MIAMI, Fla. March 24, 2016 – On behalf of 259 families of Miami’s Jockey Club, Heller Waldman recently filed a lawsuit against developer Apeiron Miami, LLC, and the residents of Jockey Club III, asking a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge to block the development of a proposed 240-unit residential building and 90-room hotel on the Jockey Club property, located at 11111 Biscayne Blvd.
According to the suit, filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida on March 9, owners in Buildings I and II of the Jockey Club contend that existing agreements from 1977 and 1995 restrict any development of the common areas of the 22-acre Jockey Club property, despite Apeiron’s purchase of 13 of those acres and a $10-million agreement it entered into with the residents of Building III to proceed with the planned development. On the heels of its success with Grove Isle last year, Heller Waldman has been again asked to stop what the homeowners in Buildings I and II say is prohibited growth within their development.
Immediately after the suit was filed, media outlets reported on the case, getting reaction from Heller Waldman senior partner Glen H. Waldman.
The South Florida Business Journal article about the lawsuit pointed out that the 1977 agreement, between the developer of Building III and Building II, restricted additional residential development on the site. Additionally, a 1995 agreement between the associations of all three Jockey Club buildings said that all former agreements would remain with the title to the land, even if sold, and all three buildings would need to approve any changes to the development plan. Waldman told the Business Journal, “There is no win for the people in Buildings I and II. It won’t increase the price of their units. It will probably decrease the price of their units.”
The Miami Herald spoke with attorneys representing Apeiron, who said the 1977 and 1995 agreements were “old.” But Waldman pointed out the error of that reasoning, telling the Herald, “Well, the Constitution is old, too. But it’s still a pretty solid document.” He also reasoned that just because land is bought, doesn’t mean it can be developed without consideration of the impact on others’ rights. The Sun-Sentinel also reported the filing of the lawsuit, pointing to the Herald story.
Legal industry news provider Law360 noted that the residents’ complaint addresses Apeiron’s position that it only needed the support of the 152 families of Building III of the Jockey Club to move forward with the development. Yet, the developer still offered financial incentives, which were rejected, to the residents of Buildings I and II, according to the suit. That fact, Plaintiffs say, indicates Apeiron knew it needed the support of these residents for its project.
Following South Florida real estate, The Next Miami and The Real Deal, also shared news of the lawsuit, quoting a statement from Apeiron attorneys that plans to develop the land would proceed. Waldman strongly countered that strategy, telling The Real Deal, “They’re basically ignoring settlement agreements. The goal at this juncture is very straight forward: stop the development of Apeiron.”