Jorge of the Jungle

September 26, 2007 by Lucas Lechuga

A few months ago I wrote a post entitled, “Advice to Miami Condo Sellers“. It was a highly read piece because of the inventory figures that were provided. I highly recommend that you read it if you recently discovered this blog and are curious about the developments that are scheduled to close within the next two years in Miami.

Of the 6,951 condos scheduled to be delivered within the next 17 months in Brickell, the new inventory represented by The Related Group of Florida roughly amounts to 50 percent. Matt Allen, chief operating officer and executive VP of The Related Group, indicated in yesterday’s Miami Herald article about the Platinum Condominium auction that The Related Group would never resort to utilizing the auction system to sell defaulted condo units.

This statement is neither inaccurate nor misleading for a number of reasons:

  1. The Related Group is known to leave money on the table for investors. Their preconstruction prices are, for the most part, well below those that were offered at comparable developments in the area. Some developers sell their preconstruction inventory in batches, with each subsequent group of condos sold at a higher price per square foot than the preceding batch. The Related Group, however, sells out in one day and moves on to their next development.
  2. The Related Group is a highly reputable developer. Reputation goes a long way in this business. Many investors made a lot of money by investing in developments that were tagged with The Related Group name. Thereafter, investors blindly endorsed deposit checks to them for preconstruction condo units solely based on their reputation. Their reputation would be highly damaged if they ever sold their unsold inventory via an auction.
  3. The Related Group is well connected. They will never utilize the auction system because they have strong ties to the investment community. George can make one to two phone calls and have the excess inventory from his developments disappear at much higher prices than what can be obtained through the auction system. As Matt Allen stated in the Miami Herald article, “When you have an auction, the bottom feeders come out”.
  4. My high school pitching coach taught me that pitching is just like real estate. It’s all about location, location, location. The Related Group has an uncanny knack of choosing the best locations upon which to develop.

It is inevitable that even a developer as highly regarded as The Related Group will have a high number of defaults. However, their excess inventory will likely be swallowed by investment groups looking to buy at a discount. It will happen so fast that the public won’t know about it until months after.

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22 Comments on "Jorge of the Jungle"


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Anonymous
Joe DiA
9 years 4 days ago

I agree CEO Perez is biilionaire he does not need to do auctions. He is loaded baby and has a huge influence and connections. He will find the way to sell it

Anonymous
9 years 3 days ago
Lucas, One would think by reading this that you are drinking Related’s Kool-Aid. What you say doesn’t make sense for one reason: If Related left “money on the table” then they wouldn’t have to worry about fall-out rates, correct? I can assure you, The Plaza on Brickell will be a disaster. Approx. 700 units did sell out in one day “ish” primarily to speculators. It was the market propelling Related not the other way around. Related enjoyed the boom and will have to deal with the “walk-aways” just like every other developer. The only buyers out there now are a… Read more »
Anonymous
Jamie
9 years 3 days ago
I’m replying to your first post (“Jorge in the Jungle.” I could not agree more with Lucas. Sellers need to decide if they are selling, and eat their losses. It is pointless to look at the listings and price your unit accordingly. The listings are not moving, in case anyone hasn’t noticed. Therefore, the list prices are irrelevant, except to perpeuate mortgage fraud. I’ve sold two condos since slightly before everything hit the fan. One went at a good price, one at a price that I could not believe (20% lower than I thought it would fetch). The key thing… Read more »
Anonymous
Jamie
9 years 3 days ago

Also, a question for Lucas and everyone re: Related Group projects. The Lofts at Downtown look very cheap on a PSF basis. Is this because they are in a bad neighborhood, or because you have to listen to the mass transit system whistling by and damaging the foundations every few minutes?

Anonymous
Jurgen
9 years 3 days ago
Lucas, Related might be a brilliant developer, and they might be well connected. But their inventory will be hit by the market just as brutally as everybody else’s. What difference does it make if Related quietely will sell their unsold inventory to some hedge fund or anybody else? This buyer then will have to deal with the problem and it will be this buyer who will conduct some sort of sell off. What other choice does he have? To rent out does not help as long as you have a price basis of 400 $ per sqft or more. There… Read more »
Anonymous
9 years 3 days ago
Kevin, When I said that Related is known to “leave money on the table” that has nothing to do with the present time and the number of defaults that can be expected. It just means that they don’t try to squeeze every last penny out of each project. They sell out and move on. It wasn’t meant to infer that the money is still on the table. They will certainly have a lot of defaults. I even said in the last paragraph that “It is inevitable that even a developer as highly regarded as The Related Group will have a… Read more »
Anonymous
9 years 3 days ago

ok, but they are still beholdent to the banks.

If a big developers like Lennar or WCI, who have excellent reputations as well, are having problems, so will Related.

It is just that their problems ARE JUST about to begin–and believe me the news will be big AND spectacular (not necessarily in a good way, either)

Anonymous
RA
9 years 3 days ago

Good point Kevin. Were talking about condos here. Usally single fam houses were an easier sale so condos especially w/ so many of them will be a tough sale. I’m in for the long haul as a believer in Miami but like the stock market there are bright days and they are dark days. I guess in this case we can call them years vs days.

