A heap of liens is stacking up against Nike and its general contractor following the construction of its monstrous campus expansion near Beaverton, OR. As it stands, about $110 million worth of liens, across several construction companies, have been filed against the corporate powerhouse.
Topping this list is Hoffman Construction, which claims Nike still owes the firm $48 million from its original $433 million contract, according to The Oregonian. However, documents show that Nike has paid $410 million of that contract.
Other companies involved in the numerous lien filings since the beginning of 2021, per The Oregonian, include:
According to news reports, Nike has declined to address the validity of these lien claims despite the lawsuits that may result from them. In a statement, the firm said:
"A project of this size and scope involves complexity. We are committed to seeing through the successful completion of our expansion. But as we have done throughout this project, we will refrain from sharing details related to costs and contracts."
Based on information from NACM STS's Lien Navigator, to have lien rights in Oregon on private construction projects such as this one, subcontractors and material suppliers must serve a first notice within eight business days of first furnishing to the owner. Otherwise, they forfeit their rights to file a lien.
Although not required, also sending the lender a notice would give suppliers super lien priority, meaning a lien for material would have priority over prior recorded mortgages. To be valid, the person furnishing the materials must deliver notice—no later than eight days after delivery of materials—to the mortgage holder either a copy of the notice given to the owner or notice that provides substantially the same information.
"If you only notify the owner, you'll still have lien rights, but your lien will fall behind the bank," said Connie Baker, director of operations for NACM STS.
When selling directly to the property owner, a sub or supplier would not have to file the first furnishing notice. "You have the right to go straight to lien," Baker said.
The Lien Navigator advises filing a lien prior to the shorter of 75 days from last furnishing or 75 days of substantial completion of construction. "So, it could be based on a suppliers last furnishing date to the job or if you are at the end of the job within 75 days from substantial completion," Baker explained.
Subscribers can use the Lien Navigator to research lien and bond rights in all 50 states. Companies must take proactive steps to understand their lien rights in states they do business. With projects like Nike's expansion, construction companies must also be diligent in tracking delays and unexpected costs to avoid the possibility of absent compensation.
-Bryan Mason, editorial associate