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Millions in construction liens filed against MSG Sphere project

Updated August 25, 2020 - 4:52 pm

Three construction liens totaling $3.3 million have been filed by subcontractors working on the $1.66 billion MSG Sphere at The Venetian entertainment venue.

The liens were filed for $119,270 on behalf of Commercial Scaffolding of NV Inc., Las Vegas, on April 10; $2.7 million for Harris Rebar Las Vegas Inc., on June 5; and $555,481 for Parsons Electric LLC, Las Vegas, on July 7.

The largest of the liens involving Harris Rebar was quickly attached to a bond, releasing the lien.

The liens, filed in Clark County, were directed at two subsidiaries of MSG Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands Corp.: MSG Las Vegas LLC and to Sands Arena Landlord LLC.

According to the Nevada secretary of state’s business website, Sands Arena Landlord is managed by Venetian Casino Resort LLC, and MSG Las Vegas is overseen by New York-based MSG National Properties LLC.

New York-based Madison Square Garden Entertainment Co. emailed a statement on the liens.

“We have been working with the subcontractors to address these claims and have been requesting the appropriate level of documentation for the work performed so they can be paid accordingly,” an MSG spokeswoman said.

Representatives of Las Vegas Sands had no comment on the liens, but legal experts say lien obligations routinely fall to project developers and not the landlord.

A mechanics lien is a legal claim for unpaid construction work. When a contractor files a mechanics lien, it gains a security interest in the property. The lien clouds the real estate title, making it difficult for the property owner to sell or use it until the lien claim is paid, according to New Orleans-based Levelset, which helps contractors and suppliers get payments on projects.

Typically, anyone who provides labor or materials to property improvements can file a mechanics lien if they are not paid. Because a lien disrupts the flow of funds on a construction project, it gets multiple parties, like lenders, property owners and general contractors, involved in making sure the right people get paid.

In documents filed with the Clark County recorder’s office, the original contract for Commercial Scaffolding was for $6,208 and was expanded by $113,062 with no payment received.

The original contract for Harris Rebar was for $38 million, of which $33.1 million was paid.

The original contract for Parsons Electric was for $831,530, amended to add $160,532, with $436,571 paid.

Representatives of the MSG Sphere last week detailed future construction plans for the facility east of The Venetian. The 17,000-seat performance venue has a 15-month extended construction timeline for concrete and steel installation and the construction of a 13,000-ton steel-domed roof.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. The Sphere is a project by Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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