Algonquin owners tell sub-contractors money is coming
Unpaid bills for the complicated hotel renovation prompt liens for $881k
Owners of the Algonquin Hotel say they plan to pay the list of sub-contractors with outstanding bills.
Five companies have filed liens against the St. Andrews hotel totalling $881,000. They say it's to recover money they are owed for the $30 million renovation.
All of the claims name the hotel owners, Southwest Properties and Newcastle Developments. Four of the liens also name Avant-Garde Construction, the general contractor for the complicated renovation.
Avant-Garde owner, Patrick Sohy told CBC News that as of last Friday, his company is no longer working on the site. He described the leave as a temporary absence.
Gordon Laing, president of Southwest Properties, says the money is coming for the five sub-contractors. He says Southwest Properties has been verifying amounts since taking over the project's management in November.
The money dispute has not disrupted work, said Laing.
"The contractors have been very supportive and we've had good two-way communication about what we're trying to accomplish, and the contractors have been very forthright about what they need to do," he said.
"In the end people have been on-site and working hard."
Payments expected over next two months
The largest amount owing is $481,000 to Kent Building Supplies.
The Eddy Group, which is another supplier, says it is owed more than $200,000 plus interest.
Melmaris Construction was called in last summer to provide extra labour at the Algonquin, said operations manager David Yeomans.
Why can't we just get paid for our portion that we've done?- David Yeomans, Melmaris Construction
Legal documents claim that company is owed $73,000 for work completed months ago.
"That could be the nail in the coffin for a small business like us," said Yeomans.
"The impact is we're having problems paying our vendors, there is potential for loss of jobs, cutbacks in our office …I don't understand why we're having so much trouble getting paid when there was so much money from the government that was put into it."
"Why can't we just get paid for our portion that we've done?"
Laing says the common areas and restaurants in the grand hotel are complete, and workers are finishing the remaining 96 rooms.
The bills will be paid once the owners confirm the amounts claimed by subcontractors are correct, said Laing.
"If they are then our intention would be to pay those and bring the project through to successful completion," he said.
Laing expects that will be settled in the next two months.
The hotel has been closed for the past two summers because of the renovation. It is scheduled to reopen May 1.
In May 2012, ownership of the Algonquin was transferred from the province to Southwest Properties and Newcastle Developments.