OUCH! 17 Million Dollar Repair Bill for Leaky Facade, Decks, Windows at Denver Condo

and you thought your recent special assessment was a lot…

read on about this repair job in Denver!

Swanky Denver condos getting new skin
The tab to replace the Beauvallon’s failing exterior is $17 million.
By Mike McPhee
The Denver Post

Beauvallon, the European-style condo complex at East Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Street, is being wrapped, so to speak, not by the artist Christo but by workers who must replace the entire exterior of the twin-tower, 15-story building.

Workers will remove the stucco exterior of the 200-unit building as well as the pre-cast stonework that gives the building its distinctive French style. The $17 million repair job will take 22 months.

The problem, according to Beauvallon homeowners association president Peter Mannetti, was the poor application of the building’s skin, which is composed of a fabric vapor barrier, then Styrofoam insulation that is coated with a thin veneer of stucco, troweled on by hand.

There also are problems with gutters and drainpipes.

“The building structure is in very good shape,” Mannetti said. “We’re repairing the water problems and bringing the building up to the quality that the buyers expected.”

About 200,000 square feet of the building’s exterior will be stripped off in stages, creating much dust and Styrofoam “fly,” particles similar to the “snow” in globes sold in tourist stores. This means the building must be wrapped with tarps to protect the neighborhood. The work began two weeks ago, when about 25 workers began erecting steel scaffolding and wrapping the southern end of the south tower.

Darren Hinton, project manager for Milender White Construction Co., devised a unique procedure for getting the work done with minimal inconvenience to the residents of the almost fully occupied building.

“The scaffolding will be moved down in a spiral fashion to the ground by Christmas,” he said. “Then we’ll work on the retail space on the first two floors over the winter and do the north tower next spring and summer. We hope that no individual residence will be affected for more than a few weeks.”

The building has four empty units, where some of the residents may move while work is being done outside their apartments.

“Hopefully, the building will look exactly the same when we finish as it did when we started — the same cornice shapes, same color, same texture,” Mannetti said.

Milender White Construction built the nearby Museum Residences at the Denver Art Museum and currently is redoing the Hilton Garden Inn at South Colorado Boulevard and South Cherry Creek Drive.

Everything on the building that should repel water and the weather will be replaced, including all window and door flashing, rubber membranes under patios, porches and walkways. All gutters and downspouts also will be replaced.

Mannetti said that because the building’s more than 800 windows and doors will have to be removed and then reinstalled, the homeowners association voted to pay to upgrade them to efficient, low-E units. The old units will be donated to charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Mannetti said, as they are very usable.

Mannetti, a venture capitalist who lives in the building, said problems began appearing during examinations of the building shortly after the developer, Craig Nassi, turned control of the building over to the HOA in 2005.

Small tests showed poor workmanship, which led to more thorough testing, which showed more poor workmanship. Eventually, after several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of “destructive testing,” the HOA sued Nassi.

Attorneys Scott Sullan and Joe Smith reached a settlement with Nassi, which was sealed but that several published reports place in the $22 million to $24 million range.

Mike McPhee: 303-954-1409 or mmcphee@denverpost.com