Shops at McAlester and Burk Collins & Co, LTD have been granted a temporary restraining order against a construction company corporation that filed a lien on the retail center property over a payment dispute.
District 18 District Judge Mike Hogan granted the temporary injunction sought by Shops at McAlester, LLC, and Burk Collins & Co, LTD, against the Overland Corporation, following a hearing in Pittsburg County District Court.
Hogan's order states the application for a temporary restraining order is granted and he set the matter for a return hearing at 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2002.
The matter came up after Overland Corporation filed a Mechanic's or Materials lien claiming Shops and/or Collins & Co. owed it $1,754,006.43 for work performed on the project.
Burk Collins, developer of the Shops at McAlester project told the News-Capital the matter will not prevent him from completing the project by Feb. 14, 2022, as currently scheduled. The project is currently under construction on the property at Fourteenth Street and U.S. Highway 69 in McAlester.
Collins said the matter is related to a contract dispute. He said he expects it to wind up in court-ordered mediation. Collins maintained the dispute will not stop progress on the Shops at McAlester project.
“We’ve already got a new contractor on it,” Collins said.
He expressed confidence he will still meet the scheduled Feb. 14 turnover date on the project, when he is to turn over the shops and stores at the currently under-construction retail center to the businesses that will be operating them.
“We haven’t stopped anything,” Collins said.
“We’re going to be on-schedule to turn everything over on February 14th.”
Collins said only 4,000 square feet remain of the approximately 170,000 square feet that were originally available for lease at the site.
“Everything else is leased up.” he said.
Collins said the original businesses that signed on for Shops at McAlester include Hobby Lobby, T.J. Maxx, Ross, Burke’s Outlet and Rack Room Shoes are still on-board and have been joined by others.
He said more recent signees include Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Old Navy, Five Below and Ulta Beauty.
Restaurants or other businesses are set to locate on the pads outside the main group of buildings, including Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Starbucks and Jiffy Lube, Collins said.
A McAlester bank is now going to locate an outlet at the site where the McAlester Regional Health Center had originally planned to locate an urgent care facility, he said.
“It’s been very successful,” Collins said of the quest to locate businesses for the retail center.
Meanwhile court documents outline legal aspects of the dispute that prompted Shops at McAlester and Burk Collins and Co. to file a court petition to successful obtain the temporary restraining order.
On Nov. 11, 2021, the Ardmore-based Overland Corporation filed a Mechanic's or Materials lien claiming Shops and/or Collins & Co. owed it $1,754,006.43 for work performed between Feb. 2, 2020, and Oct. 4, 2021, according to allegations in court documents.
Shops and Overland had entered into a construction contract on Feb. 3, 2020, where overland was to furnish labor, material and/or equipment for constructing certain portions of the Shops at McAlester commercial development, court documents state.
The petition filed by the Warren Gotcher and Jeremy Beaver law firm contended the construction contract prohibited Overland filing a lien at the time it did.
"The construction contract contained the following provision, ' (Overland) ... will refrain from fling liens until seven days prior to the expiration of their lien rights,' " the document states.
It also contends the construction contract "contains a mediation and arbitration clause for resolving all disputes."
"Overland claims it is owed money for labor and/or materials provided through Oct. 4, 2021, and thus the expiration of their lien right would be four months after that date per Oklahoma law," the documents filed on behalf of Shops/ Collins & Company contend.
"Per the unambiguous terms of the Construction Contract, Overland is obligated to refrain from filing any lien it may claim until late January/early February — or seven days before the lien rights would expire under Oklahoma law," the documents state.
Court documents also outlines the history of Shops at McAlester.
"Shops was formed for the sole purpose of developing a commercial shopping center in McAlester, and entered into certain agreements with the city of McAlester related to the development," court documents state.
Documents note construction is underway at Fourteenth Street and U.S. Highway 69, with the real property owned by Shops at McAlester.
Shops at McAlester and Burk Collins and Company are involved in the project through a Tax Increment Financing Agreement, known as a TIF, with the city of McAlester and Pittsburg County.
The agreement calls for the developer to pay all of the construction costs for building the center.
Through the TIF agreement, Collins can collect both the cit's and county's share of the of sales taxes from businesses in the retail center for five years or until $5.5 million is collected, whichever comes first.
The original opening date was rescheduled to Feb. 14, 2022, due to delays Collins said resulted from the impact of COVID-19 on businesses that had signed on to locate in the new retail center.
Other temporary slowdowns were blamed on supply side shortages for some construction materials.
Still, Collins maintained he is confident he will meet the Feb. 14 turnover date as scheduled.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.