Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Citizens' weird behavior.

A few years ago, a couple of hurricane strikes were enough for most of insurance companies to drop their Florida hurricane policies; and they did it without a second thought.

Citizens was then created to fill the void and Citizens actually did a pretty good job, insuring our properties at reasonable rates, and acceptable coverage. Actually Citizens confronted the 2005 hurricane season losses with efficiency and few complaints. 


In recent years, and after many "no-hurricane" seasons, Florida drew again the attention of the greedy eyes of Mr. Big Insurance. Powerful political, economical pressure was then exerted to help private insurers come back to the once disdained Sunrise State, with the unveiled purpose of weakening and eliminating in the long term the generally efficient state-sponsored Citizens. However and since homeowners and all insured in general had no reason to drop a good Citizens policy, at affordable premiums, something had to be done to force the re-privatization of the industry.

The excuse: "Citizens is taking too much risks and homeowners could be affected in a case of a strong hurricane" (in spite of the huge reserves being accumulated by Citizens). 


Nothing new of course. Privatization of juicy business by supposedly "more efficient" corporations, whenever they see the opportunity, and no-remorse dropping any public service as soon as it doesn't measure to high profit expectations is nothing new. 


Nobody can deny that Citizens has been doing a good job. They were able to accumulate sizable reserves in just a few years, not unlike the many "quiet" years that preceded hurricane Andrews, when private insurers had the same opportunities. 


Even though some of their executives were accused of spending too much on entertainment, nobody can deny that its management was not worse and was perhaps even better than many a publicly traded private corporation.  


However, Citizens and our government are now playing the game of those who have already decided its demise. 


I read with some indignation the following article in the Sun Sentinel.


I can assure my readers that its contents are totally correct because I was almost a victim of one of these "innocent" letters informing that I would be contacted by a private insurance company willing to replace my Citizens coverage; 


Of course these letters didn't mention that, if I didn't take any action, I would be automatically dropping my Citizens insurance in favor of a private company that could at any time increase at will my premiums and alter their coverage. 


I am not an expert in insurance. But I can feel a scheme from time to time. And this is not what we would expect from a state sponsored entity that is supposed to protect us. 


 (Of course, this is only my modest opinion...)

 Read on: (From the Sun Sentinel)

Citizens to warn owners about proposed ‘takeouts’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dec. 10, 2014 – Policyholders with the state's "insurer of last resort" will now get a heads-up letter before being formally notified by a private insurance company that their policy has been selected for transfer, Citizens Property Insurance Co. announced Tuesday in a news release.

The new notification letters will go out to Citizens customers targeted for transfer to one of 27 private "takeout" companies authorized by the state Office of Insurance Regulation to help reduce the insurance risk carried by the state-owned company.

The decision to notify policyholders in advance is a response to complaints that "takeout" letters from private insurance companies hit mailboxes looking like solicitations and are often thrown away unopened, Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier said.

"It's a valid concern," Peltier said. Policyholders who throw away their takeout letters can miss the 60-day deadline to stay with Citizens if they don't want their policies transferred to a private company. Citizens officials expect that policyholders will be more likely to open a letter from their insurance company, Peltier said.

The state also is requiring takeout companies to provide a comparison of their premiums with Citizens' either in the takeout letter or by directing the policyholder to call a telephone number.

Rick Winterrowd, a Hollywood-based property insurance agent, said the heads-up letter – known as an "encouragement letter" because Citizens wants policyholders to transfer – is a step in the right direction. But he said Citizens' encouragement letters fail to tell customers their premiums could increase when it's time to renew policies with private companies.

Citizens' letters also downplay customers' right to opt out of the takeout, he said. The explanation comes below language warning they face up to a 45 percent surcharge if they remain with Citizens and a devastating storm strikes.

With Citizens sitting on $7.6 billion in reserves after nine years without a major storm, "the only way they'd face that 45 percent surcharge is if South Florida is destroyed by a hurricane," Winterrowd said.

Over the past few years, Citizens has been moving aggressively to reduce the amount of property it insures in the state through what it calls a "depopulation program."

The program encourages smaller private companies to take over the Citizens policies and since November 2011, the number of Citizens policies has been reduced from 1.5 million to 727,000.

In 2014, the state approved 1.1 million policies for takeout, and 185,405 were removed. So far for 2015, 315,508 policies have been approved for takeout.

Citizens' new policy of notifying customers ahead of the takeout companies should begin in January, when targeted policyholders must get 30 days' advance notice of their mid-February transfer date, Peltier said.

Targeted policyholders have 30 days prior to the takeout date to fill out and mail a form opting out of the takeout. Customers who are switched also have 30 days after the takeout to revert back to their Citizens coverage.

Citizens also plans to establish a Depopulation Working Group to look into customers' questions and concerns, the news release said. The working group, expected to begin meeting next year, will include representatives from the Office of Insurance Regulation, insurance agents, private companies and consumer advocates.


My advice?

Heads up and open your eyes if you receive any envelope from Citizens or any other Insurance Company. 


For all your real estate advice and needs:

For more information, or to make a reservation

Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741

Email me:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Previewing Aventura Parksquare

Announcing a large new Aventura project that will start selling in just a few days. 


Located on Waterways Boulevard just North of Aventura Mall

For more information, or to make a reservation

Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741


  Aventura Parksquare

is one of the last undeveloped piece of land in the center of the city. Integra Investments purchased the parcel for $21 million in 2013.

The 7.37-acre, four-block complex, hidden behind the Aventura Synagogue, and a well known shopping center anchored by a Walgreen’s, will be an eclectic mixture of 50,000 S.F. of stores and shopping areas, 100,000 S.F. of office space, 40,000 S.F. of Fitness Center, large areas of retail stores, restaurants,  207 hotel rooms, 131 residential units, and a 144 Senior living facility. 


