Brickell City Centre construction manager accuses swimming pools installer of shoddy job

The East, Miami hotel pool deck
The East, Miami hotel pool deck

UPDATED Dec. 6, 12:45 p.m.: With the first phase of Brickell City Centre nearly complete, trouble is brewing among some of the firms involved in the project’s construction.

Americaribe-Moriarty Joint Venture, which oversaw the first phase, sued Fort Myers-based Certified Pool Mechanics late last month in Miami-Dade County Circuit for breach of contract and filing a fraudulent lien.

Americacaribe-Moriarty is seeking roughly $1.7 million in damages.

Richard Chaves, a partner with Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell, representing the joint venture, declined comment on the specifics of the lawsuit.

“We look forward to presenting our client’s claims through that process which includes a mediated settlement conference,” Chaves told The Real Deal.  A woman who answered the phone at Certified’s office said the firm had no comment.

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According to the lawsuit, Americaribe-Moriarty signed a $5.3 million contract with Certified for swimming pool and installation work at Brickell City Centre in March 2014. However, the pool subcontractor failed to perform the scope of work in a timely manner and sought unauthorized change orders, the lawsuit alleges.

In addition to using other subcontractors to finish work Certified was supposed to do, Americaribe-Moriarty also had to pay suppliers that were owed money by the pool subcontractor, according to the suit. When the work was finished, Americaribe-Moriarty was forced to pay $622,000 for work Certified did not complete after the subcontractor filed a construction lien on the project in December of last year, the suit says.

The joint venture is between construction firms Americaribe and John Moriarty & Associates of Florida, which were awarded oversight of the first phase’s construction in March 2013. Specifically, Americaribe-Moriarty managed the construction of a luxury shopping center, two residential towers, the East, Miami hotel, serviced apartments, a wellness center and Class A office space at the $1.05 billion, 4.9 million-square-foot project. The shopping center, which was co-developed by Whitman Family Development and Simon Property Group, opened earlier this month.

Correction: A previous version of this story noted an incorrect square footage amount for Brickell City Centre, overall.