The expertise of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman P.L. in complicated land-use and real property matters was on display in the City of Miami Beach, where the firm represented developer Mast Capital in completing a property acquisition from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and obtaining city approval for a long-anticipated luxury condominium project. Mast can now move forward with the 175-unit development at 4000 Alton Road in the city’s growing Mid-Beach neighborhood.
Firm Partner Peter D. Waldman led negotiations with FDOT for the acquisition of surplus land located next to the project site, a process that started in August 2019 and culminated with the November 2020 project approval. The $1.99 million property transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020.
In assisting Mast, Waldman tapped into his proficiency representing private property owners and businesses in eminent domain, real property acquisition and valuation and the development, implementation and execution of capital improvement projects. He also has the unique perspective of having previously served as Assistant General Counsel for FDOT.
Firm Partner Edward Martos provided valuable assistance regarding the history of the project from a land-use perspective.
To facilitate the property transaction, Waldman had to persuade FDOT officials to designate the land as a surplus property, produce traffic and drainage studies and a market appraisal, resolve an environmental issue related to debris removal, and negotiate the purchase agreement.
“This was a team effort and a rewarding project to work on,” Waldman said. “FDOT followed its process to the letter of the law, and we did everything the Department asked for to show that this property was not being used, and was not needed for future FDOT projects. The result is a true win/win, with the city finally able to have this project move forward to accommodate strong demand for new luxury residential product in Mid-Beach and FDOT getting significant revenue through the property sale.”
The project had been held up in the planning and approval phase for more than six years before last month’s city approval. Mast is developing the 12-story building on 1.9 acres it previously purchased from Talmudic University in October 2014.
In addition to representing private property owners, Waldman is also often hired by governmental entities and utilities in eminent domain, property acquisition, project design and engineering matters, and has assisted municipalities with the development of right of way programs. He is a member of The Florida Bar’s Eminent Domain Committee and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.