Make sure it’s “well lit for ambiance and seduction”: Nouvel lawsuit against JDS highlights developer’s demands

Paris-based Atelier Jean Nouvel is alleging it's owed $213K for design work on Monad Terrace in Miami Beach

Jean Nouvel (Credit: iStock)
Jean Nouvel (Credit: iStock)

The developer of Monad Terrace in South Beach had a few requests while working with French architect Jean Nouvel. For one, the building and grounds “must be well lit for ambiance and seduction.”

The pool deck should, of course, “have amazing views above the parking block.”

JDS Development Group’s design notes for the Paris-based Atelier Jean Nouvel are included in a recent lawsuit the architecture and design firm filed against Monad Terrace Property Owner, the developer of the boutique luxury condo project under construction in Miami Beach.

Atelier Jean Nouvel is alleging that the developer breached its contract with the architecture firm and owes more than $213,000 of a $2.2 million contract signed in 2015, according to the lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.

Also included in the suit is the breakdown in pay to Nouvel’s company. Nouvel, principal of Atelier Jean Nouvel, charges $1,000 an hour. Other hourly rates range from $80 for junior support staff to $300 for a director.

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Nouvel is designing the 59-unit building at 1300 Monad Terrace along with architect of record Kobi Karp. JDS, led by Michael Stern, and its partners New Valley, Ackerman Development, Mink Development and others, launched sales with Douglas Elliman in February 2017.

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Stern, as well as the plaintiff’s attorney, did not respond to requests for comment.

JDS scored a $137 million construction loan for Monad Terrace in April. The year before, the developer was sued for allegedly failing to pay a $45.8 million mortgage. That suit was later dismissed. Madison Realty Capital, a New York-based real estate investor and lender, provided the construction financing earlier this year.

According to the contract between the developer and architect, attached to the lawsuit, $2.2 million would be paid in $9,000 monthly installments from the beginning of construction until the building is completed.

A 2015 memo included in the lawsuit highlights the developer’s design demands. In addition to the seductive lighting, JDS notified the architect that terraces don’t count as FAR (floor area ratio) as long as they’re open on two sides, and that the building “should exist in a microclimate created by vegetation and water.”

The lawsuit also cites the sales office, made up of trailers, which should be “a distillation of the project’s identity, not an apartment prototype.”