Bacardi-owned company sues construction firm for defects and delays at Coral Gables office development

Engineering consultant discovered 15 alleged defects that led to extensive damage to the structure

Oct.October 17, 2019 09:45 AM
1515 Sunset Drive and Facundo Bacardi

1515 Sunset Drive and Facundo Bacardi

After opening a six-floor office building in Coral Gables nine months ago, a Bacardi-owned firm is accusing national conglomerate OHL USA of causing $5 million in construction delays.

1515 Sunset LLC, a company controlled by Facundo Bacardi, sued OHL USA last month in Miami-Dade Circuit Court for construction defects, untimely payments to subcontractors and delay damages. The property is located at 1515 Sunset Drive.

Representatives for 1515 Sunset and OHL USA did not return messages seeking comment.

According to the lawsuit, 1515 Sunset initially engaged OHL USA’s predecessor company Arellano Construction in 2012 to demolish an existing building on the site and conduct earthwork to prepare the property for a new office and retail development, along with a parking garage. The buildout began in 2014 and the new structure was completed earlier this year when the City of Coral Gables provided 1515 Sunset with a certificate of occupancy. Douglas Elliman took 4,040 square feet on the ground floor.

However, during the construction phase and after receiving the certificate, 1515 Sunset alleges that the owner observed numerous defects, deficiencies and other mistakes that prompted the hiring of a consulting firm. Thornton Thomasetti Inc. was hired to review the underlying construction documents, shop drawings and design calculations. The defects Thornton documented included damage to stucco walls, improperly sealed windows, missing sealant and waterproofing of walls, and heating and air conditioning equipment that was not installed according to the plans, the lawsuit alleges.

In addition, OHL USA failed to timely pay subcontractors that resulted in construction liens being filed against 1515 Sunset, the complaint states.

The project was supposed to be substantially completed by Aug. 10, 2015, but OHL USA did not do so until June 7, 2018, 1515 Sunset alleges. In total, the construction was delayed by 1002 days and as a result 1515 Sunset is entitled to $5,000 for each day of delays, or $5 million, according to the suit.

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