Miami's Foreclosure District

The Brickell District in downtown Miami is fast becoming the epicenter of condo unit foreclosure in southern Florida.
January 9, 2008, 1pm PST | Mike Lydon
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"It was about 8 a.m. in June, two months after Arnold Kovelman moved into his rented condo at Club at Brickell Bay in Miami, when he heard the knock on the door.

'I was kind of like sleep walking and this woman is there with a badge. She's saying she's the sheriff and she's there to serve my landlord a foreclosure,' said Kovelman, 27, a senior account executive for a New York-based Web development company.

Kovelman's rental was one of 80 in the luxury condominium at 1200 Brickell Bay Dr. that dropped into foreclosure in 2007. The Club at Brickell Bay ranked first among condominiums in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with the most units in foreclosure. Borrowers owe lenders more than $42 million.

As the region's housing market sputters into the new year, a collection of largely unoccupied new towers are straining under hundreds of millions of dollars in defaulted mortgages. In the 20 buildings in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with the largest numbers of units in foreclosure, loans in default totaled more than $271.8 million, according to an analysis by Condo Vultures, a Bal Harbour real estate consulting firm and brokerage.

The epicenter: Miami's financial district along Brickell Avenue, where three of the top five buildings are located. Condo Vultures' principal Peter Zalewski jokingly refers to that area as Miami's 'foreclosure district.'"

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Published on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 in The Miami Herald
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