Texas Real Estate Blog

Building Something?

May 10, 2011
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Clearly one of the most complicated documents in the area of real estate law is the construction contract. Besides the very nature of the transaction, namely, building something, it incorporates numerous terms and conditions which are generic to the construction industry as well as touching upon or incorporating certain other contracts and construction disciplines (architecture, engineering etc..) As such, there are very few disasters more complicated than the situation where, for a myriad of reasons, a construction project is abandoned. The procedures and processes that must be implimented upon the abandonment of a project are far beyond this scope of this blog edition. In fact, I could blog every day for a solid month and probably not cover every scenario. So, instead, I will focus on some of the terms and conditions an owner should address in every construction contract with a view to the remote possibility it were to go bad. This article outlines those terms and conditionsSP-#3396789-v1-The_Incomplete_or_Abandoned_Construction_Pr…  On the one hand, an owner must recognize that the usual forms presented to the owner by the contractor, architect and engineer are typically standard format contracts developed over the years and distributed to the disciplines for use by their respective professional organizations. Ergo, the forms tend to favor the contractor, architect, engineer etc..(surprise-surprise). Nevertheless, all in all, these are good forms. They just need to be modified to give some latitude and control to the owner and be coordinated so they don’t have conflicting provisions.  However, at a minimum the owner should insist on some of the suggestions set forth in the article to be assured of protection in the event the project falls apart.

Speaking of a failed construction project—on or about this date many moons ago there was a man who was so adept at story telling that people came from miles around to hear his marvelous tales and buy his work. So, this man decided to kick it up a notch and develop a theme park. He solicited money from friends and decided to buy up some property in Hollywood. Now, as we all know, the theme park was a huge success–at least it was when Walt Disney did it several years later. But this was not Disneyland and it flopped. This financial fiasco was the brainchild of L. Frank Baum who created the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Now, even more weird, this financial fiasco may have led to one of the great odd coincidences in movie making. When the filming of the Wizard began in the late 1930’s the costume folks could not find the right design for the shabby coat worn by Professor Marvel when he and his horse Sylvester are visited by Dorothy. Then, one of the costume crew found just the right coat in a secondhand clothing store in LA.  One day while filming, the actor, Frank Morgan, noticed a label on the inside of the coat. It said “Baum”. Could it be? Yes, it was, the old coat was originally owned by L. Frank Baum. The Wizard would have like that!


    Steve Watten


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