Aloft Miami Brickell hotel owner files for bankruptcy

Pedro Villar of Sunview Companies with the hotel (Marriott, LinkedIn via Villar)

Seeking to avoid “aggressive foreclosure action” by his Park Avenue lender, the owner of the Aloft Miami Brickell hotel has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In a statement that was part of the bankruptcy petition, hotel developer Pedro Villar said New York City’s Torchlight Investors falsely attempted to seize Aloft Miami Brickell’s income and collect multi-million prepayment charges. dollars.

“Throughout[lapandémiel’hôtelamaintenusavaleuràplusde30millionsdedollarsetestentièrementinutilisémaispoursonhypothèquede178millionsdedollars”aécritVillar”Torchlightestetatoujoursétépeudisposéàs’engagerdansdesnégociationspourparveniràunentraînement”[thepandemicthehotelmaintaineditsvalueinexcessofmillionandisentirelyunencumberedbutforits8millionmortgage”Villarwrote”Torchlightisandhasalwaysbeenunwillingtoengageinnegotiationstoachieveaworkout”[lapandémiel’hôtelamaintenusavaleuràplusde30millionsdedollarsetestentièrementinutilisémaispoursonhypothèquede178millionsdedollars»aécritVillar”Torchlightestetatoujoursétépeudisposéàs’engagerdansdesnégociationspourparveniràunentraînement”[thepandemicthehotelmaintaineditsvalueinexcessofmillionandisentirelyunencumberedbutforits8millionmortgage”Villarwrote“Torchlightisandhasalwaysbeenunwillingtoengageinnegotiationstoachieveaworkout”

Villar and his attorney Joseph Pack declined to comment. Torchlight and lawyers representing the real estate investment company in the foreclosure lawsuit did not respond to requests for comment.

The 160-room hotel, located at 1001 Southwest Second Avenue, is owned by Mary Brickell Village Hotel LLC, managed by Villar, president of Miami-based Sunview Companies.

Completed in 2013, the hotel has total assets of $ 34 million and liabilities of $ 18 million, according to the bankruptcy filing. Its main creditor is a subsidiary of Torchlight which made the loan of $ 17.8 million. The largest unsecured debt is $ 252,098, which is owed to the Miami-Dade County tax collector.

Villar’s company is the second Miami hotel owner in recent weeks to seek bankruptcy protection after weathering the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. The owner of the Holiday Inn at 340 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami also filed a Chapter 11 claim, which allows a business to restructure its debts while satisfying its creditors.

“Last year, the hotel faced its most serious challenge since it opened in the summer of 2013: the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed on
companies, especially those in the hospitality industry, ”Villar wrote in his statement. “When COVID-19 arrived in March 2020, the loan was backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars in reserves. “

The hotel owner did not miss any loan payments before the pandemic and contacted Wells Fargo, which managed the mortgage, to develop a contingency plan in the event of a missed payment as Covid-19 restrictions remained in place, Villar wrote.

Months later, he learned that a Torchlight subsidiary had taken over the loan department and would not help the hotel’s owning entity make changes, Villar said. He claimed that the hotel was unable to function and that communication with Torchlight “was almost impossible”.

Instead, Torchlight began charging default interest, special service fees and legal fees that Villar’s company disputed, the statement said. In March, Torchlight filed a foreclosure action against the hotel owner.

“Torchlight had no genuine interest in negotiating in good faith and had decided early in the process that they wanted to seize the hotel,” Villar said. “Mary Brickell Village Hotel has made no progress in negotiations with Torchlight and believes Torchlight’s legal positions are legally unhealthy and even potentially expose a harmful business model.”