Goldman Sachs sells Miami condos for US$113,000 each

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group Inc sold 158 condominiums in a foreclosed project outside Miami for about US$113,000 (RM380,358) each, roughly one-third the cost of land and construction.

A partnership of Armco Capital Inc and Southwest Properties Ltd paid US$17.9 million in cash for the apartments in Downtown Dadeland, a seven-tower residential and retail development in Kendall, Florida, about six miles south of downtown Miami.

“They took a big haircut,” said Peter Zalewski, principal of Condo Vultures LLC, a real estate brokerage and consulting firm in Bal Harbour, Florida, that reported the transaction on its website. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs confirmed the condo sales and declined to comment further.

Condo prices in the Miami area fell 37% from a year earlier to an average US$137,900 in the quarter ending Sept 30, the Florida Association of Realtors reported. The number of condo sales rose 43% to 1,763 units.

The Downtown Dadeland purchase comes to about US$109 per sq ft, compared with building costs of an estimated US$250 to US$300 psf, according to Zalewski and Jim Spatz, chairman and CEO of Southwest Properties.

Downtown Dadeland, which broke ground in 2003, is next to the Dadeland Mall, owned by Simon Property Group Inc and anchored by the largest Macy’s store in South Florida. The development is at the intersection of US Highway 1 southwest and Kendall Drive.

The condos range from studios to three bedrooms with an average size of about 1,100 sq ft, Spatz said.

The new owners, both based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, plan to rent the condos until Miami prices rise enough for them to be sold at a profit. That may take three to five years, Spatz said in a telephone interview.

Goldman Sachs continues to own and operate retail stores in the Downtown Dadeland complex, which Zalewski estimated cost US$224 million to develop and build. The bank acquired the property through foreclosure. – Bloomberg LP
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