Gardner Station Apartments - Utah mechanics lien claims

At least 15 different contractors filed mechanics liens claiming a combined $20M in unpaid construction bills following a project at the Gardner Station Apartments in West Jordan, UT. The complex is located roughly 15 miles south of downtown Salt Lake City.

The latest lien claim was filed by the project’s general contractor, Ascent Construction Inc., and was filed on July 7, 2020 with the Salt Lake County clerk’s office. The earliest known lien filing dates back to October 25, 2019. All of the 16 different lien claims were recorded by the Salt Lake County clerk’s office.

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As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune in May of 2020, Utah’s construction activity has dropped 45% as of May 2020 compared to 2019 rates in May due mainly to limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

16 Contractors Claim $20M on Gardner Station Apartments Project

The 15 contractors claimed $20,085,500.84 for work taking place at the Gardner Station Apartments, located at 7711 South 1240 West, West Jordan, UT.

General contractor Ascent Construction Inc. has filed the largest claim against Gardner Station Apartments to date, claiming they are owed $17,179,980.34 in unpaid work, which accounts for 85% of the total funds withheld from contractors on the job.

Because of Gardner Station Apartments alleged failure to compensate Ascent Construction Inc., the general contractor was named in 13 mechanics lien claims related to the same project.

As stated in the lien affidavits, 13 different contractors claim they are owed $2,796,775.15 from Ascent Construction Inc. as of June 2020. This figure owed to the 13 subcontractors represents over 16% of the funds withheld from Ascent Construction Inc.

The largest mechanics lien filed against Ascent Construction Inc. was from UMC Inc., a plumbing and HVAC subcontractor which placed a lien valued at $613,123.53 on May 27, 2020.

On June 2, 2020, Big Rock Electric, LLC filed the second largest mechanics lien against the general contractor, claiming they are owed $577,109.25. On June 19th, fellow subcontractor Consolidated Electrical Distributors Inc. filed an $86.5K mechanics lien against Big Rock Electric, LLC.

As of July 2020, the latest lien to be filed against Ascent Construction Inc. came from Tri-Tex Construction Group, which was affirmed on June 22, 2020. Tritex Construction Group’s lien was also the third-largest claim filed against the general contractor, which is valued at $445,649.98.

Aside from Ascent Construction’s claim against Gardner Station Apartments, construction rental service United Rentals was the only other claimant to file directly against the apartment complex following a lien valued at $22,238.37 on May 29, 2020.

Utah’s Residential Construction Outlook Amid COVID-19

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, nearly 5,500 new apartments were being constructed in Salt Lake City as of March 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak began to stall construction projects globally.

On July 1st, The Salt Lake Tribune also reported that a new $144 million residential and commercial project is scheduled to break ground soon in Salt Lake City, which will include 580 apartments. As stated in the Tribune’s report, there is “an apartment-building surge in Salt Lake City that has added hundreds of living units in the urban core in recent years.”