Two contractors, including plumbing and mechanical contracting firm Joseph J. Magnolia Inc., have filed liens for the work they performed during renovation of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, District of Columbia, last year. Both businesses claim they were never paid for work performed on the project in 2016.
According to the Washington Post, Magnolia Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling ― a family-owned business with offices in Washington and suburban Maryland ― claims it is owed $2.98 million for plumbing and air conditioning work performed on the hotel, which occupies the historic Washington Old Post Office. The $212 million renovation of the 263-room luxury hotel was completed last September. Magnolia "completed all plumbing, mechanical, and HVAC work, along with site sewer, water, storm, and water services" on the project, according to its filing with the D.C. government.
In an interview with the Washington Post, company president John Magnolia said they had been compensated for most of the work performed on the project, but had not yet been paid the final $2.98 million balance. “But, when the final money did not arrive and criticism grew over the president-elect’s continued ownership of the project as he prepares to enter office, Magnolia said he worried ownership would change before the Trumps paid fully,” the Post reported.
In an emailed statement to the press, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization wrote: “In developments of this scale and complexity the filing of nominal liens at the conclusion of construction is not uncommon as part of the closeout process. In the case of Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C., the Trump Organization has invested over $200 million dollars into the redevelopment of the historic Old Post Office and is incredibly proud of what is now considered to be one the most iconic hotels anywhere in the country.”
Under local law, building contractors and subcontractors can file mechanic's liens to protest unpaid work on real estate projects, the Chicago Tribune reported. These liens can make it difficult for the accused to apply for new or renegotiated loans, as the liens are a claim on the property's title. Contractors who file a lien have the option of filing suit 180 days after filing the lien if the matter has not been resolved.
PM contacted Patricia Tang, director of sales and marketing for Trump International Hotel Washington D.C., who said via email the hotel has no additional comment. Calls to John Magnolia were not immediately returned.