A local company that built townhomes on a former state property in southeast Denver has been accused of taking an architect’s designs and reusing them elsewhere.
Lokal Homes, of Englewood, turned a former Colorado Department of Transportation regional office at 1980 S. Holly St. into the Hub at Virginia Village in 2021. Listings there range in price from $550,000 for 1,240 square feet to $780,000 for 1,950 square feet.
The architect on that project was Woodley Architectural Group out of Littleton.
“Lokal’s original site plan yielded 160 units on 11.4 acres,” Michael Woodley, the owner of Woodley Architectural Group, wrote of his design plans at the time. “My new site plan with innovative building configurations produced 198 units on a reduced site of 10.5 acres.”
“My clever townhouse solution resulted in a 25-percent increase in density. The more units, the greater the profit and land value,” Woodley boasted then, court documents show.
Woodley said that his firm was paid $180,000 for its design work. He shared a stage with Lokal co-owner Dave Lemnah in 2021, when their project won a Denver design award.
That partnership looked as if it would expand into 2022, when the two talked about Lokal’s desire to use Woodley’s design work on townhouse projects in Colorado Springs. But they couldn’t come to a licensing agreement, Woodley’s company says now.
In a federal lawsuit it filed Nov. 13, Woodley Architectural Group accuses Lokal of using Woodley’s design plans anyway, without paying and in violation of a copyright.
“Lokal has advertised to the public that townhouses of the same…designs that were constructed at the Hub at Virginia Village were being constructed at these two Colorado Springs projects, and were available for purchase,” according to the lawsuit.
A spokeswoman for Lokal said Tuesday that the company has no comment at this time. Lokal was tapped to build townhomes by Denver-based Kentro Group, which is the master developer of both the regional office and CDOT’s former headquarters off Colorado Boulevard.
Woodley Architectural Group isn’t seeking a particular dollar amount in its lawsuit but claims it is entitled to “all profits of Lokal that are attributable to its infringing activities.” The Colorado Springs projects are called Commons at Victory Ridge and Centennial and Fillmore.
Woodley is represented by lawyer Louis Bonham of Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton in Houston, plus Kris Kostolansky and Marnier LeBlanc of Lewis Roca in Denver.