Contractor alleges underpayment from developers of Long Beach’s soon-to-be tallest tower

The general contractor of the Shoreline Gateway and The Current buildings at the northwest corner of Ocean Boulevard and Alamitos Avenue, Build Group, is being sued by one its subcontractors, according to court documents.

Tristan Engineering Corporation, the group subcontracted to handle the development’s earth removal, is alleging they were underpaid by Build Group, which is overseen by the Shoreline Development Partners group. The corporation has been working with Build Group since they began the first phase of the project. That phase focused on The Current, the 17-story residential tower that broke ground in 2014, when Tristan began removing dirt for the building’s underground parking.

The second phase of the project includes the much more ambitious Shoreline Gateway tower, which, when completed in 2021, will become the city’s tallest building at 417 feet high, surpassing One World Trade Center which currently stands at 397 feet. Tristan had to remove five stories worth of dirt in order to make way for the building’s underground parking.

The Bloomington, California-based Tristan alleges that, following completion of the dredging it did on Shoreline Gateway, the developers shorted them $1,464,743.12 on a bill that totals $4,400,094.51.

This rendering shows the scale of the Shoreline Gateway's east tower compared to other Long Beach landmarks, like the Villa Riviera. Courtesy of A rendering of the Shoreline Gateway's east tower (right) next to The Current (left). Courtesy of Anderson Pacific LLC.

This rendering shows the scale of the Shoreline Gateway’s east tower compared to other Long Beach landmarks, like the Villa Riviera. Courtesy of Anderson Pacific LLC.

According to Scott Holbrook, the attorney representing Tristant, this is a change-order dispute, occurring when something unplanned happens after work has begun.

“Succinctly put, a subcontractor is seeking money for extra costs they incurred during the project,” Holbrook said.

Ryan Altoon of Anderson-Pacific LLC, one of the groups within the Shoreline Development Partners umbrella which has overseen the project, said this is a dispute between their main contractor and a subcontractor, leaving them to no direct involvement, and that “construction continues to progress on schedule.”

The Studio One Eleven-designed building is set to bring 315 residential units and 6,711 square feet of retail space to accompany its sister tower. Additionally, the previously-approved 393 parking spaces will increase to 458 while pushing the subterranean parking garage from two levels deep to five along with a 10,000 square foot plaza conjoining the new tower and The Current.

The 35-story planned for just east of 17-story, $70-million Current tower has long been a part of the original plan. In fact, before the recession of 2008, the Shoreline Gateway tower was supposed to be built first, followed by The Current. But those plans were altered post-recession, with The Current opening its doors to rising rents and controversy in 2016.

The Shoreline Gateway tower was set to hold 221 units with 6,367 square feet of ground floor retail. However, given an update from the original proposal by Shoreline Development Partners, developers have added 94 more units and 344 square feet of additional retail space on top of its original proposal.

There will be 11 different types of units including two studio unit designs (ranging in size from 500 square feet to 520 square feet with a 52 square feet balcony); six one-bedroom unit designs (all with balconies and square feet ranging from 720 to 1,132); and three two-bedroom unit designs (all with balconies and ranging in square feet from 1,032 to 1,176).

When the project was first unveiled in 2003, the site was to have three towers: a 22-story residential tower at the northwest corner of Ocean and Alamitos Avenue, a 15- to 19-story stepped slab building on West Lime Avenue and Ocean, and a 10-story building northeast of the existing Artaban Building.

For a rendering of this older project, click here.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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