Anonymous
BB
9 years 3 days ago
If Related represents 50% of the inventory coming on the market, then they’re even more screwed than other developers. Like some other posters mentioned, these condos probably can’t be rented profitably, so renting them really isn’t an option–they’d just be losing more money. From what I’m hearing, these “vulture” hedge funds don’t want to pay more than 40 to 50 cents on the dollar for condos. And based on the Platinum auction, even that would be a bad investment if you can’t then re-sell them for more money than you paid. For instance, if the Platinum sold out their inventory… Read more »
Anonymous
emma
9 years 2 days ago

Allof the Related projects you mention are downtown & midtown areas…… What about SB and particually SoFi? Viceroy? Apogee? Heard tht Viceroy might not go…….?

Anonymous
J
8 years 10 months ago

A major important factor why RELATED cannot do any resales is because they hired many female agents that had “connections” with the developers. These female agents used to be waitresses, bartenders, dancers. What do they know about real estate sales?

Anonymous
8 years 5 months ago
Someone just gave me this article. I must say this article is the biggest crock I ever heard. George Perez leaving money on the table!! You have got to be kidding me. He is one of the key people responsible for our problems in South Florida. At least other developers were straight forward and raised the prices in lots so people knew what they were getting into. Related assigned the apartment two sometimes three times. An apartment that sold for $300,000 could end up costing the unsuspecting third assignee $600,000. You call that leaving money on the table. His sales… Read more »
Anonymous
AJ
8 years 5 months ago

Just wait till Icon Brickell hits the market. It will be a nightmare. I dont think anyone will close on those units with prices at $5,6 or 700 per SF. Jorge will have to turn it into a rental.

Anonymous
Un-Related
8 years 5 months ago

AJ said: “Just wait till Icon Brickell hits the market. It will be a nightmare.”

I learned yesterday that closing notices on Related’s unnecessary project, 500 Brickell, are “in the mail”.

There’s 633 units of froth and bullsh…! The lawsuits will start to fly on that one.

Ole Jesse Ottley had better educate himself on the definitions of “lying by omission” and “ommitting material facts”. He will be hearing those phrases until nell freezes over.

Has there ever before been a Related project where “zero” people close???

Anonymous
Once again
8 years 5 months ago

Yeah pretty scary those on Brickell 500, Icon, Ivy, Mint all were selling real high and got caught up in the speculative run up so I’m curious what happens if very few close? Rental market is oversupplied as well and not priced right yet.

Will we maybee see another auction like the Platinum? Or just have a fire sale and rock bottom pricing and watch the condos move. Related may be able to hold a bit longer but what about developer of Ivy (Key International) and Mint who prob don’t have as much backing as Related?

Anonymous
Once again
8 years 5 months ago

Also look whats happening at Beach Club in Hallandale prices have plummeted over there and keep dropping. Was way overpriced to start and thats Beach front and prices are tanking. Way overpriced.

Only thing that seesm to be movign well for the average person is the LOFT buildings. Reason..they are somewhat affortable. Price all these other towers in that price range and well see more movement.

Anonymous
AJ
8 years 5 months ago
When I first saw the artist rendering of Icon Brickell in 2005, I said to myself “who would buy in this monstrosity?” There are 3 huge towers placed at the apex of a triangle and all staring into each other. Majorly claustrophobic. At least the Icon SOBE does not have that problem even though it has many other issues, which I wont go into now. I know some of the readers of this blog bought a unit in Icon Brickell. It is a bit late for this advice but please remember in future, this is how I operate and invest;… Read more »
Anonymous
Once again
8 years 5 months ago
I agree with the above assesemtn. People were driven by the name and overlooked the reality that their were buying in a pile of buildings with relativley similiar square footage to everything else and nothing to scream spectaculat other than the name and some fancy marketing materials. I drive by there eveyday and agree it is a cluster f**k of buildings on a single piece of land. There will be some nice unis avial there facing east no doubt about it but the rest good luck . Unfortunatley, liek eveyone else you got caught in the hype. Matter of fact… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
8 years 5 months ago

Anybody have an idea how many ongoing projects Related is committed to right now? Projects where they have already laid the foundation… not ones like Icon Las Olas that may never get off the ground.

What is the real number of units they will have to bring to market in the next 2 years?

Anonymous
Un-Related
8 years 5 months ago
AJ said: “I just couldnt see myself living in a cluster of buildings with questionable views just because of a borrowed name from another building by a successful developer. I have a feeling that this might become Related’s biggest failure. ” To put some emphasis on the questionable reputation of Related, I will point out the fact that Ottley and his crew of bandits “sold the river meets bay views” advertised (East views units) for an average of $40-$50 a square foot above IDENTICAL units with West views. Never so much as mentioned the ICON being planned. Related closed on… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
8 years 5 months ago
“People were driven by the name and overlooked the reality that their were buying in a pile of buildings ” This will go down as the first and maybe last time a city was built from investors buying real estate without even knowing the area. I bet 25% of current Brickell contract holders would have a tough time finding Brickell on a map. Nobody knew about these places, and nobody cared. They all looked nice to out of state/country investors in the shiny brochures and people just wanted an easy flip, and Jorge was the easiest. Related flip = Money… Read more »
Anonymous
ESSE
7 years 11 months ago

Hey, this is interesting and indeed eye opening. Even if you have a spectacular east viewing place there, how would you feel if the place is 70% empty !?? How would annual charges develop, I guess rather up than down…

Everyone bought in or because of flip value, or because it promised to be hip crowd location..NOT ghosttown !

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