Miami Beach's most controversial resident is ready for his close up. Thomas Kramer, the billionaire German developer who reshaped the South Beach skyline with glitzy condos, has made a reality show television pilot. After watching it on Youtube, we want more.
In the episode, the 56-year-old playboy is preparing for one of his extravagant bon vivant soirees at his $65 million compound on Star Island as he juggles his most daunting challenge yet: fatherhood.
After decades of hardcore partying, Kramer is reunited with his only daughter Joya Burda, a cute 20-year-old blonde who finds her poppa's lifestyle repulsive. It's a recipe tailor made for Bravo or Vh1. Think The Apprentice meets The Real World.
The 22-minute pilot opens with an aerial shot of Kramer's massive estate. The camera cuts to a decadent pool party with an abundance of beautiful bikini-clad young ladies frolicking about. Then it's a close up of Kramer lounging in a red pillow-like flotation device and enjoying a cigar. His deep heavily accented baritone provides a voiceover:
"Money has always been my life. Some would say it's my wife. After conquering Wall Street, my next challenge was real estate. And what better place than Miami? I worked hard and played harder."
As Kramer says the last sentence, the lens pans to a bath tub, where he is surrounded by three buxom brown-skinned women enjoying a bubble bath. It's classic Kramer, who is probably the most hated developer among Miami Beach historic preservationists. Kramer didn't want to discuss his new television project with us. Guess he's still sore about this gem of a New Times profile. In fact, Kramer has a sign warning his female conquests about 24-hour surveillance cameras in his bedroom ever since that nanny accused him of rape.
After making a fortune and losing it all in the futures market, Kramer swooped into Miami Beach in 1992 and purchased $20 million worth of prime waterfront real estate. When city officials approved Kramer's plans to build the 484-foot tall Portofino Tower on the edge of South Pointe Park, Miami Beach activists mobilized to stop the German developer from building more high rises along the shore. In 1997, the year his tower was completed, Kramer spent $1.5 million to defeat a referendum changing the city's charter so that increases in zoning density along the waterfront would require a public vote. Yet, despite only having $20,000, the grassroots group Save Miami Beach beat Kramer at the polls.
Following his public battle with Miami Beach residents, Kramer has been sued by his former in-laws for allegedly stiffing them out of $100 million, arrested for allegedly fondling a 13-year-old boy at New York City's Rockerfeller Center, and taken to court by a woman who alleged he groped her breast at a Halloween party on Lincoln Road. The case involving the boy was dismissed and the lawsuit with the woman ended in a mistrial.
According to a recent story published on the website MiamiBeach411, Kramer has sort of reformed his hard-partying ways. He's been sober for three years. But that hasn't stopped him from throwing bacchanals at his castle-style bachelor pad.
In the pilot, the camera crew follows Kramer and his sycophantic employees making preparations for his Labor Day Party fundraiser for starving children in Somalia. How noble.
While Kramer is the star, his daughter Joya steals the spotlight. She doesn't approve of his "pimp or swinger parties or whatever you call it." While taking her friends on a tour of Biscayne Bay on Kramer's yacht, we find out that Kramer, known as TK, requires young women who want to attend his fetes to submit photographs of themselves. "TK rates them," relays one of Joya's friends. "He says, 'OK, you're hot, you can come to my party.'"
Joya adds: "I am so over my dad's party life. He's 56-years-old."
Meanwhile, back at his compound, Kramer regales his male employees with his bachelor pearls of wisdom. "Marriage is for people who can't afford a house keeper or a prostitute," Kramer says. "Just to find someone you can spend a night with is a very hard undertaking."
Good times, indeed.
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