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Under-Construction Aventura Office Hit With Foreclosure Suit

A 142K SF medical office building under construction in Aventura is the subject of a foreclosure lawsuit while its developer looks to sell it for $90M.

Gomez Development Group has been working to build a 142K SF medical office in Aventura since 2021.

An affiliate of Rok Lending filed suit against Gomez Development Group alleging that the Miami-based developer has defaulted on a $15M loan for the property at 21291 NE 28th Ave., where Gomez is building a speculative medical office building. 

The suit from Aventura-based Rok alleges that Gomez Development entered into the mortgage in May but stopped making monthly payments on the debt in July. Rok is seeking a $16M judgment to recover the loan’s principal, interest and fees, and asked the court to also allow the firm to recover attorneys’ fees. 

Rok is suing Aventura Eco-Offices Property Owner LLC, an affiliate of Gomez Development, and the firm’s managing partner, Marlon Gomez, who personally guaranteed the debt, the lender claims. The suit was compiled by property intelligence platform Vizzda.

Gomez is negotiating with a new lender to refinance the debt and maintain control of the property, he wrote in an email. 

“While our project faced hurdles securing construction financing these last few months due to challenges many lenders are facing with their current portfolios, we've found a new private lender to work on refinancing our current loan and enabling us to utilize CPace as an alternative financing to fully capitalize and complete our project,” Gomez told Bisnow

Rok Lending and Daniel Lavin of Lavin Law Group, who is representing the lender in the suit, didn’t respond to Bisnow’s request for comment. 

Gomez paid $19M for the 1.6-acre site in October 2021, property records indicate. His firm secured a $45M loan from Los Angeles-based Parkview Financial in 2021 to begin construction on the planned seven-story medical office with a four-level parking garage adjacent to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. 

The project, designed by Miami-based Caymares Martin, was originally slated to deliver by the end of 2022 but remains under construction. The Parkview loan was fully paid off last year with a final closing balance of around $10M, Karina Parada, the firm’s marketing director, told Bisnow

Gomez said the Rok funding helped pay down the Parkview loan and also covered costs on pre-development and site utilities, infrastructure and foundation work, which is now completed. Vertical construction has commenced and the firm is aiming to deliver the building before the end of the year, Gomez said. 

The site in Aventura, pictured in February 2021, where Gomez Development Group is developing a medical office building.

The unfinished project is being listed for sale by Fortune International Realty broker Cesar Sanchez. The building will seek LEED Gold Certification and will include around 100K SF of rentable medical office space and a 5K SF ground-floor retail space, according to a marketing brochure for the property. 

“We are confident in our project's value, with our land’s value doubling that of our current loan and we are communicating openly with our current lender regardless of any claims being made,” Gomez said. 

His firm was previously a partner in the development at 275 FontaineParc, a 133-unit apartment development south of Doral that was sold for $50M to Harbor Group International in April 2022. 

It was also part of a joint venture that paid $17M in 2019 for an Overtown development site where a 437-apartment project is planned, but Gomez later sold its interest in the project, according to the firm’s website. Gomez also paid $6.6M in 2021 for a 38K SF development site at 1715 SW 37th Ave. in Coral Gables, then sold it for $14.3M to New York-based BAM Property Development in September. 

“We have successfully repaid over $100M in loans previously and plan to do the same with this one,” Gomez said.  

Aventura has seen a burst of development activity in recent years, buoyed by the opening of a Brightline station in December 2022 adjacent to the Aventura Mall and about 2 miles from the Gomez site. 

Last month, Ram Realty and Pinnacle Housing updated a proposal from January 2022 to add more units to a planned 16-story apartment building at 19640 W. Dixie Highway, directly across from the mall and train station. Privé Group submitted a proposal in January to develop a 120K SF office building with a 12-unit residential component at 18820 W. Dixie Highway, a half-mile away from Ram and Pinnacle’s project.  

Aventura-based BH Group also has plans for an 132-unit apartment building in the area. Raphael Ammar, a preschool developer and operator, filed plans in August for an 18-story mixed-use project called The Gateway in Ojus, and Lumer Real Estate and Golberg Cos. are planning a 700-unit apartment complex in the neighborhood.