Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ocean II, Unit 2804, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

We proudly present this new listing at Sunny Isles Beach.
Unit 2804.

The Ocean Two Condominiums, built in 2001, have established a standard of elegance, discreet luxury, and architectural excellence.
Wonderful amenities, generous landscape, pool areas, restaurant, spa and fitness center; magnificent party rooms and social areas; a careful attention to every detail, a 24-hour staff providing unmatched service and security. Ocean II is indeed the place on the beach to live and enjoy.

Unit No. 2804 is definitely a crown jewel in an outstanding building. A gem. Perhaps the nicest unit in the building. No expense spared in upgrades. Marble floor throughout, only the best in designer crown moldings, wall treatments, built-in lighting, Italian kitchen,custom closets, window treatments.

Wonderful flow-thru unit. Surrounded by magnificent water views from every room. Direct Ocean, Intracoastal, and Bay panoramas. Separate laundry room. Private elevator.

For more information, please call:
Henry B. Nathan - United Realty Group Inc.
(954) 296-6741


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Saturday, March 07, 2009

On target for February 2010 - The Village at Gulfstream Park

The City of Hallandale gives a vote of confidence to a troubled but impressive project

The Village at Gulfstream Park

A February 2010 opening date was announced for this vast project which many expect to be the new center of attraction of the city of Hallandale Beach. So far, 13 restaurants, 17 retail stores, 2 night clubs have apparently committed; roughly about 50% of all the available space.

Hallandale Beach Commission voted 3-1 to approve funding to assist this project, which more than a year late in its completion. Conflictive opinions about the city involvement have been circulating. A majority of the city commissioners are strong advocates of a project that will create hundreds of jobs and attract tourism, visitors, and investment at a recession time, when they are much needed. The issue of taxpayers’ dollars being spent to support a private venue, is strongly debated, and the “City of Choice” ‘s majority belief is that it will be a gamble that will pay great dividends.

The Village at Gulfstream Park is a mix of fashion and home accessory shops, and signature restaurants, outdoor cafes, office space, and projected residential units. 70 stores will cover more than 410,000 square feet of premium retail space. The Village at Gulfstream Park is expected to compete the next-door Aventura Mall, which has been since its creation, the nucleus around which the City of Aventura has focused. Gulfstream, as an open-air Shopping Center, will differentiate itself enough from Aventura Mall to complement rather than compete.

Gulfstream Park, as a combination of Casino, Horse-track, entertainment, and shopping could quickly become the leisure, fashion and entertainment destination for South Florida. Centered in an the middle of a prosperous population, it could become a better alternative to the Hard Rock Casino in Davie.

Gulfstream is announcing some impressive committed restaurants, such as III Forks, Ola Cuba by Chef Douglas Rodriguez, Texas de Brazil, American Pie Brick Oven Pizza, Brio Tuscan Grille, Cadillac Ranch, Cantina Laredo, Häagen-Datzs, Lamborghini Café, The Cheese Course, The Playwright Irish Pub, PrimeBar, and many more.

Among stores who have committed, they count on Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and West Elm; designer clothing retailers Fender Rock & Roll Religion, Martier, Atelier and Vogue Couture. Two nightclubs: Santanera and Greenhouse Nightclub are expected to attract the young crowd, in search of an alternative to South Beach. Other expected tenants: Next Authentic, Pacific Paradise, Rock Star, Romeo and Juliet Couture, Scala, Scene, The Container Store, Vahalla Menswear, Venetian Salon, Williams-Sonoma, Z Gallerie, and counting.

Mayor Joy Cooper has been a strong endorser of the Gulfstream Park Village, and has brought the full support and partnership of the City of Hallandale Beach.

We, at are specialists in

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Did I hear Bankruptcy?

More on the Village at Gulfstream Park

Read in The Miami Herald – March 6, 2009, by Michael Vasquez and Jim Freer

Gulfstream Park's owner seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Magna Entertainment, which owns Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach and other premier racetracks, asked for protection from its creditors and said it would sell some assets.

Magna Entertainment, the nation's largest horse track operator -- and owner of South Florida's Gulfstream Park -- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will sell Gulfstream as part of a deal to keep its racetracks open.

The Ontario-based company, which has lost hundreds of millions in recent years, said it plans to continue operating while it restructures.

Magna has struggled with massive debt. It was supposed to make a $40 million payment to the Bank of Montreal on Thursday.

In addition to horse racing, Gulfstream -- which last month celebrated its 70th birthday -- also offers slot machines and live poker.

''One hundred percent business as usual,'' said Steve Calabro, vice president of gaming at Gulfstream Park. ``Both on the casino side and the racing side.''

Nevertheless, Magna's bankruptcy filing does raise questions about Gulfstream's future. To keep its racetracks open, the company arranged a six-month, $62.5 million financing package through a subsidiary of MI Developments, Magna's largest shareholder.

That deal also calls for Magna to sell Gulfstream and other properties to either MI Developments or a third party that may emerge during the Chapter 11 process in Delaware.

Though South Florida's housing market is in a slump, Gulfstream's Hallandale Beach property is highly valuable, which could prompt interest from developers.

