MIAMI—Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group's Miami office arranged more than $100 million in debt for the acquisition and renovation of the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in Fort Lauderdale Beach. AZ represented the buyer, CFLB Partnership. AZ's Robert Kaplan and Mark Rutherford led the transaction.

“Fortunately, previous ownership maintained the property in like-new condition, providing an opportunity for CFLB Partnership to add the finishing touches and enter the market right away, thus breathing new life into this beautiful asset that fell victim to the global recession,” says Kaplan, a principal of AZ.

CFLB, which purchased the hotel-condo asset for $115 million, has immediate plans to convert the property to a Conrad Hilton. The firm will sell out the condo units under a combination of residential condominium and condominium-hotel uses.

“With a prestigious flag like Conrad, high quality finishes and amenities, and location on the beach, the property offers a tremendous value at prices well below construction cost with the units finished and ready to close,” Kaplan says. The oceanfront property was designed by Michael Graves & Associates and developed by Roy Stillman and Bayrock Group at a cost of more than $200 million.

While the property received a certificate of occupancy in 2009, as a result of the economic downturn, it was never opened or occupied. CFLB will start immediately on a plan to complete the common area amenities, including adding a large ballroom and roof-top amenities deck, and launch the sale of the units. The new owner has engaged One World Properties, with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, to lead the sales and marketing campaign.


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