The Real Deal Miami

Palm Beach agent takes Kolter to court over Water Club commissions

Agent alleges Kolter dipped into her commissions at the North Palm Beach project
February 17, 2017 02:15PM

Rendering of the Water Club. Inset: former agent Lori Ann Civitillo

A former real estate agent is alleging that the Kolter Group has wrongfully taken back commissions she earned while selling condos at its Water Club development in North Palm Beach.

High preconstruction sales prompted Kolter to build a third tower just south of the two existing ones at the development along the Intracoastal Waterway, but the third building would block the water views of the some of the second tower’s units. So Kolter, a West Palm Beach-based developer, allowed preconstruction buyers in the second tower to cancel their contracts and recoup their down payments, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Former agent Lori Ann Civitillo filed a 21-page lawsuit earlier this month in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, claiming that she had an agreement with Kolter Group LLC and Kolter Tower Realty LLC to be paid half her commission at the time a Water Club condo unit went under contract and the other half when the sale closed, according to the Post.

The lawsuit alleges that her contract stated commissions weren’t contingent on the roughly $1 million contracts closing at the Water Club, at 1280 U.S. Highway 1, and would not be required to repay commissions on deals that did not go through, the Post reported.

Following Kolter’s decision to allow buyers with obstructed views to back out of contracts, Civitillo alleges the developer dipped into her commissions on other deals to make up for the money it had paid her on the canceled contracts. The lawsuit referred to the move as “self-help restitution.”

In total, Civitillo said she sold about $50 million worth of condominium contracts in the second tower. [Palm Beach Post] – Gabrielle Paluch