Less commercial construction, more Charlotte subcontractors lose out

September 16, 2009 

As more commercial construction projects stall, an increasing number of subcontractors are finding they're not getting paid for their work.

Liens filed against general contractors and developers are on the rise in North Carolina and Mecklenburg County. And the numbers are expected to grow since work shut down unexpectedly on The Vue in uptown. About 500 construction workers had been laboring on the 50-story luxury condo tower until two weeks ago, when work stopped six floors shy of being finished.

After staying flat for much of the mid-2000s, the number of liens filed in Mecklenburg County spiked by about 70 percent in the last two years to 10,121 for the fiscal year ended June 30, government figures show. Real estate attorneys predict the number of filings will continue to rise as the commercial development sector wheezes.

Subcontractors are having a “horrendous” time finding work and, increasingly, being paid for work, said Linda Burkett, executive director with the American Subcontractors Association of the Carolinas. She said some of her group's 300 members have closed shop recently because they ran out of cash.

Liens filed against general contractors and developers are on the rise in North Carolina and Mecklenburg County. And the numbers are expected to grow since work shut down unexpectedly on The Vue in uptown. About 500 construction workers had been laboring on the 50-story luxury condo tower until two weeks ago, when work stopped six floors shy of being finished.

After staying flat for much of the mid-2000s, the number of liens filed in Mecklenburg County spiked by about 70 percent in the last two years to 10,121 for the fiscal year ended June 30, government figures show. Real estate attorneys predict the number of filings will continue to rise as the commercial development sector wheezes.

Subcontractors are having a “horrendous” time finding work and, increasingly, being paid for work, said Linda Burkett, executive director with the American Subcontractors Association of the Carolinas. She said some of her group's 300 members have closed shop recently because they ran out of cash.

Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com

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