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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Oceanwide Plaza contractors owed tens of millions for unpaid work

Financing issues have stalled the $1B project in Downtown LA
February 07, 2019 10:00AM

Oceanwide Holdings CEO Thomas Feng and Oceanwide Plaza

Oceanwide Plaza is flooded with debts.

Contractors claim that the developer of the $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles owes them more than $62.5 million for unpaid work.

Work ground to a halt on the three-tower project in late January over what developer Oceanwide Holdings said was a recapitalization of the project. The China-based firm said work would resume by mid-February, according to Curbed.

The claims of unpaid work, made via mechanic’s liens, were made in the last six months and some could have been paid by now. But the largest, a $52.8 million claim by Webcor Construction, remains unpaid.

Mechanic’s liens are legal claims placed against a property as compensation for unpaid work and are most commonly used by contractors and material suppliers to recoup what they claim is money owed to them.

The plans for Oceanwide Plaza include two 40-story towers, a 49-story tower, and a 150,000-square-foot open air mall. The Mark Company has been selling condominium units there since 2017.

The project is directly across from the Staples Center and topped out in April. It is among the largest real estate projects under development in the L.A. area.

The project is also of interest to federal investigators probing alleged corruption at L.A. City Hall. Oceanwide Plaza is named in a search warrant that became public in January that sought evidence of kickbacks, extortion, conspiracy, and other crimes involving some of City Hall’s most powerful land use officials and prominent developers. [Curbed] — Dennis Lynch