Brickell City Centre’s nearby retailers sue over alleged damages caused by construction

Businesses allege Swire, general contractor and subcontractors spewed massive amounts of dust and debris on surrounding properties

Miami /
Sep.September 25, 2017 05:37 PM

UPDATED Sept. 26, 2 p.m.: Some Brickell City Centre neighbors have a beef with the $1.05 billion project’s impact on local foot traffic along Southwest Eighth Street in Miami’s financial district.

Five retailers in a nearby shopping plaza have filed suit against Brickell City Centre’s developer and general contractors for allegedly costing them “catastrophic loss of business and clientele” by not properly containing the project’s construction.

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 11 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, accuses Swire Properties and Turner Construction, as well as John Moriarty & Associates of Florida and Americaribe Inc., of negligence, tortious interference, creating a nuisance and trespassing. A Swire spokesperson said that the company will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit, calling it without merit.

“The Brickell City Centre was built in accord with all applicable standards of care, and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations,” the spokesperson said. “The Brickell City Centre is proud to be part of the development of the West Brickell area which benefits the entire Miami community.”

Turner and Dragados USA, which is not named in the suit, won the contract for the foundation and underground parking of Brickell City Centre’s first phase, which includes five buildings which encompasses 500,000 square feet of retail, 260,000 square feet of office space, two 43-story residential towers with 390 units each, and 352 hotel rooms, including 89 two-and-three bedroom units set aside as short-term residences. Turner spokesman Chris McFadden said the company is in the process of reviewing the complaint. “We will be in a position to respond after this review has taken place,” he said.

A joint venture between Americaribe and John Moriarty have overseen the construction for the luxury shopping center, two residential towers, the East, Miami hotel, serviced apartments, a wellness center and Class A office space at the 4.9 million-square-foot project. John Leete and Jean-Baptiste Baudin de la Valette, the top Florida executives for John Moriarty and Americaribe, respectively, did not respond to voicemails seeking comment.

The plaintiffs include tanning salon Captive Sun Two; restaurant 83 Brooklyn Bagel Company; cellular phone stores Master Choice and Wireless Plaza; and Absolute Cigar Shop. All are located at 38 Southwest Eighth Street. Their lawyer David Goldstein declined comment.

The lawsuit alleges that the five retailers have suffered significant business losses directly attributable to the massive construction, dirt, debris, lane closures, and other spillover effects caused by the development of Brickell City Centre. Captive Sun Two and its co-plaintiffs also allege Swire, Turner, Moriarty and Americaribe have violated federal environmental laws by improperly disposing of waste and illegally diverting polluted water into the Miami River.

The retailers allege Swire, its general contractor and subcontractors have driven away their customers by failing to maintain the construction site in a clean manner, spewing massive amounts of dust and debris on surrounding properties, and intentionally diverting and disrupting traffic from area businesses.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified compensatory damages for their loss of business.


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