Downtown Miami mixed-use building facing $26M foreclosure 

Time Century Holdings’ Yair Levy with Time Century Jewelry Center at 1 Northeast First Street (Yair Levy Real Estate, Google Maps, Getty)

A partnership led by New York developer Yair Levy could lose a downtown Miami mixed-use building to foreclosure.

On Tuesday, City National Bank of Florida sued an affiliate of Levy’s Time Century Holdings and its minority partners in Miami-Dade Circuit Court for allegedly failing to make payments on a $27.2 million construction loan, among other defaults. The mortgage partially financed a $50 million renovation of Time Century Jewelry Center, a 9-story building at 1 Northeast First Street, the lawsuit states. 

After publication, a Time Century spokesperson said the firm is in the process of addressing and resolving all issues and “is looking forward to the continued development of the Time Century Jewelry Center.”

Naomi Berry, the attorney representing the bank, did not respond to requests for comment. 

In 2018, Time Century acquired an 80 percent equity stake in the property for $14.8 million, records show. The deal marked Levy’s first foray into the South Florida real estate market. 

Previously known as Metro Mall, the 97-year-old building leases four floors to jewelry retailers and wholesalers and another four floors to office tenants, according to Vizzda. The property is within a four-block jewelry district in downtown Miami that is home to more than 500 jewelry stores. Time Century Jewelry Center is also adjacent to the Seybold Building, a historic structure that is the centerpiece of the jewelry district. 

The renovations at Time Century Jewelry Center began in 2021, records show. However, it is unclear how much of the project has been completed. Six contractors have also filed liens against the property alleging nonpayment, records show. 

City National initially loaned the Time Century partnership  $23.6 million, but increased the amount by another $3.6 million last year, the bank’s lawsuit states. Time Century failed to repay the loan when it matured in February, as well as failing to obtain a certificate of occupancy, the complaint alleges. The building’s owner also allegedly didn’t replenish its interest reserve accounts.

City National granted a forbearance to Time Century until June, but the partnership still failed to pay back $25.9 million still owed on the loan, the lawsuit states. 

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