Subcontractors still unpaid from downtown hotel project; Owner of hotel explains

El Paso News

The owner of a big hotel project in downtown El Paso spoke to KTSM about a dozen subcontractors still being left unpaid after the job being done since May of last year. 

“He’s got delay damages, he’s owed for being over a year late. Plus the damages that were affecting the business. Those items haven’t been resolved,” Owner of Courtyard by Marriott Hotel James Scherr told KTSM over the projects general contractor.

After meeting multiple times to try to resolve the issue – to then filing a lawsuit. Scherr said the the general contractor owes his subcontractors more than what is owed of him, “We asked for him to meet with us to get it resolved so he can get his subcontractors paid.”

Twelve subcontractors, including the general contractor who worked on the hotel, are claiming they’re owed by Scherr almost $4 million dollars in liens. Liens are legal claims against the business which answers if they’re still owed payments for the work. 

“The contractor says that we did the job for FT James. He says he cant pay us because the owner of the Marriott which is James Scherr, is not paying him. They’re in a dispute there about the monies. In the meantime, 8 months later, we’re still not paid,” Andy Echaniz, owner of Bomanite Artistic Concrete said.

A group of subcontractors reached out to city council on Tuesday, March 19th, asking to put pressure on the owner of the hotel. However, city officials said it’s a “civil issue” at this point. 

“Those conversations, those contracts were done privately between the developer, the owner, and the contractors that are involved. The City does not have any input of that process,” Jessica Herrera, Director of Economic Development with the City of El Paso explained. 

In the meantine, all these businesses can do for now is wait for these issues to get resolved. 

“We found it very discouraging that we did a good job, all the contractors did their job, and they can’t get paid. This is not right,” Echaniz shared. 

KTSM reached out to the general contractor for a statement and could not get any comment.

The group of subcontractors said if they still don’t see a check soon, they’re thinking about picketing outside the hotel. 

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