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This Week’s South Florida Deal Sheet: Little Havana Apartment Project Gets $66M Loan

Coral Gables-based Rovr Development secured $66M in construction financing for the first phase of River Rapids, a 300-unit, 12-story apartment building, according to a release. 

The first phase of River Rapids, right, includes 300 apartments set to rise from a former mobile home park.

The debt from Kayne Anderson will finance a building at 2750 NW South River Drive that will also have 444 parking spaces. Units will run from studios to three-bedroom apartments, with resident access to an amenity deck with a resort-style pool, fitness center and business center. 

River Rapids was designed by Miami-based firms Anillo Toledo Lopez Architecture and Michael Wolk Design. Its full design spans two buildings and 593 apartments.

The property used to be a mobile home park. Rovr purchased the 2.3-acre site in 2020 for $15M.  

The developer also paid $23M last year for an adjacent 6.2-acre site at 1851 Delaware Parkway where it has plans to build an additional 1,000 residences, according to the release. 


Black Lion Investment Group, led by Robert Rivani, secured a $37M loan from City National Bank of Florida to refinance three of its Miami restaurants, Commercial Observer reported

The loan covers Black Lion’s Gekko at SLS, Amara at Paraiso and Catch Miami Beach. It will be used to pay off existing debt and reinvest in other Black Lion properties, Rivani told CO. 

Black Lion recently expanded beyond hospitality with the $62M acquisition of a 119K SF office building at 1691 Michigan Ave. in Miami Beach, where Rivani is promising to create a new “Class-X” luxury office. 

Alex Canelas and Eddie Subervi originated the loan for the bank, CO reported. 

Gekko is a Japanese-themed steakhouse at 8 NE Eighth St. in Brickell. Amara at Paraiso, a 12K SF upscale Latin restaurant at 3101 NE Seventh Ave. in Edgewater, was acquired by Black Lion for $12M in 2021. Catch Miami Beach is slated to open this month in a retail space at 200 South Pointe Drive, which the developer purchased for $11.5M in late 2022, CO reported.   


New York-based Madison Realty Capital provided a $30M mezzanine loan to Chetrit Group for its multiphase Miami River project, bringing the investment firm’s total loan value at the property to $340M, Commercial Observer reported.  

The financing for a 6.2-acre site between I-95 and Southwest Second Avenue was arranged by Henry Bodek of Galaxy Capital and adds to a $310M construction loan provided in 2021. 

The debt covers the first phase of the Miami River project, a 54-story, 632-unit tower expected to deliver in the fourth quarter. Chetrit paid around $91M in 2014 to assemble the project site, The Real Deal reported.  

Construction on the second phase of the project, a 52-story luxury condo tower, is expected to start soon. In all, the project will have 1,600 residential units, 30K SF of retail, office space and a marina. New York-based Chetrit is partnering with David Grutman, the owner of LIV nightclub and the Goodtime Hotel, on the project’s hospitality offerings. 

Neology Development paid $56M for Pier 19 Residences & Marina before converting it to apartments.

Neology Development secured a $54.5M refinancing for its 199-apartment Pier 19 Residences & Marina at 1951 NW South River Drive in Little Havana, according to a release. The Miami-based development firm led by Lissette Calderon secured the fixed-rate, five-year loan from Apollo Global Management. 

The 21-story property was built as condos in 2011 and was converted to apartments by Neology in 2018 after the firm paid $56M for the development. It is 95% leased, with rents ranging from $2,300 to $4,500, according to the release. 

A Berkadia team of Charles Foschini, Christopher Apone and Shannon Wilson represented Neology in securing the debt. Bilzin Sumberg provided legal services. 


A Related Group affiliate and Macklowe Properties paid a combined $7.9M for 14 units at the Majestic Isle condo building at 7946 East Drive in North Bay Village, the South Florida Business Journal reported

The partnership between Miami-based Related and New York-based Macklowe now owns 20 of the 36 condos at the property. The joint venture purchased the first six units in 2022. The 64-year-old building was deemed unsafe last April, forcing its residents to move out. 

The Majestic Isle is adjacent to a 51-unit co-op at 8000 East Drive that Macklowe Properties was under contract last May to buy for $47.7M and a separate apartment building at 7941 East Drive that Macklowe has under contract for $10.6M. 

