Makers Line has closed after issues with late payments and questions about its operation

Makers Line has closed after issues with late payments and questions about its operation

subscription Get free emails from Building Salt Lake in your inbox. building Salt Lake Pro and Premium Members Any can be searched Building Permit In Salt Lake City. Stay informed about the market by Become a member today.

A Salt Lake City developer that made waves with a catalytic project in the Granary District is apparently in big trouble, and its general contracting company is laying off employees and closing its doors, Building Salt Lake has learned.

Employees at Q Factor affiliates reported being furloughed or laid off as of Thursday. Others have resigned, and more have reported delayed wages and messages from company leaders that companies under the Q Factor umbrella will soon go out of business or close, leaving questions about the status and future of Q Factor itself.

That leaves the status of several high-profile projects in question throughout D.C. and along the Wasatch Front, marking a stunning downfall for what was one of the region’s rising developers and raising questions for the thousands of subcontractors working on projects managed by Makers Line.

“Summa Terra Ventures is saddened by the closure of Makers Line today,” said Mike Watson, CEO of Summa Terra Ventures, which has been using Makers Line for two projects in Ogden that encountered significant construction defects.

“We have been preparing for this possibility for some time and are now working with Rich Development to complete our projects in Ogden, Hunter’s Landing and Union Walk,” Watson added in his statement.

Q Factor’s job posting highlights the vertically integrated nature of the company, which owns a general contracting firm, an architecture firm, a metal fabricator, and other subcontracting companies.

Leaders of Makers Line and Q Factor did not formally respond to multiple requests for comment.

A former Makers Line employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Building Salt Lake that all Makers Line employees were told they were being laid off Thursday, and that sister companies Forge, a metal fabrication company, and Titus, a concrete company, were also laid off. gold.”

Interviews with several people familiar with recent events paint a major setback for what was until recently a fast-growing development company that, along with subsidiaries that grew with Utah’s commercial building boom, also stalled under the weight of soaring interest. Rates.

Q Factor, whose owners moved from Denver to Salt Lake City before embarking on Industry SLC, has established itself as a vertically integrated developer, a specialty that has helped its companies grow quickly.

Makers Line is its general contractor. Drumbeat deals with architecture, placemaking and interior design. Forge is a metalsmith. Recently, Q Factor selected a concrete company called Titus.

But among them, the Makers Line was, in many ways, the core of the operation, responsible for supervising construction, hiring and paying subcontractors, and making sure the work was completed on time and in accordance with the contract.

As such, the company grew rapidly, winning dozens of construction contracts across the Wasatch Front and hiring hundreds of employees.

Along the way, the company stumbled on several projects and began to build a bad reputation, according to interviews with nearly a dozen people within Utah’s development scene.

Several people said Makers Line became known for failing to make payments to contractors. At least two subcontractors filed claims in court for late payments, and another filed suit over disputes over incomplete work and pay discrepancies.

Several employees told the Salt Lake building they were furloughed this month. Makers Line employees were told yesterday they would be laid off, one said.

Tim Foster, Makers Line

Tim Foster, the company’s president, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Tammy Doerr, former CEO of Q Factor, is no longer with the company. Co-founder Jason Winkler did not respond to requests for comment, other than to say in a text message that Makers had not “completely” closed its doors.

The Makers Line website was taken offline on Thursday but appears to have been restored, as has Drumbeat. The websites for Titus and Forge are still down.

The closure of such a large general contracting company would have ripple effects throughout the industry, raising questions about the status and timeline of projects underway, as well as the dozens or hundreds of people hired to complete those projects.

Whether businesses are closed entirely, sources said, or greatly reduced, they will continue to make ripples along the Wasatch Front in both directions.

Active projects

There were signs of trouble at the company throughout its rapid growth, and perhaps none were larger than the two buildings that Makers Line was overseeing in Ogden.

The company was working for Summa Terra Ventures on a 55-unit multifamily project called Union Walk.

The building’s framing was nearly finished when city inspectors discovered it was made of wood that wasn’t properly fire-resistant and stopped work in March, the Ogden Standard-Examiner first reported.

In its statements at the time, Summa Terra Ventures placed the blame squarely at Makers Line.

“Without the knowledge or consent of Summa Terra Ventures, ownership of the property, and the City of Ogden, Makers Line unilaterally made the decision to replace fire-treated lumber, as originally stipulated in the contract, approved building plans, and prevailing National Building Code, with untreated lumber ,” according to a statement shared with KSL. “This deviation from established protocols constitutes a breach of Makers Line’s contractual obligations to the Owner and a violation of the approved building plans and relevant building regulations.”

Summa Terra said Makers Line breached its contract by using unfire-treated wood. The city of Ogden suspended all work on the building in March. This was the second building to be shut down for the same reason.

