Bank OZK Lends $239M to Ugo Colombo’s Luxe Grove Isle Condo Project

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Bank OZK (OZK) strikes again, loaning another sizable construction loan for a South Florida project.

The Arkansas-based bank supplied $239 million to complete the Ugo Colombo-led CMC Group’s waterfront condo development on Grove Isle, a 20-acre manmade island in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood. 

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The seven-story project, called Vita at Grove Isle, will feature 65 units at 5 Grove Isle Drive. Amenities will include a pool, a spa, a gym, paddle courts, and a private restaurant and lounge.

In 2020, Miami-based CMC acquired the 6-acre site by buying the ownership entity from Eduardo Avila, the Florida developer who originally proposed the boutique project years prior. No sale price is listed in property records.

Construction has been underway since April and is expected to be completed in late 2025. More than 70 percent of residences are pre-sold with prices ranging from $5.7 million to $19.5 million, according to a CMC spokesperson.

In late December, Bank OZK increased a $38.5 million loan, first secured in 2021, by $200.5 million, bringing the total to $239 million, mortgage documents show.

The CallisonRTKL-designed development faced opposition from some residents of Grove Isle, which is home to three condo buildings that were completed in the late 1970s and early ’80s. In 2022, the group sued the City of Miami for improperly granting permits to CMC, but it later dropped the lawsuit, The Real Deal reported

The mortgage marks the third construction loan over $200 million that Bank OZK has originated in the past month — in South Florida alone. It lent $259 million to Edgardo Defortuna’s Fortune International Group and Oak Capital for their Ritz-Carlton-branded condo development in Pompano Beach, and $220 million for the first phase of FAT Village, a master-planned, mixed-use development in Fort Lauderdale. 

Additionally, Pebb Capital scored a $173 million construction loan for a mixed-use development along Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue, though the financing came from Monroe Capital and JPMorgan Chase

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com