The contractor overseeing construction of the second half of the Oxford Commons shopping center hasn’t been paid for its work, an executive with the company said Wednesday.
As a result, the company halted construction of the 50,000-square-foot building more than a month ago.
“The owner has not paid us in some time,” Robert Henson, vice president of the Atlanta-based Joe N. Guy Construction, said by phone Wednesday.
Henson referred to White Reach Development, which in 2011 announced it’d build the 20-acre shopping center in a two-phase project. Publix and Panera Bread anchor the first part of that project, which finished in 2013.
Efforts this week to reach the Kentucky-based developer were unsuccessful. Henson said the company’s representatives told him a loan had “fallen through,” but that another way to finance work on the center was being sought.
“When he gets that taken care of, we’ll get back out there,” said Henson, who is project manager for the contracting company.
There’s no timeline for the end of the work, Henson said, though the center is perhaps 75 percent complete. It’s to feature five stores, among them fabric and sewing supply outfitter Jo-Ann’s.
Signs up at the property put that store’s opening on Thursday, but with land meant to be a parking lot around the new building clay-red and unpaved, that’s unlikely.
Efforts Wednesday to reach a spokeswoman with Jo-Ann’s about the company’s expected opening date weren’t immediately unsuccessful.
This year’s stutter in development of the property north of Publix isn’t the first, and adding a third shopping center to I-20 Exit 188 has cost Oxford more than $10 million.
A sinkhole opened on the northern half of the land in 2012, and the city spent $3.3 million filling it — only two years after approving a $7.49 million bond to prepare the southern half of the site for Publix.
Efforts Wednesday to reach City Council President and interim mayor Steven Waits about the latest stop in work weren’t immediately successful.