The general contractor on Little Rock’s troubled Main Street Lofts project has been awarded $896,756 in its arbitration case.
AMR Construction LLC of Little Rock received the award for unpaid work on the unfinished three-building, 125,000-SF redevelopment at 510-524 Main St.
“This is vindication for us that we’re not the reason the project cratered,” said Manly Roberts, president of AMR Construction.
Roberts pulled his workers off the job a year ago after the ownership group failed to come up with money to keep the over-budget, behind-schedule project moving.
The Main Street Lofts group is led by its managing partner, Scott Reed of Reed Realty Advisors of Portland, Oregon. Others investors in-clude Wooten Epes of Little Rock and Brian Corbell, a Reed associate.
According to the arbitration findings, AMR’s original contract, allowances and overages totaled $4,575,305. And that wasn’t enough to get the job done.
The 34 upstairs apartments remain unfinished along with ground floor space for Ballet Arkansas and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
Ballet Arkansas joined other Main Street Lofts tenants who picked up the tab to complete construction of their space when Reed failed to deliver. The nonprofit dance troupe is shooting for a grand opening on May 20.
“We’re very, very close,” said Ganelle Blake, executive director of Ballet Arkansas. “But we’re paying people to finish our space.”
AMR Construction filed a lien claim of $1.2 million for unpaid work on the Main Street Lofts project on April 30, 2015. The arbitration award reflects about 74 percent of that claim.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome,” Roberts said of the five-day arbitration hearing. “Now, we have got to collect.”
The March 31 decision also requires Main Street Lofts LLC and Main Street Lofts South LLC to pay AMR’s attorney fees of $57,058 and $20,970 in other costs.
Those other costs are divided between fees and expenses of the American Arbitration Association and compensation and expenses of the arbitrator, John D. Watson.
Two blocks north, AMR Construction also holds a lien claim of $175,900 for unpaid work on Reed’s still unfinished K Lofts project at 315 Main St. The dispute is headed for arbitration as well.
According to AMR, the claim represents the outstanding balance on a revised contract and additional costs totaling nearly $2.2 million.
Trumpeted by Reed in 2010, the 42,000-SF historic redevelopment languishes with its 32 apartments on the upper floors vacant and in a state of near completion.