Mary Patrick: Construction Nightmare 2 (5 Months)

Construction Phase 2 – January, 2007 – June, 2007

  • Chris Oakey, of CKO construction, met with the Patricks on January 23, 2007 and had quickly done a new proposal to include all of the work that remained to be done on the project, amounting to nearly an additional $90,000. He spoke with MCSI and had his contract with them cancelled. He communicated as needed with Superior Canopy and Gay and Neel. The proposal submitted by CKO was much higher than the amount the Patricks originally contracted for with MCSI. It seemed that MCSI was underbidding jobs to get new business, and then using the upfront money from those jobs to pay past due bills.
  • Gay and Neel, the engineers who did the site plan, assisted with making corrections and changes to the drawings that were needed for the county.
  • Ron Clements, of Chesterfield County, met with the Patricks to point out what needed to be done to get their permits granted.
  • Kim Scarbrough, Lou Manganiello, and Morg Morgan, of Cuppy’s Corporate worked to help keep the Patricks project going. They were trying to work with them to determine how to fund the additional costs of the new site work proposal.
  • Lou Manganiello indicated that it might be a problem if Ernie Craig did not get paid by MCSI that he may go to his attorney and put a lien on the property.
  • As of Friday, January 26, Ernie Craig said that he would be consulting his attorney about what to do next.
  • The Patricks advised their landlord’s property manager not to disperse any more funds to MCSI if they were asked for money towards the remaining pad ready work. The Patricks were preparing to share all of this information with them and to provide a certificate of insurance for CKO and to add them as an additional insured on their builder’s risk policy.
  • Monday, January 29 – Wednesday, January 31, 2007 – The Patricks continued to communicate with Cuppy’s CEO, Morg Morgan, and attorney about the issues they were dealing with. They needed to get the project back on track. The costs to complete the project were much higher than the funds they had left to put in the project ($18,000 from their loan and $21,000 from the landlord upon occupancy). Morg Morgan committed to eat the cost of the building, $45,000, and put that back into construction costs. The problem was still that Ernie Craig was owed $17,955. The Patricks continued to try to reach him by phone and email with no reply. Cuppy’s was working with their other building supplier, Superior, to find a contractor who would do the work at cost. He came down to Richmond from Maryland to give a bid and a timeline.
  • Wednesday, January 31, 2007 –The Patricks received a notification of a mechanic’s lien placed on the property by Ernie Craig due to the failure of MCSI to pay him. The Patricks were working with Cuppy’s to find a way to get Ernie Craig paid and get the lien off the property
  • The landlord and his property representative worked with us to get through the final stages of this construction disaster.
  • The Patricks chose Infinite Contractors, out of Maryland, because their quote was much less than the local contractor, CKO. The timeline was lengthy and the project still experienced many delays and issues due to the fact that the building was a bit different and the project had to go back through the permitting process again, and the fact that the contractor was from out of state and had to get licensed in Va, and had multiple projects going at once, some of which were ahead of the Richmond job.
  • Ernie Craig got paid from the Patricks SBA loan for the work that he completed. The remaining construction costs were paid for by the remaining loan funds due to the fact that Cuppy’s corporate did not require the remaining payment to be made for the building.
  • The Patricks lost the benefit of being open for business as quickly as possible. Had they opened up in October, 2006, as they were originally told by MCSI, they would have had nearly six months with no lease payment and four months with no loan payments. This would have been instrumental in allowing them time to build up their revenue and cash flow during the first several months.
  • In the preconstruction stage, Chesterfield County told the Patricks that a permanent sign would not be permitted at this location. They were able to keep up Grand Opening banners and signs up until late August. At that time, the county required them to remove all signs, banners, balloons, and pennants from the area. This immediately negatively impacted the sales numbers. The Patricks revisited this topic with the Chesterfield County Planning Department. At this point the Planning Department reversed their decision and told the Patricks they could install a permanent sign on the property.