Technical foul: Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri and contractor in legal battle over work on Miami house

Masai Ujiri and his wife, Ramatu, paid $2.6M for the spec house in January

Masai and Ramatu Ujiri with 11335 Southwest 82nd Avenue (Getty, Realtor)
Masai and Ramatu Ujiri with 11335 Southwest 82nd Avenue (Getty, Realtor)

Masai Ujiri, president of basketball operations for the Toronto Raptors, and his wife are in a legal scrimmage with a contractor and developer over work on their recently built Miami house.

The developer and seller of the spec house, 11335 Urlemira Development, and the contractor tasked with post-sale repairs, URC Construction Corp., sued Ujiri and his wife, Ramata, last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Both the developer and the contractor are led by Juan Carlos Uribarri, records show.

The Ujiris bought the 5,000-square-foot, gated home at 11335 Southwest 82nd Avenue in Miami from the developer for $2.6 million in January, records show.

The suit seeks $121,000 from the Ujiris for allegedly unpaid work that includes bracing a chandelier in the living room, installing epoxy coating on the garage floor, installing 12 HD cameras outside the house and installing six audio speakers at the property.

The Ujiris also allegedly agreed to pay $21,000 for the purchase and installation of “natural Dominican coral” to extend the pool deck. But the Ujiris allegedly refused to pay for the pool deck work due because they were “not aesthetically pleased with the natural color variations,” in the stone, the complaint states. Ensuring consistent colors in the stone would have cost twice as much, according to the contractor’s lawsuit.

The Ujiris filed a counterclaim on Friday, seeking to recoup $76,000 in estimated damages. They accuse the contractor of spending a week on agreed upon repairs to the house before allegedly stopping without completing the work.

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In an email to The Real Deal, Harry A. Payton, the Ujiris’ attorney, said the Ujiris bought the house as a winter retreat.

“A $2.5 million home is a luxury home. One would expect it to look like a luxury home,” Payton wrote. “The finish work was poor and the contractor abandoned the punch list items within one week of closing. That is not how business should be conducted in South Florida.”

Attorneys with Uribarri’s companies did not return emailed requests for comment.

A list of deficiencies included with a letter from the Ujiri’s attorney totaled $76,000 for work the Ujiris allegedly either had done or had quoted, ranging from $75 to clean windows and caulk to $28,000 worth of work tied to the pool deck.

The house, built last year on a 1-acre lot, has six bedrooms and six bathrooms with a three-car garage, according to records. It listed in February 2019 with One Sotheby’s International Realty for $2.7 million. The developer had paid $585,000 for the property in 2017, records show.

Originally from Nigeria, Ujiri moved to the U.S. to play college basketball in North Dakota and Montana, according to the NBA’s website. He played professionally outside the U.S. before becoming the Denver Nuggets’ vice president of basketball operations in 2010. He became the Raptors’ president of basketball operations in 2013. He’s commanded national headlines recently due to an unrelated lawsuit over a fight between Ujiri and a sheriff’s deputy moments after the Raptors won their first NBA championship last year.

Other recent real estate lawsuits in South Florida include a Miami homebuyer’s accusations of fraudulent information in the listing; a suit accusing Three Hundred Collins in Miami Beach’s South-of-Fifth neighborhood of poor quality interiors and debts to contractors; and a contractor alleging unpaid work for the holding company for the Lennox Miami Beach hotel.