Macklowe and Related haven’t announced any plans for the site, but North Bay Village, a collection of three islands between Miami Beach and the mainland, has seen a wave of proposals in recent years. 


Invesco paid $24M for a pair of industrial buildings in Pompano Beach, according to a release and data from property intelligence platform Vizzda. 

An affiliate of Denver-based Ares Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust sold the 94K SF portfolio at 2151 Blount Road and 1280-1300 NW 22nd St. The sale, which breaks down to around $253 per SF, included a 25K SF building with an 18.5-foot clear height and a 69K SF warehouse with 22 feet of clearance. Both properties were built in 1986 and were fully leased at the time of sale, according to the release. 

Ares was represented by a national CBRE team of Jose Lobón, Frank Fallon, Trey Barry and Royce Rose, with assistance from Tom O’Loughlin.

The Laurel is Related Cos.' first apartment building in Florida. It has rents starting at $3,280 per month.


Related Cos. completed construction on The Laurel, the New York-based developer’s first rental property in Florida, according to a release. The Laurel is a 21-story tower at 635 Hibiscus St. in West Palm Beach's CityPlace, which until this month had been named The Square

Its 322 units, which have between one and three bedrooms, are priced from $3,280 to $7,170 per month, according to a listing on A three-bedroom, 3.5-bath, fully furnished penthouse is available for $20K a month. 

Amenities at the luxury property include a resort-style pool, a coworking space, an outdoor bar and a golf simulator. LA Fitness, a tenant at Related-owned CityPlace, sued last year to stop the developer from opening a fitness center at the property, arguing that the gym had the exclusive right to fitness-related operations at CityPlace, The Palm Beach Post reported.

Related has owned CityPlace since 2000, when it was strictly a retail destination, but has repositioned the property in recent years as a mixed-use development as it executes a wave of projects in the city.


Native Realty secured four tenants in the Studio City neighborhood between Wilton Manors and Flagler Village, according to a release. 

The leases cover an area formerly known as the 13th Street neighborhood just south of Fort Lauderdale High School. The tenants coming to the neighborhood are:

  • Radio-Active Records, which leased 1,120 SF at 603 NE 13th St. and will relocate from North Federal Highway, where it has been since 1995.
  • Luv Bridal, which signed a 3,380 SF lease at 850 NE 13th St. 
  • Sliding Door Co., which leased 2,300 SF at 850 NE 13th St.
  • Black Madonna Tattoo, which signed a 1,420 SF lease at 1412 NE Fourth Ave. that will be its third shop.

Jaime Sturgis, the head of Native Realty, represented the landlord in all the transactions. Native’s Kaley Tuning and Adam Docktor also represented the landlord in the Sliding Door Co. lease. Jeremiah Adler and Sarah Adler at Native represented Luv Bridal in its lease. 


Pirolo Hospitality signed a 3,640 SF lease at 7220 N. Miami Ave. where it plans to open Bar Bucce, an Italian concept with a pizzeria, wine shop and market, according to a release. 

The restaurant, which is slated to open later this year in Miami’s Little River neighborhood, is Pirolo’s second Miami space. The hospitality firm, led by executive chef Michael Pirolo, also operates Macchialina on Alton Road in Miami Beach. 

Bar Bucce will open in a freestanding building owned by AJ Capital Partners and MVW Partners, which are developing more than 25 acres of adaptive reuse and mixed-use projects in Little River. 

Nashville-based AJ Capital is partnering with Coconut Grove-based Swerdlow Group on a Little River redevelopment plan that spans 65 acres and could include as many as 5,000 affordable housing units. 


Phil Gutman, who leads a Miami-based real estate firm and was a broker at Brown Harris Stevens Miami, is launching a real estate consulting business called Gutman Development Marketing, according to a release. 

The firm will cater to Miami developers with a focus on high-end condos, condo-hotels and residential communities. Gutman Development Marketing will advise clients on the entire development process, including site selection, floor plans, building an in-house sales team and developing marketing strategies. 

Gutman’s work in Miami includes roles as managing director of sales for Continuum Cos.’ three Miami projects and facilitating Multiplan Real Estate Asset Management’s $64M acquisition of an oceanfront parcel in Surfside.  

Gutman is licensed in New York, Nevada and Florida, and he led more than $1.2B in sales for the residential component of The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. He also oversaw a $3B hotel and hospitality portfolio at Douglas Elliman Development Marketing.