A two-attorney team represented Jeffrey Soffer, the son of pioneering Aventura developer Donald Soffer and a preeminent real estate developer himself, in his Hallandale Beach casino and racetrack acquisition.
Soffer, who co-owns the Turnberry Associates development company with sister Jackie Soffer, bought the Mardi Gras Casino and Racetrack at 831 N. Federal Highway.
Since the purchase, the facility on the southwest corner of North Federal Highway and Pembroke Road has been renamed The Big Easy Casino.
831 Federal Highway Acquisition LLC, a company Soffer manages, bought the 35-acre property for $12.5 million from Michigan-based Hartman & Tyner Inc.
Aventura-based Rosenthal Rosenthal Rasco partners Kerry Rosenthal and Heather Scott represented Soffer and his limited liability company, closing the deal April 24.
The Big Easy Casino includes slot machines, a poker room and greyhound racing, according to the casino’s website.
The facility, including the slot machines and pari-mutuels, was closed following damage from Hurricane Irma, and the seller was in the midst of renovations, Rosenthal said. Limited operations were going on at the time of sale.
“It is the buyer’s intention to reopen all of the facilities, including the gaming facilities and the slot machines and have a fully operational casino as well as a pari-mutuel facility in the very near future,” Rosenthal said.
The sale of casinos and parimutuels rarely happens in Florida and is more than the typical real estate transfer, Rosenthal added.
“It certainly wasn’t a cookie-cutter type of deal,” he said.
This was a complex deal contingent on the buyer obtaining state approval for casino and pari-mutuel licenses, Rosenthal said.
The purchase was financed with a $19.5 million loan from Florida Community Bank.
Seller Hartman & Tyner owned and ran the greyhound track since the 1980s.
Soffer is a well-known developer who owns the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which underwent a $1 billion expansion and renovation under his leadership.