The owner of the 150-room DoubleTree in Doral sued the architect of the hotel, alleging design defects that cost millions of dollars in fixes and delays.
Hospitality Doral LLC, which owns the six-story hotel at 10250 Northwest 19th Street in Doral, sued Beame Architectural Partnership last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court for $3.7 million.
Though the hotel opened in February 2019, the owner alleges that Beame Architectural breached the contract and was neglectful with several parts of the hotel’s design. The $26 million project was originally supposed to wrap construction in summer 2017, according to the suit.
Michael Kurzman, an attorney for the plaintiff, told The Real Deal that the architect made major design errors with the hotel’s HVAC system and didn’t make fixes until construction was mostly done. He said his client is open to mediation.
Beame Architectural President Larry Beame, now a principal at RSP Architects, said in an email that Beame Architectural Partnership does not comment on pending claims or litigation.
“We deny the allegations and look forward to resolving the matter on the merits in due course,” Beame said.
According to court documents, Beame erred in designing the hotel’s HVAC system, creating a potentially life-threatening issue where smoke from a hotel room could enter a corridor used as an evacuation route. The architectural firm had to redesign the project for two separate HVAC systems for corridors and rooms, delaying the project and increasing costs.
The firm also failed to reject contractor work that didn’t meet contract requirements, according to the lawsuit. The hotel owner allegedly incurred $1 million in construction cost overruns and operational losses of $2.7 million.
The hotel’s ownership entity is led by Rafael Mendible and Salvador Frazzetta, managing partners of American Opportunity Regional Center, a Miami-based EB-5 investments services firm. The two men are also senior partners of Bringabout, a Miami-based risk consultancy.
American Opportunity Regional Center partnered with Driftwood Hospitality Management to develop the hotel. The two bought the vacant 2.8-acre site for $3.44 million in 2016 and secured a $16 million loan to help finance the project, including $10 million from EB-5 investors.
Beame Architectural Partnership, established in 1992, was acquired in 2019 by Minneapolis based-RSP Architects. Beame Architectural has planned and designed more than 100 million square feet of urban and regional shopping centers, mixed-use communities, hotels, offices and residential multifamily developments on five continents and the Caribbean, according to a press release for RSP’s acquisition. Past Beame projects include Dolphin Mall and Downtown Doral.
Among other recent lawsuits in South Florida alleging design or construction defects, the Faena House condo association sued the developer, general contractor and subcontractors for a laundry list of alleged construction defects at the 17-story luxury condo tower.