Nine months after Victor Mijares and Caterina Angilello sued the developers of 1010 Brickell to cancel contracts on three condo units, the investors appear to have had a change of heart following setbacks in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
Barry Rothberg, an attorney for 1010 Brickell Holdings, and Key International Co-President Inigo Ardid, whose company is co-developing the 50-floor luxury tower, told The Real Deal that three entities owned by Mijares and Angilello that were used to purchase the units have settled out of court and recently closed the condos at full price. The outcome, Ardid and Rothberg claim, shows that buyers of new construction condos who get cold feet won’t find an exit strategy through litigation.
“If you are trying to get out [of a deal] because you had a change of heart, you shouldn’t be taking that risk in signing a purchase contract,” Ardid said. “Or if you are going to take it, know what the ramifications are going to be.”
Whether Mijares and Angilello had remorse or weren’t ready to close when they sued 1010 Brickell Holdings in April of last year, developers like Key International and its partner 13th Floor Investments, had all the documentation in order to successfully defend against lawsuits seeking to terminate purchase contracts.
“I think developers and real estate lawyers learned many lessons from the last cycle,” Rothberg said. “Everyone is better armed for these type of disputes.”
Kenneth Damas, the attorney representing the Mijares and Angilello companies Maiko 2308 LLC, Maryol 2208 LLC and Nishiki 3907 LLC, declined comment about the terms of the settlement, but disputed the assertations made by Ardid and Rothberg. He said his clients had a legitimate claim against Brickell 1010 Holdings.
“Developers are constantly making changes to the developments and not delivering the items that were contracted for,” Damas said. “I think that this shows both parties had to adhere to the terms of the contract and to follow Florida law. It also serves a notice to buyers to make sure to always have an attorney read over the documents you are asked to sign before signing as they are not always what the parties say they are.”
In three separate lawsuits filed in April of last year, Maiko 2308 LLC, Maryol 2208 LLC and Nishiki 3907 LLC similarly accused Brickell 1010 Holdings of making material changes to the building’s design and failing to provide condo documents pertaining to the condo association bylaws and maintenance. The three limited liability companies alleged the changes and the failure to provide the condo douments gave Maiko, Maryol and Nishiki the right to cancel the purchase agreements and get back the deposits.
In motions to dismiss the lawsuits, 1010 Brickell Holdings accused Mijares and Angilello of engaging in “an effort to escape [their] obligations under a pre-construction contract.” Rothberg said he presented evidence that Mijares and Angilello had received the condo documents on schedule, including a receipt confirming they received the paperwork and transmittal letters delivered by UPS detailing the changes to the building design.
On Oct. 27, 2017, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Bronwyn C. Miller issued a summary judgment on all counts in favor of 1010 Brickell Holdings in the Maiko case, but the company filed a notice to appeal a month later. On Nov. 29, Circuit Court Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens granted summary judgment on three of four counts in favor of 1010 Brickell Holdings in the Nishiki case. On Jan. 11, the three companies settled with the development company and all three lawsuits were dismissed.
1010 Brickell was completed in October of last year.