Austria-based Premium wins $10M court judgment tied to delayed Allapattah project

Miami-Dade Judge Lisa Walsh ruled against Proton Builders, a defunct general contractor that failed to complete 132-unit apartment complex

Premium Wins $10M Judgment Tied to Allapattah Project
Premium CEO Hannes Schöckler and a rendering of Fifteen Allapattah (Premium Development)

Premium Development recently scored a $10.3 million summary default court judgment against a Miami-based general contractor, Proton Builders, that failed to complete a 132-unit apartment complex in Allapattah

Yet, Premium, the U.S. subsidiary of a Vienna, Austria-based developer of the same name, may have a hard time collecting that award since it appears Proton is no longer in business. Earlier this year, the developer hired Miami-based Ortega Construction Company to finish Fifteen Allapattah at 1420 Northwest 15th Avenue, records show. 

Premium’s lawyer Jonathan Ayers declined comment. Andreina de Sales, Proton’s managing partner, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment. 

On her LinkedIn Page, de Sales states she was the construction company’s managing partner from December 2019 until April of this year. The same month, De Sales also voluntarily dissolved Proton, according to state incorporation records. Proton’s website is also no longer active. 

In 2018, Premium paid $3.6 million for the 0.9-acre site. The developer broke ground on Fifteen Allapattah three years later after nabbing a $22.4 million construction loan from New York-based Man Group Private Markets, records show. 

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Premium sued Proton in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in October of last year. Premium alleged that Proton caused numerous delays to the project, failed to pay subcontractors, caused liens to be placed against the property and didn’t fulfill other contractual obligations. 

In a countersuit, Proton alleged that Premium submitted defective plans and designs that led to the delays and that subcontractors “fraudulently overstated liens.”

In April, Proton’s defense unraveled when Miami-Dade Judge Lisa Walsh granted a motion allowing the construction firm’s then-lawyer, Mariela Maldfeld, to withdraw from the case. In June, Walsh ruled in Premium’s favor, granting a default order against Proton. In September, the judge ruled Proton owes Premium $9.9 million in compensatory damages, roughly $500,000 in pre-judgment interest and attorney fees and other costs that have not yet been determined, court records show. 

Premium has fared better in Miami’s Little Havana. The firm completed First Apartments, a 194-unit building at 701 Southwest First Street. Last year, Premium sold that project to Lloyd Jones, a Miami-based multifamily and senior living-focused real estate firm, for $92 million.

Premium is also planning a 400-unit multifamily building with ground-floor retail on a 2.3-acre site adjacent to First Apartments. In 2021, Presidente Supermarkets sold the property to Premium for $15 million.

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