13 suits cost millions from Makers Line Contracting Company in Utah

The current number of lawsuits filed against contractor Makers Line stands at 13 — collectively seeking more than $2.2 million.

The subcontractors name a mix of defendants — Makers Line, Jason Winkler and his business partner Ellen Winkler, and two other companies in their orbit, Industry Office SLC and Titus Shotcrete — and claim they were not paid for work on construction projects in Utah.

Largest claim: $771,365.64 from H&E Equipment Services Utah Inc. Latest claim: $215,000 is sought in a lawsuit filed Thursday by heating contractor 1 Source Portable Air LLC in South Salt Lake. The cases seek money for labor and materials used on at least seven construction projects in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Millcreek and Clearfield.

Makers Line has been silent in recent weeks — since Jason Winkler texted Building Salt Lake last month that the company “has not completely closed.” The fate of Makers Line projects across the Wasatch Front is uncertain — the contractor is linked to at least eight ongoing projects in Salt Lake City, according to city records.

Winklers developer, Q Factor, part of an “integrated group of companies” that includes Makers Line, has quickly made a name for itself by converting an old foundry building in the Granary District into modern, contemporary office space INDUSTRY, SLC. Below, grouped by construction project, is a summary of the lawsuits now filed against Winkler Companies:

Union Walk Apartments, Ogden

The fact that Makers Line has been sued does not necessarily mean it will be required to pay, as a judge’s ruling last week showed.

Two cases are connected to a 55-unit apartment building at 144 25th St., Ogden — which has been idle since March, when the city halted construction after untreated lumber was discovered to be used.

One was filed Aug. 24 by Bear River Heating and Air Conditioning in Logan, which requested $64,028.76 from Makers Line and Union Station, the property owner, for labor and equipment.

Makers Line’s attorneys argued in their defense that they had not paid Bear River Heating because Union Station LLC had not yet paid Makers Line.

After Union Station failed to respond to the lawsuit, the judge entered a default judgment against it, saying it must pay the full amount requested. Union Station representatives did not immediately respond to The Tribune’s requests for comment Friday; Neither did Jason Winkler or his listed attorney.

For work on the same building, Bingham Plumbing & Mechanical is seeking $106,173.24 from Makers Line LLC, Union Station LLC and others for labor and materials.

Union Station did not respond to the July 20 suit either, and a judge declared on August 31 that Union Station had defaulted; Final ruling is pending.

Union Station LLC and Summa Terra Ventures have the same registered agent, Aubrey Palmer. Summa Terra Ventures’ website lists Union Walk as one of its projects. CEO Mike Watson declined to comment on Friday.

Bueno Avenue Apartments, Salt Lake City

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Bueno Apartments, a Makers Lane project under construction at 700 East, on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.

This apartment complex off busy 700 East in Salt Lake City was named in a lawsuit filed by Kilgore Companies LLC, which does business as Altaview Concrete. She lists the Bueno Avenue property, located at 129 S. 700 East, as one of the locations where she did work and was not paid.

Plans for this development call for small units with shared kitchens. A conditional use permit designates it as a residential home. The project has drawn objections from neighbors and members of Wasatch Tenants United, who have criticized its density and argued that it threatens to lower the city’s living standards while pushing up the area’s already exorbitant rents.

(Read more: Some fear a new home development near 700 East will worsen SLC’s housing crisis)

Telegraph Building Lofts, Salt Lake City

(Utah State Historical Society) View of the Hyland Exchange Building at 847 S. 800 East, Salt Lake City, on November 23, 1912, from Harry Shibler, Shibler’s commercial photographers. The building housed workers for the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company.

The renovation of the historic three-story brick building at 847 S. 800 East in Salt Lake City, near Smith’s Department Store, and the addition of neighboring homes are mentioned in one lawsuit.

LG Concrete filed a lawsuit Oct. 30 against Titus and another developer, ClearWater Homes LLC, seeking $99,849.15 for materials and labor.

The brick building was constructed in 1911 as the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Building, according to city documents. ClearWater Homes’ design calls for six residential floors within the renovated building, with three floors of detached residential units behind and alongside it.

