Mexico Beach condo Paradise Shores after Hurricane Michael

Paradise Shores, a rental condo in Mexico Beach, Florida, has allegedly failed to pay $929.7K to a contractor for restoration work following Hurricane Michael.

Express Remediation and Reconstruction, LLC (Express) performed general contracting work for Paradise Shores following Hurricane Michael. The contractor first furnished labor and materials in November of 2018, a month after the storm hit in October. Express finished their work in June 2020.

The original contract price for the work was $7 million, of which Paradise Shores has reportedly paid around $6 million. Express filed their mechanics lien on August 26th, 2020 for the unpaid amount of $929.7K, including unpaid retainage.

Hurricane Michael, a devastating Category 5 storm, landed near Mexico Beach in October of 2018. It caused approximately $25 billion in damages and took 16 lives as it ravaged the Florida Panhandle.

Paradise Shores Condominiums was just one of many damaged properties. Signal Restoration, who aided in the rebuilding effort, reported the following damage to the condo and working conditions following the storm:

“Paradise Shores in Mexico Beach needed a new roof, vapor barriers, decking, and some structural work. Working in a disaster zone of this magnitude is a logistical nightmare. Roads are not clear, there is no reliable power, housing for crew doesn’t exist, food and clean water are sparse, and sanitation is limited to portable toilets.”

Express filed the mechanics lien against the owner, Paradise Shores Condominium Association, Inc., the party that Express contracted with. The contractor filed their lien in Bay County, Florida, where the property is located.

Contractors can file a mechanics lien if they go unpaid on a construction project. Mechanics liens hinder the property’s sale until the contractor gets paid.

Under Florida’s mechanics lien requirements, contractors have one year after filing to enforce their mechanics lien claim.

Mexico Beach Recovery Slow Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Mexico Beach is still recovering from the storm. On Memorial Day weekend in May of 2020, visitors flocked to the area in spite of limited accommodations. Before Hurricane Michael, Mexico Beach offered more than 400 vacation rentals. In 2020, there are under 50 available, mostly condos and townhomes.

With a general lull in tourism, Mexico Beach finds itself in a slow and arduous rebuilding phase. Of the few rental properties that remain, the prices are rising due to low supply and sky-high demand.

Tourism aside, Mexico Beach still lacks many of the basic amenities required to attract the return of local business and former residents.

A visitor sentiment survey from early September of 2020 shows that Bay County beaches are top tourist destinations for southeastern United States residents.