The Real Deal Miami

Litigation heats up at downtown Miami’s Vizcayne condo complex

Complex now has three active construction defect lawsuits
By Sean Stewart-Muniz | February 20, 2017 05:15PM

Viscayne condo buildings

Tally up another construction defect lawsuit for downtown Miami’s two 49-story Vizcayne condo buildings.

The south tower’s condo association just filed suit against more than two dozen construction firms that worked on the Vizcayne project, alleging counts that range from negligence to breach of contract.

“There’s a full gambit of claims,” said attorney Darrin Gursky of law firm Gursky Ragan, which filed the suit on behalf of the association.  

The alleged defects came to light as part of a 2015 report that the association commissioned from Atkins Engineers, which studied how Vizcayne’s south tower matched up to Florida building codes.

What the firm found, according to its report, was a variety of deficiencies and design flaws: leaky windows, corroded stucco and cracked concrete on the building’s exterior, “improper slopes” on a number of balconies that don’t allow water to drain, and a lack of watertightness for roughly 39 percent of the building’s post-tension cables, which give support to concrete slabs.

Gursky told The Real Deal that the association hopes to either have the defendants repair the shoddy work themselves, or foot the bill for having the defects corrected. The suit names Vizcayne’s general contractor W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., design firm Fullerton Diaz Architects, Crespo Consulting Engineers, as well as a laundry list of subcontractors.

A request for comment to an attorney representing W.G. Yates was not immediately returned.

The two luxury towers are located at the corner of Northeast Second Street and Biscayne Boulevard on the site of the former Everglades Hotel. They house a combined 849 units and are connected by a retail complex with 58,000 square feet of leasable space. Asking prices in the building currently range from $190,000 for a studio up to just below $3 million for a three-bedroom residence.

This isn’t the first time the Vizcayne complex’s condo associations have been wrapped up in litigation.

In November, the condo complex’s north tower and master association took aim at those same defendants with a pair of their own construction defect lawsuits, raising similar allegations of lackluster workmanship.

The north and south associations also recently settled a suit filed against affiliates of investment firm Rockwood Capital, which bought out the Vizcayne project in 2010 after the original developer, a U.S. subsidiary of Mexican real estate company GICSA, went bankrupt during the housing crash without finishing the two towers.