Construction Defects Claimed at 537-Unit Doral Condo

Article Courtesy of  LAW 360

By Lidia Dinkova   

Published February 6, 2020

The homeowner association for a Midtown Doral condominium claims construction defects, including leaky plumbing with erratic water pressure, rooftop pools of rainwater on the roof and exposed rebar in cracked concrete.

A member of the development partnership maintains all issues will be worked out and stands by the general contractor hired for the project, saying it had a good track record and insurance.

An investor in the development partnership dismissed the allegations as normal for big projects and said he is confident the contractor will address issues.

Midtown Doral at Northwest 107th Avenue and 74th Street was completed in 2016 with four eight-story condo buildings totaling 537 units and 70,000 square feet of retail space.

Midtown Doral Condominium 2 Association Inc. took control of its building at 7751 NW 107th Ave. in 2017. The associating is suing general contractor Delant Construction Co. in Miami, architectural firm Pascual, Perez, Kiliddjian & Associates in Doral and MD Residential II LLC, an affiliate used by the development partnership.

The suit lists breach of implied warranties counts against the developer and general contractor as well as a professional negligence count against the architect.

Google Street View of Midtown Doral condominium building 2 at 7751 NW 107th Ave. in Doral.

Association attorney Georg Ketelhohn said the owners sent a notice to the developer and contractor noting an engineering report of defects under the Florida Construction Defect Statute. In response, they agreed to work with the association to fix some of the issues, but others are in dispute.

“We have not been able to fully resolve the issues so we went forward with the litigation,” said Ketelhohn, a shareholder at Siegfried Rivera in Coral Gables. He filed suit Dec. 10 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

The issues still could be resolved if the defendants agreed to the remaining fixes. Otherwise, the association would solicit bids for repairs and use the amount to determine its demand for reimbursement.

For now, Ketelhohn declined to disclose the engineer’s repair estimate or the cost to fix only the disputed defects.

Development partner Sergio Pino said this is within the normal course for big projects and the homeowners merely are taking their available recourse to get items fixed.

Pino said he and others invested in 107 Avenue Doral Properties LLC, a holding company for MD Residential I-IV and the other LLCs that developed portions of the project. Pino’s Century Homebuilders Group LLC in Coral Gables developed Midtown Doral phase II.

“If the homeowners aren’t satisfied with some of the work, this is the vehicle to get it fixed. We are supportive of the homeowners,” he said. “Delant Construction, it’s my understanding that they have good insurance for whatever they have to fix, and hopefully it will work out in the end. I do agree with the homeowners. They have to do what they have to do to make sure that the quality that was promised is the quality that was delivered.”

Delant Construction attorney Michael Peterson, managing partner at Peterson, Baldor & Maranges in Miami, declined comment.

Pascual Perez attorney Alex Diaz, partner at Klein Glasser Park & Lowe in Miami, also declined comment. In a motion to dismiss, he argued the allegations of negligence by the architect lack specificity.

“The allegations are so bare as to leave PPA unsure as to what specifically they did wrong,” Diaz wrote in the motion.

The lawsuit claims the building doesn’t meet the state building code, design and construction plans, and industry standards.

The complaint notes issue with soundproofing, unsealed holes exposing corroding metal, some missing fire protection systems, incorrectly sealed joints, an exposed conduit and plumbing leaks staining drywall. Rainwater pools on the roof because it wasn’t sloped as outlined in plans.

Records show Delant and the Midtown Doral development companies had previous disputes between each other. Delant sued MD Residential II in 2018, saying it didn’t pay Delant all it was owed for work on Midtown Doral condo 2. MD Residential II denied this and countersued, saying Delant didn’t complete the building on time, overbilled and needed to correct improper work. The suit was dismissed last year after the two sides filed dismissal stipulations.