Paraiso Bay construction has neighbors riled

Rendering of Paraiso Bay
Rendering of Paraiso Bay

Loud generators running seven days a week, incessant hammering well into the evening and nearly constant flooding of neighborhood streets are just some of the complaints that residents of Bay Park Towers and other nearby buildings have when it comes to one of the largest residential construction projects in Miami — Paraiso Bay, The Real Deal has learned.

Construction of the mammoth four-building complex, developed by the Related Group, got underway last year and is scheduled to run well into 2017. But neighbors who live adjacent to the site — which sits between Northeast 31st Street and Northeast 32nd Street — say they have had enough already.

Last week after a water main broke under Northeast Seventh Avenue, on the eastern part of the site, flushing a large amount of silt into Biscayne Bay, the Biscayne Neighborhoods Association (BNA) appealed to city officials to intervene. The civic advocacy group, made up of nine condominium associations, was formed last year to promote the interests of residents who live in condos between the Venetian Causeway and Julia Tuttle Causeway.

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At a meeting late Thursday, city officials and representatives of Plaza Construction and the Related Group met with the BNA to discuss the complaints. Sandy Wayland, president of the Bay Park Towers condominium association, which is directly adjacent to the site, accused Plaza Construction, which is building the complex, of violating noise waivers granted by the city to facilitate concrete pours, and of clogging the drain that serves the northern border of the construction site with sediment, causing flooding in the area.

“People need to know they can’t make noise between certain hours unless they send you a waiver,” Wayland told TRD. “They can’t use public streets as their dumping ground, and if you see these things you should have the right to respond, but there is always some excuse,” she said.

But representatives of mega-developer Related, and Plaza Construction, which is building the site, defended their practices, saying they work within noise ordinance codes and constantly replace filters covering the drains to keep them from filling with sediment. “We have been doing everything we can,” said Brad Meltzer, president of Plaza Construction. “We have one guy there constantly replacing the fabric. We are going to work within all noise ordinances, unless there is an emergency.”

Meltzer said most runoff happens from natural conditions and when problems have developed as a result of the construction, “city officials have read us the riot act.” Sonia Figueroa, the Related Group’s vice-president for development, says Related reacts quickly to any issue that develops at the site. “Anytime I get a complaint I call Brad and he checks it. We check with the city and we meet with the city, so we are very responsive,” she told TRD.