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Developer, builder of Woodbury's CityWalk units being sued

Association members claim the construction at CityWalk's English Manor townhomes was done poorly. Another lawsuit involving the developer and builder was settled out of court.

The developer and builder of a large-scale development once dubbed Woodbury's "city within a city" are being sued by association members who claim shoddy work threatens to doom the buildings long before their life expectancy.

A trial originally set to begin this week involving five defendants - all involved in the development of residential units at CityWalk's English Manor Homes - has been postponed until October.

According to online court records, the jury trial is now set for Oct. 15.

Named in the suit are CityWalk Development, LP, CityWalk Limited Partnership, LLLP, LaCesse CityWalk, LeCesse Development Corporation and Weis Builders. Weis Builders has brought claims in the case against several third-party defendants that served as subcontractors on the project.

The case represents the second lawsuit brought against the defendants. Association members of the Mews condominiums reached a settlement with the defendants in February, the terms of which were not disclosed.

The Mews condos, constructed in 2004 and 2005, are located above businesses on CityWalk Drive.

Woodbury lawyer Paul Peterson, who is representing association members in the legal action, described the two lawsuits as "a very important case and series of cases."

He said the confidential settlement payment in the Mews case allows the association to "get the proper repairs done."

"They're going to receive what they originally bargained for," he said of association members. "We're not going to have a major development in Woodbury deteriorating prematurely. That helps the city, the county - our tax base."

A call seeking comment from attorneys representing LeCesse and Weis Builders was not returned.

According to briefs filed in the current case involving English Manor, the association alleges Weis Builders were negligent in construction and in its supervision of subcontractors. The suit also alleges LeCesse was negligent in its management and supervision of the project and was in breach of fiduciary duty.

English Manor consists of 53 townhome-style units built within the CityWalk development.

Attorneys for the association will attempt to show that construction deficiencies allowed water to infiltrate the homes, causing damage. A legal brief submitted in the case alleges improperly installed siding, sealant joints around windows, door and trim, brick veneer water proof and vapor retarders.

The brief also alleges insufficient insulation and improperly installed roofing materials.

The problems allowed water into the units and caused "significant" mold growth, according to the allegations.

Similar allegations were set forth in the Mews case, which was resolved out of court.

In that case, the association alleged Weis and LeCesse failed to properly fix water intrusion problems after being made aware of the issues. The Mews case alleged many of the same installation problems as is alleged in the English Manor suit.

The damage led to moisture degradation within building materials in the Mews units, according to a legal brief.

Peterson said a third lawsuit is also being brought for construction problems at the Flats - another CityWalk property.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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