B Group Buys Miami’s Former INS Building
By Julia Echikson May 16, 2023 5:18 pmreprints
B Group Capital Management paid $23 million for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service building in Miami’s Little River neighborhood through a court-ordered sale.
The 12-story building site is on 2.6 acres between Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 79th Street, and the deal includes an additional acre along Northeast 78th Street, facing Little River.
The site includes an additional 16 vacant acres not included in the sale. The parcel became the focus of a court battle when a foreign investor in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program sued the owner, an entity called Florida Fullview Immigration Building, over three years ago alleging fraud.
Led by Leo Wu, Florida Fullview bought both parcels for $12.5 million in 2013, according to property records, and two years later announced plans to convert the 12-story building into a mixed-use development.
Florida Fullview raised $50 million through the EB-5 federal program. The scheme grants foreign investors and their immediate family members permanent U.S. residency if they invest in real estate projects or in businesses that create at least 10 full-time jobs. In 2020, Chun Liu, a Chinese national who had invested in the project, sued Florida Fullview, alleging fraud, according to The Real Deal.
To secure the investors’ funds, an affiliate of Florida Fullview was supposed to issue a loan, but Liu allegedly couldn’t find a record of the mortgage in property records. The investor also claims that Florida Fullview failed to hand over records, including financial statements.
The property fell into further trouble in 2021 when a Miami city official declared the former Immigration and Naturalization Service building structurally unsafe.
In late 2022, all 20 acres hit the market. One stalking horse bidder offered $102 million, but the bid fell apart and 16 acres remain for sale today.
The parcels are zoned for mixed-use buildings, but B Group has not revealed any development plans. A representative for the Coconut Grove-based developer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Avison Young’s Michael T. Fay, Jay Ziv, John K. Crotty, David Duckworth and Brian C. de la Fé brokered the sale on behalf of court-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg.
Julia Echikson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.