Uncut gem: Avi Dishi, Elysee and Pan Am buy Yair Levy’s downtown Miami building 

JV paid $28M for the unfinished Time Century Jewelry Center

Elysee JV buys Yair Levy’s downtown Miami building for $28M
From left: Pan Am CEO Scott Solomon and Yair Levy along with the Time Century Jewelry Center at 1 Northeast First Street in Miami (Getty, Pan Am, Google Maps)

Yair Levy’s involvement in an attempted takeover of downtown Miami’s jewelry district is kaput. Now, Avi Dishi, Elysee Investments and Pan Am Equities are betting that Levy’s gamble of converting a 1920s, nine-story building into a bedazzling crown will pay off. 

An affiliate of Levy’s New York-based Time Century Holdings sold the mixed-use property at 1 Northeast 1st Street for $27.5 million to Dishi, a New York-based real estate investor, as well as affiliates of New York-based Pan Am and Miami-based Elysee, records and Vizzda show. 

Levy and Dan Deutsch, Time Century’s managing director, did not respond to requests for comment. 

Elysee owns 56.7 percent, Dishi owns 28.3 percent and Pan Am owns 15 percent of Time Century Jewelry Center, a mostly renovated retail and office building formerly known as Metro Mall, the deed shows. The buyers also increased a previous $7.2 million loan provided by an entity managed by Dishi and Elysee CEO Haim Yehezkel by another $20 million. 

New York-based CapMoon Companies arranged the sale with assistance from Stefano Santoro with Disruptive Real Estate. The joint venture will complete construction of Time Jewelry Center with the goal of opening the building in six months, Elysee co-owner Erik Yehezkel told The Real Deal.

“Yes, absolutely,” Yehezkel said. “We spoke to the general contractors and everything should start up again relatively soon. That is our intention.” 

Most of the signed tenants are staying on board, and the joint venture is actively marketing the remaining vacant spaces at Time Century Jewelry Center, he added. 

In 2018, a Time Century affiliate paid $14.5 million for the property, and two years later launched a $50 million overhaul of Metro Mall to compete with the Seybold Building, an adjacent property that’s home to more than 300 jewelry stores and repair shops. Levy, who is banned for life from selling condos and co-ops in New York state, ran into a series of setbacks last year. 

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Contractors alleging non-payment hit Time Century’s affiliate with liens for a combined $857,600, of which $193,900 was paid. In September, City National Bank of Florida filed a foreclosure lawsuit alleging Time Century defaulted on a $27.2 million construction loan issued in 2021.

In addition, a Seybold Building jeweler and a New York-based online handbag retailer that signed leases at Time Century Jewelry Center separately sued Levy and his firm’s affiliate for breach of contract. The lawsuits allege Levy informed tenants that he had run out of money to finish the renovation project. 

In December, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Gina Beovides awarded City National a partial judgment of $31.2 million, including additional fees and interest. Beovides canceled a courthouse auction set for this month, after City National filed a motion stating the bank was close to reaching an agreement with Levy and Time Century’s affiliate. 

CapMoon was in the process of buying the defaulted loan from City National when the Elysee, Pan Am and Dishi joint venture came in “at the 11th hour” with an offer, a source familiar with the deal told TRD. CapMoon negotiated with City National to sell the mortgage to the Dishi and Yehezkel entity, the source said. 

Yehezkel confirmed the deal involved acquiring the City National debt. “We have a strong relationship with City National Bank, and we also know Yair from years ago,” he said. “We put the two together and we figured it out collectively.” 

Dishi and Elysee own the ground-floor and mezzanine commercial spaces at the Brickell Flatiron condominium, paying $22.5 million for them in 2019. Last year, Dishi paid $20.7 million for Shoppes at Cresthaven, a West Palm Beach shopping center.

Pan Am, led by CEO Scott Solomon, last year sold Rail 71, an office and service retail business park in Miami’s Little River, for $34.4 million