$800,000 in unresolved claims filed against Museum Tower

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 11:24 PM

The 42-story Museum Tower at the center of a glare controversy with the Nasher Sculpture Center has another nagging issue.

County records show contractors have placed liens on the tower for about $800,000 in alleged unpaid bills. One of the claimants filed a lawsuit against the building and the general contractor two days ago.

Museum Tower officials say this is not their fault, or their fight. They say it's nothing more than a common disagreement in the construction business.

A glass architecture firm called Custom Components Company first filed a lien in April against the Museum Tower, saying it was owed $237,000 by the general contractor Austin Building Company. Now, eight months later, Custom Components said it still hasn't been paid and has filed suit against Austin.

"This is an ongoing dispute between Austin Building Company and its subcontractor, Custom Components Company,” said Austin Industries spokesman Andy Rittler. “A bond was filed to protect the owner of the project in the event of suit to foreclose the lien. Austin vigorously contests this claim, and is working to resolve this issue."

But that only accounts for a portion of the nearly $800,000 in mechanics liens filed against the Museum Tower project. That includes a $300,000 claim filed by Architectural Systems Inc. of Missouri. The unpaid bill is the result of the bankruptcy case involving a larger glass company, Trainor Glass Company, which was working on the tower project.

Attempts to reach other lien holders was unsuccessful Thursday.

The Museum Tower is owned by the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund and is still dealing with other, more high-profile issues. Most notable of those are unresolved complaints from the Nasher Center about the reflective glare from the tower glass, as well as reports that most of the tower's 100 units remain unsold.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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