Similarly, the historic Surf Club in Surfside sold last year to a group including Turkish, Brazilian and Peruvian investors and some U.S. backers who have plans for a fancy condominium project on the prime beachfront property.
Sergio Grosskopf founded Château Group in Buenos Aires, where it emerged as a prominent developer of luxury condominiums and big malls, such as the Alto Palermo shopping center in the city’s chic Palermo neighborhood.
“My father brought Walmart to Argentina when I was young; Zara Spanish clothes; and C&A, the department store in Europe,’’ Manuel Grosskopf said.
Among the luxury condominiums Château have developed in Argentina are Château Libertador and Château Puerto Madero, both in Buenos Aires. In Punta del Este, Uruguay, a trendy resort town, the firm developed high-rise oceanfront condominium towers, including Millenium Tower, Beverly Tower and Le Jardín, and it controls other oceanfront parcels there.
While the elder Grosskopf frequently travels back and forth between Miami and Buenos Aires, Manuel lives full time in Miami with his wife and three children. “Miami is home,’’ he said.
The Grosskopfs’s business is privately held, with backing from family money and investments by a few friends, Manuel Grosskopf said. “We have friends. It’s very private. It’s not investor groups put together,’’ he said. “There are very close people we invite.’’
The family’s foray into South Florida real estate started in 1998, soon after the elder Grosskopf sold major mall holdings in Argentina to a company controlled by hedge-fund billionaire George Soros. Sergio Grosskopf came to Miami with plans “to retire,” said his son.
“He’ll never retire,’’ Manuel said.
At the time, the Sunny Isles area was mostly known for its seedy motels and cabarets, and the Grosskopfs were among the early investors to spot its potential.
“We saw a beautiful piece of property on the ocean between Bal Harbour and Aventura,’’ Manuel said.