Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Controversy Surrounding Contractor Casa Design (MINT building)

There is controversy surrounding the contractor Casa Design (owned by Rene and Rosa Betancourt) and the connection to Mint President Troy Taylor. Casa Design is currently performing the hallway remodel project ($1.3 million). Casa Design also conducted other remodeling projects for the Mint Association in 2014-2015.

In a board meeting of February 27, 2019, to select a contractor for the hallway remodel, President Troy Taylor disclosed "for the record 8 years ago (2011) Casa Design did the build out of his unit at the Mint and about 5 years ago (2014) Casa Design did work in a building where he (Troy Taylor) had investment property."

In the following Mint Board meeting of March 13, 2019 board members shared concern about the appearance of personal preference by a board member with the contractor Casa Design.

Adding more fuel to the controversy, in the board meeting of May 21, 2019, board members expressed surprise to see the name on the awarded contract was no longer Casa Design but rather B&B Concept Designs Inc.

Casa Design and B&B Concept Designs Inc. are both owned by Rene and Rosa Betancourt.

Since then we have learned:

In May 21 2015, Betancourt & Taylor Investments LLC was filed with the State of Florida.

  1. The principal address listed was 1080 East 17th Avenue and the registered agent was Mr. Troy Taylor with the address 92 SW 3rd St. (his Mint address)
  2. Casa Design, B&B Concept Designs Inc, and Betancourt & Taylor Investments LLC all have the same principal address
  3. Betancourt & Taylor was active as a company when Casa Design completed the following projects for the Mint: 
    1. Elevator landings for 48 floors (July 2015)
    2. Mezzanine & AD Meeting room Carpets (Oct 2015)
    3. Interior of Elevator Cabs (Oct 2015)

      It is important to note that for these above projects that Casa Design was NOT a licensed contractor. An analysis worksheet prepared by then Mint manager Fabie Verona of First Service Residential (FSR) on September 11, 2018 for decision making purposes shows a false license number (#P09000075062).
  4. Betancourt & Taylor LLC was dissolved in September 18, 2018 AFTER the hallway bid was submitted to the Mint on August 14, 2018.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. Isn't it the responsibility of the manager to ensure a contractor is properly licensed? We pay a healthy maintenance fee to have FSR manage important projects and details. 
  2. Isn't it a huge risk to have unlicensed contractor performing work? Isn't there a potential for major lawsuit if a resident is hurt or killed by a building that hires an unlicensed contractor?
  3. If the board was uncomfortable with hiring Casa Design, why didn't they choose another contractor?
  4. How many bids were submitted and reviewed?

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