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Hilton owner settles debt; construction slated to resume |

Hilton owner settles debt; construction slated to resume

Margaret Harding And Jodi Weigand
| Wednesday, July 1, 2009 12:00 a.m

The owner of the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel has settled its debt with a contractor, seemingly clearing the way for construction to resume at the Downtown hotel more than a month after workers walked off the job.

David Raves, attorney for West Mifflin-based P.J. Dick Inc., said today Shubh Hotels “satisfied” a $317,273.50 lien the contractor filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, but he was unsure when workers would return.

He would not say whether Shubh paid the debt in full. A court record filed Monday indicated costs have been paid, although it doesn’t say how much.

Raves declined further comment.

Officials with the Hilton, Downtown, and Shubh did not return phone messages.

“We’ve been urging the company to do what they need to do to get at least the front of the hotel complete by the time the G-20 rolls around,” said Kevin Evanto, spokesman for Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato. “Obviously, settling the lien is a step in the right direction. We’re hoping that it will enable construction to resume.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl did not immediately return a phone message.

P.J. Dick workers walked off the site of the $25 million renovation project May 15 after not being paid by Shubh, according to a mechanic’s lien filed two weeks ago. It was the second time in 13 months workers walked off the job because they weren’t paid.

Some out-of-town guests at the hotel, the largest in Pittsburgh, said they didn’t know about the construction until they arrived.

Guy DeFlorio, 52, of Seattle said it was difficult not to notice the red, rust-colored beams outside that will eventually support a larger entrance and a few unfinished projects inside the hotel.

“It looked like some of the floors weren’t completely finished,” he said. “And when the elevator doors opened on other floors, you could see they weren’t done at all.”

There have been 17 mechanic’s liens filed against the Boca Raton, Fla.-based Shubh in the last 18 months concerning the Hilton.

The largest was submitted by Comm Steel Inc. of Cleveland for $651,940 for structural steel and metal decking provided and installed.

Staff writer Adam Brandolph contributed to this report.

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