Construction of Echo Brickell allegedly damaged neighboring condo building: lawsuit

Brickell East Condominium Association alleges PMG failed to adhere to an agreement requiring the developer to be a good neighbor before and after construction

Oct.October 11, 2019 09:45 AM
Echo Brickell and PMG principal Ryan Shear

Echo Brickell and PMG principal Ryan Shear

The condominium association for Brickell East, a 1980s condo tower, is accusing Echo Brickell’s developer and condominium association of being bad neighbors.

According to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Brickell East claims Property Markets Group reneged on an agreement to minimize the impact Echo Brickell’s construction would have on the exterior of the 28-story Brickell East residential building next door. As a result, Brickell East, built in 1983, sustained structural damage, material discoloration, cracking, stains, and debris strikes, the complaint alleges.

In addition to PMG, Echo Brickell’s condo association and general contractor John Moriarty and Associates of Florida are named as defendants.

Representatives for John Moriarty and the two associations did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Ryan Shear, a PMG principal, said Brickell East’s complaint has no merit and that his company complied with the agreement.

“We had accounted for potential issues during construction and paid them to offset any costs,” Shear said in an emailed statement. “After we paid them more than the agreement called for, after they received all the payments and after they released us and related parties, they decided to sue us. I hope the court sanctions them for a meritless lawsuit.”

Echo Brickell, a 57-story, 180-unit luxury condominium at 1451 Brickell Avenue, was completed in late 2017, roughly one year after construction was halted following a scaffolding collapse that injured five people and one person died from a heart attack while running away from falling debris.

At the time, a city of Miami memo noted two platforms loaded with building materials came loose more than 40 stories above Brickell Avenue.

In its lawsuit, Brickell East, at 151 Southeast 15th Road, claims that the condo association entered into a “Good Neighbor” agreement with PMG in 2015 in which the developer was supposed to “minimize any adverse impact that construction” would have on the older building and its residents. Among other stipulations, the agreement called for PMG to pay Brickell East $1,800 a month to cover the cost of removing debris that fell on the neighboring property and to clean the west-facing windows of the building.

When construction ramped up between 2016 and 2017, the increased workload resulted in “exponentially more damage” to Brickell East, the lawsuit alleges. The damages allegedly included concrete overspray and splatter, paint stains, and exterior damage from unsecured debris.

Brickell East claims PMG ignored the condo association’s requests that the developer use netting and other mitigation tactics. In addition, PMG and the Echo Brickell condo association rejected Brickell East’s requests to “obtain reasonable compensation,” according to the suit.

In 2013, PMG paid $25 million for the development site and later financed Echo Brickell’s construction with about $124 million in financing from Canyon Capital Realty Advisors. The tower was designed by Carlos Ott and Yoo Studio Design.

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