Legal battle escalates at Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega’s Epic condo-hotel 

Lawsuit alleges his hotel entity illegally controls common areas and approves illegal assessments at downtown Miami waterfront property

Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega and the Epic Hotel & Residences in Downtown Miami (Getty, epicmiamiresidences)
Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega and the Epic Hotel & Residences in Downtown Miami (Getty, epicmiamiresidences)

Condo owners at downtown Miami’s Epic Hotel & Residences are escalating a legal standoff with the global real estate titan who owns the hotel portion.

Epic West Condominium Association sued an affiliate of Grupo Ponte Gadea, the real estate investment arm of Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, on May 6 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. The complaint alleges that Ponte Gadea’s Epic Hotel LLC and a separate master association illegally control common areas and approve illegal assessments at the 54-story waterfront condo-hotel at 200 Biscayne Boulevard Way.

Epic Hotel has a pending lawsuit, filed in November, against the condo association that alleges it hasn’t paid $763,313 in shared maintenance expenses dating back to 2020. 

Kelly Melchiondo, an attorney for Epic Hotel, did not respond to a phone message and email requesting comment. 

“This type of hotel and condo structure should be determined as unlawful,” said Stevan Pardo, Epic West’s lawyer. “We look forward to the opportunity to lay all this out and have the court adjudicate the merits of this case.” 

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Epic West’s lawsuit essentially accuses Epic Hotel and the master association of exerting unilateral power over common elements and amenities at the luxury building, which is divided into 414 hotel rooms and 362 condos. As a result, Epic Hotel and the master association have levied unlawful assessments on condo owners, while at the same time depriving Epic West members of having any control over the operations and maintenance of the property, the complaint alleges. 

“The Hotel Lot Owner assesses the Condominium Association’s unit owner members 50 percent for the management, operation, reserves, and insurance of the shared facilities,” the complaint states. “The Condominium Association, however, has no control, input, or vote as to the manner or amount of such expenditures. The master association, which is controlled by the hotel lot owner, has full discretion to determine what maintenance or capital improvements to perform — or not to perform — on the shared facilities.” 

For instance, Epic Hotel charged Epic West 100 percent for repairs to the tower’s heating and air conditioning system, while the equipment is among the “shared facilities” for which the hotel owner is supposed to cover half the cost, the lawsuit states. The condo association also unfairly pays 50 percent of the expenses to maintain the hotel’s lobby, which is not a common area of the condominium portion, Epic West alleges. 

Epic West’s lawsuit is not the first legal dispute pitting condo-hotel associations against a hotel owner. Pardo also represents the three condo associations for the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort in Miami Beach. In 2016, the associations sued the Carillon hotel owner, New York-based Z Capital Group, alleging similar violations of Florida condo laws that Epic West made against Epic Hotel. 

On Nov. 17, Miami-Dade Judge Jennifer Bailey issued a final judgment that was a partial win and partial loss for the Carillon’s three condo associations. Z Capital and the associations filed separate appeals to overturn Bailey’s rulings that are still pending.