• Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    Berkowitz sues to evict PetSmart from Dadeland Station and Aventura Commons

    Jeff Berkowitz, developer of Dadeland Station and Aventura Commons PetSmart could get the heave-ho from two Miami-Dade shopping centers for allegedly owing $62,269 in rent. Berkowitz Development Group, through two related entities, filed a pair of eviction lawsuits against the national pet retailer in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last week. The Coconut Grove-based commercial developer alleges PetSmart hasn’t paid $25,611 in rent for its big box store at Dadeland Station in Kendall, as well as missing $36,658 in rent payments for a big box space at Aventura Commons in Aventura. The plaintiffs in the two lawsuits are Aventura Commons Associates and Dadeland Station Associates. Berkowitz founder and Chairman Jeff Berkowitz and…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    Survival of the Fullest: Restaurants fear capacity constraints will kill them

    Capacity constraints may cause agony for restaurateurs and their landlords (iStock, Getty) As restaurants move to open, owners are agonizing over capacity constraints and social distancing guidelines, which are expected to result in a decline in sales. In turn, their landlords are sure to suffer from heartburn wondering whether the rent checks are coming. Of the 30 states that have allowed restaurants statewide to resume serving customers indoors, 15 have limited capacity to 25 percent or 50 percent, according to market-research firm Gordon Haskett. Restaurant executives expect the limits to last at least through the summer, traditionally one of the busiest seasons. Although New York City has yet to set…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    Marcus & Millichap laying off 20% of workforce

    Marcus & Millichap CEO Hessam Nadji and their Calabasas office. Marcus & Millichap plans to lay off 20 percent of its workforce as the publicly traded commercial real estate brokerage goes through a restructuring. The company, which is headquartered in Calabasas and has a market cap of $1.12 billion, revealed its pandemic response plan in a May 11 public filing. Part of the plan was “a reduction of the company’s employee workforce by 20 percent,” which comes to about 175 of an 877-person workforce. The layoffs affect salaried staff. They would not impact brokers, who are independent contractors that earn their keep from sales, debt and leasing commissions. The company…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    REIT stocks rise as NYSE trading floor reopens

    The FTSE Nareit All REITs index rose by 3.68 percent on Tuesday, outpacing the broader markets as the New York Stock Exchange reopened its trading floor following a two-month closure. (Getty; iStock) The reopening of the New York Stock Exchange trading floor Tuesday accompanied a burst of optimism in the stock market as the Dow rallied more than 500 points, or 2.2 percent. And real estate stocks helped power the increase. The FTSE Nareit All REITs index rose by 3.68 percent on Tuesday, outpacing the broader markets. The index had previously risen by 6.9 percent over the past week, with all REIT sectors — from data centers to malls —…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    Six weeks, six jumps in mortgage applications to buy homes

    (Credit: iStock) Homebuyers are back in the game as reopening continues. The volume of mortgage applications to purchase homes increased by 9 percent last week, according to the seasonally adjusted weekly index kept by the Mortgage Bankers Association. It marks the sixth consecutive week the purchase index has risen. According to Joel Kan, MBA’s executive at the helm of industry forecasting, last week’s increase was the highest since mid-March. “The home purchase market continued its path to recovery as various states reopen, leading to more buyers resuming their home search,” Kan continued in a statement. The purchase index was up 8.7 percent compared to the same week in 2019. New…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    Loophole allowed big-name landlords to get bailout funds

    (Credit: iStock) Some lucky landlords have secured bailout funds through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program — all thanks to a legal loophole. The program, created through the CARES Act and administered by the Small Business Administration, specifically excluded businesses that primarily develop or lease real estate from the program. However, dozens of real estate companies have received tens of millions of dollars in PPP funds by applying through related business arms, including property management or construction, the Wall Street Journal reported. Time Equities is one such real estate company. CEO Francis Greenburger said that its PPP lender, which provided the firm with $3.6 million, didn’t check whether Time Equities…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    What it’s like to sell a luxury home in the Upper Keys

    94100 Overseas Highway in Tavernier is listed for $24.5 million. Made famous in movies and TV shows like the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall classic “Key Largo” and the Netflix thriller “Bloodline,” the Florida Keys cater to homebuyers who want to escape South Florida’s hectic lifestyle and boat, fish or dive — or simply chill. Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate’s Brian Schmitt, who has been a broker in the Keys since 1983, said out-of-town buyers continue to flock to the Upper Keys, those closest to Miami — Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada — in search of a relaxing, laid-back retreat. “It’s the color and the quality of the water and…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    South Florida lenders and landlords battle new coronavirus reality

    As businesses shutter across South Florida and unemployment skyrockets to record highs, landlords are facing a difficult dilemma: How to offer rent deferrals to tenants and at the same time pay their mortgages? Landlord Shane Neman said he has offered deferrals to commercial tenants, but claims two of his lenders have yet to give him final guidance on whether he can modify his loans and delay his mortgage payments. “Most mortgages are due the first of the month. If lenders don’t give clarity, the landlords are going to be scared that they are going to be in default and start hiring lawyers,” said Neman, the founder of Miami-based Neman Ventures,…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    Staying on the sunny side: South Florida resi brokers see upside in coronavirus

    A photo illustration of 620 Arvida Parkway (Credit: Compass, iStock) As the rest of the country was shutting down in March, South Florida’s top brokers were getting phone calls from wealthy out-of-towners looking for high-end homes they could rent — preferably with a pool and spacious backyard, and possibly a tennis court. The majority of inquiries came from New York, though some also came from other states hit hard by the pandemic, including Michigan and Illinois. Another unexpected source of rental and broker fee income? Those already living in South Florida condos were looking for space where their kids could run around, away from common areas and elevators. At least…

  • Real Estate Investing,  Travel & Lifestyle

    Sabotage, secret cameras and intrigue: Inside the Barclay family’s feud over the London Ritz

    Sir Frederick Barclay and the Ritz London (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor/PA Images via Getty Images, Ritz London) A high-stakes drama worthy of a soap opera — complete with hidden cameras and big inheritances — is playing out with the Ritz Hotel in London as a backdrop. Twin billionaires Frederick and David Barclay bought the five-star hotel in 1995 for 75 million pounds. Now, the aging brothers and their respective children are feuding over the sale of the property. In the saga’s latest update, Frederick this week released hidden camera video footage allegedly showing his nephew Alistair planting a listening device in a room where Frederick and his daughter met to…