MIAMI, Fl, May 17, 2019 – A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge has issued a ruling that will shape the future of one of the last historic buildings on Brickell Avenue, the gleaming corridor of Miami’s financial district.
Following a non-jury trial, Judge Abby Cynamon decided on May 10th that Lupetto Inc. may not repurchase the property at 1548 Brickell Ave., an impressive neo-classical edifice that has been renovated into prime office space, pursuant to an agreement between the parties.
The landmark mansion, with its two-story portico supported by massive columns, was the home of descendants of the original owner, banker George E. Nolan, until the 1990s. When it was built in 1925, Brickell was lined with so many grand residences that it was known as “Millionaires’ Row.”
The May 10 ruling was a victory for current owners South Bay Developers Group L.L.C. and 1548 Brickell Avenue L.L.C., represented by Glen H. Waldman and Sean M. McCleary.
“We are incredibly pleased with this result, especially after overcoming all the obstacles the opposition put up to derail us since the suit began. It was a protracted and hard-fought battle, but we prevailed and now our clients can move forward with their plans for this one-of-a-kind property,” Waldman said.
The case began with a 2015 complaint filed by Lupetto, Inc. claiming breach of contract and seeking specific performance to require the sale of the historic property to Lupetto pursuant to a repurchase agreement that was executed in 2008 when South Bay Developers Group, L.L.C. originally bought the property from Lupetto. South Bay filed a counterclaim for declaratory relief, taking the position that Lupetto had failed to timely exercise its option to repurchase the property and all rights or options it may have had were extinguished. Because the property had significantly appreciated in value, Waldman had to also combat any sympathy that might inure to Lupetto and any notion that this was about greed and seller’s remorse. The trial concluded on Jan. 25, 2019. The Judge’s well-reasoned opinion completely validated the strategy employed by Waldman once he was hired in this complex case. South Bay will be entitled to supplement its Judgment to include its attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in the 4 year battle.
“This property is now worth double, close to double, what the repurchase amount was,” Waldman explains to the Daily Business Review.