Victory Lakes

University of Texas Medical Branch Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes.

COURTESY ILLUSTRATION/UTMB

On the mend: A legal dispute over payment for materials used in the construction of the University of Texas Medical Branch’s $90 million expansion of the Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes appears to soon be resolved.

Late last month, carbon structural steel distributor Service Steel Warehouse filed a lawsuit against the development’s contractor McCarthy Building Cos. along with Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America. Service Steel said it supplied steel and construction materials to FCS Fab Inc., which does business as 4 City Steel, which is a subcontractor of McCarthy, according to the lawsuit filed in the 122nd District Court in Galveston.

Before construction began on the project last year, McCarthy obtained a payment bond from Travelers Casualty for the benefit of unpaid subcontractors and materialmen. When Service Steel didn’t receive payment for all of the steel and materials supplied to FCS on the Victory Lakes project, it made a claim against Travelers Casualty payment bond for $131,348.

“This matter involves a claim by Service Steel Warehouse Co., a supplier to a McCarthy subcontractor on the University of Texas Medical Branch Victory Lakes Specialty Care Center expansion project,” Jim Stevenson, president of the Houston division of McCarthy Building Cos. said in a prepared statement. “The subcontractor closed its doors in early May 2014. The subcontractor’s surety is actively working with the subcontractor and Service Steel Warehouse Co. to determine amounts due and owing, if any, from the defunct subcontractor. We are looking forward to this situation being resolved.”

Travis G. Newport, an attorney representing Service Steel, said the situation in no way reflects negatively on McCarthy, which he called a good company. Service Steel likely soon would dismiss the lawsuit as it works with McCarthy to resolve the issues, Newport said.

Whether the payment dispute has delayed expansion of the Victory Lakes Specialty Care Center, 2240 Interstate 45, is unclear. Medical branch officials did not immediately return phone calls.

Now on tap: Beer lovers have reason to raise their mugs in cheer. The much-awaited Galveston Island Brewing, 8423 Stewart Road, has opened. Because of recent changes in Texas laws, the brewery is able to sell beer for on-premise consumption in its tap room, which is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to midnight Saturdays and Sundays, reports owner Mark Dell’Osso. Galveston Island Brewing produces about a dozen classic styles of beer from around the world, such as Irish stout, Belgium ale and American pale ale, among others. It plans to distribute its products to local bars and restaurants.

Shoptalk: Shopping options in the island’s downtown continue to expand. Monica Spanos has opened Urban Oasis, 2411 Strand. The shop features jewelry, snacks, Village Candles, Yoohoo + Friends toys among other eclectic products. Realtor Tom Schwenk represented both parties in the lease negotiations.

“It’s a great addition to our block,” Schwenk said. “We have fun bars and restaurants so it is good to add a gift shop to the mix.”

The shop will appeal to locals and tourists from the cruise ships near 25th Street and Strand, said Schwenk, whose office is a is just two doors down.

Shipping news: Meanwhile, a shop serving the island for 10 years has made a move. Galveston Pack & Ship has moved around the corner to 527 21st St., reports owners Todd MacKenzie and Thomas Fiero. The downtown shop is a member of Neighborhood Postal Centers, offering worldwide shipping and packing on site with a choice of carriers that includes DHL, FedEx, LSO and the U.S. Postal Service.

(2) comments

Ellen Morrison

OK, so what is going into the building where Pack 'N Ship used to be? Maybe Gumbo Bar is going to expand over into that space?

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

I'm not sure yet, but will try to find out.

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