The Chetrit Group is resuscitating plans for its $1 billion megaproject along the Miami River, and is tapping hospitality mogul David Grutman to run the food and beverage operations.
New York-based Chetrit secured approval in 2015 for the 4 million-square-foot phased project, planned for a 6.2-acre site south of the river between I-95 and Southwest Second Avenue. The development, dubbed the River District, is expected to include 1,600 residential units, 30,000 square feet of retail, a marina, parking and Class A office space.
Grutman, who is close with Michael Chetrit and the Chetrit family, said in a press release that his Groot Hospitality plans to incorporate versions of its existing concepts, as well as new ones, in the project’s residential, restaurant and entertainment spaces. Groot Hospitality’s existing nightclubs and restaurants in Miami and Miami Beach include LIV, Story, Komodo, Swan, the Goodtime Hotel, Papi Steak and Gekko.
The River District’s first phase calls for a 54-story rental tower and two retail buildings, and the next phase will be a 52-story luxury condo tower. Construction of the condo building is expected to begin next year and be delivered in 2026, according to the release.
The 378-unit condo tower will have studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Rockwell Group is designing the tower. Rockwell and IDDI are designing the rental building, and Kobi Karp is the overall project architect.
Douglas Elliman is leading sales of the condo building. Fortune International Group sued Chetrit two years ago for allegedly breaching its contract with the brokerage. The two settled in November of this year, court records show.
Bloomberg first reported the news of Grutman joining the project.
Chetrit paid nearly $91 million in 2014 to assemble the site at 501 Southwest Third Avenue.
The firm closed on a $310 million construction loan from Madison Realty Capital for the first two phases of the project in November of 2021. That same year, Chetrit secured a $15 million loan from Michael Dell’s MSD Partners, adding to previous financing it had secured. In 2019, Chetrit bought out its former project partner, Michael Stern’s JDS Development Group, and secured a $55 million loan.
Chetrit has projects planned across South Florida. The family firm, led by brothers Joseph, Meyer, Jacob and Juda Chetrit, has also had its share of legal battles with its other properties. A judge recently ruled in favor of Chetrit’s lender, an affiliate of Safe Harbor Equity, in its foreclosure of the Tides South Beach hotel property, leaving Chetrit on the hook for more than $82 million. That ruling follows a separate lawsuit filed against Chetrit by a private equity investor who alleges he was cut out of the firm’s deal to redevelop the Hollywood Beach Resort.