The developers of an apartment building in RiNo are suing the project’s architects, accusing them of doing shoddy work that was over budget and delayed its completion.
Flora, at 3500 Chestnut Place, will have 92 apartments and 15,000 square feet of commercial space. Developers initially imagined it as a condo complex but they pivoted to apartments before breaking ground in 2021 when faced with pandemic-era delays and uncertainty.
Flora’s development team is Edee Anesi, her father Greg Anesi, Brock Fleming and food hall creator Brad Arguello. On Monday, they sued Flora’s architect: Studio Completiva, a Denver firm whose other projects include the Great Hall at Denver International Airport.
The developers say that Studio Completiva failed to provide basic services at Flora, such as managing permits or ensuring Flora is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
All the while, Studio Completiva demanded payments beyond what their contract called for, according to the development group, which calls itself Chestnut Island LLC.
“To avoid disruption to the project, Chestnut Island made a number of payments to Studio Completiva under protest,” states the lawsuit, which doesn’t include dollar amounts.
According to the contract between Flora’s developers and its architects, a copy of which was attached to this week’s lawsuit, Studio Completiva was to be paid $1.6 million for its work at Flora. It’s not clear how much it was paid.
At times, the architectural firm demanded to be paid for delays that it caused, Chestnut Island said. Other times, it wanted excessive payments in exchange for basic services. When the developers stopped paying, Studio Completiva quit, according to the lawsuit.
That lawsuit seeks an undetermined amount of money from Studio Completiva for its alleged breach of a contract, negligence and unjust enrichment. Chestnut Island’s attorneys are Jonathan Pray and Chloe Mickel with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
Several requests for comment from Studio Completiva and its principals, Yong Cho and Rosa Cho, were not answered this week.
Edee Anesi declined to discuss the case but said construction is nearly complete at Flora.
“We expect to release our floor plans within the next two weeks and pricing shortly thereafter on our website,” said the developer, who is already marketing the commercial space.
“Flora is scheduled to deliver in February 2024,” Anesi said of its scheduled opening.