Here are all the lawsuits facing ailing Utah contractor Makers Line

Lawsuits and liens are piling up, as the high-profile developer behind the Granary District’s INDUSTRY SLC building remains silent.

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Makers Line branding is seen on the side of a crane at Atre Sugar House, a two-building development, in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

The current tally of lawsuits filed against contractor Makers Line stands at 15 — and combined, they demand more than $2.8 million.

Subcontractors name a mix of defendants — Makers Line, Jason Winkler and his wife-business partner Ellen Winkler, and two other companies in their orbit, Industry Office SLC and Titus Shotcrete — and allege they haven’t paid for work on Utah construction projects.

H&E Equipment Service Utah Inc. has filed three separate suits, seeking $771,365.64 in damages for work on different projects. The most recent claims were filed Monday, and they seek the largest dollar amounts from the Winklers and associates.

Makers Line has gone silent in recent weeks — since Jason Winkler texted Building Salt Lake last month that the company did “not quite” close down. The fate of Makers Line projects across the Wasatch Front is uncertain — the contractor is attached to at least eight ongoing projects in Salt Lake City, according to city records.

The Winklers’ development firm, Q Factor, part of an “integrated suite of companies” that includes Makers Line, made a quick name for itself by converting an old Granary District foundry building into the hip, contemporary office space that is INDUSTRY, SLC. Here, grouped by building project, is a rundown of the lawsuits now filed against the Winklers’ companies:

Union Walk Apartments, Ogden

The fact that Makers Line is being sued doesn’t mean it necessarily will be required to pay, as a judge’s ruling last week showed.

Two lawsuits are connected to a 55-unit apartment building at 144 25th St., Ogden — which has been sitting idle since March, when the city halted construction after finding untreated lumber being used.

One was filed Aug. 24 by Bear River Heating and Air Conditioning in Logan, which asked for $64,028.76 from Makers Line and Union Station, the property owner, for labor and equipment.

Attorneys for Makers Line argued in its defense that it hadn’t paid Bear River Heating because Union Station LLC hadn’t yet paid Makers Line.

After Union Station failed to respond to the suit, a judge issued a default judgment against it, saying it has to pay the entire amount sought. Representatives for Union Station did not immediately respond to The Tribune’s requests for comment Friday; nor did Jason Winkler or his listed attorney.

For work on the same building, Bingham Plumbing & Mechanical is seeking $106,173.24 from Makers Line LLC, Union Station LLC, and others for labor and materials.

Union Station has not responded to that July 20 suit, either, and the judge declared on Aug. 31 that Union Station had defaulted; a final ruling is pending.

Union Station LLC and Summa Terra Ventures have the same registered agent, Aubrey Palmer. Summa Terra Ventures’ website lists Union Walk as one of its projects; CEO Mike Watson declined to comment Friday.

Bueno Avenue Apartments, Salt Lake City

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Bueno Apartments, one of Makers Line's projects under construction on 700 East, on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023.

This apartment complex off busy 700 East in Salt Lake City is mentioned in a lawsuit filed by Kilgore Companies LLC, which does business as Altaview Concrete. It lists the Bueno Avenue property, at 129 S. 700 East, as one of the locations where it has done work and was not paid.

The plans for this development call for micro-units with shared kitchens; the conditional use permit designates it as a rooming house. The project drew objections from neighbors and members of Wasatch Tenants United, who criticized its density and argued it threatened to lower the city’s living standards while pushing the area’s already exorbitant rents even higher.

[Read more: Some fear a new boardinghouse near 700 East will worsen SLC’s housing crisis]

Telegraph Building Lofts, Salt Lake City

(Utah State Historical Society) A view of the Hyland Exchange Building at 847 S. 800 East, Salt Lake City, on Nov. 23, 1912, from Harry Shipler, Shipler Commercial Photographers. The building held workers for Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph.

A renovation of the historic three-story brick building at 847 S. 800 East in Salt Lake City, near a Smith’s store, and the addition of adjoining town houses is mentioned in one lawsuit.

LG Concrete filed the lawsuit on Oct. 30 against Titus and another developer, ClearWater Homes LLC, seeking $99,849.15 for materials and labor.

The brick building was constructed in 1911 as a Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Building, according to city documents. The ClearWater Homes design calls for six residential lofts within the renovated building, with three-story town house units built behind and beside it.

(The Salt Lake Tribune) The vacant former Hyland Exchange Building, built in 1911 for Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph workers, is in the foreground, with new construction of town houses behind it. The historic building is slated to be renovated into residential lofts.

Apartments off Whitney Avenue, Salt Lake City

This project, at about 1481 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, is mentioned in one lawsuit.

LG Concrete, in a suit filed Oct. 30, is seeking $142,924.44 from Titus Shotcrete — along with an investor and unnamed individuals — for labor and materials for this building. Makers Line and Roers Companies signs are visible at the site, advertised online as opening next year as The Whitney.

(The Salt Lake Tribune) Construction of apartments off Whitney Avenue, between 400 West and 300 West, in Salt Lake City.

