Chadwick builder ready to resume

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— The developer of a six-story luxury condominium tower across the street from the Steamboat gondola said he expects construction to resume within 60 days. In the meantime, two subcontractors have filed liens against Richard Friedman's Chadwick project.

Friedman expects to finalize interim financing Monday that will allow him to satisfy the liens and pay other contractors who are owed money, he said.

"Everyone in the town has done a good job, we'd like to continue with them," Friedman said.

He said the jumps in construction costs and resulting need to renegotiated loans interrupted the flow of money for the project.

Native Excavating of Steamboat Springs and Dalco Industries, a Front Range concrete contractor, have filed liens against the project.

Dalco's lien for $31,427 was filed against Steamboat Ventures Ltd., doing business as Chadwick at Steamboat Springs Ltd.

Native Excavating's lien of $36,185 was filed against Steamboat Ventures, LLC and Richard Friedman.

Dramatic increases in the projected costs of the second phase of the project caused Friedman to halt construction and begin to renegotiate with general contractor Drahota Construction and with construction lenders, he said. Now, he's optimistic he's close to successfully concluding those steps, he said.

"We've been fairly successful, Friedman said. "We've got it now to where we think it's going to be OK."

Drahota principal Terry Drahota was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

The Chadwick will comprise 23 residential condominiums, and Friedman said he has firm contracts on all of them. The advertised prices on the condos ranged between $600,000 and $1.2 million.

Friedman said the construction delays have not jeopardized the contracts.

Although reservations for the units were taken last summer and fall, the contracts were signed in February and March, Friedman said. They allow him 24 months to deliver the completed units. He thinks the project can be finished within 12 to 14 months of resuming construction.

Friedman said abrupt price increases in building materials are partly to blame for the interruption in construction on The Chadwick. He said the contract with Drahota was structured in two separate agreements. The first was a "stipulated sum foundation contract" and the second was a "stipulated sum core shell and finish contract (Phase II)."

Drahota finished the foundation in late January, but revised figures for Phase II were substantially higher than anticipated, Friedman said. With his sales contracts locked in, the price no longer fit his business model, the developer said. And his construction lender was concerned by the disparity between the original estimate and the updated estimate.

"Due, notwithstanding other things, to the rising cost in steel and lumber, the Phase II contract came in substantially higher than expected," Friedman wrote. "We therefore decided to put a hold on construction of Phase II to allow us the opportunity to value engineer the Phase II construction and renegotiate our contract with Drahota. In addition, due to the ongoing price increases we have had to renegotiate (on a continuous basis) our loan with our construction lenders."

When the Chadwick broke ground in August, the construction timetable called for the residential units to be available for occupancy in early 2005. In addition, there will be a 6,000-square-foot commercial condo on the ground floor that will house Market on the Mountain. Market owners Bill and Kay Stuart purchased the Chadwick site from American Skiing Co. and leveraged it into ownership of the new commercial condo.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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