More trouble at Hurricane Irma-ravaged Civic Towers: Subcontractors file $1.6M in construction liens

Redwood Housing Partners obtained $87.5M in revenue bonds from the Miami-Dade Housing Finance Authority and $42.9M in tax credits to fund renovations

Civic Towers
Civic Towers

The owner of Civic Towers, a pair of Section 8 buildings in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood, allegedly has not paid $1.6 million to six subcontractors, according to liens filed against the properties.

The liens, recorded between June and August, are the latest signs of trouble for Redwood Housing Partners of Burlingame, California, which bought the twin mid-rise towers in February for $45 million. The company’s managing directors Ray Fuson and Jeffrey Green responded through spokesperson Ray Casas. “It is inappropriate to comment at this time because of open issues involving contractors and subcontractors,” Casas said.

In order to complete the purchase and fund a $39 million renovation of the buildings, Redwood obtained $87.5 million in revenue bonds from the Miami-Dade Housing Finance Authority and $42.9 million in tax credits, according the company’s applications for public financing. The documents also state Redwood would receive a $15.4 million developer’s fee.

Redwood had relocated about 130 tenants to nearby hotels shortly after work began, but another 80 remained in the buildings — living inside apartments as construction crews worked on the uninhabited units. Controversy has swirled around Civic Towers since August when work stopped after Miami’s building department put a hold on the project’s master permit.

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The Miami Herald reported substantial delays were related to misrepresentations made by the project’s general contractor about the value and scope of the project, as well as a dispute with an unnamed subcontractor.

And just days before Hurricane Irma hit South Florida, the building’s remaining 80 tenants had to be evacuated. Following the storm, Miami Building Official Maurice Pons determined the towers could not be inhabited until all the renovation work was completed. An independent inspection found that apartment walls had suffered extensive water and mold damage that may have been caused by the hurricane.

Eleven days ago, the city of Miami filed for an emergency injunction against Redwood to force the company to allow residents to retrieve belongings from their apartments.

According to the liens, Redwood owes $1.2 million for wall panels furnished by Coastal Maintenance and Restoration and Coastal Pre-Fab, two companies that share the same Naples address; $131,835 for installation work provided by another Naples firm, Ford Drywall and Stucco; $11,302 to Margate-based GL Staffing Services for providing temporary labor; and a combined $190,760 to Orlando-based Kobrin Builders Supply and Tampa-based FBM Galaxy for building supplies.

Representatives for the six companies did not respond to requests for comment.

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