Article Courtesy of The Sun
By Angel Streeter
Published February 18, 2010
The real estate investment subsidiary of BNY Mellon
Corp. and a West Palm Beach-based real estate investment group have
partnered to buy the unfinished Eden condominiums in downtown Boca Raton.
The city has completed its agreement with them and
the current owner, Ceebraid-Signal of West Palm Beach, to reinstate
building permits that were revoked in July after Ceebraid failed to meet
Reissuing the permits was considered critical to the
sale of the long-delayed project to buyers. The agreement among the three
parties also required Ceebraid to drop lawsuits against the city for
revoking the building permits. The city had to return a $750,000 bond by
Ceebraid that would be replaced by the new owners.
Urdang Capital Management, of Plymouth Meeting, Pa.,
and Priderock Capital Partners, which specializes in acquiring and
renovating distressed multifamily units, are expected to complete their
purchase of the Eden development within a month.
But condo unit owners are feeling left out in the
"There's no remorse. They're not doing right by
anybody," said Michael Weinberg, who owns a condo in Eden.
"We're the small guys. We're not important in this big picture. We're
Several years ago, Ceebraid offered to buy back
condo units from buyers as the project stalled. Only one of four buildings
has been completed since the project launched in 2003.
In the past two weeks, some of the 26 condo owners
began receiving new contracts from a Ceebraid subsidiary, Boca Units LLC,
that they said offered less money and under terms that provided them few
They were given a Feb. 12 deadline to agree to the
Weinberg wanted more time to consult with his lawyer
but was told he had to sign an agreement by Friday or he was out of luck.
Other condo owners said they felt rushed.
"They expect me to bow down to their terms to
get out," Weinberg said. "They said, ‘You're not going to get
a better deal.' "
Weinberg said Ceebraid offered him the amount he
paid for his condo minus closing costs, unpaid maintenance fees and a
deposit Ceebraid made on the first contract buying back Weinberg's condo.
Ceebraid declined to provide Weinberg, who didn't
sign the new agreement, with an estimate for the closing costs.
Representatives of Ceebraid, Urdang and Priderock
could not be reached to comment despite attempts by phone and e-mail.
City Council members said they wanted the unit
owners to be treated fairly as the Eden development is sold. And city
officials passed that concern on to the buyers, said George
Brown, deputy city manager.
"It is clearly in the buyers' interest to
ensure that the unit owners' situation be addressed, since this will allow
them to move forward more expeditiously with finishing the project,"
The buyers plan to convert the condominiums into
Urdang owns apartment complexes, office buildings
and retail property throughout the country.
Priderock recently renovated the Glenn at
Lauderhill, previously called the Villas at Lauderhill, an apartment
complex that had been badly battered by Hurricane Wilma.