Contractors awaiting payment for work in Short Pump

westbroadinside

Work continues at the mixed-use complex of West Broad Village in Short Pump, but several contractors have filed liens to make sure they get paid.

Since October, seven companies have filed nine mechanic’s liens totaling more than $3.7 million against property owned by Unicorp National Development, the Florida-based developer of West Broad Village.

A mechanic’s lien is a legal claim on a property title. In the event of a sale or foreclosure, lien holders must be paid from the proceeds.

Chuck Whittall
, owner of Unicorp, said a delay in financing for the most recent round of construction has caused the company to fall behind in payments to contractors. In a phone interview Tuesday, he would not disclose the name of the bank.

“We’re in the process now of obtaining financing, and it’s taking longer than it would typically take,” Whittall said. “We’re a hundred percent confident we will get the financing to release the liens.”

Whittall said he expects to have the financing issue resolved in the next 30 days, at which point he intends to pay the lien holders. He wouldn’t say how much the loan is worth.

West Broad Village is a $1 billion, urban-style community. The development will encompass 116 acres and include 420,000 square feet of retail, 600,000 square feet of office space, more than 800 residential units and two hotels. Whittall said the construction is between 50 and 70 percent complete.

The biggest claim was filed Dec. 16 by Valentine Electric (a branch of IES Commercial) in Ashland for more than $1.6 million. Valentine completed the underground ductwork for electrical, telephone and cable lines, as well as area site lighting. Whittall said Valentine continues to work for the development.

The first lien was filed Oct. 22 by the Tindall Corp. for $483,021.90. Tindall, a South Carolina concrete construction company with an office in Petersburg, is awaiting payment for design, manufacture and erection of a parking garage at West Broad Village. Tindall, which could not be reached for comment because their office is closed for the holidays, was subcontracted by Finfrock Corp.

That firm is one of the lead contractors hired by Unicorp and is responsible for paying Tindall.

Several commercial real estate brokers have also filed liens on the property for helping place tenants such as Wholewestbroadvillagesign Foods, Dave and Busters, and Wachovia Bank. Whittall said the brokers have been paid but are no longer working on the project. Whittall added that Unicorp is now handling leasing itself.

The Miami branch of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp. filed a lien of $23,599.50 on Dec. 8 for elevator materials.

Timmons Group, a locally-based development consultation company, filed a lien Dec. 16 for $250,000 plus $62,500 in attorney fees. Whittall said the claim from Timmons was the only one that was inaccurate: He said that Unicorp only owes the company $90,000 and that Timmons had acknowledged the error in a letter. Timmons has completed $2 million worth of work on the project.

The most recent lien was filed Dec. 29 by Finfrock for $972,193. That total includes the amount owed to Tindall and ThyssenKrpup, according to Whittall. Finfrock continues to work on the West Broad Village project.

BizSense was unable to reach any off the contractors who filed liens.

Whittall said that the delay in financing had not delayed construction and that contractors and subcontractors were aware of the financing situation.

Credit woes such as Unicorp’s are unfolding across the country with increasing frequency. Recently industry leaders met with government officials, asking to be included in a $200 billion initiative to provide the market for consumer debt (car loans, student loans and credit cards). Up to $400 billion in existing commercial loans is expected to come due in 2009, which spells trouble for many firms that will need to refinance amid tight-fisted bank lending.

westbroadinside

Work continues at the mixed-use complex of West Broad Village in Short Pump, but several contractors have filed liens to make sure they get paid.

Since October, seven companies have filed nine mechanic’s liens totaling more than $3.7 million against property owned by Unicorp National Development, the Florida-based developer of West Broad Village.

A mechanic’s lien is a legal claim on a property title. In the event of a sale or foreclosure, lien holders must be paid from the proceeds.

Chuck Whittall
, owner of Unicorp, said a delay in financing for the most recent round of construction has caused the company to fall behind in payments to contractors. In a phone interview Tuesday, he would not disclose the name of the bank.

“We’re in the process now of obtaining financing, and it’s taking longer than it would typically take,” Whittall said. “We’re a hundred percent confident we will get the financing to release the liens.”

Whittall said he expects to have the financing issue resolved in the next 30 days, at which point he intends to pay the lien holders. He wouldn’t say how much the loan is worth.

West Broad Village is a $1 billion, urban-style community. The development will encompass 116 acres and include 420,000 square feet of retail, 600,000 square feet of office space, more than 800 residential units and two hotels. Whittall said the construction is between 50 and 70 percent complete.

The biggest claim was filed Dec. 16 by Valentine Electric (a branch of IES Commercial) in Ashland for more than $1.6 million. Valentine completed the underground ductwork for electrical, telephone and cable lines, as well as area site lighting. Whittall said Valentine continues to work for the development.

The first lien was filed Oct. 22 by the Tindall Corp. for $483,021.90. Tindall, a South Carolina concrete construction company with an office in Petersburg, is awaiting payment for design, manufacture and erection of a parking garage at West Broad Village. Tindall, which could not be reached for comment because their office is closed for the holidays, was subcontracted by Finfrock Corp.

That firm is one of the lead contractors hired by Unicorp and is responsible for paying Tindall.

Several commercial real estate brokers have also filed liens on the property for helping place tenants such as Wholewestbroadvillagesign Foods, Dave and Busters, and Wachovia Bank. Whittall said the brokers have been paid but are no longer working on the project. Whittall added that Unicorp is now handling leasing itself.

The Miami branch of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp. filed a lien of $23,599.50 on Dec. 8 for elevator materials.

Timmons Group, a locally-based development consultation company, filed a lien Dec. 16 for $250,000 plus $62,500 in attorney fees. Whittall said the claim from Timmons was the only one that was inaccurate: He said that Unicorp only owes the company $90,000 and that Timmons had acknowledged the error in a letter. Timmons has completed $2 million worth of work on the project.

The most recent lien was filed Dec. 29 by Finfrock for $972,193. That total includes the amount owed to Tindall and ThyssenKrpup, according to Whittall. Finfrock continues to work on the West Broad Village project.

BizSense was unable to reach any off the contractors who filed liens.

Whittall said that the delay in financing had not delayed construction and that contractors and subcontractors were aware of the financing situation.

Credit woes such as Unicorp’s are unfolding across the country with increasing frequency. Recently industry leaders met with government officials, asking to be included in a $200 billion initiative to provide the market for consumer debt (car loans, student loans and credit cards). Up to $400 billion in existing commercial loans is expected to come due in 2009, which spells trouble for many firms that will need to refinance amid tight-fisted bank lending.

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