New York’s Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, has committed construction money to two major South Florida projects that could reach $820 million.
The first loan, which closed July 10, provides the developer of the future Surf Club hotel and residences in Miami Beach with $290 million. The money infusion retires a $25 million obligation that had been provided by Miami’s City National Bank of Florida. According to deal terms, future advances could double the loan provisions to $580 million.
The 8.7-acre Surf Club—controlled by Miami-based real estate investment group Fort Capital Management—is planned as a mixed-use complex with 151 condo units, a 77-room hotel and a large retail component. The property with 900 feet of ocean frontage at 9011 Collins Ave. will become the Surf Club Four Seasons Private Residences and Four Seasons Hotel with restaurant and spa.
The renovated Mediterranean-style Surf Club will be dwarfed by three 12-story glass towers designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier with condos and hotel rooms and two four-story buildings with condo, stores and parking.
Jim Dockerty, managing director of mortgage broker HFF, said in a statement Wednesday that part of the consideration in making the loan was the fact Surf Club is “on track to have the largest sellout in the history of luxury residential real estate for a project in South Florida.” HFF represented the borrower, SC Property Acquisitions LLC, which is controlled by developer Nadim Ashi’s Fort Capital.
Fort Capital was represented by William G. McCullough and John F. Halula, partners in the Miami office of Holland & Knight.
The HFF team representing the borrower was led by managing director Dockerty and senior real estate analyst Scott Wadler.
Blackstone was represented by Michael J. Barker of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, a New York partner, and Luis Flores of Arnstein & Lehr, a Miami partner.
Less than a month later, Blackstone dropped an additional $120 million to fund the Biscayne Beach project, a 51-story residential bayfront condominium planned for Northeast 29th Terrace in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.
As with the Surf Club deal, future advances could double the commitment to $240 million under a deal that closed Aug. 8.
The commitment made by Blackstone is a significant part of the Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies fund it’s using to make the loan. That fund has some $9 billion under management. As of June 30, Blackstone reported $279 billion in assets under management.