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Last night Moishe Mana, the billionaire owner of a sizable amount of Miami property in downtown and Wynwood sent to Manny Gonzalez, the Executive Director of the Wynwood BID, that have to be seen as evidence that Mana is either in deep financial trouble, or that he has become business partners with people who somehow have him by the short hairs.
This is the first message he sent:
NUMBER 46 - FEBRUARY 21, 2020
Copyrighted: 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Even for the normal craziness of Miami it is an extraordinary message, and raises a number of very troubling questions, not the least of which is, is this how he normally conducts business with people he disagrees with?
If so, could this be one of the reasons why the city has not been more forceful in their expectation that he do something with the $375 million in downtown property that he had purchased, but so far has done little to rehabilitate.
For a guy who employs a cousin of the Mayor in Miami to threaten to retaliate against city officials who he believes have harassed him and the small clique of individuals who are his business partners and/or employees cannot be seen as just an idle threat.
The idea that Mana would believe that what has happened to him as a result of the issuance of a new Temporary Use Permit (TUP) that essentially shut down what was clearly an illegal operation on his property is now grounds to go around threatening anyone involved is both disturbing and irrational.
The activities that I documented in my series of stories were serious and represented only a very small portion of the incidents and questionable actions that I uncovered in the 22 gigabytes of documents I received in response to my public record requests, requests that I must point out did not come as a result of conversations with either Gonzalez or anyone else on the BID Board of Directors, or from Commander Kerr or anyone else on the police department, but rather from business owners and my own observations gathered by going to Wynwood and seeing for myself what was going on.
Moishe Mana has gained a reputation of being a tough guy who once supposedly told members of the New York "Mafia" who he alleged had threatened to kill him, that if they felt that way they should come over and do it then.
That's all very colorful, but the text message above reveals to me not a tough guy, but just another self-entitled and out of control rich guy who has not only been rich too long, but who also might not be as smart as he would like everyone to think he is.
In about the "temporary closure" of Wynwood Marketplace, Tony Albelo of SWARM attempted to provide an explanation for what happened this way.
Contrary to Albelo's claims, things did not fall through some legal cracks, but rather he and his people were out there with sledge hammers and a backhoe digging holes in the street, and his other comments about "living in a gray area," are patently false.
None of these justifications are reflected in the voluminous collection of documents generated by city employees or by the evidence of operating an illegal business by bootlegging electricity from another building like some third world Banana Republic businessman who had connections to the local Colonel in charge.
It's been my life experience that guys like Moishe Mana often become the pawns of the people they have around them, and the problems come when they realize that not only has their judgement been bad, but in order not to look like complete fools, they have to double down in backing the people who got them in trouble to begin with, which is why Mana, on receiving this response from Manny Gonzalez, went off the deep end.
You would think that having sent the first message that Mana either cooled down or those around him counseled him not to send any more messages, but, that did not happen, because this is what Mana wrote back.
Mana's argument about developers somehow fails to acknowledge the fact that he was the one who went out and purchased those 45 acres, and then hired a fancy architect and lawyers from Greenberg Traurig to get him a Special Area Plan permit to build a giant, out of scale, Free Trade Zone in what had already been agreed to by the members of the Wynwood BID and the city into a special district that would accommodate art, entertainment, commercial AND residential.
In Part III of my series I provided links to his SAP and videos of the two meetings that his representatives had with the Wynwood BID Board to persuade them to go along with is plan. You can find them .
That Mana now seems to have abandoned that plan, and chosen instead to use his property as a venue for his "partner" Tony Albelo to operate a bar and sell food out of food trucks, and that his Operations Manager would use to operate an illegal ice cream food truck raises a very serious question as to what is really going on inside the offices of Mana enterprises?
These text messages do not appear to be the sign of a billionaire in control, but of a guy who is loosing control, and who maybe doesn't have as much to say about what goes on on his property as he would have everyone believe.
In short, it's just another day in It's Miami, Bitches
MOISHE MANA GOES OFF THE DEEP END! THREATENS TO RETALIATE AGAINST THE WYNWOOD BID, IT'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND OTHER CITY OFFICIALS WHO HE ALLEGES WERE INVOLVED IN THE HARRASSMENT OF HIS BUSINESS PARTNERS.