Lotus House, one of South Florida's most impactful nonprofit homeless shelters, was looking to expand its capacity to serve women and children from 250 to 490 people by building a state-of-the-art facility. Lotus House was comprised of five buildings on a property in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami. Bilzin Sumberg's task was twofold: acquire five surrounding lots needed for the expansion and gain City approval for the project. The City of Miami approved the Lotus House expansion in the summer of 2016 and construction started two months later. The $28 million project is expected to be completed by fall of 2017.
Land Development & Government Relations
Our Land Use & Government Relations team had to obtain several land use approvals and petition the City of Miami to change the property's existing land use and zoning designations to permit a facility of this kind. The team also had to clean up liens and quiet title. In total, Bilzin Sumberg represented Lotus House in six public hearings and secured a rezoning, five exceptions, a variance, and three waivers under Miami's zoning code.
Our Real Estate team acquired five properties - including one where a family dispute caused the property owner to be a holdout - surrounding the existing Lotus House. The Bilzin Sumberg team then worked on covenants and unity of titles.
REAL ESTATE FINANCE
Bilzin Sumberg represented Lotus House in negotiating and documenting two credit facilities with a nationally recognized institutional lender to provide working capital for Lotus House's operations and finance the construction of the new facility. Once the credit facilities were closed, the team created a corollary credit facility between two Lotus House entities to allow Lotus House to obtain valuable New Market Tax Credits in connection with the project.