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Conscious Alliance accuses seller of withholding use, occupancy restrictions for new facility

BROOMFIELD — The Conscious Alliance Inc., which harnesses the power of musicians, artists and natural-foods companies to raise awareness and funds for food-accessibility projects, particularly in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, has sued the seller of a building the nonprofit group bought in 2020, claiming that the company withheld information about use and occupancy restrictions in place at the property. 

The lawsuit, filed this month in Broomfield County District Court, accuses defendants E&J Rocky Mountain Properties LLC and Edward Gutierrez of selling real estate to CA that was “non-complian[t] with the fire and building codes,” and therefore “only permitted to host a small number of employees at the property.”

Conscious Alliance paid $2 million for the building at 3801 Industrial Lane, with the intention of using the property as “its national distribution center, as well as to host public events, fundraisers, donor events and other large scale public gatherings,” the lawsuit said. 

After the purchase, the nonprofit group was informed by a Broomfield fire official “that any modifications made to the property, or changes in its usage, would require the owner to bring the property up to fire code,” according to the complaint.

CA attorneys allege that communications between Gutierrez and Broomfield officials from years prior to the sale prove that the seller “was cautioned that the property could not be used for any large scale events, solely for simple meetings and operation.”

Gutierrez and E&J could not be reached for comment. Other than a filing with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office from 1999 that shows the company registered to a residential address in Longmont, E&J Rocky Mountain Properties LLC does not have an easily searchable internet presence. 

The complaint also indicates that Gutierrez had reason to believe that the necessary improvements to the building “far exceeds the value of the property.”

Conscious Alliance has reached an agreement with fire officials to continue occupying the Industrial Lane site, but only four employees can work there at a time, and no large events can be hosted, the lawsuit claims. “The occupancy use restrictions prevent plaintiff from using its warehouse space to its full potential.”

In addition to the disclosure issues related to use and occupancy restrictions, CA claims that shoddy construction of a drainage system by the defendant led to thousands of dollars of water damage in a series of flooding events. 

The lawsuit demands a court award to Conscious Alliance unspecified damages.

The Conscious Alliance Inc. v. E&J Rocky Mountain Properties LLC and Edward Gutierrez, case number 2022CV30325, was filed Dec. 9, 2022 in Broomfield County District Court.

Source: BizWest