AVENTURA, Fla. December 7, 2017 – Along with its clients Privé Developers, Gary Cohen and BH3, Waldman Barnett is celebrating the commencement of closings for the luxury condominium development Privé at Island Estates on the North Island of Aventura’s Dumfoundling Bay. The receipt of the first Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, which occurred on Thursday, December 7, was the last step Privé had to overcome to begin occupancy by its new residents. Closings are underway.
After four years of incredibly contentious litigation, pursued by its neighbors from both Williams Island and the South Island, in multiple lawsuits and an aggressive and often misleading media campaign aimed to chill prospective purchasers, Privé has triumphed. Waldman Barnett successfully prevailed at trial in the last remaining piece of significant litigation this summer, and recently the court denied, in full, all post-trial motions to attempt to derail the favorable verdict.
“The travails have ended,” said Waldman Barnett co-managing partner Glen Waldman. “We have beat back all litigation. Now, closings on the condos have begun, and residents will soon be moving in.”
Scheduled for January 2018 is the jury trial on Privé’s counterclaim against Williams Island, which filed the first lawsuit to try to harm and derail the project. (Privé won a judgment against Williams Island on their affirmative claims in that lawsuit earlier this year.) The basis for Privé’s claim, which is seeking in excess of $50 million, is for breach of two agreements that date back to 1982 and required Williams Island and the owners of the Two Islands (North and South) to not object to development on the other’s property. In fact, one of these two agreements is included in the title policies of the residents of Williams Island and is also in the Condominium documents. In the past 35 years, Williams Island has built 11 buildings under the Agreement, and the owners of the Two Islands have never objected.
Waldman says the Williams Island suit, which was an attempt to stop this project, is a blatant breach, and while the project is now complete, the damages caused by this and other copycat suits that followed were significant. Hence, Privé and its counsel look forward to putting these issues in the hands of a jury and demonstrating how the Williams Island Board that voted to proceed with this suit failed to perform its due diligence, professed to be unaware of the recorded agreements (that are in their title policies) and refused to dismiss their claims, even after they were made aware of the agreements, all while putting their 2,000 unit owners in jeopardy of a significant adverse judgment.
Joining Waldman on the team that worked to deliver victory on behalf of their clients were co-managing partner Eleanor Barnett, along with partner Jeffrey Lam and associate Michael Azre. The same team will try the counterclaim in January 2018.