Three years after agreeing to pay $22.5 million for Brickell Flatiron’s retail and restaurant space, a partnership between Avi Dishi and Haim Yehezkel wants a Miami-Dade Court to reduce the purchase price over allegations of an undisclosed revision of the construction plans.
In a recent-filed lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Manhattan-based Dishi and Sons, and Brickell Flatiron Retail, a firm owned by Dishi and Yehezkel, accuse CMC Group affiliate Downtown Development Holdings of making significant portions of the 24,800-square-foot ground-floor commercial space unusable by placing a garage ramp through it.
CMC Group, headed by Ugo Colombo, is expected to complete the 64-story Brickell Flatiron tower with 594 condos at 1001 South Miami Avenue next month. According to the complaint, the Dishi entities have already paid deposits totalling $11.25 million and are tentatively scheduled to close the deal in mid-September.
“This appears to be a heavy-handed attempt by the buyer to re-trade a long-standing, binding contract on the eve of closing,” said Jesse Dean-Kluger, a lawyer representing Downtown Development Holdings.
Attorneys for Brickell Flatiron Retail and Dishi could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Dishi partnership claims that during negotiations in early 2016, CMC Group provided architectural plans and other renderings for Brickell Flatiron’s ground and mezzanine levels showing the commercial units contained usable, unobstructed spaces on the ground floor with appropriate ceiling heights.
The drawings for the second floor of the commercial units “were particularly attractive to the buyer, as the seller represented that it would allow an opportunity to feature high ceilings throughout…an appealing characteristic to commercial tenants, especially high-end restaurants,” the lawsuit states.
After signing the purchase contract in February 2016, Brickell Flatiron Retail began working with numerous potential tenants interested in leasing space. They entered into letters of intent, including with an unnamed high-end restaurant that wanted to do an open-concept fine dining establishment accentuated by the ceilings and ample space, according to the complaint.
Those plans unraveled this summer. The Dishi partnership claims that it became clear CMC Group had substantially deviated from the floor plans by building a “several-ton cement parking garage ramp” in the middle of the commercial space. As a result, the ceiling space was reduced and the prospective restaurant tenant could no longer use the second floor for its kitchen and storage, the lawsuit states.
Dishi and Brickell Flatiron Retail allege the changes to the ramp design were never disclosed and that they found out only when the ramp was being built.
The plaintiffs also claim the restaurant tenant is demanding a substantial rent abatement and could back out of its proposed lease agreement.