Helio De La Torre Featured in Article on BrickellHouse Lawsuit in The Real Deal

Helio De La Torre 2013Firm partner Helio De La Torre was quoted in an article that appeared today in The Real Deal, an online media outlet that focuses exclusively on South Florida real estate news.  The article, which was titled “BrickellHouse’s Condo Association Runs into Another Snag in Robotic Garage Predicament,” focuses on the firm’s lawsuit against the developer of the 46-story Miami tower over the property’s failed robotic parking garage.  The article reads:

“The condo association has been left with this mess,” lawyer Helio de la Torre told The Real Deal. “We have to clean up this mess.”

On Aug. 23, de la Torre’s client, BrickellHouse Condominium Association, filed an amended lawsuit against Hernandez, his company BrickellHouse Holding LLC and Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, seeking additional damages for the possibility that some condo owners may be left without a parking space if the building’s troublesome robotic parking garage is replaced with a new system.

The association initially sued the developer in January and amended its complaint three times in March to add more counts regarding the failure of the the 374-unit building’s robotic parking garage. TRDlogo Court documents allege buyers were promised South Florida’s first fully automated parking system that would deliver their vehicles in and out of the building without drivers inside the cars.

The article concludes:

Instead, the system was rife with problems such as operating so slowly that sometimes it took more than two hours to retrieve cars, the lawsuit alleges. The condo association also alleged that the system would often stall and malfunction and would only work properly under constant staff supervision. Boomerang Systems, the company that made the system, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and its contract with the condo association to operate the garage was terminated by a judge.

In the latest development, de la Torre told TRD that BrickellHouse’s garage was supposedly built to hold 480 vehicles. However, the association is looking to replace the Boomerang system with a different system from another vendor, de la Torre said.

“At this point, we know that any replacement may result in less than 480 vehicles,” he said. “That means we have to face a situation where certain owners will be directly impacted. There are going to be tough choices to make.”

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