Back in 2006, New Jersey boxing promoter-turned-South Florida real estate mogul Marc Roberts was the face of the largest urban renewal project in the country. It was called the Miami World Center , and it was supposed to transform a rundown ghetto into a glitzy strip of shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Along with partners Edward and Arthur Falcone -- whom New Times recently profiled -- the smooth-talking, book-writing, blonde-bombshell marrying millionaire poured millions in a seven-acre patch of Park West.
"He's out there, conceptualizing, schmoozing, networking, befriending, strategizing," Haute Living Magazine gushed at the time. "And you should be afraid for your entrepreneurial life, because he'll out-dream you, he'll out-passion you, and he'll outwork you."
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These days, he will out-file-for-bankruptcy you.
Roberts -- who owns more than 30 businesses in Florida -- just claimed Chapter 7, making hope for the already in-limbo project look even more bleak. (View the document here.) Nothing has been built and developers have obtained no permits in the past year. Neighbors now say the abandoned area is worse than before, that fences are torn down and lots are overgrown.
Roberts, who lives in Palm Beach County, also owns SunVest USA, Aspen Ritz, H & R Realty, and Miami Ingraham Properties.