Pink Elephant Suits

The owner of the Miami Arena filed a countersuit against his real estate broker and potential buyer September 18th, making what was once a simple sale of the arena a litigious affair.

Palm Beach businessman Glenn Straub bought the so-called Pink Elephant in 2003, with a vow to turn the unprofitable building into a moneymaker or sell it within two years. He lost $5 million in his first year and recently opted to punt.

Developer Scott Silver and commercial realtor Edie Laquer reportedly entered into an agreement with Straub July 26th to purchase the venue on behalf of other buyers. Silver sued Straub September 15th to force the arena’s sale, according to The Miami Herald, claiming Straub was trying to back out of his contract.

In his countersuit, the venue owner claimed Silver and Laquer went against his wishes to sell the venue to a buyer who would revive the building. Silver allegedly claimed he was purchasing the facility for $50 million on behalf of an unnamed French buyer who would rejuvenate it, according to the lawsuit.

Instead, Silver and Laquer intended to flip the property, namely to Major League Baseball, the lawsuit claims. The league is shopping for a new stadium location for the Florida Marlins on land just south of the arena and a portion of the arena land could make the plan more attractive because the original site was too small, according to the Herald.

“Where do they come off meeting with them?” Straub asked the paper. He told Miami Today he was willing to talk to the MLB and was not “obstructing baseball.”

“We don’t have to bring him in on anything,” Laquer told the Herald. “”there’s no need to bring in the seller” on talks about the future uses of the property.

Silver added that Straub’s suit was likely a bid to hold onto the arena now that the MLB looked to be interested.