The Fort Worth Police Officers Association is suing the developer over its stalled $4.4 million state-of-the-art headquarters project just west of downtown.
The association says it has shelled out about $1.2 million to Fort Worth developer 4D Circle for construction of a five-story, 30,000-square-foot structure that was supposed to be completed late last year, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Tarrant County civil court.
So far, 4D Circle has done little more than demolish the association’s old headquarters at 904 Collier St. and do some site preparation work, according to the association’s lawsuit and their attorney. Construction was supposed to have begun in January 2015 and been completed within 8 to 10 months.
The new building was to include four floors of office space for the association, training space and a gym. The street level was supposed to have 3,500 square feet of retail space.
Their first and foremost preference would be to get the building built for the price they agreed to build it for,
FWPOA attorney Chris Lyster
Chris Lyster, one of the association’s attorneys, said the police group is talking to 4D Circle’s attorneys about getting the building they were promised at the agreed-upon price. If those talks fail, the association will seek alternative relief including cancellation of the contract, a return of its $1.2 million investment and reimbursement for rent it has paid for office space following the demolition of their old building, according to Lyster and the lawsuit.
“Their first and foremost preference would be to get the building built for the price they agreed to build it for,” Lyster said. “And if that can’t be done, there are alternative forms of relief.”
David Gamble, the attorney for 4D Circle, declined to comment and referred questions to 4D Circle CEO Mant Hawkins. Officials with the company were unavailable for comment.
The association bought the land for the new headquarters in 1991. The association was convinced to build a larger, more expensive building by 4D Circle based on the promise that it would be able to lease the additional space to help pay off the loan, the lawsuit states.
It agreed to a fixed-price contract of $4,432,715 in late 2014, court records show.
The association paid $1 million — half from its own funds and the other half by its lender — and the prior building was demolished in early 2015, the lawsuit states. Despite the fact that there was “little to no activity” at the site by May 2016, 4D Circle asked for another $819,540 to continue with the project.
“Given the fact that the construction project should have been completed by that point in time, as opposed to simply being a lot with no building on it, FWPOA approved the payment” even though it didn’t want to with the hope that the project would get back on track, the lawsuit said.
Instead, 4D Circle asked the association and its lender for additional money even though the most recent payment was not used “in any tangible form” on the project.