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ONE St. Petersburg builder in dueling lawsuits over the 41-story condo tower

Kast Construction III and Titus Construction Group are suing each other over work at ONE St. Petersburg, a 41-story condo tower nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. LARA CERRI   |   Times (2017)
Kast Construction III and Titus Construction Group are suing each other over work at ONE St. Petersburg, a 41-story condo tower nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. LARA CERRI | Times (2017)
Published Jul. 30, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — A South Florida construction firm and a subcontractor are suing each other over work at ONE St. Petersburg, a 41-story condo tower nearing completion downtown.

In its suit, Kast Construction III alleges that drywall and framing done by Titus Construction Group had "numerous deficiencies,'' including incorrect ceiling heights and framing that was "generally out of plumb, unlevel and not square.''

Kast, of West Palm Beach, said it had to hire other workers to finish Titus' job, costing it additional time and materials. Also named as a defendant is a surety company that was supposed to pay Kast if Titus defaulted on its subcontract.

In its own suit, Titus says it is owed $3.647 million for work Kast demanded in addition to the original subcontract terms.

"We did quality work, and we deserve to be paid,'' Titus president Nathan Pardue said Monday.

Pardue said Titus had finished most of its work on 32 floors of ONE St. Petersburg when Kast said it could not continue on the remaining floors unless it signed a letter agreeing that the work to date had been substandard.

"We didn't agree that we did substandard work, and they said, 'We're bringing in another subcontractor to do the last floors,' " Pardue said. His Fort Lauderdale-based company is still on the job, doing touch-ups that should be finished in about a month, he said.

ONE St. Peterburg, the tallest residential tower on Florida's west coast, is due to open late this year.

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Kast, which filed its suit in Pinellas County, is seeking to have Titus' suit, filed in Broward County, moved to Pinellas. The two companies are also suing each other over work at another project, a new Westin hotel in Sarasota.

Kast is the construction arm of the Kolter Group, developer of the Westin and ONE St. Petersburg.

Robert Vail, president of Kolter Urban, noted that Titus has done several jobs for Kolter over the past several years.

"We believe the two parties are working to resolve their differences,'' he said Monday.

Kolter also developed the Water Club condos in St. Petersburg's Snell Isle area. The condo association is suing Kolter and Kast, alleging dozens of code violations and design flaws in the building of the 95-unit complex four years ago.

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