Centennial Bank sues Remy Jacobson over Design District loan
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts Remy Jacobson and his brother Jean-Marc Jacobson turned to an Arkansas community bank last year to finance the redevelopment of a historic building in the Miami Design District.
But now the Jacobsons face a lawsuit from Conway, Arkansas, Centennial Bank alleging Remy Jacobson, Vanessa Jacobson and Jean-Marc Jacobson are in default of $ 8.4 million in loans across three floors. . commercial building at 4141 North Miami Avenue. The lawsuit alleges that the Jacobsons did not respond to the bank’s request to provide more equity to pay for construction costs.
The Jacobsons are in the process of filing a counter-suit and their attorney, Joe Herndandez of Weiss Serota, said the loan was never past due and the development group never missed a payment.
“During my 25-year career, I have represented banks my entire career. Of all the workouts I have ever seen this is one of the easiest to do, ”said Hernandez. “We are frankly surprised and disappointed. We’re scratching our heads on that. “
Centennial Bank and bank attorney Thomas P. Angelo d’Angelo Law declined to comment on the litigation.
The bank has expanded its presence in South Florida since acquiring Pompano Beach-based Stonegate Bank in 2017.
Centennial Bank has become one of the most active construction lenders, including billionaire loans Moishe ManaMiami’s Asia-Americas Mall, which has yet to take off. Banking experts say a heavy concentration in out-of-state construction loans is a risky strategy, and regulators have warned banks to limit their exposure to construction loans.
According to the lawsuit, on May 22, 2019, Centennial Bank took over an existing loan from City National Bank and increased the loan amount to $ 11.92 million.
Based on a review, Centennial Bank said it found that the Jacobsons did not have enough funds to pay the remaining portion of construction costs to complete the project, the lawsuit said.
As a result, on February 26, Centennial Bank asked the Jacobsons to disburse more than $ 1.8 million in equity within 10 business days, according to the lawsuit. The development group failed to provide Centennial with the $ 1.8 million and the loan defaulted, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleges that the Jacobsons were required to keep a minimum monthly balance of $ 2 million in their account with Centennial Bank at all times, but they failed to do so.
On May 6, the loan was defaulted. Centennial Bank claims it owes him $ 8.4 million along with interest from April 22 to May 6, attorney fees and late fees.
The Jacobsons’ 4141 Design LLC paid $ 10.5 million for the 15,900 square foot commercial building in 2016 and received the City of Miami Historic Designation shortly thereafter. The group planned to renovate building and bring in new tenants, including a Blockchain company. The building was constructed in 1961 on a 9,700 square foot lot.
Remy Jacobson and Marc-Jean Jacobson launched a crowdfunding platform in May 2019 called RealT which allows cryptocurrency investors to invest in real estate assets, starting with rental housing in Detroit, Michigan.