Contractor sues developer over high-end condo project

Construction is still ongoing at the Tiber condo project. Photos by Michael Schwartz.

Construction is still ongoing at the Tiber condo project. Photos by Michael Schwartz.

A falling out between the developer and general contractor of an uncompleted high-end Libbie Avenue condo building has spilled over into court.

John K. George & Co., which was hired as general contractor on the construction of the 15-unit Tiber condo building at 510 Libbie Ave., filed a lawsuit last month against the property’s developer, claiming it was wrongfully dismissed from the project after alleged disagreements over construction scheduling and other issues.

The general contractor filed a complaint and a motion for a temporary injunction in Richmond Circuit Court Nov. 23, requesting at least $1 million in damages from Tiber Partners LLC and for a judge to order JKG’s return to the project to finish and be paid for the work it started nearly two years ago.

The Tiber project is a joint effort between John George, who owns the general contracting firm, Scott Boyers, Jennifer Fergusson and Berkeley Fergusson.

The project, which is still under construction, includes 12 flats ranging between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet, two 3,500-square-foot penthouses and a 2,200-square-foot cottage.

JKG, according to the suit, was hired by Tiber Partners in 2013 under a $6.54 million contract to handle construction of the property.

Issues between the two sides revolve around the customization options presented to each buyer and their effects on construction. Buyer preferences and changes to each unit resulted in modifications beyond the original contract. The suit states that Tiber Partners was required to execute a change order in its contract with JKG to dictate each new owner’s specified customizations.

JKG claims the developer demanded a certain completion date but did not give it signed change orders related to customizations for the units – in breach of the contract between the two sides, the lawsuit alleges. Therefore, the suit continues, it was impossible for JKG to give a specific completion date for the project.

Even when JKG attempted to provide a date based on assumptions that it would receive the change orders beforehand, the suit states, the developer did not respond.

From there, JKG claims that Tiber Partners attempted to remove and replace it as general contractor “and fabricate certain bases to justify this action.”

The developer allegedly called a meeting last month and attempted to terminate the contract with JKG. Then on Nov. 18, Tiber Partners sent a letter to JKG, “purporting to terminate the contract within seven days,” the suit claims.

JKG alleges four counts against Tiber Partners, including a declaratory judgment finding that no cause exists for its termination from the project; breach of contract and an injunction to allow JKG to continue construction of the condominiums.

JKG also filed a separate motion for injunction on Nov. 23.

George forwarded all inquiries to his lawyer, Courtney Paulk of Hirschler Fleischer, who did not return requests for comment.

When reached by telephone, Boyers said: “Tiber Partners plans to fully contest the claims and assertions in the suit.”

“Tiber Partners is proceeding to complete the project in a timely manner,” he said.

The developer is represented by Michael Montgomery of Eckert Seamans, court records show.

Construction is still ongoing at the Tiber condo project. Photos by Michael Schwartz.

Construction is still ongoing at the Tiber condo project. Photos by Michael Schwartz.

A falling out between the developer and general contractor of an uncompleted high-end Libbie Avenue condo building has spilled over into court.

John K. George & Co., which was hired as general contractor on the construction of the 15-unit Tiber condo building at 510 Libbie Ave., filed a lawsuit last month against the property’s developer, claiming it was wrongfully dismissed from the project after alleged disagreements over construction scheduling and other issues.

The general contractor filed a complaint and a motion for a temporary injunction in Richmond Circuit Court Nov. 23, requesting at least $1 million in damages from Tiber Partners LLC and for a judge to order JKG’s return to the project to finish and be paid for the work it started nearly two years ago.

The Tiber project is a joint effort between John George, who owns the general contracting firm, Scott Boyers, Jennifer Fergusson and Berkeley Fergusson.

The project, which is still under construction, includes 12 flats ranging between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet, two 3,500-square-foot penthouses and a 2,200-square-foot cottage.

JKG, according to the suit, was hired by Tiber Partners in 2013 under a $6.54 million contract to handle construction of the property.

Issues between the two sides revolve around the customization options presented to each buyer and their effects on construction. Buyer preferences and changes to each unit resulted in modifications beyond the original contract. The suit states that Tiber Partners was required to execute a change order in its contract with JKG to dictate each new owner’s specified customizations.

JKG claims the developer demanded a certain completion date but did not give it signed change orders related to customizations for the units – in breach of the contract between the two sides, the lawsuit alleges. Therefore, the suit continues, it was impossible for JKG to give a specific completion date for the project.

Even when JKG attempted to provide a date based on assumptions that it would receive the change orders beforehand, the suit states, the developer did not respond.

From there, JKG claims that Tiber Partners attempted to remove and replace it as general contractor “and fabricate certain bases to justify this action.”

The developer allegedly called a meeting last month and attempted to terminate the contract with JKG. Then on Nov. 18, Tiber Partners sent a letter to JKG, “purporting to terminate the contract within seven days,” the suit claims.

JKG alleges four counts against Tiber Partners, including a declaratory judgment finding that no cause exists for its termination from the project; breach of contract and an injunction to allow JKG to continue construction of the condominiums.

JKG also filed a separate motion for injunction on Nov. 23.

George forwarded all inquiries to his lawyer, Courtney Paulk of Hirschler Fleischer, who did not return requests for comment.

When reached by telephone, Boyers said: “Tiber Partners plans to fully contest the claims and assertions in the suit.”

“Tiber Partners is proceeding to complete the project in a timely manner,” he said.

The developer is represented by Michael Montgomery of Eckert Seamans, court records show.

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Brian Ezzelle
Brian Ezzelle
7 years ago

Somebody should be sued for the ugly color of the bricks used in this project.

Sonata Secours
Sonata Secours
7 years ago
Reply to  Brian Ezzelle

It’s as though they chose the ugliest bricks possible. A visual assault every time I drive by.

David Rothenberg
David Rothenberg
7 years ago

I’ll vet to agree with you Brian……that is one ugly building from the exterior. What in the world has taken them two years to build a 15 unit condo building, and for some reason, the only decent looking building…the cottage….has not yet sold. Hope they come to terms……..

Scott Burger
Scott Burger
7 years ago

Look at the photo. Who wants to live in the cottage in the shadow of the condos?

Theresa Addington
Theresa Addington
7 years ago

What is going to happen to the people that have been waiting for two years for a condo that they have placed a deposit on? I have been watching this project as I drive by it every day on my way to work and have noticed that it has been moving along quite slowly. Although not a particularly attractive building, I feel sorry for those that have placed their trust in the builder and developer as the project has now come to a complete standstill.