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Local contractors sue for pay

Kronau Construction and Equipment Inc, the Colonie contracting company that said it was not paid for the work it did on the new Price Chopper in the Village of Colonie, filed a lawsuit for compensation, naming Price Chopper and WP Colonie Associates, LLC, the owner of the property, in the suit.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday, June 1, the day of the grand opening of the new ecologically friendly Price Chopper at the Colonie Plaza on Central Avenue. Pickets crowded the entranceway to the plaza on June 1, handing out fliers and talking to patrons about the money they are owed by the landlord for completing work on the project.

Chip Kronau, president of Kronau Construction and Equipment Inc., said his company is owed about $646,000 by WP Realty, the company that owns WP Colonie Associates, LLC. His company had subcontracted with other contractors and owes them about $500,000 which he says he cannot pay until he receives his money from WP.

Kronau said while WP had told the contractors to go ahead with the project, they were already aware that they would not receive the financing they would need to pay the contractors for their work. Still, Kronau said, WP had the workers complete the job with no intention of paying them.

In response to these allegations, WP Realty released a statement last week, to which they referred when contacted by The Spotlight. When asked when they will be able to pay the contractors and whether this has happened before, WP Manager of Corporate Communications Cathy Pritchard said, [We are] more comfortable sticking to the statement that we sent."

The statement reads, "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 diligently to overcome them."

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