(The Salt Lake Tribune) The vacant former Highland Exchange Building, built in 1911 for Mountain States telephone and telegraph workers, stands in the foreground, with new construction of townhomes behind it. The historic building is set to be renovated and converted into residential lofts.

Apartments off Whitney Street, Salt Lake City

That project, located at about 1481 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, is mentioned in one of the lawsuits.

LG Concrete, in a lawsuit filed Oct. 30, is seeking $142,924.44 from Titus Shotcrete — along with an unnamed investor and individuals — for labor and materials needed for this building. Makers Line and Roers signs appear on site, and it is being advertised online when it opens next year as The Whitney.

(The Salt Lake Tribune) Apartments are being built off Whitney Street, between 400 West and 300 West, in Salt Lake City.

Opus Green Apartments, Millcreek

One lawsuit notes this development at 41 S. Main St., Millcreek: LG Concrete, in another lawsuit filed Oct. 30, said Makers Line — along with property owners and unnamed individuals — owe $104,194 for unpaid work there.

Hart Apartments, Clearfield

That complex, located at 175 S. 275 East in Clearfield, was mentioned in one case: Mechanical Design & Service LLC filed a lawsuit April 21 against Makers Line LLC, seeking $80,161.25 for HVAC work (HVAC).

SLC Industry Office

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Industry SLC has brought new life to an old foundry in Salt Lake City’s Granary District. There are nearly a dozen liens pending on the building now.

The main offices of Makers Line and its subsidiaries, located at 513 W. 600 South in Salt Lake City, are named in two of the lawsuits:

• LG Concrete, in one of five lawsuits it filed on Oct. 30, claims Industry Office LLC and Titus Shotcrete owe $41,349 for work on the building.

• Kilgore LLC, or Altaview Concrete, listed the main offices and an adjacent parcel of land in the suit against Titus, the Winklers, Industrial Office LLC and the other owners of the property. The total amount Kilgore is seeking in that lawsuit, filed on Nov. 3, is $393,515.41.

• Nearly a dozen liens filed against the property remain pending, including four filed this week from various subcontractors.

The Winklers are minority owners of the building. More than 20 liens in total have been filed against the property by various subcontractors, according to city records, but some have been resolved.

Atree Sugar House, Salt Lake City

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Construction continues on Atre Sugar House, a two-building development, in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

This apartment project, located at 1132 E. Ashton Ave., in Salt Lake City’s Sugar House neighborhood, has been named in two lawsuits:

• One lawsuit filed Oct. 30 by LG Concrete — against Titus, the property owner, and unnamed individuals — seeks $31,766.52 for unpaid bills.

• Kilgore’s lawsuit lists the Ashton Ave. property. As another site Altaview Concrete worked and was not paid.

Custer Apartments, Ogden

The apartment building at 638 23rd St., Ogden, was mentioned in one of the lawsuits: Allied Painters filed a lawsuit on Nov. 1 against Makers Line LLC — as well as property owners, developers, and unnamed individuals — for $33,663, for Unpaid paint. Work and materials.

Other lawsuits for action in Salt Lake County

Four other lawsuits were filed in 3rd District Court alleging unpaid invoices for work performed in Salt Lake County, without listing specific characteristics:

• H&E Equipment Services Utah Inc. filed. Industry Office SLC LLC, Forge Campus LLC and the Winklers filed a lawsuit on Nov. 2 — along with several developers, property owners and unnamed individuals — claiming unpaid bills totaling $771,365.64. This is the largest lawsuit filed against companies associated with Makers Line to date.

• 1 Source Portable Air LLC, in a lawsuit Thursday, sued Makers Line LLC for $215,845.86 in what it said was unpaid heating and cooling work.

• McDonnell Holdings LLC, doing business as Boulder Landscaping, filed suit Sept. 12 against Makers Line, seeking $65,287.48 for landscaping work.

• Diamond Rental LLC filed suit on Sept. 28 against Makers Line and Jason Winkler, for $64,891.36 for equipment, parts and services.

Shannon Sollett he Report for America A corps member covers business accountability and sustainability for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation matching our RFA grant helps keep stories like this going; Please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.

Editor’s Note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

(tags for translation) Line Makers

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