Monday, November 9, 2009
Moda Update: The Saga Continues!
Last week, I detailed the strange predicament of the Moda Apartments on 3rd Ave. You remember that, don't you? It's the building that had some of its balconies repossessed by a subcontractor due to lack of payment. Well, the story spread to a few online outlets and eventually ended up on the KOMO News site. Thus far, it's garnered around 110 comments. If you thought the exposure and embarrassment of the story's unfavorable depictions of both parties would have caused one to cave or, at the very least, spurred some kind of compromise, you'd be wrong.
According to my tipster, the Moda has begun legal proceedings against the subcontractor, Brace Point Railing, but for the time being, their maintenance crew is trying to replace the missing balconies with parts gathered elsewhere. This was the scene on Friday:
Here you have three or four guys hard at work, replacing the missing parts. When I walked by on Sunday, I expected to see all the balconies back in usable condition. Wrong! Here's what I saw:
They seem to have fixed two of the balconies. Three remain in their partially-dismantled states. Why did they stop? Well, perhaps they ran out of parts. I was led to believe that the Moda staff was actually going out to purchase identical materials to replace the missing parts. Instead, it appears that they're in the midst of cannibalizing their own building to make the repairs:
This is the south end of the building, right next to the grand old Adams. These missing sections weren't there last week; they're new. They weren't repossessed by Brace Point Railing. The fact that there are missing sections of railing and limited balcony repair doesn't appear to be a coincidence. It seems that they're robbing Peter to pay Paul.
So many commenters over the last week have been asking the same question: Hey, is it legal for guys to just pull up and take back their balconies? That's for the courts to decide. On the one hand, you have a company owed $20,000 by an apartment building for whom they've performed work in good faith. On the other, Brace Point Railing created a hazardous situation by repossessing the balconies. On still another hand, the Moda isn't helping matters by dismantling one section of their own building to repair another. No matter who wins the lawsuit, in the short term, the tenants are the ones who lose out.
Thanks once again to my prime tipster.