A Front Range subcontractor that claims it performed extensive framing and drywall work on the W Aspen hotel but has yet to be compensated has filed a mechanic’s lien for more than $2 million against the property.
Spacecon Specialty Contractors — which has locations in Fort Collins, Denver and Colorado Springs — names W Aspen owner Aspen Club Lodge Properties LLC, of Washington, D.C., and Haselden Resort Constructors LLC as the two primary defendants in its complaint. While Aspen Club Lodge Properties is the owner of the W Aspen, recent news reports have listed the ownership as Northridge Capital LLC, which is a related entity.
Haselden served as the primary general contractor for the much-anticipated W Aspen, which celebrated a grand opening in August. Haselden in turn hired Spacecon, or SSC in court documents, to help with the construction of the 128,000-square-foot luxury hotel.
“On or about Feb. 10, 2017, Haselden entered into a written subcontract with SSC for SSC to supply and install a significant portion of the project’s framing and drywall work,” the complaint states. “At Haselden’s direction and under Haselden’s express authorization, SSC performed changed and/or additional work. Despite due demand, Haselden continues to withhold from SSC all sums due and owing for SSC’s work under the subcontract, including the changed and/or additional work.”
Spacecon puts the total amount owed at almost $2.3 million, taking into account $169,300 in “additional damages” beyond the more than $2.1 million subject to the lien, per the Dec. 31 complaint. According to records on file with the city of Aspen’s building department, the W’s reported construction valuation — which is limited to the value of structural building materials and labor and excludes soft costs and furnishings — is $56.5 million.
In addition to withholding payment, Haselden allegedly further breached its contract with Spacecon by “among other things ... failed to timely process change orders, failed to properly schedule, sequence and coordinate its subcontractors’ activities on the Project, failed to provide SSC with access to the work, and failed and refused to extend SSC’s time for performance,” the complaint says.
Haselden regional director Brian Hunt was taken a bit aback by the news that the subcontractor had formally filed the lien, describing the situation as a “dispute.”
“We’re currently in negotiations to solve that dispute,” he said. “We’ve had a relationship with this company for decades. Our president and their president know each other well, and we’re trying to work through this — and we haven’t heard anything about a lawsuit yet. It requires arbitration and not trial.”
Local developer John Sarpa and sales and marketing professional R.J. Gallagher — who have been intrinsically involved in the hotel project since its beginning — were similarly unfamiliar with the legal situation Thursday evening. But that’s to be expected, Hunt emphasized, since the dispute is between Spacecon and Haselden.
“John Sarpa [and the ownership group] … they really don’t have anything to do with it,” Hunt said. “It’s completely between us, and we hope to have it solved early this year as to not impact those guys at all.”
The complaint outlines a specific timeline of communications regarding Spacecon’s intent to file the lien.
“On June 28, 2019, within the time allowed by statute and in the manner prescribed by statute, SSC served a Statement of Mechanic’s Lien in the amount of $2,125,798.18 and a Notice of Intent to File a Lien Statement on Aspen Club and Haselden,” it reads. “On Oct. 22, 2019, within the time allowed by statute, SSC recorded a Statement of Notice Extending Time to File Mechanic’s Lien with the County of Pitkin. ... On Nov. 14, 2019, within the time allowed by statute and at least 10 days after service of the Notice, SSC recorded the Statement and Notice with the County of Pitkin.”
At the heart of the dispute, it seems, is an expanded scope of work beyond what was outlined in the original contract between the parties.
“At Haselden’s direction and under Haselden’s express authorization, SSC performed changed and/or additional work,” the complaint reads.
The actual contract is a protected exhibit not available to the public. Spacecon's attorneys did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
The W Aspen is a massive transformation of the former Sky Hotel. The new building contains 88 hotel rooms and 11 two- and three-bedroom fractional ownership residences. The W Hotel brand is affiliated with Marriott International, which manages the lodging operation and residences.