- Contractors have filed $15.8 million worth of mechanics liens on the stalled $300 million Royal Caribbean Cruises headquarters expansion in Miami, according to Miami-Dade County public records. Of those companies that have filed liens, two contractors have been paid a total of $230,493, leaving an unpaid balance of almost $15.6 million as of Aug. 24.
- Baker Concrete Construction has the largest active lien against the Royal Caribbean project, located at the Port of Miami, in the amount of almost $11.7 million, followed by Kenneth Brest, a sub-subcontractor hired by Baker. Brest has filed liens totaling almost $2.7 million. Other active lienholders are Gancedo Lumber, which claims it is owed $84,434, and Keller North America, which says it is owed more than $1.1 million.
- Project developer CBRE and general contractor Plaza Construction announced the start of construction on what Royal Caribbean characterized as Miami's "first true corporate campus" last summer. In March, however, Royal Caribbean announced it had halted construction due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Construction Dive reached out to Royal Caribbean about the liens but had not received a response by press time.
During the company's second-quarter 2020 earnings call earlier this month, Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean CEO and president, said all capital projects had been postponed or canceled as the cruise industry waits to "get beyond this epidemic."
The company recently announced that it secured a $700 million loan facility from Morgan Stanley but said the proceeds, if drawn, would be used for general corporate purposes. There was no specific mention of paying past due bills on the headquarters project in Miami.
Royal Caribbean reported a $1.3 billion adjusted net loss after having to cancel all its cruises in the second quarter.
When asked about the mechanics liens filed against the property, Plaza representative Jorge Moros did not verify the lien amounts but confirmed to Construction Dive that Royal Caribbean had asked them to stop work.
"The parties are working together to amicably resolve all matters arising from the stoppage of the work," he said.
If the HQ project moves forward after the pandemic has run its course, the 350,000-square foot, 10-story office building will allow Royal Caribbean to double its workforce in Miami. Amenities at the new complex will include a fitness center, multiple sport courts, a soccer field, a parking garage and electric car chargers.
In May, notice and lien service provider Levelset reported that mechanics lien filings in the U.S. had increased by 40% from January through March 2020. At the time, company CEO Scott Wolfe said contractors were likely protecting themselves given the uncertain nature of the coronavirus spread and its effect on their projects and customer payments.
According to Justin Gitelman, content partnerships coordinator at, the company's most recent lien data shows that the number of mechanics liens that U.S. contractors filed in May and June fell slightly — 5,810 to 5,525 respectively — but the total value of liens increased from $469 million to $472 million. Preliminary July data indicates that the number of liens filed has also decreased, he said, as well as the total amount.