The owner of an unfinished office building with ground-floor retail near Midtown Miami allegedly hasn’t paid $1.2 million in construction and labor, according to a recently filed lawsuit. But a lawyer for the developer, Set Midtown, claims the project suffered numerous delays and defects resulting from shoddy work by Brickell Construction Group.
Brickell Construction Group is suing Set Midtown for breach of contract in Miami-Dade Circuit Court and seeks to foreclose on a construction lien against the property.
Planned as a glass and concrete structure with double-height ground-floor retail space and 32 underground parking spaces, the five-story office project at 78 Northwest 37th Street has been under development since 2016, according to Miami building permit records.
Miami-Dade property records show Set Midtown, controlled by Phillip Slyvester of Miami Beach, purchased the property when it was still vacant for $1.3 million in 2014. The building has not been completed.
In an emailed statement, Set Midtown’s attorney Adam Palmer said his client is pursuing its own arbitration claim for damages against Brickell Construction Group that “far exceed any amount” the general contractor alleges hasn’t been paid. Palmer said Set Midtown was compelled to terminate Brickell Construction Group and remove the company from the job site due to negligence, incompetence and an inability to perform the work.
“BGC’s poor performance subjected SET to repeated delays, countless construction deficiencies, and multiple-millions of dollars in losses.” Palmer said. “Moreover, during the investigation of BGC’s inferior performance, SET learned that BGC was wrongfully instructing its staff to lie to SET in order to intentionally coverup construction deficiencies and other failures at the project.”
K. Stefan Chin, the lawyer representing Brickell Construction Group, did not respond to requests for comment.
Set Midtown also has a pending lawsuit against Becker Boards over the placement of a mural at an adjacent property owned by Emilio and Gloria Estefan, who are not parties to the complaint. Set Midtown alleges that Becker Boards relocated its billboard from its property to the Estefan parcel. In addition to losing 40 percent of the billboard’s gross revenues, Set Miami alleges it cannot seek out another billboard company because city rules prohibit murals from being within 300 feet of each other.