FT.LAUDERDALE, FL--Boca Raton-based Fimiani Development Corp.brokered the sale of a two-story, 22,688-square-foot-officebuilding near Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale for $2 million orabout $88 per square foot. Fimiani, which was also the receiver forthe building, represented the lender, Turnberry Bank of Aventura,Florida, in the foreclosure sale which took place in mid-May. Thebuyer was a Miami-Dade group of investors in search of distressedassets. The former owner of the building was a Broward County (Ft.Lauderdale area) investor.

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The roughly seven-year-old property at 777 SE 20thStreet, which was 25% occupied when it was sold, caters to marineindustry businesses, says Mike Fimiani, president of FimianiDevelopment. The building’s low occupancy rate was the resultof market conditions and the previous owner not making enough of aneffort to lease space in the building or actively manage it, hesays.

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The building is in a great location and had been well-occupiedat one time, says Fimiani. Since his company began to managethe building last November, when it went into receivership, therehave been three new tenants, he says. “Now that the property isbeing actively managed, I expect it to be leased up in the next 12months and to perform well,” says Fimiani.

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Although the 20th Street building has suffered fromlow occupancy, most similar buildings in the area, which are betterleased, still have experienced a 10% to 15% decline in occupancysince the beginning of the recession, says Fimiani.

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Fimiani is a receiver for other properties besides the Ft.Lauderdale building which just sold. Another one of hisreceivership assignments involves four single family homes and 14single-family building lots in the Port Charlotte area, north ofFt. Myers on Florida’s West coast. Plus, Fimiani has receivershipassignments for office and retail properties across the state.

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More lenders are starting to take action on their problem loans,says Fimiani. They are foreclosing on the collateral or extendingthe loans, so there has been a pickup in the volume oftransactions, he says. “You will see a lot of B and C transactions,mostly cash deals for under $10 Million,” says Fimiani. But lendersare also beginning to do workouts for larger properties as well, hesays. As a result, “You will see institutional buyers coming intothe Florida market (to buy distressed properties) too,” saysFimiani.

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