When Josh and Michelle Kurzban saw brochures for Parque Towers in Sunny Isles Beach and put down a deposit in 2015, they were expecting to upgrade to a new 2,500-square-foot condo.
Four years later, a Miami-Dade Circuit judge ruled that the developer, J. Milton & Associates, mismarketed the size of Kurzban’s unit by almost 25 percent.
The ruling, delivered last week, could have significant implications for 10 other buyers who sued the developer over the project’s delays and alleged misrepresentations, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney, David Reiner. But Robert Frankel, the attorney who represents the developer, refutes that.
Most of the buyers who filed suit are trying to get out of their contract due to construction delays for the two-tower, 320-unit project at 300-330 Sunny Isles Boulevard. Closings recently began in both towers after the project was completed two years later than expected.
Frankel said Judge Valerie R. Manno Schurr made a mistake, and he believes the ruling was an outlier. Frankel said that last week a different judge struck down a motion for summary judgment from another buyer at Parque Towers who also alleged misrepresentations.
“These are afterthought claims brought by purchasers who don’t want to close,” Frankel said.
The mismarketing of unit sizes resulted in the Kurzbans paying $634 per square foot for the unit instead of $478 per square foot, according to the lawsuit filed in February in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
The Kurzbans are entitled to a refund of their $597,500 deposit and are able to get out of the contract, according to the judge’s order for partial summary judgement.
Reiner said the developer is “still representing that the units are 2,500 square feet on their website today, when they know that the units are 1,892 square feet.” He predicts there will be more lawsuits against the developer as a result of the judge’s ruling.
Yet, Frankel said the contracts have disclaimers with clear language that contradict the plaintiffs’ claims. “You have got to read this stuff,” he said. “I don’t know what their excuse is for not reading this.”
He said the developer is planning to appeal the latest ruling if the judge does not reconsider it. He blames construction delays on Hurricane Irma and unforeseen environmental issues.
J. Milton is a long-time developer in South Florida, whose projects in Sunny Isles Beach include the IntraCoastal Yacht Club and the Sands Pointe Ocean Beach Condominium.