This Week in Real Estate: Condo board accused of racism, new communities coming to South Florida and more

by Zachary Wright

Nine former and current residents and employees have come forward with accusations of racial discrimination inside the Mirador 1000. Majority of allegations are against two board members who joined in 2016, Arianna Aguero and Silvia Merino.

Seven black employees, including longtime resident Amani Ayers, said they were fired, forced out or quit due to harassment. Valerie Crawford, former roommate of Ayers and employee of the Mirador, said residents who supported the two board members also been discriminative.

“As a longtime employee of the Mirador 1000, I have navigated through some difficult and uncomfortable situations, but I have never felt so disrespected, harassed, and bullied as I do by current members of the board of directors and those who are in their corner,” Crawford said in an email to Miami New Times.

No official lawsuits have been filed against the association. Those stepping forward have also not made any complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or Housing and Urban Development. Since the accusations, the two board members have hired an attorney.

In other real estate news:

  • Delray Beach residents may notice new construction soon off Congress Avenue. Key International, 13th Floor Investments, CDS International Holdings and New Urban Community proposed 759 homes for a new community, plus office, retail and restaurant space. City commissioners are expected to discuss the unnamed proposal before the year ends. Some amenities currently being discussed include a community park, swimming pool and clubhouse. A spokeswoman for Key International, said the community would have 524 apartments, 123 condos, 78 two-story rental townhomes, 34 three-story townhomes, 70,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
  • South Florida homebuilder Lennar broke ground for the master-planned community of Veleiros at Crystal Lake in Deerfield Beach. The community will offer 415 single-family homes and townhouses around Sailboat Lake — the former site of the Crystal Lake Golf Club. Price ranges are in the upper $200,000s to low $300,000s. The community is inspired by coastal home designs with resort-style amenities.
  • Sales have started for the six-unit townhome project, 3621 South Ocean in Highland Beach. The project was recently completed by a joint partnership of Grafton Street Capital, Capital Development Group International and Halsatt Real Estate Partners. The five-bedroom, six-bathroom, four-story townhomes start out around $6 million. SBA Communications chairman Steven E. Bernstein was one of the first buyers, paying $6.9 million.
  • Real estate agent Lilliana Albarino-Olinick’s contract was reportedly terminated with United Realty Group after videos surfaced on Twitter of Olinick allegedly mocking supporters of gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. The video shows Olinick talking to protestors about the Florida recount, suggesting protestors were only supporting Gillum “because he’s black.” Olinick apologized the following Monday. Shawn Olinick, her husband, also had his contract terminated.
  • Adler Group received approval from the Miami voters to redevelop city administration offices along the Miami River. Approximately 64 percent of city voters were in favor of the referendum for Lancelot Miami River, an affiliate of Adler Group, to lease and develop 444. S.W. Second Ave. The developer was selected following a request for proposal issued by the city. By winning the referendum, Adler Group’s 99-year agreement with the city can be finalized and the developer can start working with officials to design the new city office building. The developer would fund construction cost, which are estimated at $140 million.
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