Codina Partners now has a $7.8 million bill for allegedly refusing to pay a general contractor who built a condominium project in downtown Doral.
Last week, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas issued a final ruling in favor of Grycon, a Fort Lauderdale-based construction company that won a wrongful termination trial against Codina subsidiary 5350 Park in July. In May 2020, Codina fired Grycon on the same day that the developer received a final certificate of occupancy for the 19-story, 251-unit tower, also called 5350 Park, at 5350 Northwest 84th Avenue, court filings show.
Codina is led by Executive Chairman Armando Codina and the company’s CEO, Ana-Marie Codina Barlick.
Thomas asked Codina’s subsidiary to pay $6.4 million for unpaid labor on the condo project, $512,000 for unpaid labor at an adjacent parking garage, and $940,000 in interest. In addition, Grycon is entitled to $3.6 million in damages from Arch Insurance, 5350 Park’s insurer.
Stuart Sobel, Grycon’s attorney, said 5350 Park also had to pay his client’s legal fees. “We have a hearing next week on a motion to dispute the amount of attorney’s fees,” Sobel said. “According to the contract, they have to pay for it.”
However, Codina will not back down, Sobel said.
“It makes little sense from a business perspective to keep fighting,” Sobel said. “You should close this. But they don’t sit around a table to negotiate a solution.”
Codina’s subsidiary recently filed a complaint to appeal Thomas’ final verdict.
“There’s really nothing new here,” said Joe Jimenez, general counsel of Codina Partners. “We do not agree with the court’s decision. We believe there are a number of errors, both factual and legal, and we will assert our rights.”
Jimenez repeated an earlier statement to The Real Deal that Grycon “fell woefully behind on its commitments,” resulting in an orderly discharge from the job in accordance with the construction contract.
In 2020, shortly after the termination, Grycon sued Codina’s subsidiary, alleging that the developer attempted to recover payment of a final bill of $3.6 million for the condo project and about $500,000 for the garage avoid. 5350 Park has a pending countersuit filed last year.
Armando Codina previously touted his firm’s impeccable record of avoiding construction disputes throughout its 42-year history up until the Grycon lawsuit. At the time, Codina said his company had “an undisputed reputation for fair and honest business dealings.”
Citing witness testimony and evidence at the trial, Thomas determined that Grycon had essentially completed the condominium project since 5350 Park had received its certificate of occupancy and unit closures had begun months before the building was ready for use.
Codina has built three condominiums in downtown Doral, including 5350 Park. The Company plans to add five more condominiums to the master’s proposed mixed-use condominium.