Property owners file lawsuit against Casey Bachrodt claiming mismanagement and breach of fiduciary responsibility

WICHITA — Various entities, all partially owned by Summit Holdings LLC, have filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against developer Casey Bachrodt.

Summit’s five shareholders also own Key Construction.

The suit claims Bachrodt mismanaged six properties in which he also was an owner.

“We feel like he didn’t fulfill his fiduciary responsibility,” says John Walker, Summit administrator and member.

Bachrodt didn’t return calls for comment.

The relationship between Bachrodt and Summit goes back at least a decade.

Starting in October, Summit began removing Bachrodt from managing its properties, including two strip centers in Andover, one in Emporia, one in Texas and two office buildings on and near Rock Road in Wichita.

Walker says Bachrodt didn’t market the properties properly or do a good job keeping tenants or being responsive to them.

“It’s been an ongoing problem, and we weren’t able to control it and get all the details we needed until we took (the properties) over,” Walker says.

Builders Inc. now manages the properties, which Walker says “has been a very good move for us.”



You don’t say

“I’d be better off at work.”

Key Construction CFO John Walker, who says he’s working harder on “vacation” this week at home taking care of his six children than if he were at the office

Key Construction sues former executive vice president Pat Ayars over shares in four companies

ayars.jpgWICHITA — Key Construction has filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court seeking more than $156,801 plus interest from former employee Pat Ayars.

The dispute relates to shares Ayars owns in four Key companies.

“I was surprised that they elected to sue,” says Ayars, a former executive vice president.

“One of their founding principles is not to sue or be sued, and I thought we were working toward a reasonable conclusion.”

Key chief financial officer John Walker says the company had to file a lawsuit “just to move everything off dead center because he’s been unresponsive.”

Over the more than 11 years Ayars was the public face at Key, he acquired shares in the company as well as parent company Key Construction Cos.; Summit Holdings, a real estate investment LLC; and Key Con-Air, an LLC that owns an airplane.

According to the suit, Ayars signed an agreement that he would sell back his shares to the company at an agreed-upon price if his employment was terminated for any reason.

Ayars lost his job at Key in January and has since formed Oxford Development Holdings to build and acquire senior care centers.

The suit says Ayars signed a promissory note to pay for the stock in the companies.

“Ayars has failed or refused to repay the unpaid balance of the note in the principal amount of $391,459.61 and also owes interest on that obligation at the rate of 7 percent per annum,” the suit says.

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Key Construction adjusts staffing levels while waiting for projects to start

WICHITA — Key Construction laid off seven of its 110 employees in Wichita last week, including four assistant project managers and three clerical workers.

“We’ve got a couple of projects wrapping up,” says chief financial officer John Walker.

There are some new projects on the horizon, he says, “But not as soon as we’d like.”

Financing and getting commitments take longer than in the past.

“Everything takes a little bit longer to start right now,” Walker says.

About a month ago, Key laid off five of its 26 workers in its Dallas-Fort Worth office.

Walker says that area is much harder hit.

“We have so many opportunities down in that office that we don’t have in other markets, but you still have to adjust to the amount of work that you have and that you’re going to get.”

Key has a total of 175 employees.

“There’s a lot of good things happening,” Walker says. “We just need them to happen faster.”