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St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder, Colorado Calls Construction
 Company's Claim Seeking $6.3 million in Damages
 for Unpaid Work Ludicrous
By Greg Avery, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Jun. 10--The construction contractor for the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder filed suit against the hotel's owners seeking $6.3 million in damages for unpaid work.

The 200-room resort hotel, built and owned by St. Julien Partners, opened off the southeast corner of Ninth and Walnut streets in February after almost two years of construction.

G.E. Johnson Construction filed its complaint last week along with a notice it would file a lien on the 2.7-acre property.

"It's just ludicrous," said Bruce Porcelli, head of St. Julien Partners, regarding the lawsuit.

The final 10-percent payment on the contract with G.E. Johnson has not been made because some small elements of the project are not yet complete, he said.

G.E. Johnson seeks an amount equal to nearly a quarter of the hotel's overall price tag -- a little more than $25 million -- which suggests it is trying to inflate its pay on the project, Porcelli said.

Some of G.E. Johnson's claims are typical items one would expect to be hashed out at the end of a large, fixed-price contract, Porcelli said.

"The remaining claims are things we'll fight," he said.

Neither G.E. Johnson's attorneys nor the company's president, James Johnson, returned calls seeking comment.

A lengthy list of subcontractors and others identified as possible defendants in the suit includes the Central Area General Improvement District, a quasi-public agency that maintains the physical amenities in downtown's shopping district. The agency financed the 656-space public parking garage beneath the hotel.

Molly Winter, the head of CAGID, said the agency had a separate contract with GE Johnson.

That contract has been fulfilled and the parking garage is not part of the dispute between St. Julien Partners and the construction company, she said.

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Copyright (c) 2005, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

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