Jeff Greene hit with $4M-plus lawsuit tied to One West Palm project

Kast Construction alleges billionaire developer nullified general contractor’s agreement by constantly delaying work at planned mixed-use complex site

Jeff Greene Sued Over $4M-Plus Fees At One West Palm Project

A photo illustration of developer Jeff Greene along with a rendering of the One West Palm project at 550 North Quadrille Boulevard in West Palm Beach (Getty, One West Palm)

Jeff Greene allegedly micro-managed work at his unfinished One West Palm project, creating significant delays and friction with a general contractor that is now seeking more than $4 million in damages, a recent lawsuit states.

Kast Construction sued Greene’s entity, 1370 South Ocean, developing the $300 million mixed-use complex at 550 South Quadrille Boulevard in downtown West Palm Beach, court records show. Kast alleges Greene nullified the general contractor’s agreement through “arbitrary and capricious” tactics that are in breach of the contract, the lawsuit alleges. The complaint was filed June 25th in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. 

Greene, whose net worth is $7.5 billion according to Forbes, refuted Kast’s allegations in a phone interview with The Real Deal, insisting the Coral Gables-based construction firm is at fault.

“We terminated them,” Greene said. “Unfortunately, we are in year six of construction of a building that should have been done in three years or less. We should have switched a long time ago. We tried to stick it out with Kast. They got in over their heads.”

He intends to counter-sue Kast, Greene added. 

One West Palm will consist of two 30-story towers with 328 apartments in the first building and 201 hotel rooms and 200,000 square feet of office space in the second building. Greene purchased the 3.3-acre development site for $10 million in 2014, records show. Two years later, the city approved zoning changes on the land, increasing the height from 10 stories to 30 stories. 

After firing Kast, Greene brought in Bluewater Builders of West Palm Beach to take over construction, he said. He expects to finish One West Palm in six to 12 months. Bluewater recently completed Greene’s Brandon Estates, a 198-unit apartment complex in West Palm Beach. 

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Delays have plagued One West Palm since Greene broke ground in 2019. Kast blames the developer for $2.4 million in extra fees as a result of construction exceeding a 36-month schedule. 

Greene “improperly initiated and failed to timely provide full and timely direction” for “extensive changes to the design and materials” of One West Palm, the lawsuit states. He also “improperly failed and refused to resolve disputes with trade contractors, which caused delays” to the project’s schedule, Kast alleged. 

Kast’s allegations are “ridiculous,” Greene said, adding that he’s developed over 100 projects and is rarely entangled in legal disputes with his contractors. “The last thing we want to be is involved in litigation,” Greene said. “[Kast] had tremendous turnover and they were very hard to work with.”

In 2020, Greene stopped construction at One West Palm as the pandemic forced office workers across the country to work from home. He got into a stand-off with West Palm Beach city leaders when he sought a zoning change to make the entire project multifamily. 

At the time, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James told TRD that the city wasn’t going to budge after Greene had substantially completed the concrete shell of both towers and sought changes at the 11th hour. 

Since then, the office submarket in downtown West Palm Beach has soared as a result of financial firms and hedge funds from other states migrating to South Florida. Steve Ross’ Related Companies completed and fully leased 360 Rosemary, a 20-story office building, in 2021. Related has also leased 75 percent of One Flagler, a 25-story tower with 270,000 square feet of office space that is slated for completion later this year, a press release states. 

In addition, Related owns two other downtown West Palm Beach office projects, Phillips Point and CityPlace Tower, as well as a 50 percent ownership stake in Esperanté Corporate Center. 

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