THE matter involving developers of The Leonardo, the R3 billion Sandton skyscraper – who booted out construction firm Aveng, takes a new twist as Aveng now seeks an adjudicator.
The Leonardo is mixed-use development and Africa’s tallest building. The 234-metre skyscraper, developed by the Legacy Group and Nedbank, was designed to house 254 apartments, a three-floor penthouse and five floors of office space, as well as shops and restaurants.
Last month Listed construction and engineering group Aveng confirmed it had received a notice from Seventy Five on Maude, part of Bart Dorrestein’s Legacy Group, purporting to terminate the Leonardo construction contract. The Legacy Group has also made a call on the R87.4 million construction guarantee procured by Aveng as part of the contract.
On the sidelines of the infrastructure and resources group’s results presentation for the six months ended in December, CEO Sean Flanagan said Aveng had not done any work at The Leonardo site since December 6.
“We are very confident that that job was practically complete at the point of termination. We have a number of significant contract disputes with the developer and we have to follow the contract.
“Those provisions of the contract survive the termination. We have two matters that are before the adjudicator at the moment,” he said.
He said the adjudication was not aimed at restoring the contract, but rather at determining whether the developer was right and who owed whom what. The group has not disclosed the extent of losses it will incur as a result of the termination.
The Legacy Group has remained silent about the saga and attempts to obtain comment from the group were unsuccessful. Calls to Legacy Group Chairman Bart Dorrestein’s cellphone were not answered or responded to.
Aveng last year took a decision to sell non-core assets when it became clear that the sector downturn wasn’t reversing any time soon. It decided to focus in its mining business in SA.
To date, the group has disposed more than R1 billion of these businesses, including geotechnical contractor, Ground Engineering, road rehabilitation and infrastructure unit, Rand Roads, as well as its building and civil engineering businesses. The company had planned 12 disposals and has signed 10 deals so far.
Source: SA Commercial Property News http://www.sacommercialpropnews.co.za/construction-industry/9207-another-twist-in-the-ongoing-saga-between-aveng-and-the-leonardo.html