Local TV Station Buys Delinquent Debt, Immediately Begins Foreclosure On Next-Door Neighbor In Effort To Stop Strip Club Developer From Building 'Jiggle Joint'
In North Bay Village, Florida, The Miami Herald reports:
- The parcel on the JFK Causeway where a developer wants to open a strip club is once again in hot dispute. This time, Sunbeam Realty President Ed Ansin, owner of next-door neighbor WSVN-Channel 7, is looking to foreclose on the mortgage.
Last year, Ansin appeared in a televised video speaking against the strip club, and several of his on-air reporters showed up at a North Bay Village meeting to persuade planners not to approve the plans. Now, his company is taking legal action.
Sunbeam Realty filed a foreclosure lawsuit Aug. 10 in Miami-Dade County. About a week before filing suit, Sunbeam Realty acquired the property’s mortgage, records show.
Isle of Dreams bought the land for $1.3 million in 2004, and it took out a $4.8 million mortgage in 2008, according to Miami-Dade County records. But the developer has defaulted on the mortgage, Sunbeam Realty argues in the complaint.
As the new mortgage holder, Sunbeam Realty says in lawsuit documents that it has demanded all payments due under the note, or $4.8 million plus interest and other fees, from Isle Of Dreams. The developer has not paid, according to the complaint.
“We view this as a litigation tactic by Sunbeam and intend to vigorously defend our rights in the courts,” Isle of Dreams Manager Scott Greenwald said. WSVN and Sunbeam declined to comment.
Isle of Dreams has proposed to build a five-story complex at 1415 JFK Causeway, including two floors for a strip club. Besides WSVN, which does not want a strip-club next to its studios, residents have spoken against the plans at city meetings. Isle of dreams has been fighting to open the club. In the past year, the company has twice sued the city.
In the first suit, the company claims that part of the city’s zoning requirement violates the First Amendment right of freedom of expression because it gives commissioners too much discretion in deciding whether to approve the strip club. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed that lawsuit. Isle of Dreams has since appealed.
It has also filed a second lawsuit against North Bay Village in which it claims the city is using the site-plan approval process to prohibit an adult-entertainment establishment, Greenwald told The Miami Herald in July.
The City Commission has passed changes to its zoning laws that clarify the language of the ordinance and eliminate parts of the zoning requirements. Commissioners voted to add a new chapter in the city’s code that requires a business license for an adult-entertainment establishment, and prohibits full nudity within the building as well as the sale, service and consumption of alcohol.