The Real Deal New York

Gotta get paid: Navillus claims general contractor owes $1.3M on Witkoff’s Times Square project

Company is making its way through bankruptcy
By Kathryn Brenzel | January 03, 2018 07:00AM

Donal O’Sullivan and a rendering of 701 Seventh Avenue (Credit:

As Navillus makes its way through bankruptcy, the concrete company is going after one of its general contractors for allegedly stiffing its workers on one of the biggest construction projects in Times Square.

The subcontractor, which filed for a Chapter 11 petition in November, accuses CNY Construction of issuing bad checks for its work at the Witkoff Group’s 701 Seventh Avenue, according to a complaint filed in a Manhattan bankruptcy court. Navillus was hired by CNY, the project’s general contractor, for $28.9 million-worth of concrete work on the 452-key hotel and retail project in April 2014.

The company, led by Donal O’Sullivan, requested a payment of just over $584,000 in August for work performed in July. CNY sent a check, but it bounced, according to Navillus’ complaint. CNY assured Navillus the check would be reissued once funds became available, according to the complaint.

Navillus requested another $700,000 for work done in August and September, but didn’t receive it, according to the complaint. In all, Navillus says CNY owes about $1.3 million.

Representatives for CNY noted that they received the complaint and were reviewing it. Navillus declined to comment, citing that the litigation was still pending.

The bankruptcy doesn’t seem to have impacted Navillus’ contract on this project, but it’s affected at least two of the company’s biggest jobs. Bloomberg reported that Navillus lost its contracts on SL Green’s One Vanderbilt and Brookfield Property Partners’ Manhattan West. The general contractor on both projects, AECOM Tishman, instructed Navillus to continue working on the office towers. A representative for Navillus said on Wednesday that hundreds of workers are currently on both jobs and that work is ahead of schedule.

Navillus filed for bankruptcy after a Manhattan Federal Court hit the firm with a $76 million judgment in a lawsuit filed by a group of unions. The lawsuit accused the company of sidestepping agreements to use union labor on its projects through a company owned by O’Sullivan’s brother, Kevin. Navillus is appealing the judgment.

In the meantime, Navillus insists that it’s “business as usual” at the company.