A second project, also in Ogden, was halted for the same reason before Makers Line addressed the issue in the city and construction continued, KSL reported.

Sources said Makers Line officials were looking for a solution that could be applied to untreated wood to save it. Ogden officials approved a solution for one project, Hunter’s Landing, but not at Union Walk, so construction of the unfinished building remains stalled.

And this is not the only project that appears to have stalled.

The company has also been working on the Chicago Street Townhomes project along the North Temple corridor, although that project appears to be on hold for some time.

It is working on the Bueno Apartments, the first condominium project under the city’s recently updated ordinance on what used to be known as single-room occupancy. This project is led by Alta Terra Real Estate Company.

Alta Terra is also working with Makers Line on two important projects at the Sugar House and another near Trolley Square. Multiple messages to employees at Alta Terra were not immediately returned.

Jordan Atkin, a developer and investor with TAG SLC, a Salt Lake City building advertiser, called Makers Line’s apparent collapse “devastating” for the owner of the projects that were under construction.

“The way costs are calculated, if you have a half-finished building by Makers Line, you’re not in the best position to negotiate a great contract with the GC that comes in,” said Atkin, who has no projects underway. With line makers. “The amount of time it takes to get up to speed on what’s happening midway through is much more difficult than if you were involved at the beginning.”

Ogden’s mistake likely exacerbated problems already underway at Makers Line, according to court filings and interviews with former subcontractors.

Late payments

Numerous sources and lawsuits filed by subcontractors and the client indicate that Makers Line became known for making late payments for their work.

A landscaping company called Boulder Landscaping filed a lawsuit last month against Makers Line, alleging non-payment for an unspecified project. Makers Line has owed Boulder Landscaping more than $65,000 for more than a year, the company alleged.

Another company, Bingham Plumbing & Mechanical, also filed a lawsuit in July, saying Makers Line owed it more than $106,000 for plumbing and mechanical work at the Union Walk Apartments.

A restaurant called Vietopia filed suit in state court alleging that repeated delays in construction of a new restaurant in Farmington caused by Makers Line left it facing financial hardship in 2021. According to the complaint, the two could not agree on work completed and money owed.

Vitopia later asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, noting that the two parties had reached an out-of-court settlement.

The director of a Salt Lake City architecture firm said his firm has worked in some capacity on four projects with Makers Line, one of which is almost under construction.

“Have you seen their reviews on Google? We’ve had the same experience as people on Google.” said the architect.

Several subcontractors took to Google to air their complaints about underpayment, with many saying they struggled for months to reach Makers Line for overdue invoices.

“We billed them for the materials they ordered for 7 months and were unable to get a response in that entire period,” wrote Weston Hathaway, whose company Brailsford Cast Stone worked for Makers Line on a project in Ogden. . Hathaway confirmed to the Salt Lake City building that he had written the review and that payment was delayed before the company finally settled. “It took a long time.”

A representative from a mechanical engineering company said they filed suit in small claims court this week. They said Makers Line hired the company for a project, the company paid to pull all relevant permits and when the project was scheduled to begin, Makers Line told them they were working with someone else.

“They owe us about $8,000,” the representative said.

A KUTV story this week detailed missing payroll checks at Forge. Employees said Q Factor representatives told them Forge was closing its doors.

At least one employee said he had not been paid.

“No checks, no PTO paid, no bonuses earned earned,” the employee said.

Another said he had no problems with salary delays.

What’s next for the Q factor?

There is no doubt that Q Factor was at the heart of the corporate network that is now in question.

Each company under the growing Q Factor umbrella is previously registered either at an Industry SLC address, or with Matthew Muir, a lawyer who worked for Q Factor until this month, according to his LinkedIn bio. Includes makers line.

Q Factor has been credited with spurring growth in the Granary District with the massive redevelopment known as Industry SLC, the company’s headquarters in Salt Lake City.

An example of office space where employees actually want to go is the industry quickly leasing shortly after completion despite uncertainty about the pandemic.

The sources said that the company is not part of the project’s ownership structure.

The company was previously working on a huge parking garage in the Granary area. It also has plans for a street project on 500 West, an “affordable housing” project near the parking lot and other projects nearby.

It’s not clear what’s next for the developer.

Email Taylor Anderson

subscription Get free emails from Building Salt Lake in your inbox. building Salt Lake Pro and Premium Members Any can be searched Building Permit In Salt Lake City. Stay informed about the market by Become a member today.

last class

Posted by Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson grew up near Chicago and headed west to study journalism at the University of Montana. He has been a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, the Bend Bulletin, and the Salt Lake Tribune. Moving from Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City opened his eyes to the importance of good urban design for building strong neighborhoods. He lives on the border of the Liberty Wells and Ballpark neighborhoods.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *