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Update: Florida Trend's Cover Flipper

Florida Trend July 2005
In our July 2005 cover story [On the Flip Side], Florida Trend took a look at the state's condo boom. Our story profiled lenders still lending, developers still developing and buyers still buying undeterred, as we noted at the time, "by talk of a bubble and fears that interest rates may rise." We featured on the cover Richard DeNapoli, then a 28-year-old Hollywood lawyer and real estate investor who had put down $200,000 for contracts on four units in three condo towers under construction in Miami. His plan was to flip them. At the time, he was up $400,000 on paper but wanted out. As he told us, "When the taxi driver starts talking about how great real estate is, it's time to get out."

DeNapoli was right to be concerned. The prolific lender we profiled, Corus Bank of Chicago, eventually failed. Real estate analyst Lewis Goodkin, who wrote for us at the time, worried about the bubble. Other experts should have been.

DeNapoli this February told us that he exited in 2006 as he planned and hasn't invested since then. He sits now on the Florida Real Estate Commission, the state body that administers state real estate licensing law. Because of his position, he doesn't want to comment on the market. He's guarded on how he did personally. "I sold everything at the top," he says. "I came out fine." He adds: "It was much smaller than what was expected initially."