“I think it’s normal course of action for today’s economic times in a lot of ways,” said John Olson, the general contractor on the project. “[The owners] are trying to maneuver through tough economic times.”

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – COMMERCIAL – Three of 19 subcontractors have recently released liens on a Hopkins Ave. building housing two restaurants, although several more say they have not yet been paid for work completed at the beginning of the winter. And while some say new economic realities are to blame for not being able to pay for services in a timely manner, the situation can be devastating for smaller businesses, especially now during a drastic slowdown in the construction industry.JW Ventures, the partnership that owns the new downtown Aspen building housing Syzygy and Ute City restaurants, has racked up more than $1.3 million in liens to subcontractors, according to public records. The partnership is made up of investors Jim Farmer and John Provine, restaurateur Walt Harris (who owns and runs both eateries in the building) and architect Charles Cunniffe.Within the last month, three of the liens, totaling about $343,000, have been released, leaving just over $1 million in remaining debt. Some subcontractors have been waiting six months for payment, during which time Syzygy has opened and closed for the winter season.
By Catherine Lutz, April 18, 2010

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