Short sale site gets flipped for triple the price, stinging Great Florida Bank

South Florida Business Journal by Brian Bandell, Senior Reporter

Date: Friday, July 13, 2012, 10:55am EDT

ust three weeks after Great Florida Bank   allowed a vacant Coconut Creek site to move in a short sale, the new owner flipped it for triple the price to an apartment developer.

The deal shows how banks can sometimes miss out on rebounding property values in South Florida and take unnecessary losses on distressed asset dispositions.

The Miami Lakes-based bank filed a foreclosure lawsuit in 2010 against St. Lucie Industrial Properties, managed by Delray Beach developer Anthony Pugliese, over a $3.35 million mortgage on the 13.6-acre site at 5401 Wiles Road in Coral Springs. He planned to build 198 garden apartment units there, but no construction took place.

On June 20, Great Florida Bank allowed Pugliese’s company to sell the property to Lake Worth-based C.S.S. Building & Design for $2.175 million – or 35 percent below its mortgage value.

The new owner did not hold onto the property for long.

On July 12, C.S.S. and President Melvin Urban sold the property for $6.5 million to Altis at Coconut Creek, an affiliate of Boca Raton-based Altman Development Corp.

If Great Florida Bank and Pugliese’s company had sold it to Altis at Coconut Creek for that price, it would have been enough to fully repay the mortgage and earn a profit for Pugliese.

Altis at Coconut Creek obtained a $30.6 million mortgage from PNC Bank (NYSE: PNC) to build an apartment complex.