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Monarch 716 developer faces more liens over unpaid work

Three more contractors have filed mechanics liens against the Rochester-based developer of a sprawling student-housing complex near Buffalo State College, asserting that it failed to pay more than $140,000 in past-due bills.

Oneida Fence of Lancaster filed a lien for $67,453 in the Erie County Clerk's office against Buffalo State Ventures - the company set up by DHD Ventures to own and operate the Monarch 716 apartment community on Buffalo's West Side.

The contractor said it installed metal fencing at the complex at 100 Forest Ave. in Buffalo under a total contract of $160,324, but has not been fully compensated for work that ended Aug. 19, 2017.

Mike Lina Paving Inc. of East Aurora also filed a lien for $70,000, citing materials and labor provided from Nov. 21, 2016 through Aug. 24, 2017. The total contract was $364,310.

Separately, Buffalo-based Rodriguez Construction Group said it is still owed $4,250 for the full value of maintenance and cleaning services provided over two days in September, after the 592-bed complex opened to students.

The newest liens add to several filed earlier by the lead contractor on the project and two other firms, totaling more than $3.7 million. That includes $3.6 million just for general contractor Kulbacks Inc., whose total contract was $31.9 million. DHD and Buffalo State Ventures also face a lawsuit from their furniture supplier.

DHD, led by Thomas Masaschi of Rochester and Jason Teller of North Carolina, developed the 10-building complex over the last two years. The project features nine residential buildings and a one-story clubhouse, with 176 suites.

It was built at a cost of $25 million, and is aimed primarily at nearby Buffalo State just a mile away, although its tenants also include students at other area schools.

The units - with two, three or four bedrooms - are fully furnished with stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, in-unit laundry, full-sized beds, a shared kitchen and living area, private bedrooms with locks, and high-speed Internet service.

Besides the leasing and management offices, the clubhouse includes a 24-hour gym, a two-lane bowling alley, a computer lab, a stand-up tanning bed, a breakfast nook and seating areas. Just outside in back are a swimming pool, basketball courts and fire pits, plus significant parking among the buildings.

Meanwhile, the complex remains up for sale, as DHD seeks to cash out of the project. The developer had originally listed it with CBRE-Buffalo for over $60 million, but had no takers. Now, real estate sources say, the target price is closer to $45 million.

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