The Real Deal Miami

MyBrickell condo owners name Related, Arquitectonica in lawsuit alleging shoddy design and construction

After a big opening celebration in 2014, the 27-story tower has been plagued by structural, mechanical, electrical defects, suit contends
By Francisco Alvarado |
Research by Haru Coryne
January 03, 2019 12:30PM

When the Related Group completed MyBrickell in 2014, it was amid great fanfare, with a grand opening party on the rooftop pool deck of the 27-story, 192-unit condo tower. At the time, MyBrickell was one of the first condo projects to be completed after the real estate collapse of 2008, as well as one of the first to highlight a collaboration with global brand name: industrial designer Karim Rashid.

But five years later, the building’s condo association has sued the developer and others over an extensive checklist of alleged design and construction defects. Spokespersons for Related did not respond to email requests for comment.

The association is also suing Arquitectonica, the Miami-based architecture firm that designed MyBrickell; John Moriarty and Associates of Florida, the project’s general contractor; and subcontractors Steven Feller P.E. and B and J Consulting Engineers. Officials for the four companies also did not respond to messages and emails requesting comment.

The lawsuit doesn’t state exactly when the condo association became aware of the construction defects and MyBrickell’s lawyer Marc Smiley declined comment. But the complaint alleges Related, Arquitectonica and John Moriarty are responsible for “numerous defects and deficiencies” in the building’s structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, roofing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and life safety systems.

In the 38-page complaint, 13 pages document specific defects in building units and common areas allegedly caused by Related and the design and construction firms. Some are cosmetic, while others are considered life threatening. For instance, kitchen cabinets in eight units were improperly installed, and the wrong flooring was installed in some areas of the fitness center and pool deck, the lawsuit alleges.

More serious alleged defects included water intrusion in the recessed LED floor lights of the pool that could cause electrocution, and pipes were installed over fire alarm systems that could burst and render the systems inoperable.

MyBrickell Condominium Association is seeking unspecified damages for repairs, plus interest and other costs against Related, Arquitectonica, John Moriarty and the two subcontractors.

Since MyBrickell, Related hired Arquitectonica and John Moriarty to design and manage construction, respectively, for other Brickell condo projects, including the SLS Lux Brickell and the SLS Brickell Hotel and Residence.