On Feb. 2, 2022, the pane of a glass balcony in the Golden Triangle fell five stories and shattered on Cherokee Street.
On July 7, another glass balcony on the same building shattered in place, 19 stories up. Six days later, an 11th-floor glass balcony crashed down on the street.
That’s according to Equity Residential, owner of the Eviva on Cherokee Apartments at 1250 Cherokee St., southwest of the Denver Art Museum. So, Equity is suing the company that sold it Eviva, the company that built Eviva, and the companies that built its balconies.
“The risk of glass panes falling from the property’s balconies presented an immediate and substantial safety risk to balcony occupants, pedestrians and property below,” says the lawsuit, filed Monday in Denver District Court. No one was injured in the incidents.
Eviva on Cherokee, a 274-unit complex, was developed by Atlanta-based Integral Group in 2017 and sold to Equity two years later for $110.5 million. The general contractor was Dallas-based Beck Group, its balcony subcontractor was Greco Aluminum Railings in Florida, and those Greco-made railings were installed by Commerce City’s Metro Fence Co., according to the lawsuit.
Equity says that after the balconies began to fall, a consultant was hired to inspect every remaining balcony. He found construction defects on 32 of them and determined that temperature changes were causing the shoddily-installed balconies to shatter.
A construction company was hired that August to build scaffolding and netting to catch any falling glass panes before they reached pedestrians below. The balconies were then replaced over the winter and early spring at a cost of $590,000, according to Equity’s lawsuit.
Equity is now suing Integral, Beck, Greco and Metro Fence Co. for that $590,000, along with punitive damages of $250,000, plus interest, attorney fees and court costs.
“At this time, it is not appropriate to discuss the lawsuit,” Beck spokeswoman Crystal Cantu said in an email to BusinessDen on Wednesday. “At Beck, we pride ourselves on being great community partners in Denver and our industry and we appreciate you reaching out.”
The other defendants did not respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
Equity Residential is represented by attorneys Laurin Quiat and Colby Everett in the Denver office of the national law firm Baker Hostetler.
Falling glass from shoddily-built balconies is also a component of another legal case involving a Denver high-rise. Saunders Construction is accused of making glass balconies unsafe when it built The Grand Apartments at 1777 Chestnut Place. The ensuing eight-figure court fight now involves 32 lawyers and 14 companies. The balconies have been removed.