Lender sues for foreclosure against owner of DoubleTree hotel

DoubleTree Hotel near Miami International Airport and President of United Capital Corp. Anthony “Tony” Miceli (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

The owner of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Miami Airport Convention Center has reportedly not made mortgage payments since April 2020. So the lender is now seeking to collect nearly $ 33 million in unpaid debt.

The lender, a commercial mortgage-backed securities trust represented by a subsidiary of Miami-based Rialto Capital Advisors, has filed a foreclosure lawsuit in Miami-Dade circuit court against AFP 103 Corp. The entity is managed by executives of a New York-based real estate agency. investment company United Capital Corporation.

The DoubleTree Miami Airport hotel is the latest hotel property in Miami-Dade County to find itself in court over financial issues following the tourist disruption caused by the pandemic. Over the summer, two hotels in downtown Miami and Brickell filed for bankruptcy to settle with creditors and avoid foreclosure. In March of last year, the DoubleTree hotel at Miami Airport laid off 179 employees, according to a WARN state record.

The lawyers representing the United Capital subsidiary AFP 103 Corp. and the CMBS Trust did not respond to requests for comment.

According to its website, United Capital owns 150 commercial properties covering more than eight million square feet in the United States, including the Marriott Orlando Downtown.

United Capital bought the DoubleTree Miami Airport hotel in 2009 for $ 11.7 million in a foreclosure auction, records show. The 334-room hotel and 138,198-square-foot conference center at 711 Northwest 72nd Avenue were completed in 1968.

The property is also home to the Miami Merchandise Mart, which is owned by a different entity and is not a party to the September 9 foreclosure lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the United Capital subsidiary contracted a refinancing of $ 40 million in 2013 from a subsidiary of UBS Bank. The loan was assigned to CMBS Trust the same year. In April last year, CMBS Trust sent the United Capital subsidiary a notice of default after missing its monthly mortgage payment, and no payments have been made since, according to the lawsuit. As a result, the principal overdue, plus interest, of $ 32.8 million is now due, according to the complaint.

In 2020, government restrictions on travel and accommodation establishments resulted in a massive drop in the number of hotel guests in South Florida. Despite a rebound in tourism, Miami-Dade hotels are still recording a drop in bookings, especially for business trips.

In July, the owner of a Holiday Inn in downtown Miami filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, listing $ 100 million to $ 500 million in assets and $ 10 million to $ 50 million in liabilities. of dollars. According to the owner’s lawyer, the filing is aimed at settling with creditors and attracting investors to redevelop the site at 340 Biscayne Boulevard.

A month later, the owner of Aloft Brickell Miami at 1001 Southwest Second Avenue also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure action by Torchlight Investors, which seeks to collect a loan of 17, $ 8 million.

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