An affiliate of Encore Housing Opportunity Fund, the co-developer of Miami Worldcenter, won the bankruptcy auction for the shuttered Fashion Mall in Plantation.
Glenn Moses of Genovese Joblove & Battista, who represents debtor trustee Kenneth A. Welt, said the winning bid was $37.7 million. There were four sophisticated real estate investment firms in the contest. The second-highest bid was $37.5 million by an affiliate of BTI Partners, he added.
“We are confident that all creditors’ claims will be satisfied as a result of the sale,” Moses said. “The property was essentially vacated for the better part of a decade so now that it will be transferred to a significant real estate developer the trustee is very happy for the people of the city of Plantation.”
CBRE’s Gerard Yetming and Robert Given were the brokers who marketed the property for the bankruptcy trustee.
Boca Raton-based Encore Housing, led by Art Falcone, is a national developer of master-planned communities, rental and mixed-use urban projects. The $1.5 billion Miami Worldcenter will feature retail, restaurants, a hotel/convention center, condominiums and apartments in the Overtown section of downtown Miami.
The Fashion Mall is also a major redevelopment opportunity. The 32.1-acre site at 321 N. University Drive has a closed mall and office building with a parking deck. The hotel on the property has a different owner and was not included in the auction.
U.S. Capital/Fashion Mall and parent company Mapuche LLC both filed Chapter 7 liquidation in October at the direction of minority owner and manager Wei Chen. The filing came in the midst of litigation between Chen and China-based Tangshan Ganglu Iron & Steel Co., which owns 99 percent of Mapuche and claims to have invested more than $186 million into the property.
U.S. Capital bought the property for $37 million in 2004. Hurricane Wilma damaged it the following year and then it lost anchor Macy’s. The mall closed in 2007 as U.S. Capital proposed a redevelopment plan.
Despite all the money invested by the Chinese owners over the years, their plan wasn’t approved and few improvements were made to the property.
The results of the auction are scheduled to be approved by the bankruptcy court on Friday.
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