Developers of Long Beach’s tallest tower sued by contractor

Build Group Construction and Shoreline Development never paid final bill for work, Tristan Engineering alleges

West Ocean Towers (Credit: Ledcor Group)
West Ocean Towers (Credit: Ledcor Group)

Developers for Long Beach’s soon-to-be tallest building are involved in a dust-up with the contractor that carved out a five-level underground garage for the Shoreline Gateway project.

Tristan Engineering Corp. claimed in a Los Angeles County lawsuit filed this week that the developers on the project shorted the Bloomington, California-based firm by $1.4 million in unpaid bills.

“It’s not uncommon in construction to incur extra costs, and the money doesn’t flow back,” said Scott Holbrook Jr., a lawyer representing Tristan.

Tristan began the work several years ago when it assembled a patchwork-quilt of conveyor belts to haul tons of dirt cut out of the ground for two mixed-use towers on a 1.5 acre-lot at Alamito Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.

The 17-story, $70 million West Tower, better known as the Current, was completed in 2016 with 223 apartments and 6,500-square-feet of retail space.

The Shoreline Gateway, which is a companion to the Current, will share a 10,000-square-foot plaza and eclipse the Long Beach World Trade Center as the city’s tallest building when it opens in 2021.

Construction began last fall on the 35-story, 417-foot tall Shoreline Gateway, which will boast 315 luxury apartments and nearly 6,500 square feet of retail space.

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The subterranean parking garage handles 450 parked cars.

The final cost to dig the hole for the towers was $4.4 million, but developers Build Group Construction Co. Inc. in downtown L.A. and Shoreline Development in Irvine, paid Tristan nearly $1.5 million less the original contract for $2.9 million, the contractor claims.

Shoreline Development is a partnership between L.A.-based AndersonPacific LLC, Vancouver-based Ledcor Properties Inc., plus equity partners Winnipeg-based Qualico Developments Inc. and Lantower Residential, a unit of Toronto-based H&R Real Estate Investment Trust.

Tristan claims in its lawsuit against Build Group and Shoreline Development that the extra $1.5 million in work was agreed upon by all of the parties involved.

Representatives for the developers did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The Shoreline Gateway may not hold the distinction as the tallest building in Long Beach for long. Last year, Long Beach announced plans to build a mixed-use tower with 700 residential units that will reach 40-43 stories.