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Despite Massive Losses, Related Wants to Keep Building in West Palm

Miami-based real estate giant The Related Group has struggled to weather the housing bust, watching its massive Icon Brickell condo project on Biscayne Bay sit largely empty, while its CityPlace South Tower in West Palm Beach goes into "friendly foreclosure."

But that hasn't stopped Related's thirst to keep building. According to the Palm Beach Post, Related Companies is one of five development teams now vying to build a hotel to serve the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The delicious irony in this scenario is that the convention center is next door to the nearly empty, foreclosed CityPlace South Tower. Just a few months ago, local real estate agent Christian Morrison Pearce, actually proposed converting the condo tower into a hotel to support the convention center, but county leaders shot down the idea.

Now here comes Related wanting to build a whole new hotel. Just to be clear, The Related Group and Related Companies, which is based in New York, are not the same firm. But Related Companies CEO Stephen Ross is a partner, with Jorge Perez, in The Related Group. So the two development giants are thorougly entwined.

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Ross surely has noticed that his Florida venture is saddled with debt and losing money by the boatload due to the condo market collapse. But hey, building one more hotel couldn't hurt, could it?

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