''The industry in Florida is going to be very, very concerned about losing Gulfstream, and they're obviously going to try to find solutions,'' said Timothy Capps, a University of Louisville equine-industry instructor who previously worked for Magna in Maryland.

Gulfstream's slots casino, Capps said, could help save racing at the park, as it makes the property more attractive to gaming interests than if it was just a racetrack alone. Any buyer could operate the slot machines only so long as racing continues, under Florida parimutuel guidelines.

After a bumpy introduction in late 2006, Gulfstream's slots have rebounded. In January, Gulfstream was the only one of Broward's three ''racinos'' to boast higher monthly slots revenues versus a year ago. This year's racing season also has been strong; through last Sunday, average daily wagering is up 3.6 percent over 2008.

Gulfstream has 420 year-round employees and 480 seasonal employees. None will be laid off because of Magna's bankruptcy, said Mike Mullaney, the track's media relations director.

The Village at Gulfstream Park, a $1.2 billion shopping and entertainment complex being built next to the racetrack, is still going forward. Target opening date: early 2010. The complex will bring in home retailers including Pottery Barn, West Elm and The Container Store. Restaurants will include Texas de Brazil, Brio Tuscan Grille and Ola Cuba by Chef Douglas Rodriguez. So far, the project is only 50 percent leased. Ultimately it will have 70 stores covering more than 410,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space, plus 80,000 square feet of office space. Magna partnered with Forest City Commercial Group on The Village. Brian Ratner, who heads Forest City's East Coast development team, said of Magna, ``They've honored their obligations and we expect them to continue to do that.'' Magna's other U.S. racetracks include Santa Anita Park in southern California and Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, home of The Preakness Stakes.

Henry B. Nathan is a Real Estate Professional. Please visit our website and learn about:

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Hard to believe!

Associations want faster foreclosures

For condos, lenders are only responsible for six months' worth of back assessments. Policymakers in Washington, as well as at the state and local level, have been working feverishly lately to develop programs aimed at stemming the massive tide of foreclosures sweeping the housing market. Billions of dollars are aimed to be spent, with hundreds of billions more already used to help bail out ailing banks.

But in an ironic twist, as the government tries to get banks to hold off on seizing peoples' property through foreclosure, many of Florida's community associations are worried about the opposite: banks that are not foreclosing fast enough.

That is because the lender does not have to start paying the regular association assessments on a property until it formally takes title at the very end of the foreclosure process. Under current state law, they are only responsible for unpaid assessments going back a certain period of time -- meaning any process drawn out beyond that equals lost revenue for associations already struggling financially.

For condominiums, lenders are only responsible for six months' worth of back assessments, or up to 1 percent of the unit's value. Single-family homes are a little different, where banks have to pick up the tab for an entire year's worth.

Some community associations -- especially condo associations -- have been complaining that banks are initiating foreclosure proceedings against owners, but then taking their time when it comes to actually pulling the trigger to take title. In other cases, the courts are so backed up with foreclosure cases that getting to a resolution simply takes more time than ever before. As a result, the process frequently goes beyond the six-month liability period for condos, and leaves condo associations with months' worth of assessments that will never be repaid. For homeowners associations, the problem is less intense, but still a concern.

The Community Association Leadership Lobby, a lobbying group that represents about 4,000 community associations in Florida, plans to push for new laws during the upcoming legislative session that would shift more of the responsibility for unpaid assessments to lenders.

"The situation financially for many associations is bad, and it's getting worse," said CALL's co-executive director David Muller, a Sarasota lawyer. "They need help to relieve the strain of unpaid assessments from foreclosures that is eating away at their bottom lines."

Muller, also a community association attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, said at a time when banks are receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in federal bailouts from taxpayers, it was appropriate for some of those funds to be used to help aid associations. He did not advocate direct infusions of taxpayer money that would go to associations, but rather said indirect support would come by requiring banks to take on a larger share of unpaid assessments when they foreclose. Muller admitted that the state's banking associations would likely not be thrilled about his proposed initiative.

A new statewide survey CALL conducted of more than 1,500 of its members found considerable financial pressures being caused by the foreclosure crisis. More than 65 percent of respondents living in communities hit by mortgage foreclosures said they were "causing a revenue shortfall that is placing a burden on the association's finances," according to CALL. Nearly 38 percent said the foreclosure-related revenue losses resulted in "postponements of major capital investments in upkeep or repair" of buildings and other property.

The survey also found more than 50 percent of respondents reported more vacant units compared to a year ago thanks to foreclosures. Nearly 70 percent of those reported vacancy rates from 1 to 9 percent as a direct result of foreclosures, while 15 percent had such a vacancy rate greater than 10 percent. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said that getting lenders who had been slow to foreclose to pay unpaid assessments "has proven difficult." Looking ahead, things were not looking any better. Three-quarters of the CALL survey's respondents expected the foreclosure situation would not improve, and may even get worse, over the next year.

From the Sarasota Herald Tribune - March 2, 2009

Henry B. Nathan is a Florida Realtor at United Realty Group Inc.Visit my website: you can search for Aventura Condos, Florida Condos,