Real Estate News

Residents furious as robotic parking garage at Brickell condo shuts down

A hand-written note says that Brickell House’s robotic parking garage is shut down.
A hand-written note says that Brickell House’s robotic parking garage is shut down. Miami Herald stafff

The ultra-modern robotic parking garage at a luxury Brickell condo has gone from slow to shut down.

A spat between the developer of Brickell House and the garage’s operator has left residents parking their cars at a nearby office tower and asking the condo’s management to reimburse them.

Workers at 46-story Brickell House, located at 1300 Brickell Bay Dr., said the garage had been shut down since Tuesday night. They didn’t know when it would reopen.

This is not the time to panic, sell your unit, or move out

Brickell House management

Tempers among residents are running high. Many told the Miami Herald in May that they had to wait half an hour for their cars even though developer Harvey Hernandez promised the cutting-edge system would deliver their rides in less than 10 minutes.

“We ask that everyone remain calm,” the building’s management wrote Thursday to Brickell House’s 374 unit owners in an email obtained by the Herald. “This is not the time to panic, sell your unit, or move out. This is a time for patience.”

The garage’s operator, New Jersey-based Boomerang, voluntarily declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August.

Boomerang said in court papers that one of its lenders, a company called Parking Source that is controlled by Hernandez, had stopped funding its operations. Boomerang is seeking at least $25 million in damages against Parking Source, and alleges that the company is trying to steal its employees and ruin its business.

The messy financial relationship between Hernandez and Boomerang has left Brickell House residents in the lurch.

In November, according to the email from Brickell House management, Boomerang suddenly demanded an extra $100,000 “without any supporting documentation,” in addition to its monthly $50,000 fee.

Without the payment, the email said, “Boomerang would shut down the operations of the parking garage.”

$456,000Average cost of a unit at Brickell House

Hernandez, the developer, didn’t return a call requesting comment Friday afternoon. Neither did James Gelly, Boomerang’s CEO.

Units at the luxury tower, which was completed late last year, sell for an average of $456,000, according to CraneSpotters.com. For now, in-house parking isn’t included.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Beatriz Guerrero, a marketing executive who’s lived in the building since March. “We can’t park. What are we supposed to do?”

Nicholas Nehamas: 305-376-3745, @NickNehamas

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