Building Owner says Construction of Parking Ramp Damaged his Property

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

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By Forrest Saunders

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids man claims construction of one of the city’s newest parking ramps caused thousands of dollars' worth of damage to his nearby property. He said he wants those responsible to pay for the repairs or potentially face litigation.

The ramp is located at 325 1st Ave Southeast. It recently opened with 490 spots.

During the ramp's construction, the owner of the Bricks Bar & Grill building next door, Kurt Luedtke, said workers used the top of his 113-year-old structure as a work platform.

“They had no permission to be on the building, they took no precautions to protect it,” Luedtke.

Luedtke was left with concrete on air vents, skylights, a staircase and more. Plus, he said crews dropped tools and cracked the roof, which is leaking. Repair costs are high.

“Right now it’s running close to $40,000,” said Luedtke.

Luedtke took the issue to the city in an August letter, who, in another letter, told him they’re not liable because of indemnity. The city said Luedtke’s concerns would be forwarded to the ramp project’s management firm, Frew Nations Group, who would inform the contractor, Knutson Construction.

Months later, Luedtke is still waiting for some action.

“It looks like I am going to end up with the monetary burden of this, which I am the victim,” said Luedtke.

KCRG contacted Frew for comment, which they declined; however, Knutson said this was the first they’d heard of the issue, and will be investigating.

“Until we have our opportunity to go and do our investigation, with our quality control people, I really can’t respond to the allegations,” said David Bastyr, the Executive Vice President of Minnesota Operations for Knutson Construction.

City officials said to protect property owners in situations like this they retain a portion of a contractor's payment that'll cover the claim. The city said money is released once they’re satisfied the issue has been resolved in a fair manner.

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