The Sandy Springs Public Facilities Authority approved a $1.8 million settlement with Holder Construction over a lawsuit and countersuits dealing with construction of City Springs.

City Attorney Dan Lee at a July 20 meeting recommended that Mayor Rusty Paul and City Council, meeting as the authority, approve the settlement on the City Springs project. Council member Chris Burnett said the construction project still is on budget even with the costs of the legal dispute and the settlement. 

The settlement ends the suits and countersuits between the city and Holder Construction. (John Ruch)

City Springs cost $239 million to construct. Holder was hired in June 2015 as the construction manager for the public parts of the civic center, which includes a City Hall, the City Green park and the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. The complex opened in phases in 2018.

The city had withheld the last few payments to Holder over problems with the cistern, a leaking roof and three other areas, Lee said. Holder filed a lawsuit over the missed payments, initially for $2.6 million. 

Holder later amended the lawsuit to $3.4 million, according to Lee. 

The city countersued, claiming Holder breached its contract, built with negligence and committed fraud.

The settlement now resolves the issues between the city and Holder. Sandy Springs also paid Holder an additional $1 million for work completed after the lawsuit was filed. 

Lee on July 20 said problems with the cistern have been identified, and a solution is underway to fix the issue. 

Paul said with a $239 million project, the dispute was over approximately 1.5% of the total.

“So, 98-plus-percent of the project was done well … So we’re glad to be able to resolve this issue and finally get this behind us and move forward,” he said.

A separate suit against the Rosser architectural firm is awaiting a decision from Fulton County Superior Court, the city said in a release.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.