Debt, Liens & Lawsuits Entangle Downtown Little Rock Developer

by George Waldon  on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 12:00 am  

He assembled a roster of residential parcels forfeited to the state for unpaid property taxes. The buys spread across neighborhoods south of Interstate 630 in Little Rock ranged from $1,000 to $5,050 between January 2009 and August 2010.

Kaufman Lumber Co. filed a lawsuit on Dec. 21 in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Reed and his brother Geoffrey to collect $21,778.

Scott Reed described the bone of contention as a double-billing mistake. According to the complaint, the Reeds personally guaranteed payment in a credit agreement with Kaufman.

The money is owed for building materials linked with six residential projects by Jeff Reed Construction LLC, formed in 2009. The Arkansas Secretary of State lists the status of the limited liability company as revoked.

According to the Secretary of State: "Corporations that are in a revoked status endanger their corporate protections and are barred from many corporate activities. Revocation occurs for failure to comply with all franchise tax obligations. The most common reason is the failure to pay its annual franchise tax."

Jeff Reed Construction filed a $34,765 lien claim on an eight-unit apartment project at 2017-2019 W. 17th St. The property is owned by Urban Frontier LLC, led by Paul Dodds.

"You have got to pay for the work when it gets done," Scott Reed said. "Paul doesn't believe the contract is valid. But he wrote the contract, and he's a Harvard-trained attorney."

Urban Frontier filed a lawsuit on Dec. 21 to have the lien declared invalid and the construction contract declared unenforceable.

The complaint alleges the lien notification process wasn't done properly and that the scope of the project required that Jeff Reed Construction have a commercial contractor's license, which it didn't.

The answer to the complaint denies both that the lien notification was done improperly and that a commercial contractor's license was necessary.

According to the construction company's response, work was halted on the project in August after Dodds terminated the contract and changed the locks on the project.

Dodds referred questions about the lawsuit to his attorney, Kevin Keech.

"We're not going to have a comment about the ongoing litigation, and we'll let the pleadings speak for themselves," Keech said. "I don't know if it's in my client's best interest to talk about the underlying issues of this case."



Please read our comments policy before commenting.

Latest Arkansas Business Poll

Do you approve of the president taking executive action on immigration?