Exterior view of the Metropica project still under construction with the completed Tower One visible

Metropica, a massive mixed-use development in has racked up $7,733,522.03 in construction debt. In total, 15 separate subcontractors and suppliers who participated in creating the first residential tower in the project — including the general contractor — have filed mechanics liens since January of 2020. Only one of the liens has yet been released.

A mechanics lien is a payment tool used by contractors who have not been paid on time. Also known as a construction lien, it binds to a property, inhibiting its sale until the contractor is paid.

By the numbers, Metropica is truly massive. The development cost $1.5 billion and covers 65 acres.

This hulking project is being undertaken by lone developer Joseph Kavana, CEO of KGH International Development, who has owned the 65 acres for 20 years. Instead of creating a purely residential property, Kavana aimed to turn the western corridor of Sunshine, Florida into “a city within a city.

Kavana’s inspiration for the project comes from the thriving nature of so-called “destination malls” that are marking the shift in the purpose of mall-shopping, and have already begun to appear all over Florida.

The first residential tower in Metropica was approved for construction in 2014, marking the first phase of the 4-million-square-foot development. The tower was topped-off in 2017 and completed in June of 2020.

Known as Tower One, the building is a 28-story residential tower with 263 units. It sits just west of Sawgrass Mills, a development which had its own share of mechanics lien trouble earlier this year. Tower One is located at 1800 NW 136th Ave., Sunrise, FL 33323.

16 mechanics liens filed against Metropica Tower One

Since its completion date, the construction of Tower One has attracted a great deal of construction debt, as evidenced in mechanics lien filings. Each of the construction liens mentioned below was filed with the Broward County Clerk.

The largest mechanics lien was filed by general contractor Tutor Perini Building Corporation. Tutor Perini was contracted by owner Metropica Residential I, LLC for “services as a general contractor.” Tutor Perini was hired for an original contract price of $78.8 million.

On September 14, 2020, Tutor Perini filed a mechanics lien to claim the remaining balance of $4.3 million. Tutor Perini first furnished labor and materials for the project in December of 2016 and last furnished in June of 2020.

Power Design, Inc. was hired by Tutor Perini to furnish and install a complete electrical system in the building. The original contract price between Power Design and Tutor Perini was $4.5 million. Since first furnishing labor and materials in April of 2017, Power Design filed a mechanics lien on April 3, 2020 that claims $1.19 million in unpaid construction work.

Subcontractor Mr. Glass Doors & Windows also filed a mechanics lien for unpaid work and materials. Pursuant to a contract with Tutor Perini, Mr. Glass contributed to the “supply and installation of impact windows and doors system” starting in May of 2017 and ending in March of 2020.

Following initial payments on the total contract price of $6 million, Mr. Glass filed a mechanics lien to claim an unpaid amount of $645,000 on June 8, 2020.

KD Construction, a subcontractor to Tutor Perini, filed a lien on September 24, 2020, which claims $534,000 in unpaid construction labor and materials. KD was contracted to provide concrete and masonry work for the total contract price of $22 million. KD first provided labor and materials in February of 2017, and last furnished in May of 2020.

An additional 10 contractors filed construction liens on Tower One of the Metropica development, claiming a combined

Additionally, a $9,000 lien was filed by GCI Consultants on August 14, 2020. This mechanics lien has been released.

Metropica: a massive undertaking

Metropica’s purpose goes far beyond its residential space: It’s situated on a 26-hectare plot of land in the Everglades.

Residential Tower One is only the first part of Metropica’s large-scale plan. When it’s all said and done, the development will take the form of eight towers on top of a gigantic ring podium that surrounding a park that serves as a public plaza. 

It covers 4 million total square feet, which includes the following features:

  • 4,000,000 square feet total area
  • 2,250 residential condos
  • 650,000 square feet of office space
  • 480 hotel rooms in two boutique hotels
  • 485,000 square feet of retail space
  • Culinary and entertainment space

Along with all of the above, Metropica is also planned to house a beach club, a fitness center, a basketball court, a soccer pitch, tennis courts, and other luxury amenities.

Metropica developer faces lawsuit

Mechanics liens aren’t the only concern tied to Metropica: A couple has filed a lawsuit against Kavana’s development firm claiming a violation of the contract terms involving their purchase of one of the condominiums.

Alvaro Juan Llosa and Olga Llosa filed suit against the developer seeking a refund of their $151,250 deposit on a $605,000 unit, citing construction delays as the basis of their lawsuit.

Kavana stated that the suit “has no merit” and that the firm is “trying to resolve it.”

Controversy aside, Tower One at Metropica has already sold around 75% of its units since the reopening following the coronavirus lockdown.