Regalia association scores $18M settlement in construction defects lawsuit
Settlement includes nearly $10M cash payment
The Regalia condo association settled its lawsuit alleging a slew of construction and design defects and building code violations at the luxury oceanfront tower for $17.5 million.
In 2018, the Regalia on the Ocean Condominium Association sued the developers, architect, general contractor and subcontractors over alleged flaws such as improperly installed pool joints and cracking tiles, unsafe steam rooms, and flawed balcony sliding glass doors and railings, according to the complaint.
The settlement, which allowed both sides to avoid a trial, breaks down to a $9.6 million cash payment to the association and an $8.5 million markdown from the $10.5 million cost for the purchase and installation of new balcony sliding glass doors for all 39 units, said David Haber, managing and founding shareholder at Haber Law who represented the association.
The cash payment will be used for repairs to bathrooms, balconies and front driveway pavers. The insurers of Regalia Beach Developers LLC, general contractor Charleville Development Corporation, architect Arquitectonica and some of the subcontractors are responsible for the payment, Haber said.
Brazilian real estate investor Gilberto Bomeny and others developed the 46-story condo in 2014 through Regalia Beach Developers LLC, subsequently turning over building control to the association.
Linda Jackson, attorney for the developers’ LLC, said construction defect lawsuits are common, as associations request inspections soon after assuming control of buildings and sometimes cannot resolve claims against builders out of court.
As for the Regalia settlement, “this is why people in the business have insurance,” said Jackson, of Pardo Jackson Gainsburg. Repairs to the building are ongoing or have been completed, she said.
David Salazar, a partner at Cole, Scott & Kissane who represented Charleville, declined comment. Arquitectonica and its attorneys did not return a request for comment.
The oceanfront tower has units that span entire floors, a three-story penthouse and a two-story beach house. Units range from $8.5 million to $12.5 million and have floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views, according to the Regalia website.
The family of soccer superstar Lionel Messi paid $7.3 million for a unit in April.
The tower has been mired in other litigation. In one case, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman ordered the developers in 2019 to turn over control of the entire interest in the entities that own two unsold units to a receiver. Regalia Beach Developers LLC had failed to sell the tower’s top-priced beach house and penthouse. At least some of the proceeds of the sales were to go to the developers’ former attorney under a confidential agreement in a separate suit.