Work on constructing the $80 million International Trade Centre in north Richmond has been halted amid a fiery financial wrangle and a defamation lawsuit between the project’s two main contractors.
More than two weeks ago, the two tower cranes above the massive project near Bridgeport and No. 3 roads fell silent and haven’t moved since.
At the root of the controversy lies a major fall-out between the principal contractor, Scott Construction, and the forming company it hired last year to build the concrete structure for the 14-storey luxury hotel part of the project, which includes an already-built 12-storey office tower.
By March 7, only seven of the 14 floors were completed when the “forming” company walked out on the job, claiming it hadn’t been paid by Scott since Dec. 31 last year.
Just a day later, on March 8, Scott, according to a defamation lawsuit filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court, terminated the contract with the forming company.
The forming company, which claims it’s owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, since filed a “Claim of Builders Lien” (CBL) with the Land and Titles Office, effectively hindering the financing of the project.
And earlier this week, police had to be called to the site when the owner and employees of the forming company turned up to take away building materials they claim belonged to them.