The Tampa Housing Authority fired Plantation-based Siltek Group as general contractor of a low-cost rental housing development.
Construction of a seven-story apartment building called Tempo at Encore was suspended after Siltek’s dismissal as general contractor.
The $25.6 million development, which is about three-quarters complete, is designed with 122 apartments for low-income individuals an 81 market-rate apartments.
More than 9,000 families are on a waiting list for apartments at Tempo, initially expected to open in fall and now likely to open no sooner than early next year.
Leroy Moore, chief operating officer of the housing authority, told the Tampa Bay Times that the project was behind schedule and Siltek’s relationship with subcontractors had become adversarial.
The Tampa Housing Authority also suspected that Rene Sierra, a former vice president of Siltek, was still working on the Tempo development.
About a year ago, Sierra pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami to defrauding the U.S. government in a case that involved several developers indicted for submitting inflated construction contracts for low-income housing projects in South Florida. Sierra is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
Siltek subsequently told the Tampa Housing Authority that Sierra would not participate in the Tempo development. But since then, Moore told the Tampa Bay Times, Sierra had been seen three times at the Tempo construction site. [Tampa Bay Times] — Mike Seemuth