Though his ultra-luxe Porsche Design Tower is all but completed, developer Gil Dezer may have to keep his champagne corked until he resolves a lawsuit filed by the condo tower’s fed-up neighbors.
Dezer’s firm and his entire development team — from the general contractor to the engineers — were just sued in Miami-Dade Circuit Court by the Millenium condo association in Sunny Isles Beach. The suit alleges that the building suffered millions of dollars in damages as a result of the Porsche tower’s construction next door.
The dispute, according to Millenium’s complaint, began in 2013 when Porsche’s development team began installing foundation sheet pilings for the tower’s development site at 18555 Collins Avenue. Not long afterward, cracks began appearing next door in the 34-story Millenium’s lobby, parking garage and pool deck.
So the Millenium condo association hired Khaled Sobhan and D.V. Reddy, a pair of engineering professors from Florida Atlantic University, to get to the bottom of the damages.
According to their report, attached to Millenium’s suit, the cracks were caused by excessive vibrations from construction equipment driving the Porsche Design Tower’s sheet pilings.
The suit alleges the damages didn’t stop once Porsche’s foundations were set. According to the complaint, as the 60-story tower’s floors were poured, concrete overspray splashed over onto the Millenium’s south facade, falling onto balconies and splotching the building’s paint job.
Keith Silverstein, the attorney representing Millenium’s condo association, told The Real Deal that damages valued at $4 million have been identified so far. Repainting and resurfacing the building will cost $1 million, he said.
The association had been in talks with Dezer for roughly 18 months without much progress, he said.
Dezer declined comment for this article through a spokesperson. The 132-unit Porsche tower, which gained notoriety for its over-the-top car elevator dubbed the Dezervator, is expected to be delivered this fall.
“We felt it prudent in light of the lack of transparency on the part of the contractor and developer to name all the parties so we can determine the truth of the responsibility,” Silverstein said. Charges range from negligence to violations of state building code, and the plaintiffs are reserving the right to sue for punitive damages in the future.
Plaintiffs in the suit include: Dezer Development, Dezer’s affiliate 18555 Developers LLC, the Porsche tower’s condo association, Coastal Construction of South Florida, both Sieger Suarez Architects and the Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership, HJ Foundation Company, engineering firm NV5 Global and NV5 Holdings, Pistorino & Alam Consulting Engineers, and CHM Structural Engineers.
“In order for Dezer and Coastal to make this right,” Silverstein said, “they would need to return the Millenium to its preconstruction condition, to the extent possible. “