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Feldman Equities exits Riverwalk Place project

Planned $350 million skyscraper being redesigned by Miami firm with the potential addition of a luxury hotel

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  • | 6:00 a.m. March 27, 2020
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COURTESY RENDERING — Feldman Equities, the lead developer on the planned 52-story Riverwalk Place project since 2015, has left the project. Two Roads Development will be the primary developer going forward.
COURTESY RENDERING — Feldman Equities, the lead developer on the planned 52-story Riverwalk Place project since 2015, has left the project. Two Roads Development will be the primary developer going forward.
  • Commercial Real Estate
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Feldman Equities LLC has parted ways with partner Two Roads Development and Riverwalk Place, the planned 52-story tower the Tampa-based investment and development firm has championed for the past five years.

The move casts uncertainty over the $350 million condominium skyscraper, which would be the tallest building in Tampa and on the West Coast of Florida.

Going forward, Miami-based Two Roads is expected to be the sole developer on the former Trump Tower Tampa project.

Earlier this month, the firm told condo deposit providers that it planned to refund the money they had put down while holding their reservations in the 100 S. Ashley Drive building as it is being “redesigned.”

The company also says it is pursuing a “boutique luxury hotel” for the project and has “selected and commenced formal negotiations to establish what we anticipate will be a world-class hotel as part of the residential condominium tower.”

“We are excited to present a renewed vision for the site,” Two Roads’ Managing Partner Taylor Collins says in a statement.

Reid Boren, a Two Roads’ Managing Partner who signed the letter, notes that any redesign or negotiations “will take some time,” but he did not provide a specific timeline for future milestones.

Two Roads, which joined the project in March 2018, also declined to discuss the project via a telephone interview or provide further details about any lodging component that might be included in Riverwalk Place.

Larry Feldman, Feldman Equities’ CEO, cited “honest business disagreements” in a prepared statement as the primary reason for the split with Two Roads.

“Honest business disagreements sometimes mean it is best for partners to split off and pursue their own projects,” Feldman says in a statement. “This is one of those times.”

He also declined to comment on what led to his firm’s exit from the project.

Commercial real estate sources familiar with Riverwalk Place who insisted on anonymity, however, say Two Roads and Feldman grappled over the presence of GPB Capital Holdings, a New York firm that in early 2019 agreed to provide as much as $70 million in equity.

GPB Capital, which bills itself as an “alternative asset management” company, specializes in acquiring auto dealerships and waste management firms in and around its base in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and New England.

The company has been investigated by both the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and the FBI for allegedly defrauding investors. Last October, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted GPB Capital’s chief compliance officer for obstruction of justice in the SEC probe.

Prior to Riverwalk Place, its only real estate investment was a Brooklyn condo project, according to its website.

The two former partners also quarreled over design aspects of Riverwalk Place, a Gensler-designed building originally slated to contain 210 luxury condos, about 200,000 square feet of Class A office space, five restaurants and a rooftop bar.

Feldman had met with several obstacles in his plan to develop the tower after he and long-time partner Tower Realty Partners, of Orlando, acquired the former Trump Tower site in 2015 for $12.5 million.

Initially, the duo planned to complete the building in 2018. That year, Feldman told brokers it would be mostly ready in early 2021 in time for the NFL’s Super Bowl, scheduled to be played in Tampa.

In the years since Riverwalk Place was first unveiled, various residential developers have emerged with plans for competing condo projects.

Most notably, Strategic Property Partners has proposed condos within its planned 26-story 815 Water St. building, part of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa development in downtown Tampa, and elsewhere on the 56-acre tract near Amalie Arena.

Additionally, Naples-based Ronto Group last summer unveiled plans for a 22-story luxury condo project in South Tampa.

Altura Bayshore is being designed to contain 73 residences priced from $1 million to $2.9 million at 2907 S. Ysabella Ave.

At the same time, Atlanta-based Batson-Cook Development and Sarasota’s Ascentia Development Group are working on a 34-story condo tower across from Curtis Hixon Park.

Arris Tampa’s 80 units, at 507 N. Ashley Drive, will be priced from $600,000 to over $2 million, the developers say.

West Palm Beach-based Two Roads, meanwhile, has extensive high-end residential experience.

In Miami, the company built the 57-story Elysee Miami tower and the 51-story Biscayne Beach tower, among other projects.



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