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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Rebar contractor sues over alleged unpaid work at future Wayfarer Hotel in DTLA

Steel company claims it's owed $203k, along with damages for work performed at hotel
By Dennis Lynch |
Research by Haru Coryne
January 03, 2019 04:00PM

Pacific Hotels CEO Matt Marquis and the soon-to-be Wayfarer Hotel in DTLA (Credit: Google Maps)

A steel subcontractor is suing its employers over unpaid work on the soon-to-open Wayfarer Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Kretzschmar Steel claimed in Los Angeles County Superior Court that it was hired in late 2017 to supply rebar for a renovation to the hotel. The work included updating common spaces, including a rooftop area, lobby-level bar and lounge, and a seismic retrofit.

The suit names contractors Shangri-La Construction and Darmont Construction, as well as lender East West Bank and the entity through which Irvine-based Pacifica Hotels owns the Wayfarer.

Representatives for Shangri-La and Pacifica Hotels could not be reached for comment. Attorneys for Kretzschmar also could not be reached.

The subcontractor, based in Colton, claims that it’s owed around $203,000, including $17,500 for nearly 39,900 pounds of rebar. Kretzschmar claimed a Mechanic’s Lien against the property in September, a typical means of recourse for contractors that claim they are owed money.

Kretzschmar seeks repayment of the $203,000 along with interest, plus two percent interest accrued on the late payment via state law, legal fees, and damages.

As of September, the 95-year-old hotel formerly known as the Ritz Milner Hotel was on track to reopen early this year. The renovation was designed by Rockefeller Partners Architects. Renovation work includes a restoration of the façade and a division of 180 existing rooms into 156 rooms that are a mix of private and shared rooms.

Hotel conversions and renovations have become popular in Downtown L.A., where there are dozens of 20th century lodges that fell into disrepair after the 1950s. Golden Hill Properties purchased the once-regal Barclay Hotel in May for $21 million, likely with plans to renovate and rebrand it. Some of DTLA’s office buildings are also getting the hotel treatment — British developer Ennismore wrapped up façade work on the future Huxton hotel, the former office headquarters of the Los Angeles Railway, in July.