Sandz Development sues SCB over design of Lincoln Park condos

The developer alleges the architect forced a 6-month delay in the delivery of the Webster Square mixed-use building

Chicago /
Oct.October 24, 2018 03:30 PM

Webster Square

The developer of a year-old residential building in Lincoln Park has sued the architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz, alleging shoddy design work cost the builder nearly $2.5 million to fix.

The lawsuit, filed Monday afternoon by an LLC tied to Sandz Development, claims the design firm bungled the ceiling heights of the Webster Square building’s penthouse floors and forced a six-month delay in the completion of its mechanical and plumbing systems.

In 2016, SCB replaced its lead architect for the 12-story building with “an individual whose lack of familiarity with the project led to an increase in delays and errors,” including “unauthorized changes to the original plans” for the top floors, according to the lawsuit.

The architect’s drawings “omitted critical details” and even skirted compliance with the Americans with Disabilities act, the suit says.

Sandz had hired SBC for architectural services in April 2015, about a year before the building’s first condos were projected to be delivered. Its first condo residents did not move in until summer 2017, according to Crain’s.

The 3-acre site at 540 West Webster Avenue had been home to the 125-year-old Lincoln Park Hospital until the facility closed in 2008. Sandz, led by co-founder Richard Zisook, bought the property a year later and demolished the building, proposing 95 condos and 75 apartments in its place.

Sandz also built the condo high-rises at 530 and 600 North Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville, plus the Dickens Court Townhomes and Eugenie Terrace Townhomes in Lincoln Park, according to its website.

Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed a number of high-profile projects locally, and is the architect for CIM and Golub & Company’s condo redevelopment of the Tribune Tower, as well as CA Ventures’ nearly-completed South Loop apartment tower at 1140 South Wabash Avenue.

A spokesperson for the architecture firm declined to comment on the suit Wednesday.


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