Construction defects galore at five-year-old Echo Aventura, lawsuit alleges

Complaint accuses developer Property Markets Group, John Moriarty & Assoc. and 23 other companies of negligence and violating Florida building code

Miami /
Jan.January 15, 2021 08:45 AM
Echo Aventura is besieged with a multitude of construction defects. (Nikolas Sargent)

Echo Aventura is besieged with a multitude of construction defects. (Nikolas Sargent)

 

When New York-based Property Markets Group entered South Florida during the boom cycle of the early 2010s, Echo Aventura was one of its first completed condo projects. The developer enticed foreign buyers with amenities that included a bayfront infinity-edge pool, a 4,000-square-foot fitness center, fully furnished units and Apple home technology.

But five years after completion, Echo Aventura’s condominium association is suing Property Markets Group, or PMG; general contractor John Moriarty & Associates; and 23 companies that worked on the twin-tower development at 3250 and 3330 Northeast 188th Street.

The lawsuit, filed recently in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, accuses PMG and the other defendants of negligence and violations of the Florida building code that resulted in nearly 60 construction defects and deficiencies.

Echo Condominium Association Inc. is represented by the law firms Ball Janik and Eisinger Law. In an emailed statement, lead counsel and Ball Janik partner Phillip Joseph said the association tried to resolve the dispute with PMG and the contractors prior to filing the lawsuit, but was unsuccessful.

“The Echo property is a well-known and elegant part of the Aventura waterfront,” Joseph said. “Unfortunately, after turnover of the building to the owners, the association, like other communities in South Florida, has discovered significant construction deficiencies requiring major amounts to repair.”

A PMG spokesperson declined comment. John Leete, the head of Florida operations for John Moriarty & Associates, a Winchester, Massachusetts-based general contracting and construction company, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.

According to the complaint, the condo association alleges the defects were not readily discoverable when the project was completed in 2015. The association only became aware of the problems after recently hiring expert consultants who conducted inspections and discovered a multitude of issues with the two buildings, the lawsuit states.

Echo Condominium Association Inc. claims systematic defects were found in the building envelopes, the roofs, parking garage, common areas and residential units. For instance, defective stucco was improperly applied and installed, which has led to excessive cracking and water intrusion. Parts of the roof and windows were installed in a manner that also allows water intrusion into the buildings.

The lawsuit alleges that Echo Aventura’s towers face an undue risk of future damages, necessitating repairs throughout the buildings. The complaint does not state how much the repairs will cost.

The two 12-story towers have a total of 190 units and sit on 5 acres of prime waterfront in Aventura. When PMG launched the project, preconstruction prices ranged from $700 per square foot to more than $1,000 per square foot.

Since completing Echo Aventura, PMG has finished four other luxury condo projects in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, including Echo Brickell and Muse Residences Sunny Isles Beach. The company also developed X Miami, a co-living apartment building in downtown Miami.


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