Fox Crossing billing spat might go to court
December 14, 2007
ASPEN ” A Carbondale subcontractor is asking a judge to decide a billing dispute concerning the Fox Crossing subdivision being built next to the Hunter Creek Condominium complex on Lone Pine Road in Aspen.
But the owner of the project, Aspenite Harris Cahn of Fox Crossing Partners, LLC, called the court case “a routine thing” in the local construction industry and predicted it will be settled before it gets to court.
The subcontractor, Condon Construction, on Dec. 12 filed a mechanic’s lien in Pitkin County Court against the owners of the 20-unit, luxury housing complex, and the general contractor, RJW Builders, demanding payment of $495,000 for services rendered.
Cahn, whose Alpine Capital Partners bought the project from its original owners, Raymond and Camilla Auger, said the case is over alleged billing discrepancies uncovered by RJW.
“This is just a usual and ordinary event in the annals of construction,” said Cahn. “It’s a routine thing.”
And despite Condon’s court action, he maintained, “It doesn’t affect us [the partners who own the project] at all.”
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Cahn noted that, at present, there are 10 homes under construction, eight of which are subject to what he termed “hard deals,” and he referred to “more than $40 million in the bank” in financing. Plus, he said, the entire project is expected to be completed and sold in less than two years.
“We’re doing OK,” Cahn commented.
Condon could not be reached for comment by press time on Thursday.
According to Cahn, the trouble arose after RJW called for an audit of the project’s finances, and reportedly found that “Condon’s bills were in excess of what they should have been.”
Cahn said the principals of RJW offered to pay Condon what their auditors believe is owned, between $90,000 and $92,000, and Condon declined to accept the offer.
“It’s a he-said, she-said situation,” Cahn said, and predicted that there will be a settlement between the parties before the dispute gets into a courtroom.
“They’re trying to settle it, and the two sides are playing one against the other,” he explained. “I would hope it doesn’t have to go to court.”