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I have a situation that I would like to know how to handle...
I am a new developer in a city and found a condemed historic property to develop into residential condos though an architect I was introduced to. This architect has experience in restoring historical property, and we clicked. Long story-short, I met him several times to discuss my development ideas and had him draw a schematic of what I wanted which was combining the 3 story historic building with the small 1 story retail space next door and buliding a 10 story loft condo. While I was in the long process of negotiating the purchase of the historic building he quietly bought the bulding next door without saying anything until after he had closed on it. Now he bought himself into my deal which I didn't mind because I couldn't afford buying both properties and needed his expertise. My question is, he wants me to hire him for the architectural services and presented me with a proposal for his fees. I told him I'd get back with him, but this seemed very odd to me if he plans to be a partner in the project. I don't mind paying an architect but most of his fees are up front and no risk...what about any errors, redraws, etc...how do I handle this so everyone is happy?
If you are using the AIA series of contract documents this will all be very clear. It is a series of contract documents which has been around for around a hundred years. I'd say that is how it is done. You will have a good idea of where the risk is and how to minimize the contingencies.
*If I was in your shoes* Hmmm firstly, Sneaking up behind you and purchasing the building is enough to question if he is trust worthy to do business with. If you're planning to be in partners with him and he is bringing in his professional service then it's only fair that you contribute but I think it should only be half of the work that you should be paying as the other half is truly for himself. (Assuming your partnership is 50/50). Relatively speaking... you are a developer right? I'm sure there are skills that you are bringing into the table as well, maybe send him a fee for your service and he can pay half of that? Requesting upfront payment doesn't sound like common practice of an architect, I know architects sometimes ask for a deposit but in some part of the world it's no more than 10% according to the architects professional code of conduct. Just out of curiosity is he a licensed architect or a building designer calling himself an architect?
basically this guy went behind your back and given that i wouldn't hire him to do anything. granted, you didn't own the property and you couldn't afford it anyway. there are plenty of architects with this kind of experience. interview some of them. funny usually it the developer screwing the architect. http://www.aia.org/contractdocs/aias076745