LA's Oceanwide Plaza restarts, owing subs almost $100M
- Construction has reportedly restarted at the $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza project in downtown Los Angeles, but the amount of mechanic's liens filed by subcontractors has grown to $98.6 million, according to Curbed Los Angeles.
- Liens as of Feb. 10 totaled $62 million, the biggest one filed by subcontractor Webcor Construction for almost $53 million. Chinese developer Oceanwide Holdings has since made some payments toward those liens, but new ones have been filed as well, including one for $1.4 million a few days before workers reappeared on the project site.
- General contractor Lendlease acknowledged Oceanwide’s late payments in a January letter to contractors when it suspended work, but Lendlease has not filed a lien, and the company has not revealed how much it is owed.
William Eliopoulos, attorney for Webcor Concrete, told Construction Dive that the company does still have a mechanic’s lien claim and pending complaint against Oceanwide and Lendlease for money owed but declined to make any further comment while the matter is in litigation.
Money problems at the Los Angeles project do not seem to have affected the developer's progress at the $1.6 billion Oceanwide Center project in San Francisco. The joint venture of Swinerton Builders and Webcor is building the project and AECOM Tishman is construction manager. In a March 15 update, the JV said that a foundation pour for one of the project’s two towers is scheduled for this coming Friday and Saturday and that site utility work is still underway. Even so, there were reports a few months ago that Oceanwide was looking for a new capital injection or loan for that project too.
It’s no secret that China has been experiencing a slowdown in its economy, and some have surmised that this is one of the factors limiting Oceanwide’s access to capital as Chinese officials push for its domestic companies to keep cash at home. This doesn’t mean, however, that Chinese-owned companies aren’t thriving in the American construction industry.
China Construction America, wholly owned by China State Construction Engineering Corp., one of the biggest contractors in the world, acquired Plaza Construction in 2013 and also operates CCA Civil here in the U.S.
Plaza recently won the $400 million expansion contract for the Resorts World Casino New York City property in Jamaica, New York, and is also building the $540 million, 1,000-foot-tall SkyRise Miami entertainment and observation tower. That project is scheduled to begin work this year and will include a drop-style ride and a 908-foot-high skywalk. CCA Civil includes in its portfolio the $1.8 billion Long Island Rail Road Expansion project.
- Curbed Los Angeles Construction restarting at Oceanwide Plaza as debt soars to $98.6M
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter