News / More questions raised over Seaborne’s ability to operate Ramsgate ferries

first_imgID 108847934 © Christine Bird | Seaborne Freight is hoping to have completed its dredging at the port of Ramsgate by the end of the month, but questions still remain overs its capabilities to offer capacity in the event of a no-deal Brexit.A spokesperson for the ferry company told The Loadstar the work, which commenced on 3 January, was expected to bring the port back in line with its original parameters.“We are dredging to approximately 6.5 metres and the method being used involves the silt and sediment leaving on the receding tide and being dispersed at sea,” said the spokesperson.“Completion should be by the end of January, however the process is very weather dependant and that timescale could change.”Once dredging is complete, the port can cater for vessels using three berths, one capable of handling 140-metre vessels, and the others 180-metre vessels.The Loadstar understands Seaborne would initially be looking to operate two vessels, although there is still uncertainty over where it will acquire these.“Schedules will be published in due course. However, each vessel will carry out four crossings daily (two rotations),” said the spokesperson. “We are planning  increase to four vessels in due course.”Both Seaborne, which is leasing the dredger Jetsed, and Thanet District Council, which runs Ramsgate port, have said Seaborne would be picking up the cost of the dredge.Previous charges associated with Jetsed have been around £14,000 a day, meaning the Ramsgate process could cost anywhere up to £500,000.Meanwhile, speculation is mounting over a perceived delay in confirming Seaborne’s vessel chartering and whether this is linked to uncertainty over whether these ships will actually be needed.“It [Seaborne] doesn’t yet know if it has to provide these services, so it cannot go out and charter these vessels until it knows it has a requirement,” said one source from the ship chartering community.The source suggested chartering without such certainty could see Seaborne “go bust like the others” – a reference to other recent attempts to operate services out of Ramsgate.Steve Coombes, chairman of the port of Ramsgate action group – a community organisation comprising more than 1,000 local residents worried about losses at the port – argued that this emphasised the problem surrounding the Department for Transport’s decision to contract with Seaborne.“The DfT is pre-buying tickets in the event of a no-deal Brexit and the need this would create to run services into alternative ports to Dover.“But while DFDS and Brittany [the other two contracted parties] have the capacity to offer such services, Seaborne is pre-buying for non-existent ships.”Furthermore, Seaborne’s spokesperson confirmed, the operator has yet to enter into a formal agreement with Ramsgate, which also raises questions over why it is paying for the dredge.However, the spokesperson sought to play down concerns.“The draft contract is agreed and will be signed at the appropriate time. This is quite normal.” By Alexander Whiteman 08/01/2019last_img read more

HFZ looks to sell Shore Club South Beach hotel

first_imgNewmark broker Adam Etra confirmed that the beachfront property is on the market. In a statement to TRD, a spokesperson for HFZ said the firm is considering selling the hotel or selecting a joint venture partner to reposition the property.HFZ is also facing a lawsuit from Morgans Hotel Group, SBE and an affiliate for more than $935,000 in alleged unpaid bills. The suit was filed last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. (Sam Nazarian recently sold his remaining 50 percent stake in SBE to Accor.)The Shore Club was built in 1939 and designed by Miami architect Albert Anis, and was redesigned by architect David Chipperfield in the early 2000s. Hotelier and Morgans Hotel Group founder Ian Schrager stepped in to manage the property in 2002, but it hasn’t been renovated since then, and has deteriorated. It’s been closed throughout the pandemic.The hotel is one block north of the Raleigh Hotel, which a Michael Shvo-led partnership plans to redevelop.The HFZ spokesperson called the Shore Club “one of the true trophy assets on the beach in Miami” and cited Florida’s “strong real estate market.” But the hotel market has struggled, and few properties have traded since the pandemic took hold in March.Many borrowers are working with their lenders to extend forbearance agreements or seeking new sources of capital to survive, experts say. Valuations are also a question mark, as no one knows when the market will fully recover.Before the pandemic, Virgin Hotels had created a proposal to pay $235 million for the Shore Club, with plans to invest another $100 million into transforming the property. But that deal fizzled out.“There have been very few transactions in 2020. We’re all a little bit surprised there haven’t been more sort of given the nature of the moment. Liquidity is so important to sustaining your ability to get to the other side of this,” said Scott Berman, a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers, who leads the hospitality and leisure practice for the firm. “The simple real estate mantra is you need a willing seller and a willing buyer. We’ve had few of each.” This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now Ziel Feldman and the Shore Club South Beach (Getty, Google Maps)HFZ Capital Group is looking to sell the historic Shore Club hotel in South Beach, as the company’s financial and legal issues continue to pile up, The Real Deal has learned.The New York-based firm, led by Ziel Feldman, tapped Newmark to sell the oceanfront hotel where it once planned a luxury condo and hotel development, according to sources.HFZ, which has recently laid off and furloughed employees as it deals with lawsuits from lenders and subcontractors in New York, paid more than $175 million for the 18-story, 309-key hotel at 1901 Collins Avenue in 2013.The company had planned to redevelop the hotel into a 67-unit luxury Fasano-branded condo, but canceled plans and returned buyers’ deposits due to the slow market in 2017. Management company Sbe has been operating the hotel since it acquired Morgans Hotel Group in 2016.ADVERTISEMENTRead moreZiel Feldman puts his own UES pad on the marketHFZ sues CIM to halt condo foreclosure saleFour of HFZ’s condo loans being shopped in foreclosure salelast_img read more