Lawyers help sellers in $24 million Ritz Plaza deal

Dealmakers: Attorneys Tom Angelo and Gavin Banta

The Deal: Angelo and Banta represented RPH Hotel Associates LLC in the $24 million sale on June 2 of the Ritz Plaza Hotel on 17th Street and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The buyer was Ritz Plaza LLC, a joint venture of Makar Properties, developer of the luxury St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif., and San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management. Delaware-based RPH Hotel Associates LLC was a joint venture of Starwood Hotels and Malvern Hotels of Florida. Starwood managed the Ritz Plaza until the management handover to San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels Management.

Details: Angelo said several national players showed interest in thehotel. The candidates were narrowed to three by Washington, D.C.- based hotel real estate advisory firm Molinaro Koger. Ritz Plaza LLC was chosen based on financials and its ability to close. The beachfront property is in one of Miami-Dade’s hottest real estate sub-markets. Built in 1940, the hotel is on a 1.3-acre site, has 11 stories and 132 rooms. It will remain closed until renovations are completed in 2006.

James Berger, the attorney representing the new ownership group, said Makar will likely build a separate condo-hotel no taller than five stories. The purchaser was represented by Berger and Sam Poole of Berger Singerman, which has offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Makar Properties is a Newport Beach, Calif.-based real estate developer with about $1 billion in assets under management.

Background: Angelo and Banta are partners in the Fort Lauderdale-based firm Angelo & Banta.

Quote: “It’s a pretty large price for a hotel that is not a going concern,” Angelo said. “It says a lot about the integral value [of the property] on a long-term basis.”
– Oscar Pedro Musibay