12686701087?profile=RESIZE_710xCondo owners at Tower 155, a 127-unit complex located at 155 East Boca Raton Road, have filed suit, asking for damages to pay for repairs or rebuilding. Photo provided

By Mary Hladky

Tower 155 condominium owners have sued the 4-year-old building’s developer, contractor, architect and 21 other companies, alleging shoddy construction and design that has left them footing the bill for extensive repairs.

Tower 155 Condominium Association’s lawsuit includes a six-page list of deficiencies in the 127 condos and throughout the downtown Boca Raton high-rise, including improper installation and building materials, which have caused water intrusion, corrosion and unsafe conditions, among other problems.

The lawsuit, which is seeking an unspecified amount of damages to pay for repairs or rebuilding, names as the main defendants Boca Raton-based developer Compson Associates, Delray Beach-headquartered contractor Kaufman Lynn Construction, and the Boca Raton architectural firm Vander Ploeg and Associates, led by Derek Vander Ploeg.

A unit owner said he and association board members would not comment on the litigation at this time.

Compson Vice President Carl Klepper said company officials have had “very amicable discussions” about matters the association would like to have corrected.

“We are aware of the complaints,” he said. “We have been working civilly with the association. If there are things to be corrected, the contractor and subcontractors will resolve them.”

Derek Vander Ploeg said virtually all of the alleged deficiencies are related to construction, not building design.

A Kaufman Lynn official did not respond to an email requesting comment.

The defects were not obvious to condo buyers and they discovered them only after moving in, the suit says.

It alleges that the building was not constructed in compliance with the state building code or good design, engineering and construction practices.

Vander Ploeg said the claim that the building does not comply with the state building code is “simply wrong.” Tower 155 complies with the code in effect when it was constructed, but the code has been revised since then, he said.

Building code violations, however, are cited in a Dec. 2, 2022, report on Tower 155’s condition prepared by Miami-based Pistorino and Alam consulting engineers after Tower 155 was turned over by Compson to the condo association on March 29 of that year.

The 166-page report lists a long litany of problems and repeatedly says the conditions are not in compliance with or are prohibited by the state building code.

The 12-story Tower 155, located at 155 East Boca Raton Road, was completed in 2020 during a downtown building boom that drew the ire of many residents who said overdevelopment was ruining the city’s character. They criticized a number of projects as being too large and certain to worsen traffic conditions.

The lawsuit, filed on Oct. 30, 2023, in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, is in the early stages of litigation and the court file does not yet contain detailed responses from the defendants.

But in their affirmative defenses, a standard pleading in civil litigation, Compson, Kaufman Lynn and Vander Ploeg denied the allegations against them.

Since Tower 155 was completed, Compson and Vander Ploeg have teamed up again on the Aletto at Sanborn Square, to be built across East Boca Raton Road from the condo.

The project initially was to include office space, luxury apartments and a parking garage, but plans changed in 2022 when apartments were eliminated in favor of only Class A office space. The City Council approved the project one year ago.

It also drew strong objections from nearby residents, including Tower 155 owners, who said it is too massive for the 1.3 acres on which it will sit, would increase traffic on already overcrowded streets and would harm nearby Sanborn Square.

When the BocaFirst blog wrote in early February that “word on the street” and “more than rumors” suggested that Compson planned to change course and add residential units, Klepper denied it when he appeared before the City Council later that month.

In a June 17 interview with The Coastal Star, Klepper reiterated that the Aletto remains an office project and said he expects to break ground before the end of the year.

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  • The "Dynamic Duo" of Compson and Vander Pleog will take another stab at creating an office project across from Tower 155. Tower 155 is riddled with deficiences , design flaws, shoddy construction beyond description. Residents were promised living similar to an " exotic destination "....it is more akin to the outback in an underdevopled 3rd world country.

    The "Devil is in the details" there are many, many devils at Tower 155.  Detail: vents were left out in trash rooms as well as  drains in bathrooms in fitness room....these are code violations then and now ! Design is wholly insuffiencient to support proper maintenance of the building....all of these many deficiencies are listed in an independent engineers report and are factual. There is just too many to be named . 
    It is the job of a Developer to bring to the market a product that is commesurate with the promises he made as a luxury entity. 
    I welcome anyone who would like a personal tour .....we can begin in the coffe room which is more aptly a " coffee cave"...dark and uninviting. Or perhaps the well designed business center that shares it space with a kiddie playroom and bean bag seats on the floor ..oh how professional!!

     

  • Notice the architect said "virtually all of the alleged deficiencies are related to construction, not building design."  Admitting that at least some complaints refer to building design, otherwise he would have said "all".  Developer-speak tries to wash away the worst dirt.  Developer blames it on the builder,  but isn't it the developer's job to oversee and check what the builder is doing? Do they just show up at the end to collect the money? The engineers defect report is 166 pages...that's a lot of problems. It just seems that owners are paying for things twice....once with the cost of the condo, and a second time to correct things.

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