Midtown Miami Owners Revolt Against Condo President Over $2.4 Million Lobby Renovation

Categories: Unreal Estate

Midtown_via_midtownmiami.com.jpg
midtownmiami.com
"People should either be caressed or crushed," Niccolò Machiavelli once wrote. "If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do."

Seth Cohen clearly did not get the civics lesson. In summer 2012, the then 43-year-old New Yorker went South Florida apartment shopping. After much deliberation, he dropped $1.5 million on a 4,000-square-foot penthouse in the hottest spot in town: Two Midtown Miami. Then he put his name on the ballot for condo association president and won. Cohen had instantly become prince of the 5-year-old tower, with its white walls, turquoise pool, and trendy restaurants. Machiavelli would have approved.

But Cohen was neither loved nor feared by his fellow condo owners. And in April of this year, his crown slipped. After completing an expensive upgrade of the elevators and pool furniture, he proposed a $2.4 million renovation of Two Midtown's lobby. Roughly 120 condo owners received notice in the mail, along with a $6,844.27 bill.

That's when the insurrection began.

See also: Midtown Miami Developer Accused of Bribing Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

"I rubbed my eyes to see if I was seeing correctly," says condo owner Iliat Llamozas. "I looked at the rendering of the lobby and couldn't figure out how the association was going to be able to spend that much money on the renovation.

"The design was horrible," she says. "It had chairs that looked like chairs from The Munsters and bookshelves and two fireplaces. Bookshelves! I mean, nobody reads books anymore."

Llamozas called her brother, Rafael Borges, who was one of the first people to buy a place at Two Midtown. Borges had initially told his sister to vote for Cohen. Now he felt betrayed.

"We never had any problems with anyone ever until this board member joined," Borges says. "But these renovations are absurd. This guy is a bully."

Borges had a huge banner printed with the words: "Shame on you, Seth Cohen." On April 29, he and several other condo owners stood on the curb in front of Two Midtown to protest the special assessment.


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37 comments
sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776

sometimes its about robbing peter to pay paul 


as his obams like ego saw that he got away with some


go for more



Bob Horton
Bob Horton

And now the residents will soon be able to shop close by at Wal-Mart.

Matty Wheelz
Matty Wheelz

I want to see a revolt against Building more condos!!!!!

Firip Onitsuka
Firip Onitsuka

Must be nice to complain about your million dollar lobby renovation.

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

Don't buy condos.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................this is what happens when a previoulsy industrial area, freight railroad lines and commercial and industrial zoning with no buffers or noise mitigation and traffic abatments becomes marketed and promoted as high-end residential living with all the standard amenities (meaning proper cash reserves on the balance sheet)

MIAMI MID-TOWN is a dirty grimy dusty noisey crowded area with the typical limited parking and small parks to walk dogs and the requisite big-box retailers and a few over-priced tourist trap restaurants and bars with limited resources such as libraries and schools and public transportation

Building loading docks for daily deliveries and pick-ups and building and restaurant exhaust vents are inefficiently located and poorly planned and conflict with quality-of-life sidewalk blocking and kitchen odor emitting unpleseantries commonly noticible

pedestrian and vehicular traffic is as confusing and dangerous as elsewhere in MIAMI and i would say many if not most owners were ill-advised to buy here

another MIAMI real-estate mis-adventure that buyers are stuck in with the surrounding area remaining a dump and the promised improvements lasting only as long as the signs don't blow away in the wind

afs2104
afs2104

Uhhh, that's a photo of 4Midtown not 2Midtown...

Patrick Garrett
Patrick Garrett

This guys in his 40s? What a crying little bitch. Send him back to NY. He can use his fireplace there. Good luck.

DSMMiami
DSMMiami

Cohen is wrong.  Not a few, but rather a majority of owners do not want, need or can afford a 2.4 mil lobby reno.

what's more, they want a BdofDir that is transparent and communicative.  Cohen has proved he doesn't get it.  Has publicly stated "it's my building..."

sedonasherpa
sedonasherpa

I will never own another property that is controlled by others...period.


I would rather have a 35 year-old rancher in some blue collar neighborhood with the "cable-guy" trucks and boats parked on the driveways - than have some condo commando decide how to spend my money!



Stay Thirsty My Friends...

Rafael Borges
Rafael Borges

Thank you Jennifer Echeverri , the war is not over yet.

dantevida
dantevida topcommenter

State law would require a vote to obtain unit owner approval for such a renovation regardless of what the condo docs say.

Mario Francisco Garcia
Mario Francisco Garcia

Fireplaces in Miami??? we haven't had more than 3 days of winter in a row in over 4 years.

Amy Rodriguez
Amy Rodriguez

People are so conflicting, first it was Wal-Mart and now it's Condos....make up your mind.

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

This is probably the least of this buildings problems as almost all condominiums in Florida are worthless. 
These dumb owners need to read their condominium documents.  Easier way to handle things.  Unfortunately most condominium owners are dumb bottom feeders who are in way over their heads. 

susy24
susy24

Problems of the 1%.

Laurie Allen
Laurie Allen

I have the couch in the rendering...will sell for .4 million.

marcpink13
marcpink13

@frankd4 So the revolt against an overpriced lobby renovation happens because of all those things? Thanks for the info.

MikeMillerMiami
MikeMillerMiami

@dantevida  You are right. However, the vote would have been far from straight-forward: many of the units in the building are still owned by the developer, who owners feared would provide Cohen with a huge block of votes (one per unit). The vote has been put off, at least for the time being.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@marcpink13 @frankd4  


it's like a rolls-royce stretch-limo parked in an overtown hood - yes indeed it can speak volumes


i was directly involved with a failure of a very popular restaurant that was right in the center of MID-TOWN and observed on a regular basis the surroundings


basically faux-sophistication on an industrial grime - as fake and fraudulent as oz

grantstern
grantstern

@MikeMillerMiami @dantevida  This is a prime example of why Florida's condos need major structural reforms to their decision making processes and governance boards.  So much authority is vested into typically three person boards that all a unit owner can do at times is protest in the streets. 

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

@MikeMillerMiami @dantevida 

Red flag would be that developers will rarely vote for a special assessment when they own units.  Developers usually delay any maintenance or repairs until they have relinquished full control of the condominium. 

The owners have the right to request the contract details.   

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

@DSMMiami @DrumRollPlease 

State laws and condominium documents cover this issue.  The documents for this building are 200 pages.   You are looking for alterations to common elements.  The state won't help you out but you can challenge everything in your building using your documents.  The problem is your building will fall apart if people keep challenging assessments. 

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