Subcontractor claims Plaza Hotel owes $3.7 million

By Adam Pincus | August 27, 2008 02:56PM

A Long Island contractor claims in a lawsuit that the Plaza Hotel developers, Tishman Construction and others failed to pay $3.71 million for work done at the newly-restored building.

S.W. Sims, a West Babylon heating and air conditioning firm, filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court on August 22.

The Plaza Hotel, at 768 Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, reopened this spring after a $400 million renovation that converted the 100-year old hotel into a hotel-condominium. Sims was a subcontractor in that project.

The suit names Tishman Construction, Plaza Residential Owner LP and 10 other defendants, as well as five unnamed defendants. Several of the defendants are individual owners of residential apartments in the building, including the former CEO of Bear Stearns, James Cayne.

Elad Properties, the developer of the Plaza Hotel, controls Plaza Residential Owner LP. Tishman Construction was the construction manager for the project.

Victor Sigoura, vice president of development for Elad Properties, said in a statement Sims had not adhered to the agreement it signed.

“We have contracts with F.W. Sims and yet, instead of abiding by the terms of those contracts, F.W. Sims has improperly walked off the job and brought their outlandish claims in court,” he said. “F.W. Sims is in breach of their agreements with us and we intend to hold them liable for all damages arising from their baseless conduct. We are confident that we will ultimately prevail.”

Sims said it had agreed to a main contract for a lump sum fee with the contractors and developers, but that it was asked to perform additional work leading to additional expenses.

“Repeated requests for changes to Sims’ work and/or … maladministration of the main contract,” disrupted their work, the filing said.

Sims attorney Joseph Asselta said the company still had some work he described as minor to complete, but that it was waiting for information from the developer.

An official with Tishman declined to comment.