Miami construction site

In June 2020, 257 mechanics liens were filed in Miami, FL totaling $43.4M in unpaid construction debt, according to liens filed with the Miami-Dade County clerk’s office. The average lien value during the month of June in Miami was $169,059.40.

As of July 25, 2020, Miami-Dade County is also experiencing troubles with the coronavirus pandemic, as the county has surpassed 100K COVID-19 cases. To date, Florida has nearly 415,000 reported coronavirus cases.

While construction employment hit a new high in Miami-Dade County in May, construction starts reportedly fell 33% in April 2020.

COVID-19 Surges in Florida

In just one day on July 25th, NBC South Florida reported 3,424 new COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade County, which increased the county’s total to 101,854 cases as of July 25th.

According to NBC, the State of Florida reported over 12,100 new cases of COVID-19 in one day on July 25, 2020. The Sunshine State reportedly has over 415,000 total coronavirus cases to date.

NBC South Florida also reported that Florida’s death toll stood at 5,777 as of July 25, 2020.

Construction Liens Miami Construction Projects

Between January and June 2020, contractors in Miami filed over 1,800 mechanics lien claims, worth over $223 million in total.

During the peak months of the city’s coronavirus-induced shut-down between March and April, mechanics lien filings and values reached their highest marks since the start of 2020.

In March, 335 mechanics liens were filed in Miami totaling $53.2M in construction debt, marking the highest month in total lien amounts since the start of 2020 in the city. The average lien value filed in March of 2020 in Miami was $158,820.70.

April in Miami led to slightly more lien filings at 416 totaling $48.4M million in unpaid work with an average lien value of $116,487.

In May, $29.6M in construction debt accrued following 364 different lien filings with an average value of $81,527.40. Back in February, 256 liens were filed in Miami with a total value of $31.7M with an average filing amount of $124,026.

Problems Brewing on Construction of Virgin MiamiCentral Station

As of April of 2020, eight mechanics lien claims were filed at a train station property in Miami known as Virgin MiamiCentral, totaling $21,065,866 in construction debt for eight different contractors. Each lien was processed with the Miami-Dade County clerk’s office, according to the affidavits.

The latest lien to filed against the property occurred on April 1, 2020, for work taking place at the Virgin MiamiCentral Station located at 600 NW 1st Ave, Miami, FL.

General contractor Suffolk Construction Company placed the largest lien against property owner Virgin Trains USA Florida, LLC on March 19, 2020, claiming they are still owed $19.3M.

Due to Suffolk Construction’s non-payment from Virgin Trains USA Florida, the general contractor is now linked to four mechanics lien claims of their own.

The largest claim filed against Suffolk Construction came from Schindler Elevator Corporation, which filed a lien of $1.1M back on July 8, 2019.

Including Schindler Elevator Corporation’s lien, the four contractors claim they are owed $1,512,259.98 from Suffolk Construction.

Industrial Vacancies Rates on the Rise

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Miami Herald reported that vacancies in warehouses have risen of late due to both the pandemic and from new construction as of July 2020.

In Miami-Dade County, vacancies increased during the first and second quarters from 4.7% to 5.3%, according to the Miami Herald. Also in Miami-Dade, nearly 1.58 million square feet of new construction were delivered to Miami-Dade County. The Miami Herald also found that the asking price per square foot of new construction space increased from $9.75 to $9.77 per square foot.

The executive managing director of office development for Colliers International, Jonathan Kingsley, addressed the industrial vacancy rates in Miami-Dade.

“Pre-COVID, we expected to see increased vacancies because of new development,” Kingsley told the Miami Herald. “It takes 12-to-18 months to lease-up.”

Miami Construction News

With increased vacancies and new developments happening throughout Miami-Dade County, the construction industry is also seeing an increase in workforce numbers. 54,800 new construction jobs were reported in the county as of May 2020. That’s an increase of 3,800 from April’s job numbers.

The rise in jobs comes as Miami-Dade’s value of construction decreased to $684.4M in April compared to March’s numbers. From March to April in Miami-Dade, residential construction rates dropped 33% to $390.4M as nonresidential construction fell 31% to $294.1M.