Once-ritzy Jockey Club goes on auction block

, Daily Business Review

Once the ultimate nightlife hub before South Beach rose to prominence, North Miami's Jockey Club has languished for nearly three decades.

Efforts by developers over the years to revive the once-swanky club and bayfront marina have been unsuccessful, but an upcoming foreclosure auction of a substantial portion of the site offers another opportunity to breathe new life into the property.

On Monday, more than 14 acres of the 30.7-acre Jockey Club property are set to be sold in an online Miami-Dade Circuit Court foreclosure auction.

Foreclosure notice

The property, located at 11111 Biscayne Blvd., includes a vacant 8.16-acre bayfront parcel once occupied by the Lear School, a private school for the children of seasonal residents; a 16-slip deep-water marina; tennis courts and several swimming pools.

The auction does not include the 411 condominiums in three buildings at the club.

The auction follows a $23.7 million foreclosure judgment awarded in April to Seacoast National Bank, the leader of a group of 13 lenders that provided financing to three companies managed by local developer Yaron Horesh. Horesh planned to restore the marina and build residences on the vacant land.

While many foreclosure auctions result in a lender taking title to a property with a minimum bid, the uniqueness of the Jockey Club site could attract outside bidders. Such a scenario would be fine with the Seacoast group, said Miami attorney Paul Friedman, who represents Seacoast in the foreclosure case.

"Seacoast welcomes anyone outbidding it at the foreclosure sale and understands the property may be sold for less than the judgment indebtedness," Friedman said.

Horesh, manager of Cinerest LLC, Tifeeret LLC and Tzion LLC, paid $18.6 million for the site in 2005 but never started construction of the residential project. Seacoast and the other lenders filed to foreclose shortly after the $25 million loan matured in July 2008 with about $20 million still owed.