A legal battle is underway over the massive Brickell City Centre in Miami after complaints from a nearby store owner that construction from the new building is a hazard to his property and to his customers.
Alfredo Zayden, who owns Frame Art at 96 Southwest 7th Street, has filed a lawsuit against the developers of Brickell City Centre, a massive new mega mall that is slated to fill up 4 million square feet in the area.
Now, the entire $1 billion project could be placed on hold.
Zayden said objects have fallen onto his property from the construction. The latest of those was a large, 10-pound metal object he said fell on his roof.
"I am in a dangerous part, and if something big falls it's going to break the roof and it's going to kill people," Zayden said.
The art store owner said cranes have even hoisted items like portable toilets over his business and that he has collected a box full of items that have already fallen in his vicinity, including chunks of concrete and a hammer.
Zayden has sued the building's developer, Swire Properties, along with construction companies Turner Construction, Co. and Maxim Crane Works LLC.
Swire Properties has placed plywood and netting in response to Zayden's complaints.
In court Tuesday, a construction expert was on the stand showing Judge Norma Lindsey technical data. The judge will have to decide if the project should be shut down until additional safety measures are taken.
Swire's head of construction told NBC 6's Willard Shepard that a potential shut down could have huge economic ramifications on the area by keeping thousands of workers at home.
"If this project shuts down it shuts down everything," said Chris Gandolfo, senior vice president at Swire.
Developers have said the project will create 1,700 construction jobs every year for the four years it will take to complete construction. When the building's finished, 3,800 full times jobs are expected to be created there.
Gandolfo said the company has done its best to be a good neighbor to Zayden and all the firms nearby.
In a rare move, Judge Lindsey said she would take the court to the construction site so they could take a first-hand look at the area, but so far, that hasn't happened.
Meanwhile, the building's developers have set up a website to inform the community about the project. To see it, click here.