The start of what was supposed to be a “flagship project” for a Brazilian billionaire developer suffered a major setback on Monday after the building being demolished unexpectedly collapsed, sending a project manager to the hospital and shutting down a large portion of Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.
A pile of rubble was all that was left of the former Marlborough House as firefighters and police officers rushed to the scene a little after 10 a.m. A video captured the dramatic collapse of the 13-story building.
Conventional demolition by subcontractor AlliedBean Demolition Contractors was set to begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, and last for two weeks, according to Ana Salgueiro, Miami Beach’s building director. Contractor Winmar Construction and the developer first applied for an implosion permit in August of 2017, which was denied. They reapplied for a conventional demolition permit in November and received the permit in May. They performed interior demolition until Monday, said Miami Beach spokesperson Melissa Berthier. “It wasn’t supposed to come down the way it did this morning,” she said.
The former Marlborough House condo building collapsed on Monday morning, sending a project manager to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Multiplan RE Asset Management hired @winmarconstruction to handle the demolition, which used subcontractor @alliedbeandemolition. The exterior demolition began this morning and was set to last two weeks until the entire building came down at once. (?to our coverage in our profile, ? via an anonymous tipster)
Samuel Landis, a 42-year-old project manager, remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital, according to a Miami Beach Police spokesperson.
The property was set to be developed into a 17-story, 89-residence luxury condo led by José Isaac Peres’ Multiplan Real Estate Asset Management – a project’s design that was highly contested by neighbors before gaining approval from the Miami Beach Design Review Board last December.
The contractors behind the demolition
Miami-based Winmar Construction is listed as the contractor on Miami Beach records, but the company shifted responsibility of the accident to its subcontractor, AlliedBean Demolition Contractors.
Winmar said AlliedBean was responsible for performing all of the project’s demolition work. According to its website, AlliedBean was founded in 2012 in Fort Lauderdale and is led by its president Kevin Bean, who could not be reached for comment. AlliedBean has been involved in a number of marquee demolition projects in South Florida.
The company’s website says it handles total building demolition, selective structural demolition, interior soft demolition and interior structural demolition. Some of its projects included the removal of the pedestrian bridge linking the former Coconut Grove Bank building to the nearby parking lot. It also performed work on the Crystal Lake Country Club, Deerfield Beach to demolish a 55,000 square foot clubhouse, according to its website.
AlliedBean was inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for work at the Deerfield Beach development in 2015. The case was closed and AlliedBean was not fined, according to OSHA.
In South Florida, Winmar’s projects include Aquamar, a 20-unit luxury condo, and Aquavue, an eight-unit building, both developed by Ocean Land Investments in Fort Lauderdale. Winmar also completed the $40 million renovation of the Shelborne South Beach at 1801 Collins Avenue; the $1.3 million buildout of Le Zoo, a Stephen Starr restaurant at Bal Harbour Shops; and sales centers for Oceana Bal Harbour, Paramount Bay and other condo buildings, according to its website.
Winmar partnered with Coastal Construction in 2012 to create a small projects division. The Miami-based company, which shares an address with Coastal, is led by Luis Leon. Leon could not be reached for comment.
Winmar has had four cases with OSHA, including one for its work at the Shelborne in 2014. No details were available.
Coastal Construction is the second-largest construction company in South Florida according to a June 2017 ranking by The Real Deal. It has worked on high-profile projects that include Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach, 1450 Brickell and Bacardi’s headquarters. It is currently facing at least one lawsuit for its work on the Porsche Design Tower. A Davie-based subcontractor, Zarrella Construction, alleges in a civil suit that Coastal Construction owes the firm at least $1.42 million in unpaid work and supplies.
The planned new development at 5775 Collins Avenue
Peres founded Multiplan Real Estate Asset Management to focus on real estate development in South Florida after successfully turning Rio de Janeiro-based Multiplan into one of the largest retail real estate companies in Brazil. After starting his first real estate company at 22, Peres, now 78, has a portfolio of 19 malls. Forbes estimates the family’s net worth at $1.2 billion.
The native Brazilian has deep ties to South Florida, as a part-time resident of Miami-Dade County since 1998. He developed the Il Villaggio in Miami Beach, a luxury condo and retail development on Ocean Drive, which faces Lummus Park and the beach. Peres also acquired a development site on Brickell Avenue in the late 1990’s, which was later developed by Fortune International Group into Jade Brickell, according to Multiplan Real Estate Asset Management’s website.
In an interview last month, Marcelo Kingston of Multiplan called the 5775 Collins Avenue development a “flagship project” for the company. Multiplan was set to launch sales in time for Art Basel, and planned to build an on-site, beachfront sales gallery. Fortune International Group will handle sales, according to the developer’s website. Kingston declined to provide pricing, but said it would be comparable on a per-square-foot basis to Eighty Seven Park, the Four Seasons Residences at the Surf Club and L’Atelier Residences.
Multiplan distanced itself from the collapse on Monday afternoon, directing any questions to Winmar Construction. It’s unclear at this time what the collapse means for the new project’s timeline.
The designer of the project is Miami-based Arquitectonica, which is behind some of South Florida’s most well- known luxury developments, including The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach and Icon Brickell.
Plans for 5775 Collins include a beachfront pool, a lounge and a social area. The two largest penthouses would offer private terraces with pools.
Ina Cordle contributed reporting.