Published Thursday, May 20, 2010 | 3:38 p.m.
Updated Thursday, May 20, 2010 | 5:26 p.m.
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On the eve of a meeting between Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and Perini Building Co. and its CityCenter subcontractors, another group has entered the fray over CityCenter construction payments by sending a letter to Gibbons critical of Perini.
The group includes homeowners at the luxury One Queensridge Place condominium project in western Las Vegas.
Perini is in litigation with the One Queensridge developer similar to Perini’s litigation with CityCenter developer MGM Mirage.
Both disputes involve unpaid construction invoices and alleged construction defects.
Perini has launched a public relations campaign against MGM Mirage, including seeking the intervention of Gibbons, and claiming MGM Mirage refused to pay $500 million in legitimate construction costs for CityCenter. MGM Mirage has cited construction defects at the Harmon Hotel and elsewhere at CityCenter in denying $500 million is due.
Nevertheless, MGM Mirage has said it’s bypassing Perini and is working to pay subcontractors itself.
A letter to Gibbons from One Queensridge Place homeowners association board member Thomas Spiegel says Perini is seeking to foreclose on condominium units there in order to recover on its claims against the developer; and that Perini has taken the position that homeowners have no right to present a defense in the court hearing a foreclosure action.
"In our experience, Perini is a very different company than the one it portrayed itself in its May 3rd letter to you (regarding CityCenter)," Spiegel’s letter says.
Perini's parent company, Tutor Perini Corp. of Sylmar, Calif., described the Queensridge dispute this way in a recent regulatory filing: "The developer of the project, Queensridge Towers LLC/Executive Home Builders Inc., has failed to pay Perini Building Co. for work which Perini and its subcontractors performed on the project. Queensridge has alleged that Perini and its subcontractors are not due amounts sought and that it has backcharges from incomplete and defective work."
The Queensridge construction contract was valued at about $154 million, court records show.
In his letter, Spiegel complained that the One Queensridge Place developer has been struggling to obtain project records Perini was obligated to preserve -- but that Perini used "sophisticated wiping programs to sanitize its project server and project computers after it was ordered by the District Court to preserve all project records."
Perini today disputed the allegations.
"Perini and its subcontractors have been trying to get final payment on this financially troubled luxury condominium project for over two years without success," the company said. "Mr. Spiegel completely misrepresents Judge Denton’s decision. In reality, and as stated in his decision, no relevant or prejudicial records were lost as a result of Perini’s standard project close-out procedures, which the court agreed are designed, and in fact do, preserve all project records. Unfortunately the developer has chosen to place the property owners in this position. Perini would welcome any efforts to compel the developer to meet its payment obligations on the Queensridge project."