CLIENT NEWS: Terra’s David Martin buys stake in Deauville Miami Beach site, plans reconstruction

April 23, 2024

Developer David Martin acquired a minority stake in the site of the former Deauville Beach Resort, a property that billionaire developer Stephen Ross had under contract two years ago.

Deauville Associates, led by the Meruelo family, sold a 25 percent interest in the 3.8-acre oceanfront property at 6701 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach for $12.5 million. TMG 67 Communities LLC, a company tied to Martin’s Coconut Grove-based Terra, purchased the stake, records show.

A spokesperson for Terra said the firm is “leading plans to bring an iconic development” to the site and suggested that Terra plans to reconstruct the former resort. The company declined to share additional details about its plans.

Terra also did not respond to a request for comment on whether the $12.5 million represents the full amount of its investment in the deal.

The Deauville, a historic hotel built in 1957, designed by Melvin Grossman, was demolished in 2022 after the Meruelos submitted a structural report to the city that determined it was an unsafe structure. The Meruelo family, led by Belinda Mereuelo, was criticized for not maintaining the building. It had been shuttered since 2017.

The hotel hosted the Beatles for their U.S. debut in 1964 on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” as well as celebrities over the years who included Frank Sinatra and Joan Rivers.

The family struck a deal the year it was demolished to sell the property to Ross, chairman of the New York-based Related Companies, for $500 million. But that sale was dependent on voters approving a ballot measure that would have given Ross the ability to build a larger project, which he tapped Frank Gehry to design. Miami Beach residents voted against the referendum, and the deal eventually fell apart.

Under a new state law that eases the demolitions of coastal structures, local municipalities cannot require that the demolished building be replicated, require the preservation of any of the building’s elements, or impose any requirements that wouldn’t apply to other properties within the same zoning district.

Also in Miami Beach, Terra has been working on a $500 million buyout of the oceanfront Castle Beach Club condominium. Terra’s deal with the majority of unit owners expired earlier this year, but in March, Terra sent a last-chance offer to unit owners that it was willing to continue with the purchase if 100 percent of the unit owners agreed.

Martin is also co-developing the delayed Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel with Turnberry Associates’ Jackie Soffer and partners. He told The Real Deal last year that he expected to close on a roughly $400 million loan for the 800-room project in the first half of this year.

Published on April 11, 2024 on

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