Eli Broad has been sitting atop the Los Angeles art world for nearly a month now. The developer-turned-philanthropist's new, $140-million contemporary art museum opened on September 20 and already has a waiting list for tickets that stretches into December. But now he's facing a problem not common to billionaires: foreclosure. According to the Los Angeles Business Journal, the subcontractor in charge of designing and constructing The Broad museum's honeycombed outer veil is moving to foreclose on the museum in order to recoup nearly $7 million in construction expenses.
The problem all stems from a switch in building materials for the museum's cheese gratery exterior. The original design called for precast concrete for the facade, but working with that material proved too complex, so the design was scaled WAY back, and steel and glass-fiber were brought in as substitutes, leading to months of delays and cost overruns. The original budget for the outer veil was $29.3 million, but soon the pricetag grew to $34.8 million. Now subcontractor Seele Inc. is moving to foreclose on the entire property until it gets the $6.9 million it says that Broad owes them for the cost overruns.
The third wealthiest man in LA isn't backing down though. Broad sued the subcontractor last year for $19.8 million, claiming Seele breached its original contract with the museum and holding up construction by 15 months. The case is still pending in LA Superior Court, and the foreclosure is expected to be consolidated with Broad's original lawsuit.
· Subcontractor Hangs Foreclosure Filing on Broad [LA Business Journal]
· The Broad Museum Reveals Its Newly Disappointing Facade [Curbed LA]
· Take a Full Tour Around Downtown LA's The Broad Art Museum [Curbed LA]