The Georgian billionaire brouhaha (the country, not the state) over the last developable parcels of Fisher Island was set to be settled with an auction Jan. 23, ordered after the parcels' owners lost a $140 million foreclosure judgment. The foreclosed parcels include 15 acres of land approved for residential development.
Instead, the court has postponed the auction till March to give the owners time to start building the long-delayed Palazzo del Sol and Palazzo del Luna condo towers on the vacant lot. The Kobi Karp designs for the Fisher-style Mediterranean Revival luxe condos, along with a third tower, Palazzo del Mare, which actually has been built, were approved back in 2007, with brokers advertising the units as ready for move-in by June 2010. But then Miami's real estate market collapsed, there were a flurry of foreclosures on Fisher and the ownership of the parcels was contested by insurance giant AIG and the estate of assassinated Georgian billionaire Arkadi Patarkasishvili. (our condolences to those trying to pronounce his name)
UPDATE: A previous version of this post erroneously listed the address 6921 Valencia Drive as part of the foreclosed parcels. We regret the error.
To make the matter that much more convoluted, a mysterious offshore company based on the island of Jersey in the English Channel (again, not the state) called Fisher Island Holdings bought the debt from AIG and later prevailed in asserting ownership of the parcels in the suit filed by Patarkasishvili's estate and the slain man's half-cousin and former business advisor, Joseph Kay, who used to be spotted regularly on the island. Russian and former Soviet wealth helped get Fisher on its feet again after the collapse, but also brought a lot of drama. If the two new Palazzo buildings would only get underway, perhaps Fisher can move past this mess and really make a go of reclaiming its onetime distinction, lost during the recession, as America's Priciest Zip Code. Mo' money, mo' problems, as Notorious once said.
· Condo Construction Plans Delay $140 Million Foreclosure Auction [South Florida Business Journal]
· $140 Million Foreclosed Piece of Fisher To Hit Auction Block [Curbed Miami]