It all looks like real gold: the front gate, the grand banister, the entry doors, the crown molding and even the kitchen cabinets. But don’t be fooled.
The owner of an $85 million palace in Hillsboro Beach says a contractor cut corners in some places and used regular old gold paint. Owner Robert Pereira is suing to get the minimum 22-karat gold leafing he wanted.
The gilding work on the estate known as Le Palais Royal was “haphazardly and deceivingly done,” the suit alleges.
Pereira’s suit, filed in Broward Circuit Court, has led to an ultra-high-stakes real estate squabble played out in two states.
The contractor, Atelier Premiere Inc., has filed a suit of its own, saying Pereira hasn’t paid $556,000 still owed for the faux marble paint job it did on columns and pilasters at the Hillsboro Beach estate.
You might have heard of Le Palais. It got national attention when it was put on the market for $159 million in 2015. Advertisements claimed it contained more than $3 million in gold leafing.
The seaside mansion has 11 bedrooms, 15 full bathrooms, four half-baths, an IMAX theater, a $4 million infinity pool, a $2 million grand staircase and an air-conditioned parking garage for up to 10 cars.
Some South Florida homes have a higher value because of the land they sit on, but none come close to the $73.4 million value of the Le Palais structure itself.
Pereira’s suit says he paid Atelier more than $10 million for the gilding work, the faux marble treatment of the exterior columns and other work on the mansion.
Besides the spots missing the gold leafing, the suit says the contractors did not consistently apply varnish that was “needed to preserve the ultimate luster and maintain the gold leafing itself.”
“We’re talking about a multimillion-dollar contract for some high-level work that was not done even close to what was specified,” said attorney Michael Dutko, representing Pereira.
The painted columns and the gold leafing are already beginning to peel on the brand-new home because of the workmanship, the suits says, while paint spills were cleaned up with some “type of acid solution” that “caused more damage by eating into the marble-tiled flooring.”
Attempts to reach attorneys for Atelier were not successful Wednesday.