Real Estate & Construction  October 13, 2022

Future Legends sports park developer sues lighting contractor

WINDSOR — Future Legends LLC, the developer of the Future Legends sports complex in Windsor, sued its lighting contractor last month, alleging that Qualite Sports Lighting LLC has failed to deliver on its nearly $3.5 million deal. 

“Qualite failed to adequately design or build the lighting system, causing significant delays in the installation of the lighting on the project and substantially increased costs to Future Legends,” attorneys for the sports park wrote in a complaint filed in Weld County District Court.

Qualite has not responded to the substance of the complaint but has petitioned to have the case moved to U.S. District Court for Colorado. 

Neither party’s attorneys responded to requests for comment Thursday. 

Once complete, Future Legends will feature more than 100 acres of sports fields and hotels that are expected to draw young players and their families from around the country for tournaments. The site will also be the home of Pioneer League baseball team NoCo Owlz and United Soccer League One professional team Northern Colorado FC.

According to Future Legends, attorneys representing Qualite had previously disputed that the defendant had even entered into the nearly $3.5 million contract in question. It’s unclear what basis was used for that dispute, but the complaint claims that Qualite now acknowledges the contract. 

Future Legends argues that the contract required Qualite to install lighting at more than a dozen of the facility’s baseball and multi-use fields by July 2021. To date, the complaint said, only two fields and a portion of a parking lot have been lit, “a very small portion of the total scope of work.”

Additionally, Future Legends accuses its lighting contractor of failing to obtain proper permits, failing to design the lighting to proper code and failing to keep the plaintiff informed of delays.

The lawsuit also claims that Qualite’s failure to install underground lighting wiring will “require extensive excavation or boring under areas that are now otherwise complete, causing significant cost increase to complete the project.”

Future Legends said it has paid Qualite more than $654,000 for unsatisfactory work.

The Windsor sports complex is no stranger to delays, controversy or legal wrangling. 

Initially, a project called the Rocky Mountain Sports Park was proposed in 2017 as the future home of a minor-league baseball team and a series of youth sports fields, retail spots and hotels. The idea was to build a complex that could compete nationally in the growing youth sports industry.

However, the project has changed hands between developers and made significant changes due to discoveries of nearby water lines and eventually evolved into the current Future Legends concept. 

The Weld County Board of Commissioners pulled its participation within a joint effort to secure $20 million in state loans last April, leaving the city ineligible for that funding. Windsor officials and the complex’s California developer-owner Jeff Katofsky slammed that move as effectively stalling its development.

Last June, BizWest reported that Katofsky was ordered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to halt construction for months during the spring and summer of 2021 while the agency investigated the potential presence of an historically significant drainage ditch on the 118-acre sports complex site at 801 Diamond Valley Drive in Windsor. 

“After spending several hundred thousand dollars on environmental studies and who knows how much money lost in stoppage time, [the U.S. Department of Agriculture] considered it a ‘non-action,’” Katofsky told BizWest at the time. “… You can’t believe what we’ve been through for something that in the end was determined didn’t even need to be cleared up.”

During the work stoppage, Future Legends switched general contractors from Greeley-based Hensel Phelps Construction Co. to Jaco General Contractor Inc.

“In the end, I don’t think this was a project that Hensel Phelps could truly handle,” he said last year. 

A couple of months later, in September 2021, Hensel Phelps sued Future Legends in an attempt to recover $1.5 million in alleged unpaid bills, plus interest, damages and costs, on the project. Then, in late 2021, Future Legends countersued and lodged its own breach of contract allegations. 

The parties settled in early 2022, court documents showed. 

WINDSOR — Future Legends LLC, the developer of the Future Legends sports complex in Windsor, sued its lighting contractor last month, alleging that Qualite Sports Lighting LLC has failed to deliver on its nearly $3.5 million deal. 

“Qualite failed to adequately design or build the lighting system, causing significant delays in the installation of the lighting on the project and substantially increased costs to Future Legends,” attorneys for the sports park wrote in a complaint filed in Weld County District Court.

Qualite has not responded to the substance of the complaint but has petitioned to have the case moved to U.S. District…

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