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Nir Meir, the former managing director of the luxury developer HFZ Capital, has been arrested in Miami and is facing extradition to New York, according to news reports.
Meir is likely to face charges from the Manhattan district attorney, according to Curbed, which first reported on the arrest. Meir is facing charges of grand larceny and tax fraud, according to The Real Deal.
Representatives for Meir have yet to comment publicly on the arrest, nor has Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.
It’s a stunning fall from grace for what was once one of the most prominent developers in Manhattan. HFZ Capital became well known for its ambitious residential project XI, a pair of curving glass towers designed by the architect Bjarke Ingels. Rising above Manhattan’s linear park the High Line, the firm spent $870 million on the development site and $2 billion in total to develop.
The project went into foreclosure in 2021 before it was completed. It was purchased by another developer who renamed it One High Line and opened it in late 2023.
HFZ Capital is expected to be named alongside Meir and at least 10 other people and businesses in a series of indictments brought by Bragg, according to The New York Times. Several employees of a construction company that HFZ contracted to build the XI are also expected to be charged.
The indictments are expected to contain charges that the defendants conspired to steal millions of dollars from investors in the XI project by making false reports of construction costs. The charges against Meir are expected to include tax fraud, falsification of business records and grand larceny, according to news reports.
Meir had been second in command at HFZ, where he was a protégé to its founder, Ziel Feldman, and the overseer of XI, its most ambitious project to date. He developed a reputation as an aggressive dealmaker with a knack for attracting international investors and a taste for luxury goods. He collected wine and luxury cars and lived in a Hamptons beachfront mansion that would later sell to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for $43 million.
However, in his professional capacities, he began dodging debts. HFZ stopped paying its contractors for the XI in 2019, according to New York Magazine, leading to Meir’s eventual firing by HFZ and the company being hollowed out by lawsuits and foreclosures.
After his firing, Meir headed to Miami Beach where he lived in a series of luxury hotels, including the 1 Hotel South Beach Residences where he was arrested this week.