Prominent Spokane-based general contractor Vandervert Construction Inc. is facing a financial crisis, and control of the company has been placed under receivership.
Spokane-based law firm Davidson, Backman, Medeiros PLLC was appointed to serve as the general receiver for Vandervert Construction in an effort to help the company pay off as much of its mounting debt as possible, according to a notice filed Friday in Spokane County Superior Court.
The purpose of a receivership is to preserve property of a person or entity pending distribution of receipts to creditors.
Vandervert Construction’s corporate office is located at 608 E. Holland, on Spokane’s North Side. At midmorning today, Feb. 5, the office’s doors were locked and the lights were off throughout most of the building. A lone pickup truck was in the parking lot on the building’s backside, and lights were on in an office on the building’s upper floor. However, nobody responded to knocks on the door.
The Journal made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Vandervert Construction via phone and e-mail. There was no answer at the company’s office phone number, and all calls were subsequently forwarded to a voicemail account.
Dick Vandervert founded Vandervert Construction Inc. in 1975 and sold the company seven years ago to Tim Stulc. He operates Vandervert Developments LLC, which does business as Vandervert Development & Hotels.
“I own 100 percent of development, and zero percent of construction. I’m a little sad this is all happening. I’m sad that I sold the company,” Vandervert said in an interview with the Journal on Monday.
While Vandervert Construction’s Spokane headquarters was inactive Monday, work continued on at least one of the company’s current major projects.
Vandervert Construction is the contractor on a Super 1 Foods supermarket project, which is being promoted as the anchor tenant for The Crossings, a new commercial development at the northeast corner of U.S. 95 and state Route 54, in Athol Idaho, about 20 miles north of Coeur d’Alene.
Ron McIntire, Super 1 Foods founder, says the project is still active.
“Almost everybody showed up for work this morning,” McIntire says. “Our project is just couple weeks till full completion.”
McIntire referred further questions to URM, the Spokane-based grocery distribution cooperative, which is overseeing the project.
Mike Winger, of URM, declines to comment on the project status and the Vandervert Construction situation.
Nathan Myers, a principal with IBEX Flooring LLC, says IBEX has a long relationship with Vandervert as a subcontractor and is seeking payment for services on certain Vandervert projects.
“It’s an unfortunate situation and will probably have ripple effects for subcontractors and property owners,” Myers says.
Myers says, however, the construction market remains strong.
“The economy, especially in Spokane region, is in great shape,” he says. “It feels like an anomaly.”
“Hopefully that’s a blessing in terms of timing. Hopefully, others (subcontractors affected by the Vandervert situation) will benefit from the economy,” Myers says.
The receivership marks a reversal of circumstances for Vandervert Construction, which in late 2016 described itself as being in a steep growth mode. The company had opened satellite offices in Bellevue and the Tri-Cities in recent years.
Vandervert reported $58.1 million in 2016 contract revenue, ranking the company ninth on the list of leading Spokane area contractors as published in the Journal last June.
Recently completed projects included the $11.8 million Courtyard Inn by Marriott, in Pullman, and the $8 million My Fresh Basket grocery store in the Kendall Yards development, northwest of downtown Spokane.