By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
You would expect high quality construction of condos selling for $600,000 to $1 million.
But for the second time in two years, luxury condo developer Kolter Group is being sued by a condo association for numerous, serious construction defects.
In 2016, Kolter Group agreed to a $22.5 million settlement for San Matera The Gardens Condominium Association in Palm Beach. Owners had been dealing with leaky condos and 6 years of litigation expenses, in an attempt to recover $36 million to pay for necessary repairs.
As of last November, owners and residents of San Matera were still dealing with water leaks and the slow pace of replacing the exterior envelope of 30 buildings on the community. Many condo units are water-damaged, with warped floor coverings and mold infestations. According to reports, the condo association expects completion of construction to take at least another year.
The latest lawsuit against Kolter Group has been filed by The Water Club Snell Isle Condominium Association in St. Petersburg. It’s a luxury waterfront condo tower, and only four years old, but, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times, defects include: “peeling paint and stucco, excessive condensation on windows, counter, sink and vanity heights that do not meet code and improperly installed joints and structural slabs.”
Developer of ONE St. Petersburg condo tower sued over another Tampa Bay condo project
By Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent
Published: May 30, 2018
Updated: May 30, 2018 at 01:10 PM
ST. PETERSBURG — The developer of ONE St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay’s tallest condo tower, is being sued over alleged construction and design defects at another of its bay area condo projects.
The Water Club Snell Isle Condominium Association says the Kolter Group and related companies committed dozens of code violations in the building of the 95-unit complex four years ago, according to a suit filed this month in Pinellas County Circuit Court.
Among other things, the suit alleges problems with peeling paint and stucco, excessive condensation on windows, counter, sink and vanity heights that do not meet code and improperly installed joints and structural slabs.
Because of the defects, the condo association “has been and will be required to expand large sums of money for the repair and maintenance” of the property, the suit says. It also cites “depreciation in value” of the units, seven of which are now on the market at prices ranging from $605,000 to $1.035 million.
Unfortunately, construction defect claims can take years to move through the court system, and, in the meantime, condo associations must often make temporary repairs, and impose special assessments upon condo owners to pay for those repairs and ongoing litigation.
Despite Kolter Group’s apparent history of shoddy construction standards, the developer is in the process of completing ONE St. Petersburg, the largest condo tower in Tampa Bay.
Some penthouse units in the 41-story, 253 unit building are reportedly selling for $4 million.
That’s a lot of property tax revenue for St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. Will building code inspectors see to it that ONE is defect-free? And will buyers continue to purchase condos, despite well-publicized reports of construction defect lawsuits against Kolter Group and its affiliated construction companies?