Opus Green Apartments, Millcreek

Two lawsuits mention this development at 4186 S. Main St., Millcreek:

H&E Equipment Services Utah Inc. filed a suit on Nov. 2 against Industry Office SLC LLC, Forge Campus LLC, the Winklers — along with several developers and property owners, and unnamed individuals — claiming unpaid bills worth $771,365.64. The suit initially did not list specific properties, but an amended complaint filed on Nov. 13 sought construction liens against five, including Opus Green.

• LG Concrete, in another lawsuit filed Oct. 30, said Makers Line — along with the property owners and unnamed individuals — owe $104,194 for unpaid work there.

Hart Apartments, Clearfield

This complex, at 175 S. 275 East in Clearfield, is mentioned in one case: Mechanical Design & Service LLC filed a lawsuit on April 21 against Makers Line LLC, seeking $80,161.25 for work on HVAC services.

Industry Office SLC

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Industry SLC brought new life to an old foundry in Salt Lake City's Granary District. There are roughly a dozen liens pending on the building now.

The main offices for Makers Line and its affiliated companies, at 513 W. 600 South in Salt Lake City, is mentioned in three of the lawsuits:

LG Concrete, in one of five lawsuits it filed Oct. 30, claimed Industry Office LLC and Titus Shotcrete owe $41,349 for work on the building.

• Kilgore Companies LLC, or Altaview Concrete, listed the main offices and an adjoining parcel in its suit against Titus, the Winklers, Industry Office LLC, and the other owners of the property. The total Kilgore is seeking in that suit, filed Nov. 3, is $393,515.41.

• The amended claim on H&E Equipment Services’ Nov. 2 lawsuit lists the Industry office as one of the properties it is seeking construction liens against.

• Roughly a dozen liens filed against the property are still pending, including four filed this week from various subcontractors.

The Winklers are minority owners of the building. More than 20 liens in total have been filed against the property by various subcontractors, according to city records, but some have been resolved.

Atre Sugar House, Salt Lake City

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Construction continues at Atre Sugar House, a two-building development, in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

This apartment project at 1132 E. Ashton Ave., in Salt Lake City’s Sugar House neighborhood, is cited in three lawsuits:

• One of the lawsuits filed Oct. 30 by LG Concrete — against Titus, the property owner, and unnamed individuals — seeks $31,766.52 for unpaid bills.

• The Kilgore lawsuit lists the Ashton Ave. property as another location where Altaview Concrete did work and was not paid.

• The amended claim on H&E Equipment Services’ Nov. 2 lawsuit lists Atre as one of the properties it is seeking construction liens against.

Liberty Square Apartments

Liberty Square Apartments, at 639 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City (across from Trolley Square), is another of the five properties H&E Equipment Services has filed a construction lien against in its amended claim.

Forge Campus

The amended claim on H&E Equipment Services’ Nov. 2 lawsuit lists Forge Campus, at 3150 W. Haun Dr., West Jordan, as one of the properties it is seeking construction liens against. Forge is the steel and metal-making part of the Winklers’ group of companies.

Caster Flats, Ogden

The apartment building at 638 23rd St., Ogden, is mentioned in one case: Allied Painters filed a lawsuit on Nov. 1 against Makers Line LLC — as well as the property owners and developers, and unnamed individuals — for $33,663, for unpaid painting work and materials.

Summa Terra headquarters

A lawsuit and lien have been filed against associates of the property at 79 W. 900 North, Suite B, in Springville. H&E Equipment Services Utah Inc. filed the suit Nov. 13 against the Winklers, JAG Equipment, property owners and unnamed defendants claiming $771,365.64 plus interest in damages.

H&E Equipment claims it provided rental equipment and services for the property but was not paid. The complaint and lawsuit list 12SB, LLC as the property owner. The LLC is registered to another LLC; both list the contested Springville address as their principal address. Summa Terra Ventures lists the address as its headquarters on its website.

Second State Apartments

The apartment building at 230 State St., Clearfield, is mentioned in one lawsuit: H&E Equipment Services Utah Inc. filed a suit Nov. 13 against the Winklers, JAG Equipment, property owners and unnamed defendants claiming $771,365.64 and filing a lien on the Clearfield apartment building. It’s one of three lawsuits H&E Equipment has filed against the Winklers and associates.

Other lawsuits for work in Salt Lake County

Three more lawsuits have been filed in 3rd District Court that claim bills are unpaid for work done in Salt Lake County, without listing specific properties:

• 1 Source Portable Air LLC, in a lawsuit filed Nov. 9, sued Makers Line LLC for $215,845.86 in what it said was unpaid heating and cooling-related work.

• McDonnell Holdings LLC, doing business as Boulder Landscaping, filed a suit Sept. 12 against Makers Line, claiming $65,287.48 for landscaping work.

Diamond Rental LLC filed a suit Sept. 28 against Makers Line and Jason Winkler, for $64,891.36 for equipment, parts and services.

Shannon Sollitt is a Report for America corps member covering business accountability and sustainability for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.

Editor’s note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.