Miami Bank Foreclosures Filed Against Residential Developer

by on cities

A Miami bank foreclosures lawsuit has been filed against Fortune International and its president Edgardo Defortuna. The $67 million lawsuit against the Miami, Florida-based residential developer involves a hotel property which Defortuna plans to redevelop.

According to industry experts, the foreclosure lawsuit is the first filed against Fortune International. The residential developer has numerous large condominium and hotel projects that it is trying to sell in the current difficult market.

According to the South Florida Business Journal’s 2009 Book of Lists, Fortune International ranked third among the largest residential developers in the region. In 2007, the developer posted sales of almost $563 million, behind Lennar Corp. and Related Group. Among the projects under Fortune International’s portfolio are Jade at Jade Beach and Brickell Bay.

Records at the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court showed that the Miami bank foreclosures lawsuit was filed by FirstBank Puerto Rico against Defortuna, 2901 Beach Ventures and Lionstone Group managing member Alfredo Lowenstein.

Fortune International plans to redevelop the 12-story Seville Hotel South Beach which is situated on a three-acre land. The hotel was acquired by 2901 Beach Ventures for $25 million in 2005. Lionstone Group and Fortune International have partnered to redevelop the hotel into a residential unit. They contracted Ritz-Carlton to manage the project.

In the latter part of 2006, 2901 Beach Ventures took out a $65.8 million loan from FirstBank Puerto Rico. The loan was to be used for the redevelopment of the hotel property. Under the redevelopment plan, the Ritz-Carlton Residences and Club would have completed about 89 units by 2010.

In the lawsuit, investors claimed that Ritz-Carlton withdrew from the project. They accused Defortuna of withholding the information about Ritz-Carlton’s withdrawal from the deal from investors.

Miami is a globally recognized city due to its importance in commerce, finance, entertainment, arts, media and international trade. It is home to numerous financial company headquarters, television studios and banks. An international center for entertainment, Miami boosts performing arts music, television, arts and fashion.

Last year, Miami was recognized as the cleanest city in the country because of its good air quality, clean drinking water and streets, recycling programs and vast green spaces. It was also ranked as the third wealthiest city in the country.