The developer of a newly opened Downtown apartment building is suing the building contractor, alleging that it took nearly nine months longer than their contract specified to finish the building.

The Roost Project LLC, the company formed by Los Angeles developer LocalConstruct to build The Fowler at 5th and Myrtle streets, last week sued Andersen Construction Co., a Portland builder with a Boise office, in federal court in Boise.

Roost said Andersen executives continually misled them about progress on the seven-story, 159-unit building, in part by blaming delays on the "Snowmageddon" storm that brought 15 inches of snow to Boise in late December 2016 and early January 2017.

"The delay was actually a result of [Andersen’s] failure to seal the building on time and in advance of the weather event, negligent snow removal techniques, project mismanagement, organizational failures with regard to scheduling and subcontractor management and a failure to properly perform under the agreement of the parties," attorney Bradley Dixon wrote in the 36-page complaint.

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An Andersen executive said the company was disappointed the dispute could not be resolved through a "negotiated solution."

"Through historic weather and severe labor shortages, Andersen Construction is proud of the quality product that is now built and are happy for the owner to see the building leasing up with success," Development Manager Matt Blandford wrote in a statement to the Idaho Statesman. "Although we sustained substantial financial and resource impacts, it is significant to note that we have paid all subcontracted labor and material suppliers in full."

The Fowler has roughly equal numbers of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Rents range from $1,100 to $1,800. A typical one-bedroom might have 600 square feet and cost between $1,260 and $1,600 per month. The ground floor has a pizza restaurant and coffee shop.

The apartments were supposed to be substantially finished by May 30, 2017, but tenants couldn’t move in until March 1, Roost said. The developer said it lost $1.9 million in rent payments as a result.

Roost also said it is owed $2.5 million for additional expenses, including added interest, insurance and security costs to payments for architects, property managers and employees.

Andersen Construction racked up $1.4 million in penalties incurred as a result of the delays, Roost claims. Andersen was liable for a daily penalty of $2,800 for days 31 through 60 after the deadline and $7,200 for every day after that, Roost said.

Roost said Andersen tried to get Roost to concede that bad weather was responsible for the delays before it eventually agreed to pay $690,746 owed to subcontractors. Roost said Andersen was unfairly using the threat of liens placed on the building by the subcontractors as leverage. Roost said its executives to Anderson the developer would pay the subcontractors out of its own pocket rather than submit to Andersen’s demands.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell

The Roost vs. Anderson Construction

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Lawsuit filed over completion of The Fowler apartments.

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