UPDATED 6/3: EXCLUSIVE: Colonie contractors picket new Price Chopper

More than $646,000 is owed to contractors who worked for over a year to ensure the new Price Chopper on Central Avenue would be opened by Monday, June 1, according to Chip Kronau, president of Kronau Construction and Equipment Inc.

Help us get OUR green, read fliers being handed out Monday night by more than a dozen subcontractors and contractors who worked to lay concrete, put in new sidewalks and install other exterior features to the Price Chopper in Colonie Plaza, at 1892 Central Ave.

According to Kronau, WP Realty, the company that manages Colonie Plaza, had paid the contractors for their service up until September, at which point contractors did not receive money for more than three months of work.

The amount Kronau's company is owed amounts to over $646,000, he said. In turn, Kronau said he owes more than $500,000 to the subcontractors he hired to complete the job.

In consulting with his attorney, Kronau said, he had learned that while WP Realty had pledged to pay the contractors, early on in the project, perhaps even before the contractors broke ground, the company had run out of financing for the project but let the work proceed.

Kronau said WP Realty told the contractors they could sue them, if they wanted.

"We're left with no choice," Kronau said.

Representatives from WP Realty contacted The Spotlight Tuesday evening with a written statement that said, "We regret the unfortunate situation that has developed with a small group of Albany contractors. Throughout the building process, we communicated our concerns about the project's financing with our vendors and worked dilligently to overcome them."

The statement continues, "The current economic climate, particularly in the capital markets, has not allowed the quick resolution that we all desire to achieve. However, we do believe that a successful compromise with our lenders is in sight, which will allow us to honor our obligations to our contractors as well as complete the redevelopment."

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