Lehman was major force in S. Florida

When large South Florida developers needed money, they often turned to Lehman Brothers.

That role ended in dramatic fashion when Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection. But Lehman still controls nearly $2 billion in large loans throughout the region, meaning the bank's demise will play out across South Florida's besieged real estate market.

Among the local projects Lehman backed: Miami Beach's new Canyon Ranch resort; Ian Schrager's investment in the Riande hotel chain; the Donald Trump condo tower under way in Hollywood; a recent expansion at the Aventura Mall; and the Related Group's Icon Brickell on Biscayne Bay.


Within the local real estate industry, executives and analysts predicted a minor effect on Lehman's local holdings, since another lender would likely buy the loans at a discounted price designed to make money even in a depressed market.

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