the previous owners in 2003, when the real estate market was hot, and new condos were going up all over Miami-Dade. A lot has changed since then.

The developers that originally owned the land, Merco Group, proposed to build a 438-unit development consisting of condominiums, lofts and villas. Before the project was finished, Merco Group posted a Youtube video in 2008 whose description said that Terzetto Villas, “redefines the City of Aventura and brings a new level of sophistication and elegance to the Aventura area.” The video featured an airy Enya soundtrack, and 3D animation complete with robotic figures playing tennis beneath towering luxury high-rises.

Clearly, they got ahead of themselves. The real estate market collapsed, and the development was never completed. Two years after posting the Youtube video, Merco Group lost a $49M foreclosure lawsuit on Terzetto brought against it by Ocean Bank, which held the mortgage on the property.

As reported by the South Florida Business Journal, the bank argued that a receiver should be appointed to sell the property because Merco Group would never be able to complete construction. The judge agreed, and now that receiver, Philip Von Kahle, is asking the city for a 2.5-year extension of the development agreement that was passed in 2003. The agreement expired in February.

City staff have recommended that the commission approve the extension — and the commission tends to do exactly as staff recommends. What does this mean for the land and where do things stand now?

Well, part of the project is complete – the Terzetto Villas — while the area were the condos and loft units were to be constructed remains a vacant lot, as seen in this photo taken of the property in April:

The receiver intends to prioritize selling off the completed units — according to a letter written by receiver’s law firm and submitted to the city. However, attempts to sell the undeveloped land have been unsuccessful, and the receiver has no plans to build anything there, as the letter — which is available (PDF) on the city’s website — makes clear:

“These vacant tracts of land have been placed on the market for sale. At this time there is no contract purchaser for these vacant lots. The Receiver does not currently intend to develop this portion of the Property and there is no timeline for its completion.”

So unless something changes, there will continue to be a vacant area of undeveloped land where these “redefining” condos were supposed to have been built. If the completed units can indeed be sold, that would be some progress, but there is still is a long way to go before this sad and now all-too-typical South Florida real estate tale comes to a close.

We hope to learn more at the meeting on Tuesday – check back here for updates.

cross posted on miami herald aventura channel
by: Jared Goyette

Related posts:

  1. Terzetto Villas update Public Hearing
  2. Terzetto Villas New Construction
  3. Turnberry Associates in Bahamas
  4. Foreclosures Aventura
  5. Life at Turnberry Condos

Tags: Community Events

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