ABBA finds familiar buyer in Gamla-Cedron for The Falls

Published January 12, 2010
Tampa Bay Business Journal

A new owner has stepped in at The Falls at New Tampa, rescuing the 352-unit condominium conversion from foreclosure.

Gamla-Cedron Falls LLC purchased The Falls for $7.5 million from Fletcher 26 LLC on Dec. 23, according to Hillsborough County property records. That includes 185 residential units and 43 garage units for $40,540 per unit.

Fletcher 26 is a subsidiary of ABBA Real Estate Development Group of Miami, which purchased the then apartment complex for $47.6 million in February 2006, or $125,230 per unit.

iStar FM Loans LLC, which was the lender on the project, filed to foreclose on the property last August saying it was owed just under $23 million, including a principal balance of $18.6 million and a $1.15 million tax default.

The Falls was one of three properties were ABBA had offered steep discounts on units as large as 39 percent at the end of 2008. It offered condos at The Falls as well as The Grand Oasis on North Himes Avenue and Arbors at Carrollwood on Ehrlich Road, which it had purchased for $182.6 million in 2006 at the height of the housing boom.

The sale was in vain for the most part. Between January and September 2009, only six units were sold at The Falls for $839,000, according to property records, and those were sold to trusts operated by Paige Tarver, who had purchased 22 units at The Falls for just under $3 million between May 2008 and September 2009.

At that point, just half of the 352 units had sold, bringing in $29.4 million, or $172,966 per unit.

ABBA announced its discounts in December 2008 but missed a $105,000 mortgage payment through its Fletcher 26 subsidiary three months later. In March, iStar paid a $1.15 million tax bill Fletcher 26 owed for The Falls.

This isn’t the first foray into the Tampa Bay area for Gamla-Cedron Group. The Israeli company bought 149 units at the Arbors at Carrollwood, also owned by an ABBA subsidiary, for $5.8 million, or $39,000 per unit, last June.


Paragraph two has been corrected with these figures: 185 residential units, 43 garage units, $40,540 per unit.