Melo’s Aria on the Bay allegedly plagued with construction defects: lawsuit

Among high-profile buyers at the luxury condominium in Edgewater are recording mogul Timbaland and MLB slugger Giancarlo Stanton

Aria on the Bay with Carlos Melo of the Melo Group and Bernardo Fort-Brescia from Arquitectonica
Aria on the Bay with Carlos Melo of the Melo Group and Bernardo Fort-Brescia from Arquitectonica

Aria on the Bay may be the Melo Group’s signature project near Edgewater and the Arts & Entertainment District, where the developer has built most of its residential buildings in Miami. Designed by Arquitectonica, the 53-story luxury tower features units with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that offer expansive views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami’s skyline.

Yet, two years after its completion, Aria on the Bay is allegedly dogged by a litany of construction defects, according to a recently filed lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. The building’s condo association is suing two of the Melo Group’s development affiliates, Arquitectonica and six firms that worked on the 648-unit project.

The association alleges that it has expended and will continue to spend “large sums of money” for repairs and maintenance which would have been unnecessary had Aria on the Bay been built according to Florida building code standards.

A spokesperson for the Melo Group declined comment. Spencer Sax, the attorney for the condo association, said he couldn’t comment without his client’s permission. Arquitectonica did not respond to a request for comment.

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The Melo Group generated about $500 million in sales for units in the high-rise at 1770 North Bayshore Drive, overlooking Margaret Pace Park. The tower, which featured units priced from the $400,000s to $4 million, features an amenity deck on the 14th floor with sunrise and sunset-facing pools, a Jacuzzi, grills and lounge areas. Other amenities include a spa, fitness center, yoga studio, bar and lounge, screening room, game room, business center and more.

Aria on the Bay’s design and features attracted high-profile buyers such as New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and Grammy Award winning producer and rapper Timbaland. Timbaland bought two condos and combined them to form one unit spanning more than 4,700 square feet with an additional 1,300 square feet of terrace space.

The condo association’s lawsuit includes an 11-page report that identified 114 deficiencies. For instance, the parking garage at grade level is not connected to an accessible building entrance, and mailboxes were improperly installed and are not compliant with the American Disabilities Act. Other alleged examples of poor workmanship include defective elevators, cracked stucco and masonry walls at various locations throughout the building and loose glass panels in multiple units and in the lobby area.