Real Estate

Midtown Miami Owners Revolt Against Condo President Over $2.4 Million Lobby Renovation

"People should either be caressed or crushed," Niccolò Machiavelli once wrote. "If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do."

Seth Cohen clearly did not get the civics lesson. In summer 2012, the then 43-year-old New Yorker went South Florida apartment shopping. After much deliberation, he dropped $1.5 million on a 4,000-square-foot penthouse in the hottest spot in town: Two Midtown Miami. Then he put his name on the ballot for condo association president and won. Cohen had instantly become prince of the 5-year-old tower, with its white walls, turquoise pool, and trendy restaurants. Machiavelli would have approved.

But Cohen was neither loved nor feared by his fellow condo owners. And in April of this year, his crown slipped. After completing an expensive upgrade of the elevators and pool furniture, he proposed a $2.4 million renovation of Two Midtown's lobby. Roughly 120 condo owners received notice in the mail, along with a $6,844.27 bill.

That's when the insurrection began.

See also: Midtown Miami Developer Accused of Bribing Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.