High profile mechanics liens pop up from time to time. When they do, it’s nearly impossible not to write about them. As you may recall, Beyonce and Jay-Z recently faced a lien and so did the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
Anyway, this particular lien is interesting. Two years ago, a contractor filed a $50M lien against Intel while working on the most technologically advanced manufacturing plant in the world. It has now been removed. Mystery is another word we don’t normally associate with liens, but this lien was described as “mysterious” due to the unknown nature of the work for which the lien was filed and the fact that it seemed to linger there forever. First, let’s talk about the project that led to the lien…
This lien also reminds us of another technologically-advanced project that faced massive liens: Nuclear Projects Face Mechanics Liens.
$50M Lien Against Intel Is Dropped
Intel’s D1X plant is shrouded in mystery. No one is really sure how much it cost, though the expectation is several billion. The largest construction crane in the world (it costs $5M to rent and can move over 2,600 tons) was brought in to help with the project, but the exact work performed with the behemoth is also unclear. Let’s put it this way – the project is so large that it has it’s own water recycling plant which is projected to save as much as 1 billion gallons of water per year.
But what will D1X do once complete? Over 2 million square feet of factory space and 1.4 million square feet of office space were constructed to make D1x one of the most advanced nano chip factories in the world (and one of the biggest, to boot). The world’s most advanced chips are manufactured there, and apparently it’s the site where Intel will push toward universal quantum computing. I don’t have much of a grasp on what exactly “quantum computing” is, but you can learn about it from this Nature article, this one from Scientific American, or good ol’ Wikipedia.
Also, here’s a video of the inside of D1X. While it does not provide any intel on what happens there, the visuals are fascinating.
Why So Mysterious?
So why is the lien so mysterious? Mostly because the entire project has been shrouded in secrecy. Few details on the project have been released, and those that do make it to the public eye often provide just enough information to draw intrigue.
The filing appears to be mysterious, in part, due to the facts that the lien has existed for around 2 years and that no description of labor was given by the lienor (a GC called Hoffman). Typically, liens must be enforced in a period much shorter than 2 years and a description of labor is usually required. While these details may raise suspicion in other states, it appears Hoffman’s lien was done by the book.
In Oregon, a lien claim must contain:
(a) A true statement of demand, after deducting all just credits and offsets;
(b) The name of the owner, or reputed owner, if known;
(c) The name of the person by whom the claimant was employed or to whom the claimant furnished the materials or rented the equipment or by whom contributions are owed; and
(d) A description of the property to be charged with the lien sufficient for identification, including the address if known.”
As you’ll notice, no description of work is required. Further, Oregon is one of the few states where mechanics lien deadlines may be extended. Extensions for enforcing a lien may be made pursuant to contract, but extensions may not exceed 2 years from the time the lien is filed. Hey! “2 years” sounds familiar…