External view of the still under construction South Tower at The Estates At Acqualina

Three active mechanics lien claims worth nearly $2 million are among the latest disputes surrounding the unfinished $1.8 billion Estates at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida — a luxury residential development located 11 miles north of Miami Beach. 

As of October 2020, the two-tower luxury condominium’s previous general contractor, Coastal Construction of South Florida Inc., has filed three separate unpaid work claims with the Miami-Dade County clerk’s office, totalling $1.9 million in funds allegedly owed by property owner A3 Amenities, LLC. 

Mechanics liens are a debt recovery tool filed by unpaid contractors. When active, a mechanics lien affects a property title, which can prevent the serviced property’s sale or refinancing until the contractor’s lien claim has been removed. 

Beyond the unpaid work claim, another complaint was filed on July 13, 2020 by a Miami-Dade County-appointed property appraiser against the Estates at Acqualina with the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County. This complaint states that A3 Amenities petitioned the Florida Department of Revenue’s value adjustment board (VAB) to reduce the value of the property, likely resulting in property tax incentives. 

A Miami-Dade County property assessor is now retorting that their original value of the property was correct, and that A3 Amenities’ adjusted values are insufficient. 

According to court filings with the Miami-Dade County clerk’s office, the litigation is still ongoing as of November 5, 2020. 

The Estates at Acqualina, which broke ground in May of 2018, is expected to be completed by the second financial quarter of 2021. 

Contractor owed $1.9M at the Estates at Acqualina 

According to three lien claims, former GC Coastal Construction of South Florida is owed a combined $1,901,152.16 for construction at the Estates at Acqualina, located at 17885 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL. 

On October 21, 2020, Coastal Construction of South Florida filed two lien claims against the property. The largest of the two was valued at $1,518,313.86, while the second totaled $189,402.81. 

A day later on October 22, the former GC filed a third lien valued at $193,435.49. 

The yet-to-be-opened property is slated to feature 248 luxury residences that will range from three to seven bedrooms. The estate grounds and gardens cover 5.6 acres. 

Suffolk Construction named new GC of Estates at Acqualina

According to a spokesman from Coastal Construction of South Florida, they are no longer affiliated with the Estates at Acqualina. 

The spokesman declined to comment further on the property. 

Each lien affidavit states Coastal Construction of South Florida survived the property between October 3, 2018 and July 24, 2020. 

On July 31, 2020, A3 Amenities executed a new Notice of Commencement with the Miami-Dade County clerk’s office, which now lists Suffolk Construction as the GC. 

A company spokesman from Suffolk Construction could not be reached for comment.