Sales  ·  Retail

Downtown Miami Mall Sells for $28M Before Foreclosure Auction

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Controversial developer Yair Levy sold a retail building in Downtown Miami for $27.5 million while the 225,054-square-foot property was scheduled to be sold through a foreclosure auction, property records show.

Called Time Century Jewelry Center, the five-story building spans 225,054 square feet at 1 NE First Street.

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Elysee Investment Company, led by Haim Yehezkel and Avi Dishi, bought an 85 percent stake, while Pan Am Equities, led by Scott Solomon, acquired the remaining share. 

The purchase price is almost equivalent to the loan that Levy defaulted on. Back in 2018, a venture led by Levy purchased an 80 percent stake in the property, formerly known as Metro Mall, for $14.8 million. 

In 2021, the partnership secured a $23.6 million loan from City National Bank to renovate the building, which dates to 1926. A year later, the New York-based developer upped the mortgage by $3.6 million, bringing the total financing to $27.2 million.

The venture was supposed to mark Levy’s comeback after the New York State Supreme Court banned the developer from selling co-ops and condos in 2011 for allegedly defrauding buyers by emptying a New York City condominium’s reserve fund, according to Crain’s.

The Miami project did not fare better. In September, City National Bank sued the developer for allegedly failing to pay the construction loan in full upon its maturity in February. The foreclosure auction was scheduled to occur last week, but the bank canceled it due to the sale.

There’s a $20 million loan tied to the property, which Elysee Investment, a Miami Beach-based investor, took over, according to mortgage documents.

Representatives for Elysee and Levy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com