YTECH - 1428 Brickell, LLC (Ytech), an investment affiliate of Ytech International, has acquired the BankUnited Office Building located at 1428 Brickell Avenue in Miami, one of the most desirable development properties remaining in Miami’s financial district.
The purchase, which includes $26.5 million for the real estate, plus “tens of millions of dollars more” to settle claims and non-real estate matters, is the final step in a series of transactions that brings an end to years of high-profile litigation and threats of foreclosure, said Yamal Yidios, the 34-year-old founder and sole owner of Ytech, which has completed more than $1 billion in real estate investment and development in the Southeastern United States.
“This transaction, which gives Ytech a property of nearly 50,000 square feet on Brickell Avenue and development rights for up to 825,000 square feet, was a very challenging and rewarding business undertaking,” Yidios said. The 1428 Brickell property, which presently has a 100,762-square-foot office building, has been entangled in litigation making the property difficult to develop or transact. “The property was on the brink of a summary judgment foreclosure hearing when Ytech was asked to become involved. Providing the immediate capital to stave off the impending foreclosure preserved the value of the asset for the Taplin family,” Yidios said.
Buying the mortgage and postponing the foreclosure action was just the first step in the eventual purchase. In a series of separate transactions and agreements involving both the real estate and non-real estate matters, Yidios and Ytech’s outside general counsel, Stuart Kapp of Kapp Morrison LLP, negotiated to bring an end to years of litigation that included claims by neighboring property owner Walter DeFortuna, lender ESJ Capital Partners and New York investor Shahab Karmely.
“We quickly realized that with years of history and frustration between the parties, Ytech’s best strategy was to serve as an intermediary, arranging for the purchase from the Taplin family on the one hand and a settlement with DeFortuna on the other,” Yidios said.
“We were convinced that at the end of the day, the dispute would be resolved by settlement or in court in a way that would allow Ytech to perform under its contract with the Taplins. Admittedly, it took some confidence to spend a significant amount of money pursuing a deal behind a specific performance claim, but we analyzed the situation and deemed it to be a calculated business risk worth taking.
“Transactions like these are not for the faint of heart,” Yidios said. “We had to make strategic business decisions, one after another at a very fast pace as we had to work through buying a mortgage, postponing a foreclosure, settling two litigations and buying the property. This was a legally intensive set of transactions,” Yidios said.
“1428 Brickell is a big deal,” Kapp said. “Yamal did independently what the two parties could not do together, and it is very satisfying that we could bring an end to years of friction between all the parties. It took tremendous insight, patience, resources and trust by the various parties to allow Yamal to craft a solution. Yamal's underlying determination and perseverance were strong enough to offset all setbacks, delays and challenges,” Kapp said. “He was relentlessly determined to get all the parties across the finish line.”
Yidios has been consistently recognized in the South Florida community for his leadership, entrepreneurial drive and deal making. These awards include Negocios Magazine’s U.S. Top Hispanic Entrepreneur of 2016, South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Company of the Year, Daily Business Review’s Best Real Estate Developer in 2013 and 2015, South Florida Business Journal’s 2014 and 2015 Power Leader in Real Estate, ENR Southeast’s 2017 20 Under 40, and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 HYPE Entrepreneur Award winner, among others.
About Ytech International
Ytech International is a fully integrated real estate investment and development company headquartered in Miami, Florida. Ytech has invested in, developed and redeveloped more than 7,000 residential units in the Southeastern United States over the past decade.
The company has invested more than $1 billion over the years and its current real estate portfolio makes it one of the largest privately held companies in Miami in terms of aggregate asset value. This portfolio consists of 3,300 multifamily apartments. Additionally, Ytech owns single-family home subdivisions, retail assets, class A and B office space and employs 150 people across its properties and subsidiary companies.