For more information, or to make a reservation

Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741


131 Exclusive residences at Aventura ParkSquare

  • The residences will be finished with flooring throughout, paint and finished closets.

  • From  900 to 1,830 sq. ft.         

  • Prices from the $400,000’s                 

  • European-Style Kitchen Cabinetry

  • One, Two and Three-Bedroom                      

  • 24-Hour security and Front Desk                    

  • Designer Fixtures and Appliances

  • Sunrise Pool & Fitness Center      

  • 5th Floor Amenity Deck       


    Type of units and description:


    Unit 1A -          1 bed + den / 1.5 bath            904 sq. ft.   

    Unit 1B -          1 bed + den / 1.5 bath            900 sq. ft.

    Unit 2A -          2 bed+ den / 2 bath                1,150 sq. ft.

    Unit 2B -          2 bed / 2.5 bath                      1,145 sq. ft.

    Unit 2C -          2 bed + den / 2.5 bath            1,161 sq. ft.

    Unit 2D -          2 bed / 2.5 bath                      1,421 sq. ft.

    Unit 2 E -         2 bed + den / 2 bath               1,225 sq. ft.

    Unit 3 A -         3 bed / 3 bath                         1,541 sq. ft.

    Unit 3 B -         3 bed + den / 3.5 bath            1,829 sq. ft.

    Townhomes     2 bed / 2 bath                         1,542 sq. ft.


For more information, or to make a reservation

Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741


   The Aventura Parksquare complex will also include:             

  • 40,000 sq. ft. Health and Wellness Center

  • 100,000 sq. ft. Class-A Office Space

  • 207 Room Aloft Hotel

  • 144 Luxury Senior Living Apartments

  • World-Class Retail, Dining,  and Spirits


Aventura ParkSquare started accepting reservations on November 15, 2014

For more information, or to make a reservation

Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741


Payment Terms:

10% Reservation

15% Contract

15% Ground Breaking

10% Top Off

50% Closing


For more information, or to make a reservation

Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741


For more information, or to make a reservation

Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741






Saturday, November 08, 2014

Boutique Condo Project for Miami Beach

New York developer plans boutique condo project in Indian Creek    

JMH Development has acquired a site for its third project in Miami Beach as it picked up a property on Indian Creek Drive for $5.65 million.

The New York-based developer is already building the Starwood Aloft Hotel at Collins Avenue and 23rd Street and a 20-unit, 50,000-square-foot condo building at Collins Avenue and Third Street. Now JMH Development and partner PSB Capital own 17,150 square feet at 2901 and 2911 Indian Creek Drive, a site purchased from Marriott International.


"Even though we are New Yorkers we like the beach," said Jason Halpern, founder of JHM Development. "What we like about Indian Creek is we like what's going on in the neighborhood."


There are two other condo projects under construction in the neighborhood along Biscayne Bay. Halpern said he'll seek approval for a 30,000-square-foot condo building, with approximately 15 units.


Part of the property has a historic structure, which Halpern said he would maintain as part of the project. His Miami Beach hotel project, as well as several of his developments in New York, is designed to protect historical buildings.

"These boutique historical projects we thrive on because we are doing many of them," Halpern said.


Ackman-Ziff was the broker for the buyers in the deal. Titan Capital financed the deal with a $4 million loan.

Read in the  South Florida Business Journal - Nov 7, 2014 

For more information, or to make a reservation
Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741
Email me:

Plans to build a 372 units rental complex in Brickell

 Developer pays $20M for Brickell apartment site

An affiliate of Alliance Residential purchased a 1.9-acre site in Miami's Brickell area to build an apartment complex.

Miami Sunrise Properties, managed by Elena Arechaga, received $20.23 million for the property from Broadstone at Brickell, an affiliate of Phoenix-based apartment builder Alliance Residential. It plans a 372-unit rental complex there.

The property runs along Southwest Third Avenue from Southwest 11th Street to Southwest 10th Street. It currently has small multi-family buildings.

It' is two blocks west of the Brickell Metro Mover Station.

Read in the South Florida Business Journal, Nov 7, 2014.

For more information, or to make a reservation
Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741
Email me:

New Condo Project in Sunny Isles Beach

Fortune and Chateau buy condo development site for $113M 

 La Playa del Varadero owners bought out?

Fortune International Group teamed up with Chateau Group to buy a hotel condominium complex in Sunny Isles Beach and they plan to replace it with a luxury condo project.

The joint venture between Miami-based Fortune and Chateau, which was founded in Argentina, paid $112.5 million for the four buildings on 4.7 acres at 18801 Collins Ave. 

It appears the developers reached an agreement with the individual owners of the 347 units in the La Playa de Varadero, which was built in 1965, to buy them out. These were hotel condo units, so most of the owners probably didn't live there.

The developers have yet to reveal the details of their plans for the site, which has 430 feet of beachfront.


"Leveraging our 30 years in South Florida, we have identified Sunny Isles Beach as a real estate market with the potential for long-term sustained growth and we look forward to building on the strong and mutually prosperous relationship with the Chateau Group," Fortune International CEO Edgardo Defortuna said in a news release.


Fortune and Chateau are currently building a condominium building at 15701 Collins Ave. in Sunny Isles Beach.  "By joining with Fortune International, we are confident that together we will produce quality developments that will enhance the area's already growing appeal," Chateau head Manuel Grosskopf said.


Read Nov 7, 2014, in the Florida Business Journal 

For more information, or to make a reservation
Call Henry B. Nathan – (800) 416-2747   (954) 296-6741
Email me: