As contractors rush to build residential projects in Dallas County, many have run into a brick wall of non-payment. And because Texas has some of the most complex laws governing mechanics lien filings in the US, it’s important for contractors to protect their lien rights on every project.
Lien filings in and around Dallas for the month of July highlight massive residential construction projects, such as assisted living facilities and luxury apartments. While none of the top liens in the month were filed on homesteads, it’s important for contractors to understand how Texas treats residential and owner-occupied residential construction projects differently.
Several of the cases listed below involve luxury apartments or condominiums. As noted from these large liens in Dallas County, condominium projects can get messy, and contractors could end up filing multiple liens during condominium construction. While the condo might have several units in it, the area is still considered one building. Thus, if the condo had up to 200 units, you generally can’t consider it a single structure and a single property. Also, when filing liens against apartment complexes, such as the what’s occurring in Dallas County of late, it’s important for a contractor to know ahead of time that apartment projects are typically not residential projects.
Table of Contents
1. $1.5 million lien against Hill & Wilkinson in Dallas
Lien Amount: $1.5 million
Claimant: Polk Mechanical Company
Hiring Party: Hill & Wilkinson
Property Address of Lien: 4847 W Lawther Dr #100, Dallas, TX
Property Owner: CC Young Memorial Home
Coming in at number one is a lien filed against Hill & Wilkinson, a contractor with medium payment risk according to recent data. Polk Mechanical Company, with locations in Dallas and Houston, filed the lien. Polk Mechanical is a construction company that provides a variety of commercial and industrial services, including plumbing, exhaust and HVAC system installation, refrigeration, and plenty more. Hill & Wilkinson hired Polk to provide HVAC and plumbing services at CC Young Memorial Home, an assisted living facility in Dallas, TX.
Engineering News-Record named Polk Mechanical Company to their top 600 specialty contractors list at No. 209 in 2018. According to a Patch.com article from October of 2019, CC Young Memorial Home was ranked the 16th best nursing home based on a study conducted by U.S. News & World Report.
Polk Mechanical Company worked on the new Vista Tower located at CC Young Memorial Home, which include apartment complexes with views of East Dallas and White Rock Lake. The assisted living complex also includes a new therapy and aquatics center.
2. $1m lien against Preston Hollow Place Property Owner, LP in Dallas
Lien Amount: $1 million
Claimant: VCC, LLC
Hiring Party: Preston Hollow Place Property Owner, LP
Property Address of Lien: 8600 Preston Road, Dallas, TX
Property Owner: Preston Hollow Place Property Owner, LP
VCC, LC filed the second largest lien of the month against Preston Hollow Place Property Owner, LP, a company with headquarters in Delaware. According to lien documents, VCC provided all necessary labor and materials and improvements at The Laurel Preston Hollow Apartments, a boutique luxury apartment building in Dallas. The building houses 159 apartments and range in sizes up to 2,310 square feet. These high-rolling condos are located in the Preston Hollow neighborhood, one of Dallas’s older, more affluent, high end neighborhoods.
VVC has several locations across the United States, from Arizona to Florida, and covers pre-construction services, general contracting, construction management, construction scheduling and budgeting.
3. $955k lien against Bayside Land Partners in Rowlett
Lien Amount: $955k
Claimant: A&A Landscape and Irrigation, L.P
Hiring Party: Bayside Land Partners
Property Address of Lien: 8400 Sunset Blvd, Rowlett, TX
Property Owner: Bayside Land Partners
After completing work in May of 2019, A&A Landscape and Irrigation filed a lien of $954,893.78 for work they provided at the Towers at Bayside Apartments in Rowlett, TX. As their name suggests, the Midland-based A&A Landscape and Irrigation provides a variety of landscaping services, including lawn construction & maintenance, landscape lighting, water features, and more. A&A filed their lien against Bayside Land Partners after providing irrigation piping, planters, sleeves, valves, watering heads, street sign piers, and concrete sidewalks on the project.
