Hotel Astor owner buys Miami Beach apartment building

The building at 1770 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach with Anil Monga, CEO of Victory Investments Group (Google Maps)

The Eatontown, New Jersey-based real estate investment firm, which acquired the Astor Hotel nine months ago, has purchased its second Miami Beach property for $7 million.

Victory Investments Group, led by CEO Anil Monga, has purchased a 31-unit building at 1770 Meridian Avenue across from the Miami Beach Convention Center, records show. Monga said he wanted to add two more stories to the two-story building completed in 1956.

Victory has hired Miami architect Kobi Karp and expects to submit plans to the City of Miami Beach in 30 to 45 days, Monga said. If Victory can add two more floors, the company will double the number of apartments, he said.

The seller, Deco Beach Realty Corp., paid $2.5 million for rentals in 2018, records show.

The building was listed for sale for $10 million, but the seller accepted Victory’s cash offer, Monga said. “It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “The building is in an area [where Airbnb is allowed]. And it’s a corner property right across from the convention center. We are going to ask permission to install elevators, to build two more floors and to make it more beautiful.

In September, Victory paid $12.8 million for the Astor Hotel in South Beach. The 42-room hotel had been closed amid fallout from alleged EB-5 visa fraud and two bankruptcy filings. The property features a swimming pool and over 4,000 square feet of dining space. Built in 1936 on 14,900 square feet, the Astor Hotel was designed by T. Hunter Henderson.

Monga, who is also CEO of perfume and cosmetics maker and distributor Victory International USA, said Victory had leased the Astor Hotel to a hotel management company and was looking for a partner to manage the restaurant space.

Investor interest in Miami Beach’s multi-family buildings and older boutique hotels has grown in recent months. A company linked to ‘vulture’ hedge fund Alden Global Capital paid $6 million this month for the 17-suite Villa Paradiso at 1415 Collins Avenue, and the Nakash family bought a 10-bedroom property and three villas at 1350 Collins Avenue for $6 million.

In April, Magnum Holding Company paid $15.2 million for the 70-unit Pierre on the Bay apartment complex in the city’s Norman Isles neighborhood. That same month, a local company affiliated with Gustaf Arnoldsson, chief financial officer of Miami-based real estate investor SMS Lodging, purchased Normandy Villas for $6.4 million. The 22-unit apartment complex is also in the Normandy Islands.

And in February, an entity run by Michael Fischer and Chaim Gurman bought a 23-unit building in South Beach for $5.9 million.

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