Business Monday

Zalewski sells Miami Beach condo, avoids foreclosure

Miami condo expert Peter Zalewski — who in July got a first-hand look at distressed real estate when a bank filed a foreclosure action on his oceanfront condo in Miami Beach — has sold the unit at a profit and paid off the debt.

Zalewski sold the 994-square-foot condo at The Collins to Lahav Forest Inc., a Florida corporation managed by Joshua Manaster, for $480,000 on Oct. 31. He separately sold a parking space for an additional $17,000.

That more than covered the debt — including a second mortgage that was resolved at a discount — and left him with a substantial gain, said his attorney, Robert A. Stok.

Zalewski said he is renting an apartment in downtown Miami because he believes rents will soon stall and possibly even fall.

While individual foreclosure actions seldom make the news, Zalewski’s drew attention because he is a well-known condo maven. During the downturn, he founded Condo Vultures LLC, which provides information about foreclosures and short sales. He since has shifted his focus to Cranespotters.com, which provides detailed information on the new condo construction market in South Florida.

He writes a column on the condo market for the Miami Herald.

Zalewski bought unit 809 at 6917 Collins Ave. in August 2004 for $265,900.

“He did very well,” Stok said.

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