STATEN ISLAND, NY – Triangle Equities, the developer of Lighthouse Point in St. George, is involved in a lawsuit with the project’s bonding company after the former contractor filed for bankruptcy protection, severely delaying completion of the Advance / SILive project. com has learned.
Triangle Equities’ contractor, Hollister Construction Services, “voluntarily sought Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Act in the New Jersey District Bankruptcy Court in 2019,” according to a corporate statement. After that, work on the project, which started in 2016, was stopped.
At the time, Triangle Equities said the company was on the verge of hiring a new contractor to complete the mixed-use project that will require fitting a $ 250 million luxury residential building with retail, office space and a Westin hotel.
While work should resume in June 2020, little seems to have been completed at the site since then.
The lawsuit alleges that the project’s insurance company, Arc Insurance Company, based in Kansas City, Missouri, did not allow the project to be built after Hollister filed for bankruptcy. According to the lawsuit, the Arc Insurance Company had previously signed an agreement that takes responsibility for the construction.
Court records claim there has been no progress on the ground.
Hollister fell significantly behind in building the project in 2019, court documents show. The delays resulted in Hollister filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the lawsuit said.
“This case arises from the pathetic failure and ultimate refusal of the defendant to provide a remunerated performance bond to meet its obligations under three bonds it delivered,” the lawsuit alleges. “In the more than 18 months since the tied contractor filed for bankruptcy protection, the defendant, although the defendant acknowledged the tied contractor’s default and agreed to take over and complete the work under the tied contract, has not received a single one Dollars in contract work on the residential portion of the project and has done virtually no work on the retail and parking areas. “
When the project broke ground in June 2016, it was initially assumed that the first construction phase should be completed in December 2017.
“Since the debtor filed for bankruptcy in September 2019, the surety has not made any meaningful progress on the Lighthouse Point project,” said Elise Szwajkowski, spokeswoman for Lighthouse Point. “To complete the project and deliver this long-awaited and much-needed economic development and new mixed income housing to the North Shore of Staten Island, the project had no choice but to take legal action against the guarantor.”
Arc Insurance did not return a request from Advance / SILive.com for comment. And the Advance / SILive.com could not reach Hollister for comment.
In 2016, Advance / SILive.com reported that the state had approved a $ 15 million loan from New York Works and a $ 1.5 million loan from the REDC Capital Fund to help build Lighthouse Point forward. Additional funding for the project was made possible through the US Treasury Department-approved New Market Tax Credit Program of the Community Development Financial Institution.
The project should also benefit from $ 35.5 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) from Triangle Equities partners – United Funds Advisors (UFA), Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (Goldman Sachs), and CCG Community Partners (CCG) ). .
UFA also provided up to $ 20 million in EB-5 funding, Advance / SILive.com previously reported.
According to the agency’s records, the municipal building ministry (DOB) issued a work order for a partial stop due to “insufficient guard rails” and housekeeping at the Lighthouse Point location in 2019.
According to DOB records, the agency was on site on June 8, 2019 when inspectors partially lifted a previously granted work stop so that contractors can make repairs to the site fence and sidewalk shed and correct violations on the construction site that were found during an inspection, said one Agency spokesman.
The Lighthouse Point project met the state’s “essential building” criteria due to the affordable housing units associated with the project, and the site was allowed to open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, the DOB spokesman said.
A womenswear permit for the new building was extended on May 29, 2020 and, according to agency documents, expired on January 1, 2021. According to the records, the building permits were last extended in January 2021.
A significant part of the 16-story house appears to have been built. In fact, in August 2018, the Advance reported that the residential tower on the North Shore was rising rapidly. And in June, Advance reported that 80% of the work on Phase I of the project had been completed.
LIGHTHOUSE POINT PROJECT SPECIFICATIONS
The Lighthouse Point project requires more than 23,000 square feet of restaurant, office and hospitality space, including a new 145,000 square foot hotel tower with 175 rooms and approximately 15,000 square feet of event space.
20 percent of the residential units are reserved for affordable living space, which is rented through the municipal office for housing, monument preservation and development via a lottery system.
The first phase of the project includes residential and commercial space as well as a public car park with 300 parking spaces.
Businesses coming to Lighthouse Point include: a fresh food market; The Learning Experience, an early learning academy for children 6 weeks to 6 years old; Spaces, a co-working space.
The second phase of the project will include the Westin New York Staten Island and 15,000 square feet of event space, according to Triangle Equities.
This part of the project also includes the rehabilitation of four historic structures on the site. One of the historic buildings will serve as the base for a Westin Hotel, which will house a restaurant.
The complex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the buildings is also a New York City landmark.
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