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Murieta Inn and Spa

The hotel/restaurant side of the Murieta Inn and Spa opened Feb. 1 and the spa followed seven weeks later.

The Murieta Inn and Spa, sued for non-payment by the company that built the new 83-room facility, has responded by filing a cross-complaint against the builder, Poelman Construction. Poelman sued the hotel’s owners in May for more than $2 million it claimed it is owed due to lengthy construction delays.

The cross-complaint lawsuit, filed July 24 in Sacramento Superior Court, says Poelman agreed in September 2014 to build the hotel for a flat price of almost $13 million and said it would substantially complete construction within 15 months, a date both parties later set at June 30, 2016.

In 2017, according to the cross-complaint, the parties agreed to add construction of a spa to Poelman’s responsibilities and extended the completion date by 60 days. Further, it says, the hotel’s ownership agreed to extend the “as-planned substantial completion date” by about 325 days, leading to a target date for both construction jobs of late May 2017.

Poelman didn’t substantially complete construction of the hotel until last December and the spa until last March, the cross-complaint says, months after the agreed-upon date. It claims Poelman didn’t provide sufficient labor, materials, equipment and supervision for the task and didn’t properly manage the work of its subcontractors.

The cross-complaint also accuses Poelman of failing to obtain final approval of the hotel’s pool house and shade structure in a timely manner and walking off the job when the hotel refused to pay a bill for $784,000, later adjusted to more than $1 million.

The cross-complaint says the Murieta Inn was forced to pay more than $200,000 to complete construction of the hotel and spa. It asks that Poelman pay $2,000 for each day construction completion went beyond the agreed-upon finish date and an amount of damages to be determined at trial.

There are other aspects of the cross-complaint – whether Poelman was allowed to seek further extensions of the construction deadline or additional compensation, and disagreement over payments and deadlines on change orders.

Poelman Construction was listed among the ownership group that bought hundreds of acres of undeveloped Rancho Murieta land and the Country Club in 2013. The Murieta Inn, the business brainchild of Murietan Carol Anderson Ward, is managed by the Marcus Corp., a national company based in Milwaukee.

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