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Downtown Miami Office Building Renovated By WeWork Faces Foreclosure Over $37M Debt

The Security Building in Downtown Miami

Denver-based private investment firm Platform Capital has filed a $37M foreclosure lawsuit against the owner of a historic downtown Miami building that houses a WeWork office.

The 16-story Security Building at 117 Northeast First Ave., built in 1927, is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been protected as a historic landmark by the city of Miami, according to the Miami Herald

The lawsuit, filed in December in Miami-Dade Circuit Court and first reported by the South Florida Business Journal, names as defendants Security Building AR Owner LLC, as well as loan guarantors Richard Weisfisch, Andrew Joblon, Arash Gohari and Daniel Gohari. Platform Capital alleges that the borrower owes $37.2M in principal, plus interest.

Security Building AR Owner LLC bought the property in 2015 for $23.5M. Corporate records list Richard Weisfisch as an owner and authorized member of the company. He is also director of Aventura, Florida-based Maxwelle Real Estate. He didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. 

According to LinkedIn, Arash Gohari is the former co-head of real estate at WeWork in the United States, Canada and Israel, as well as its executive vice president of global real estate. Arash and Daniel Gohari are founding partners of New York-based Xerxes Group.

Daniel Gohari was previously vice president and director of commercial assets at The Moinian Group. He is also a founding partner of Avenue Property Group, which on its website lists the Security Building among its holdings.

Andrew Joblon is a managing principal and founder of Turnbridge Equities, which also lists the Security Building as part of its portfolio. The Tunbridge website says that prior to Turnbridge’s acquisition of the building in 2015, the property comprised 60 condo units, which Turnbridge bought out.

Turnbridge secured a 15-year lease with WeWork after Adam Neumann reportedly flew down and fell in love with the space. WeWork, the sole tenant, then spent two years updating the property and opened in 2017. In 2019, the owners floated the idea of selling the building for $65.5M in a cryptocurrency real estate auction

The South Florida Business Journal reported that the mortgage on the Security Building was issued for $38M in 2016. The complaint alleges that Security Building AR Owner missed loan payments starting in April 2020 and failed to deposit revenue into a clearing account and give the lender up to $500K from any potential sale of the building as agreed. A potential buyer had paid a $5M deposit in 2019. Though that deal was terminated, the lender claims it is owed $500K from the deposit.

The Miami Herald pegged the value of the foreclosure lawsuit as $46M, counting administrative and late fees.