The Real Deal Miami

Panorama Tower’s contractor sues Florida East Coast Realty after firing

Tutor Perini Building Corp. was dropped from the project in September

Panorama Tower (Credit: PanoramaTower, Alpha Stock Images by Nick Youngson)

Panorama Tower may rise above all the other residential towers in Miami, but it’s not above the legal controversies that can accompany such a lofty project.

Tutor Perini Building Corp., the contractor overseeing construction of the tower, filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against developer Florida East Coast Realty last month alleging it failed to turn in project designs on time and revised project plans as recently as October without giving a deadline extension — resulting in millions of dollars in unpaid work, the Daily Business Journal reported.

Arizona-based Tutor Perini was fired in September after being hired by the developer in 2014 to build the 85-story tower at 1101 Brickell Avenue.

The contractor signed a $255 million contract based on designs submitted that same year, but the complaint alleges that the contract was never modified once final designs were delivered. Florida East Coast Realty allegedly missed the July 2014 deadline to turn in final designs and added multiple changes.

Changes to the project’s civil, architectural and design blueprints increased the cost from $255 million to $362.5 million, with additions including adding a lounge on the 81st floor, according to the Daily Business Review.

In a statement, the developer said Tutor Perini’s lawsuit is a defense tactic, adding it plans to take action against the contractor for damages in excess of $25 million.

“We believe Tutor Perini filed the lawsuit inappropriately in Circuit Court as a preemptive strike because they knew that once they were terminated, delays occasioned by them and their failure to properly supervise and monitor the job would come to light,” Florida East Coast Realty said in the statement to DBR, adding it believes Tutor Perini failed to properly read the contract.

Tutor Perini has worked on notable projects, including the ARIA Resort & Casino and the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, Hudson Yards in New York City and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

In South Florida, Tutor Perini is also working with developer Joseph Kavana on his master-planned, 65-acre Metropica development in Sunrise. [DBR] – Amanda Rabines