5 biggest liens in Los Angeles County, July 2019

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When a contractor invests their own money into someone else’s construction project and doesn’t get paid, it can be devastating. Sometimes the amounts are staggering, as we saw in Los Angeles county for several months over the summer. Back in June, a contractor invested $30M into a project without receiving payment, launching the biggest lien in LA that month. In July, the top lien is less than ⅓ that…but still comes in at a knee-buckling $9.9M.

While the numbers weren’t as far into the stratosphere like they were a few months ago, Los Angeles data for the month of July still includes five large million-dollar lien cases. Some familiar companies have trickled over to July’s data set as well, with Lendlease filing a claim this month after having several multi-million-dollar liens filed against them in June and May. Also, Oceanwide Plaza has found itself back on this list of top lien cases for Los Angeles County. Their payment dilemmas have stretched back multiple months now, wreaking havoc on many of the contractors who have worked on their project in downtown Los Angeles.

1. $9.9 million lien against ETCO Homes, Inc in Pacific Palisades

Lien Amount: $9.9 million
Claimant: Completely Concrete Structures, Inc.
Hiring Party: ETCO Homes, Inc
Property Address of Lien: 17337 Tramonto Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA
Property Owner: Tramonto Land Holding, LLC

Completely Concrete Structures (CCS), based out of Los Angeles, filed this lien for $9.9 million against ETCO Homes, Inc. CCS is a full service structural concrete contractor (no shock there!), having completed over $300 million worth of concrete work. CCS works on various project types including commercial, residential, parking structures, and seismic retrofits.

ETCO Homes has been in business for nearly 30 years while creating luxury homes in Los Angeles County. ETCO Homes hired Completely Concrete Structures to build their latest apartment complex.

2. $7.8 million lien against The Liddel in LA

Lien Amount: $7.8 million
Claimant: Lendlease
Hiring Party: The Liddel
Property Address of Lien: 10777 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Property Owner: The Liddel

Coming in at number two on our list is Lendlease Construction, which filed a lien of $7,841,264 against The Liddel in July. Lendlease is a multinational construction, property, and infrastructure company. Lendlease managed the entire construction process of The Lidell project, which is a condominium project in Los Angeles. The building houses 56-units ranging from luxury condos to penthouses. Condo prices start at $900,000 and range up to $4,000,000.

Most of Lendlease’s jobs are in California, Illinois, and New York. Of their 76 jobs in the last 12 months, 59 were commercial. They were the general contractor on 47 projects and the subcontractor on 14 projects.

Not-so-fun fact: Lendlease is on this list twice, once as the claimant, and once as the hiring party (see #3).

3. $4.7 million lien against Lendlease in LA

Lien Amount: $4.7 million
Claimant: Martin Bros.
Hiring Party: Lendlease
Property Address of Lien: 1101 Flower St, Los Angeles, CA
Property Owner: Oceanwide Plaza

The 3rd largest lien of the month finds Martin Bros. filing a $4,792,181 lien against Lendlease on the Oceanwide Plaza project. Martin Bros. is a drywall contractor located in Carson, CA, established in 1932. The company has partnered up with some of the world’s most recognizable businesses in Disney and Google.

The Oceanwide Plaza is no stranger to this list, having caused headaches for contractors for months now. As of May, work had been stalled on the jobsite for four months because Oceanwide Holdings, the lead developer of the project, needed to “restructure its capital.” The entire project includes three towers over a large podium. It is the first project in the United States for Beijing-based Oceanwide Holdings, and it doesn’t appear to be going too well. The North tower will become a mixture of luxury hotels and condominiums. Hyatt’s Park Hyatt will brand the tower. The other two towers will both be 42 stories high and will include luxury condominiums, for a total of 504 residences at the Oceanwide Plaza location.

4. $4.4 million lien against 442 Residences in Long Beach

Lien Amount: $4.4 million
Claimant: Shangri-La Construction LP
Hiring Party: 442 Residences
Property Address of Lien: 444 West Ocean Blvd Suite 650, Long Beach, CA
Property Owner: 442 Residences

Shangri-La Construction, an LA-based general contractor, filed the fourth largest lien in July for Los Angeles County. The company focuses on entitlements, preconstruction, construction, sustainability and virtual building. Shangri-La Construction provided general contracting services to the 442 Residences jobsite.

442 Residences is a luxury condominium located in Long Beach, CA. This condominium project totals 131,720 square feet throughout one structure with seven levels above grade, including podium and one level below grade. The building includes a total of 94 apartments. With two levels of connected parking, there was an added 56,697 square feet of work laid out for Shangri-La Construction. In its entirety, the condominium complex a variety of floorplans with one and two bedroom layouts.

5. $2.8 million lien on Siera Pacific Constructors in LA

Lien Amount: $2.8 million
Claimant: Moffa Electric Llc
Hiring Party: Sierra Pacific Constructors
Property Address of Lien: 1017/1025 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Property Owner: North Sycamore Llc

Moffa Electric filed a lien of $2,849,944.96, the fifth largest of the month. Sierra Pacific Constructors, the hiring party. According to their Contractor Profile, Sierra Pacific is actually considered a low payment risk. That just goes to show that payment problems can strike on any construction project, no matter how experienced or reliable the GC may be.

Moffa is located in LA and services a variety of project types, including design-build, power distribution, backup generators, lighting and control systems, and more. Moffa filed their lien after conducting electrical installation of power and lighting for North Sycamore LLC.

Some of Moffa’s notable projects over the years took place at UCLA Medical Offices in Santa Monica, CA and at the ABC/Disney Screening Room in Burbank, CA.

Sierra Pacific Constructors, a California based general contractor, works on about 15 projects per year in California. Sierra Pacific has been in business for over 30 years and has worked on over 3,100 projects in LA alone. The company boasts their annual volume exceeding $120M, with their job bonding capacity exceeding $50M.

LA liens approach $70m in July

If you ever feel like payment isn’t a problem in construction, consider this. Overall in July, 357 different companies filed 531 liens for a total of $66.8 million. That means each company averaged nearly $2 million in unpaid bills! Of course, that doesn’t mean that every company was missing a million-dollar payment. While the largest reached nearly $10 million, the smallest lien filed was for just $225. There’s a wide, wide range of construction project values out there, folks. If you think this was a crazy month, the total is actually down significantly from previous months. In June, LA liens totaled nearly $109m.

Once again, Oceanwide Plaza and Lendlease found their way onto the largest liens list for Los Angeles County. Back in May, Oceanwide Plaza was the cause of three of the top five liens. Oceanwide Plaza is one of the largest ongoing projects in LA to date. So far, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for many contractors and subs on the project. This mixed-use complex consists of three towers directly across from the Staples Center in downtown LA. Construction started in 2015 and is slated to open in 2020.

Before you start your next project, do your due diligence. Visit our contractor search page to see the risk profile and recent payment history of the contractors in your area.