Brickell City Centre developer sues Arquitectonica, contractors over alleged defects

Swire Properties developed $1.5B mixed-use project in 2016

A photo illustration of Brickell City Centre (Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
A photo illustration of Brickell City Centre (Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

The developer of Brickell City Centre filed a lawsuit alleging a number of construction defects and damages at the $1.5 billion mixed-use development.

Affiliates of Miami-based Swire Properties filed the lawsuit late last month in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Arquitectonica, John Moriarty and Associates, IBA Consultants, Americaribe, Bouygues Bâtiment International, Tecta America South Florida, Decktight Roofing Services, Pedreiras Inc., USA Plastering, Gamma USA, Global Performance Windows and Epsylon USA.

Among the alleged issues: defective stucco, windows and sliding glass doors that have allowed water intrusion; leaky pool decks and exterior panels; defective drains; defective post-tension cables; rusty cooling towers; severe water intrusion in the garage; defective and leaking showers; and defective hammams, steam rooms and spas.

The complaint alleges negligence, breach of contract, building code violations, breach of statutory warranty and enforcement of parent company guaranty.

Brickell City Centre was completed beginning in 2016. The development, west of Brickell Avenue, includes two condo towers, a hotel, shopping center and office buildings. The office component is not included in the complaint.

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It’s not uncommon for developers and newly formed condo associations to file such lawsuits in the years following the completion of a major project. In a statement provided to The Real Deal, the developer said it is “working with the relevant parties” to come to a resolution.

“The inspection is related to non-critical issues such as water penetration and other non-structural matters,” the Swire statement said.

A spokesperson for Arquitectonica said the architecture and design firm will “continue to work closely with all parties, including the developer, to help them resolve the issues.”

Swire co-developed the retail portion of Brickell City Centre with Simon Property Group and Whitman Family Development. A centerpiece of the project is the $30 million Climate Ribbon, a 1,000-foot long twisted strip of steel, glass and fabric that protects shoppers from rain. The mixed-use project also features an underground garage with about 2,600 spaces.

At a grand opening preview in late 2016, a former Arquitectonica architect called the garage a “big bathtub,” protected from flooding, heat and other damage.

Swire is planning a second phase of Brickell City Centre. In early 2019, Swire and businessman Carlos Mattos scored final approval for a 100,000-square-foot-plus expansion that would include a 54-story, 588-unit residential tower; another 62-story, 384-unit residential tower; commercial space and parking.