Whether you’re new to the lien rights management process or a notice-sending black-belt, you know that you need to know the project type in order to protect your lien rights.  When it comes to lien rights management and the zlien system, there are 5 possible project types, and there are different forms to send depending on what kind of job you are working on. A job can be Residential, Owner Occupied Residential, Commercial, State/County, or Federal, and various factors can determine what category your project falls into.  Unfortunately, it can be tricky to identify the type for some of the biggest and most common construction projects like schools, hospitals, and stadiums.  
In the fourth installment of our “What’s Your Project Type” series, we will explain how Public Private Partnerships (P3 projects) could be commercial or state/county jobs, and we’ll identify some of the determining factors. Please note, however, that this is a complicated topic, and laws vary from state to state.
This article offers some basic guidelines based on examples we’ve seen in our work.  We recommend looking at our other resources and consulting an attorney familiar with construction law in your state before embarking on a P3 project.

Hospital ConstructionSchool ConstructionMixed Use DevelopmentsStadium Construction

Ready? Let’s Play What’s Your
P3 Project Type?

I am a toll road under construction in California. CalTrans, the state’s department of transportation, owns the land, but it contracted with a private developer to build the road. As part of the agreement, CalTrans granted the developer a long-term lease to operate the road and collect tolls. You are the general contractor and contracted directly with the private developer.

What’s my type?

Your work here would be classified as commercial, and you would protect yourself and seek remedy according to mechanic’s lien law. The developer’s lease constitutes a private property right, which means a mechanic’s lien would be valid. Furthermore, you contracted directly with the developer rather than the public entity.

I am a municipal train station being redone in Berkley, CA on land owned by CalTrans, who has contracted with a private developer to build and operate some retail and residential units on the land. You were hired by the project’s GC to perform electrical work for the train station itself.

What’s my type?

Considering the part of the project you are working on, this is a state/county job.  The land is owned by a public entity, and CalTrans will continue to operate the train lines, so the developer does not have any interest or property right on this portion of the job.  You would send a public notice for this job and solve non-payment issues with a public bond claim.

I am a science and technology magnet school located near Houston, TX on land owned by a private LLC.  I have no cost of attendance nor an admissions process, but I am funded by private donors.

What’s my type?

I am a charter school, but likely a commercial project. Just because I am free to attend, and may even be called a public charter school does not mean I am public project. I am commercial because I am on privately held land and privately funded. Charter schools on private property do not necessarily have to follow the same state bidding or project regulations as public schools.  

I am a small K-12 academy in the suburbs of Denver, CO.  I stand on several acres owned by my own board of directors, and you can see I have a fairly rigorous admissions process and high cost of attendance.

What’s my type?

Because I am privately owned and funded through tuition money and private donations, I am a private school.  You rented equipment to a GC building me a new gymnasium, and this was a commercial job.  Other private schools may be owned by religious organizations or private non-profits, and they do not have to publish project information in the public record.

Project type is important! Just ask zlien

It is especially hard to determine the project type on P3 jobs, and you must examine factors like ownership, hiring parties, and property rights on a case by case basis to determine the job type.  Even then, it can still be complex, which is why zlien employs a team of researchers to dig up hard-to-find project information so we can confidently verify your project’s type or suggest something different. If you’d like to learn more about how zlien can help find information about your projects and help you manage your lien rights, please get in touch. We’d love to chat!

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What's Your Project Type? P3 Construction Projects
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What's Your Project Type? P3 Construction Projects
P3 construction projects are very complex | This article will help you determine what project type is for the P3 construction project you are working on.
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