The owners of Apple Valley's premier hotel have sued the architecture firm and contractor that oversaw its construction, claiming that the two St. Cloud companies delivered a building riddled with defects.
Apple Valley GSRS, LLC, the investment group behind the GrandStay Hotel & Conference Center, has sued Cole Group Architects and Cornerstone Construction. In turn, Cornerstone has sued the subcontractors used on the project.
The 78-room hotel at 7083 153rd Street West was completed in 2007. According to court documents, Apple Valley GSRS contracted with Cole in December of 2005. Cornerstone was brought on board in October of 2006, signing a $5,984,036 contract with the company, then known as ETC Enterprises. Both companies have built more than one GrandStay location. Cole designed at least three other GrandStay hotels in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Cornerstone has worked on eight throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, including the GrandStay in Apple Valley.
Apple Valley GSRS claims that Cole did not design the hotel in accordance with industry standards. The suit also takes aim at Cornerstone, arguing that the contractor used substandard materials and improper building techniques. The group further claims that Cornerstone then failed to adequately repair the defective work.
As a result, the building has "suffered significant damage." In 2011, a professional engineer hired by the hotel found cracking and crumbling stucco and masonry, along with evidence of water damage. The engineer noted black staining and fungal-like growth in the interior of the hotel. The engineer concluded that all the stucco should be removed from the building and replaced. By September 2012, the vulnerable spots had become significant leaks, the engineer reported during a follow up visit. He recommended a complete replacement of the flat roofing.
Apple Valley GSRS filed suit in February of 2012. Cornerstone has denied the company's claims. In a third party suit, Cornerstone has also implicated its subcontractors: Doug Speedling Builders, Navigators Incorporated, Dakota Rhoads Masonry II, Herzog Roofing, Excalibur Caulking, and Ochs Brick & Stone.
If no settlement is reached, the case will go to trial on April 15.