Ohio firm pays $29M for oceanfront co-op in Palm Beach County

Ohio firm pays $29M for oceanfront co-op in Palm Beach County

Waterfront property in the Sunshine State is still red hot.

An Ohio real estate firm paid $29 million for a co-op property in Ocean Ridge that was terminated, paving the way for redevelopment.

Edwards Companies of Columbus, Ohio, acquired the 22-unit co-op at 6855 North Ocean Boulevard, property records show. The nearly 2.2-acre property is the latest bulk residential building to sell for redevelopment in hopes to keep up with high demand.

Edwards Ocean Ridge LLC financed the purchase with a $16 million loan from First Republic Bank. The firm, which developed the mixed-use Atlantic Crossing project in Delray Beach, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 6855 N. Ocean co-op hired Cushman & Wakefield’s Brad Capas and Robert Given to market the property after receiving unsolicited interest from developers. Capas said they received more than five offers for the circa-1962 building. The buyer, Edwards, plans to build a luxury condo on the site. Up to 18 units could be developed on the oceanfront property, depending on how the site’s easements are interpreted.

The two-story building, made up of small studios and one-bedroom apartments, was in need of “significant upgrades.” It’s next to the Ocean Club of Florida, an invitation-only social membership club with amenities. Ocean Ridge, where waterfront homes sell for tens of millions of dollars, is south of Palm Beach and Manalapan and north of Gulf Stream.

Developers have long targeted older condo buildings along the coast, but that trend has accelerated following the deadly condo collapse in Surfside last year. The tragedy shed light on the enormous upkeep required to maintain older properties, and put pressure on municipalities to ensure that buildings were up to code. It also encouraged some owners of older buildings to sell in bulk deals to one investor or developer.

“The residents of those buildings are faced with a decision: Do they sell or do they bring the building up to safety standards?” said Capas. “We’ll continue to see [condo buyouts]. The Surfside tragedy is a reality. The age of these buildings is a reality and they’re expensive to repair.”

Last week, Vlad Doronin’s OKO Group and partner Cain International bought a pair of co-op buildings in Palm Beach for a combined $146.6 million.

In August, Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Development purchased all of the units of a 53-year-old beachfront condo building in Tequesta, where Fontainebleau and Phil Perko of Perko Development Partner plan a luxury condo project.

Despite increased demand from buyers and interest on the sellers’ side, condo terminations can be very challenging and take months or longer to close.

In Miami Beach, Related Group and 13th Floor Investments recently rescinded their $500 million offer for Castle Beach Club, a 570-unit condo building that hit the market last year. The Related and 13th Floor joint venture said it was “unable to secure the necessary number of purchase agreements required to complete a transaction” since initiating talks with the Castle Beach association this year.

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