Carmel redevelopment panel OKs $730K deal with Palladium contractor

Carmel Redevelopment Commission members on Wednesday agreed to pay $730,000 to settle the final piece of a years-old legal dispute tied to construction of the city’s Palladium concert hall, which opened in 2011.

The agreement with concrete contractor Hagerman Construction Corp. represents a substantial savings over the $2 million or so the Fishers-based firm initially claimed it was owed for work on the project, Commissioner Dave Bowers told the panel Wednesday. The CRC took issue with that amount.

“We’ve come a long way from the original discussions,” agreed Executive Director Corrie Meyer. The deal, reached after months of negotiations that included Mayor Jim Brainard and Hagerman Chairman Jeff Hagerman, “feels like a good agreement for all parties.”

The lawsuit was a result of a disagreement over what was owed to the company "as a result of a large, complicated and complex construction project," Brainard and Hagerman said in a joint statement. 

The cash-strapped CRC will use $590,000 in so-called “retainage” funds held back during construction to pay most of the settlement, making up the difference with expected savings in its legal budget, Meyer said.

As IBJ reported in March, the commission has spent more than $6 million since 2009 “responding to, defending and settling” a number of legal claims related to the Palladium project.

In February, the CRC approved a $575,000 settlement with Bloomington-based subcontractor Crider & Crider Inc.,  agreeing to make payments through the end of next year.

Closing out the Hagerman litigation leaves just one Palladium-related lawsuit outstanding:  CRC is suing Steel Supply & Engineering Co. over Palladium roof defects that halted construction amid concerns about a possible structural collapse.

The Michigan firm, meanwhile, denies blame for the faulty design that resulted in a rip in the structural steel web supporting the venue’s domed roof. Steel Supply says that’s the responsibility of the project’s engineer of record, who is not named in the lawsuit.

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