The Real Deal Miami

Loud thuds from barbells spark nuisance lawsuit at Mint on Miami River

Condo association alleges that crashing weights cause vibrations in units
By Francisco Alvarado | February 02, 2018 02:30PM

Society Barbell & Fitness (Credit: Brick Society CrossFit, Pixabay)

Apparently, folks getting fit and shredded is too much to handle for the condo association of the Mint at Riverfront luxury high-rise in downtown Miami.

The Mint Condominium Association in January sued three companies that own two commercial spaces in the 56-story building and their tenant Society Barbell and Fitness for breach of contract and breach of the condo’s declaration.

The association claims Society Barbell and Fitness has become a nuisance due to daily workout classes that cause excessive noise and vibrations in the building. It wants a court order forcing the commercial space owners, Inversionies Filomena II LLC, Inversiones Lumacla I LLC and Maraba I LLC, to essentially evict Society Barbell and Fitness.

According to state corporate records, the three owner-entities are operated through JAG Property Management, whose property manager Gabriel Gonzalez said the company and Brown Dog Fitness LLC, the entity doing business as Society Barbell, have been trying to workout an amicable resolution that didn’t involve litigation.

“They have consistently gone out of their way to make life miserable for our tenant at the Mint,” Gonzalez said. “We have gone into the building with our attorney to determine the problems with the noise. We don’t think Society Barbell is a nuisance.”

Society Barbell owner Adam Becker said he has tried to work with the association, the building’s property managers and complaining tenants to resolve any issues they may have with noise coming from his gym. “Unfortunately, they haven’t been willing to find a solution with us,” Becker said. “From the day we moved into this space, we have tried to be a positive part of this community by making people healthier and fit. We want to find a solution that makes everyone happy.”

Laura Manning-Hudson, the attorney representing the Mint Condominium Association, did not return a phone message seeking comment. According to the suit, Society Barbell signed leases in February 2015 for a commercial space owned by Inversionies Filomena II LLC and Inversiones Lumacla I LLC, as well as an adjoining space owned by Maraba I LLC. Becker said the lawsuit mistakenly identifies his business as a “CrossFit” gym.

“We do functional fitness, which is a general term for the type of training we provide,” Becker said. “CrossFit just happens to be the biggest brand of functional fitness.”

Mint’s lawsuit claims that “as part of the CrossFit gym training, men and women routinely hoist barbells above their heads and let them crash to the floor.” At Society Barbell, “this weightlifting and crashing starts at approximately 6:30 each morning and continues throughout each day, until approximately 8:30 p.m., including classes on the weekends,” the lawsuit states. “When weights drop the result is a sound like a loud crash or thud that then results in vibrations felt in the residential units. This occurs over and over again.”

As a result, residents cannot quietly enjoy life in their condos, the condo association alleges. Becker disputed the allegation that Society Barbell members are hositing and throwing barbells recklessly. “We start with training movements that show people the proper way to bring a barbell to the ground,” he said. “There is a safe way to teach it, which we teach.”

He also noted that residents of the condo tower along the Miami River, including individuals who have been on the condo board, are members of Society Barbell. “We have members who have moved to the riverfront community,” he said. “Seven of them live in the Mint. That is why we think we are a positive part of the community.”

Gonzalez said he and JAG’s attorney toured units located just above Society Barbell. “I couldn’t hear any of these noises,” Gonzalez said. “There is one tenant who is making a lot of complaints. He is an attorney. Now it has turned into a big lawsuit, which we are going to fight.”