Panorama Tower debris damaged building housing Salt Bae joint: lawsuit

Entity controlled by Carlos Mattos’ children purchased the building, home to Salt Bae Nusret Gökçe’s steakhouse, for $22M in 2011

From left: Carlos Mattos, Nusret Gökçe, Panorama Tower and 999 Brickell (Credit: Getty Images)
From left: Carlos Mattos, Nusret Gökçe, Panorama Tower and 999 Brickell (Credit: Getty Images)

For more than a year, during Panorama Tower’s construction, debris and other materials allegedly rained down on the nearby Brickell Avenue office building that’s home to Salt Bae Nusret Gökçe’s restaurant, according to a recently filed Miami-Dade lawsuit.

The owners of 999 Brickell, scions of Colombian businessman Carlos Mattos, want the development entity controlled by the Hollo family and the construction firms hired to build the 85-story mixed-use tower to pay for the alleged damages to their property.

On Jan. 31, 999 Brickell Property LLC filed suit against TWJ 1101 LLC, Tutor Perini, and Rotunda Structures. State corporate records show that 999 Brickell Property is managed by Mattos’ children Nicolas and Isabelle Mattos. TWJ 1101 is the Panorama Tower development entity managed by Florida East Coast Realty Chairman and President Tibor Hollo and his sons, who are senior executives in the company. Rotunda Structures took over management of the skyscraper’s construction after Florida East Coast Realty terminated Tutor Perini in 2017.

Nicholas Siegfried, attorney for 999 Brickell Property, declined comment. Jerome Hollo, Florida East Coast Realty’s senior vice-president who oversaw the Panorama Tower project, and spokespeople for Tutor Perini and Rotunda Structures did not respond to requests for comment.

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999 Brickell Property alleges flying debris, concrete overspray, paint splatter and other construction-related activities damaged the rooftop, balconies, floors, walls, and parking deck, among other areas of the 12-story office building.

The lawsuit claims the damages occurred between 2017 and the summer of 2018 when Panorama Tower, at 1100 Brickell Bay Drive, was completed. At the time, Florida East Coast Realty was mired in bruising legal battle with Tutor Perini. The Los Angeles-based construction firm alleged that Florida East Coast Realty failed to to turn in project designs on time and revised project plans without giving a deadline extension — resulting in millions of dollars in unpaid work. Changes to the project’s blueprints allegedly increased the cost from $255 million to $362.5 million. That lawsuit is still pending.

The Mattos children’s company bought 999 Brickell, built in 1973, for $22.1 million in 2011. According to the complaint, 999 Brickell Property invested $2 million in renovating the building in 2012, including installing a new roof, chillers, air handling equipment and a new restaurant in the ground floor plaza. The Mattos children have several commercial real estate holdings in South Florida, including a Coral Gables retail center and a Fresh Market in Fort Lauderdale.

In 2017, the same year the construction debris allegedly damaged the office building, Nusret Gökçe opened Nusr-Et Steakhouse in 999 Brickell’s ground floor space. Its owner and the establishment have since been the source of controversy. Most recently, a Nusr-Et manager called police on a group of diners who refused to pay a $5,012 bill that included tomahawk steaks dipped in edible gold, according to published reports.