A Tampa investor who sued the developer of the proposed $1.1 billion Health Tower project in downtown Orlando says the developer failed to pay the $2.1 million settlement they agreed to back in December and now wants the court to intervene.
The plaintiff, MOA Capital, was an early investor in the Vertical Medical City tower that would combine nearly 900 age-restricted and assisted living units with medical offices, clinics and research facilities. MOA sued Ponte Health and its founder, Tabitha Ponte, last summer alleging fraud and breach of contract.
MOA, successor to Phoenix Construction, had claimed the construction company paid $600,000 toward a $3 million equity investment, which entitled the firm to a 5% share of the Health Towers project and the right to construct all Ponte Health Tower projects in Florida.
Ponte agreed to a settlement just before the case was set to go to trial last November. Both parties agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential “except as may be required to enforce the terms” as part of a court order. They also agreed not to disparage the opposing party, even on social media. The mediated settlement agreement was attached to the motion filed April 21 after MOA said the developer missed multiple payment deadlines.
The original payment was due Dec. 25, 2022, assuming Ponte was able to secure and close financing for the Health Towers project. MOA’s attorney, John Agliano, said the parties amended the settlement three times to extend the payment deadline, each time with 5% penalty added to the total, to give Ponte more time to secure financing. The third amendment signed on Jan. 30 raised the settlement amount to $2.52 million, which was due on Feb. 16.
“To date, no payment has been made by the Ponte Parties to MOA,” Agliano wrote.
Ponte did not respond to a request comment.
Circuit Court Judge John Jordan reserved jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement when he agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice in November.
The Orlando Municipal Planning Board and City Council approved the updated master plan for the 35-story Health Tower earlier this year.
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