The Towers at Bayside Apartments are located about 20 miles northeast of downtown Dallas in Rowlett. These luxury apartments have a variety of floor plans, ranging from one bedroom to four. The apartments offer water-front views of Lake Ray Hubbard, as the entire Bayside development stretches 262-acres. Bayside Land Partners hasn’t just been a headache for A&A Landscaping and Irrigation. According to recent news, the contractors also caused trouble with the city of Rowlett. The article states that along with the construction of the Towers at Bayside Apartments, Bayside Land Partners also promised to build a luxurious lagoon, show fountain and trolley features. The city of Rowlett sued Bayside Land Partners and instead teamed up with Sapphire Bay Land Development in August to complete the project.
4. $798k lien against Fairmount/Knight Partners, LTD in Dallas
Lien Amount: $798k
Claimant: Lee Lewis Construction, INC
Hiring Party: Fairmount/Knight Partners, LTD
Property Address of Lien: 2525 Knight Street, Suite 450, Dallas, TX
Property Owner: Fairmount/Knight Partners, LTD
Lee Lewis Construction was hired by Fairmount/Knight Partners as the General Contractor on construction of a new office building for the Thompson family’s foundation in Dallas. The Thompson family are founders of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.
Lee Lewis Construction is no stranger to mechanics lien filings, with data showing 5 liens filed and 3 lien threats against them in the last 12 months. Contractors working with Lee Lewis Construction experience payment issues on 35% of jobs.
Of course, payment problems aren’t always the fault of the GC on a project. Because payments trickle down from the owner through the general contractor, the fault often lies with parties higher up the chain. Unfortunately, the GC ends up carrying much of the blame.
As a reviewer on Lee Lewis Construction’s Contractor Profile states:
“We are owed a lot on this project and unfortunately the sub that hired us has caused us to lien this project for none payment. I think they would have be a great GC to work directly for, but unfortunately the middle man caused this project a lot of grief.”
But in this case, it’s Fairmount/Knight Partners that’s at fault for non-payment. The real estate company operates in Texas under the name Castle Peak Homes, which offers a large selection of homes across the Dallas / Fort Worth area for families, professionals, and students alike.
5. $659k lien against Parsons USA, LLC in Garland
Lien Amount: $659k
Claimant: Turnkey Construction Company
Hiring Party: Pasons USA, LLC
Property Address of Lien: 3036 Broadway Blvd, Garland, TX
Property Owner: Pasons USA, LLC
Turnkey Construction Company filed the fifth largest lien of the month against Pasons USA. They filed the lien for the amount of $659,902.33. In this lien case, Turnkey Construction provided their general contracting services on the Happy’s Market gas station and convenience store in Garland. Turnkey furnished site work for utilities, concrete, structural steel, carpentry, drywall/framing, flooring, plumbing, doors and windows, fire protection, and electrical work.
Turnkey, with offices in Dallas and Denver, CO, provides commercial construction, general contracting, design-build, construction management, and more. The company has a vast portfolio of commercial construction projects, such as work done at major convenience stores (7-Eleven, RaceTrac, Mobil), restaurants (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Starbucks) and retail shopping centers.
The five largest lien filings in Dallas County total nearly $4.8M
Overall for the month of July in Dallas County, 176 different companies filed 221 liens for a total of $12,584,987.76. The largest lien was filed for $1.5 million, while the smallest was for $185. That should be a reminder that no matter how small the amount, non-payment hurts contractors.
Unfortunately, late or non-payments are all-too-common in the construction industry. Construction projects in Texas are no exception. So before you start a construction project in Texas, brush up on our guide to Texas Monthly Notices, and read about the state requirements for lien waivers.
While residential and office construction in Texas has boomed over the last several years, analysts are expecting it to cool into 2020. As bidding competition heats up, it will be as important as ever for contractors to protect their right to payment. Before bidding on a project, use Levelset’s Contractor Profiles to do some background research. Take a closer look at the property owner and/or GC on the project. If the risk of non-payment is too high, invest your time and energy in a project where the payday isn’t in question.