Attorneys for a limited partnership have filed a lawsuit to escape a dispute over unpaid construction bills stemming from the former League City location of Olympia Grill.

Dallas-based attorney Barrett Lesher filed the lawsuit May 1 on behalf of 101 League City CMJCG I-45/646 LP in the 56th District Court against Houston-based Warwick Construction, asking the court to declare a mechanic’s lien unenforceable.

The limited partnership owns the fee estate on the property, essentially making it the owner of the property on which owners of Olympia Grill leased to build its League City restaurant in September 2017, the lawsuit asserts.

The owners of the restaurant didn’t pay the construction company more than $223,600 for its service and, in March, Warwick Construction filed an affidavit for a lien against the limited partnership, the lawsuit asserts.

But the limited partnership never reached an agreement with the construction company, and as such, shouldn’t have a lien against it, the lawsuit asserts.

“Warwick refuses to do so and is apparently using the improperly filed lien as an attempt at judicial extortion to somehow force 101 League City to pay Warwick for the sums that Olympia owes to Warwick,” the lawsuit argues.

In a two-month span beginning in early March, the owners of the restaurant chain closed all three of its locations, starting with the one at 2535 Interstate 45 in League City’s Pinnacle Park and soon after two island Olympia Grills.

Initially, the owners said the League City closure was temporary, but later posted on social media: “Despite our best effort to establish ourselves in this thriving community, we simply weren’t experiencing the amount of business necessary to continue.”

The defendants have not yet responded to the May 1 filing, court records show.

TEXAS CITY PROPERTY DISPUTE

An Austin-based company this week filed its second lawsuit against Texas City, accusing city officials of unlawfully taking property.

Austin attorney Jerry Rios filed the lawsuit Monday in the 122nd District Court on behalf of Cossatot Partners LLC, seeking between $200,000 and $1 million in damages.

The Austin company owns an apartment building at 802 Ninth Ave. N. that originally was built in the 1970s and is thus grandfathered into older property and building codes, according to the lawsuit.

But the city in August and September 2018 conducted several reviews of the property and began a campaign to manipulate the grandfathered status of the complex and revoke the certificate of occupancy, the lawsuit asserts.

Monday’s lawsuit is not the first time the Austin group has tried to stop the city, having first filed a lawsuit over the issue in January, court records show.

But attorneys for Cossatot in March then filed notice of a nonsuit, effectively ending that case, court records show.

The defendant has not yet responded to this most recent filing, court records show.

HARBORWALK DISPUTE ADVANCES

The owners of all commercial properties at Harborwalk have denied the claims laid out against them in a March lawsuit.

Attorneys for Paul and Angela Leviner on Monday filed an answer, generally denying the assertions in a March 25 lawsuit, and accusing the original developer of the upscale waterfront community of violating their agreement, court records show.

Attorneys representing Watkins Real Estate Development LLC filed a lawsuit against the Leviners, asserting they owe almost $100,000 for work after Hurricane Harvey.

Company officials in April 2016 provided the Leviners with a $140,800 estimate for installing a boat house and pier at their property in Harborwalk.

Between the time of the estimate and October 2018, the Leviners expanded the scope of work they wanted, the lawsuit asserts. The Leviners in March 2017 paid a $25,000 retainer and construction began in May 2017, the lawsuit asserts.

But in late August, Hurricane Harvey damaged the Leviners’ home, and they asked Watkins to add repairs of it to the scope of the project, the lawsuit asserts.

Repairs on the home finished in December 2017 and construction on the pier ended in January, the lawsuit asserts. While the Leviners made several payments, there is a remaining balance of about $99,570, according to the lawsuit.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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