Posted Online: Jan. 03, 2013, 11:05 pm
River Eagle sues Shive-Hattery claiming breach of contract, hampering project
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By Anthony Watt, email@example.com
The group planning to develop East Moline's former Case-New Holland site is suing Shive-Hattery, accusing the engineering firm of breaking an agreement and trying to hamper the project.
In 2010, the River Eagle group — comprised of Mike VanDeHeede, Matt Stern, Dan Murphy and state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, — bought 132 acres of the site for about $1.5 million with plans to develop it into Fountainhead of the Quad Cities, a mixed business and residential development.
River Eagle contracted with Shive-Hattery in February 2012, the suit states.
River Eagle is accusing Shive-Hattery of breach of contract and "tortious interference with business expectancy," according to the suit, filed on Monday in Rock Island County Circuit Court.
The suit accuses Shive-Hattery of breach of contract by breaking an agreement to turn over engineering and architectural work it initially had done for the Fountainhead project.
The suit alleges Shive-Hattery did not provide the services River Eagle required, so the group canceled the initial contract with the firm.
The engineering firm then filed liens against River Eagle for about $190,000, and the two parties negotiated a settlement in which River Eagle would pay $175,000 and Shive-Hattery would lift the liens, the suit states.
The engineering firm only partially lifted the liens and demanded more money, according to the lawsuit, which said afterfurther negotiation, River Eagle agreed to pay an additional $15,000, and Shive-Hattery agreed to fully lift the liens and turn over the work done on Fountainhead.
River Eagle contends Shive-Hattery has failed to turn over all of the work on the Case site as agreed.
The charge of "tortious interference" stems from accusations Myron Scheibe, office director and vice president of Shive-Hattery's Moline branch, is involved in a similar project near the River Eagle site, the suit contends.
The suit identifies that project as the RiverTech development -- a site of just more than 15 acres between 25th and 29th streets on River Drive in Moline, west of the Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus.
RiverTech would include many of the same features as Fountainhead, making it a competitor for the same kind of tenants River Eagle is targeting, the suit states.
Mr. Scheibe is accused of trying to slow River Eagle's progress through the liens and by withholding the full body of architectural work.
River Eagle is asking that Shive-Hattery turn over all the work River Eagle is owed; and for unspecified awards for the alleged breach of contract and tortious conduct and attorney's fees.
Mr. Scheibe said Shive-Hattery believes it met requirements of the agreement and intends to defend itself aggressively against what he described as a false suit.
"We categorically deny all of the allegations that are in the complaint."