by Ranger Kidwell-Ross,
Executive Director, World Sweeping Association and Editor, WorldSweeper.com
The contractor – who is well-known to our office but chose to remain anonymous to protect his business interests – said to his knowledge Oxford Property Services (Oxford) is not answering its telephone and its contractor website portal is offline.
Our understanding is that Oxford is a third party vendor that has had the contract for providing a variety of contractor types for DDR Corp. properties across the U.S. These contracted services include, in addition to parking area sweeping, landscaping, snow removal, lighting and more.
According to the contractor who called our office with the report, the facts of the situation as he understands them at this time are these:
The contractor, for obvious reasons, chose to remain anonymous. However, he agreed to conduct an audio interview with me that could be provided to others in the industry. Subsequent to our posting of the audio, we received a confidential tip reporting that efforts were being made to identify the contractor, purportedly so punitive action might be taken in regard to his involvement. As a result, we have removed the original file and replaced it with one modified as to pitch and speed. Though somewhat more difficult to listen to, there is now no way to discern who is speaking on the recording.
I called the DDR office the day this article was posted and ultimately spoke briefly with David Favorite, DDR’s Executive VP of Property Management. However, when I asked him to provide information about any modification in the relationship between DDR and Oxford – including whether contractors would be paid for work that had been done via Oxford on DDR properties – Favorite said he had no comment and would have to call me back. As of approximately 3 hours later, no call has been received. I will update this page whenever further information is received by him or others.
When I called Oxford, I received a recorded message saying “no one could take my call at this time.” I have contacted, and then provided a preview of this article to, a business attorney with sweeping industry experience. He agreed to read the article and listen to the audio before considering what, if any, general input he might provide. In the event he offers comments, these will be linked or included here.
To listen to the interview, which was held on January 29th, use the podcast link shown below this article. You may also use the link to our contact form, below, to report any new or alternative information you may have on this topic.
If you do provide information, be sure to let us know if you want to be ‘on the record’ (with your name and/or company name used), or ‘off the record’ with no mention as to source. If you indicate you do not want to be quoted by name you may still provide your contact information with confidence that it will not be published. However, we may use it to contact you for clarification/verification purposes. Note that WSA members who are logged in may also leave a comment; however, any of these comments will become visible to all others at the site.
Following is the contact information for both companies:
3300 Enterprise Parkway
Whenever new information is received on this topic, it will be added to the article, placed at the bottom of this article, or linked as an addendum. Although we will continue our investigation, this article is being sent out prior to all facts being known in order to provide rapid decision-making to the contract sweeping community.
Because of the large potential for financial impact to contractors in general, this information is being offered to the entire WorldSweeper.com email list. However, over time this type of information will increasingly only be sent to, or made available to, current WSA members.
For more information on joining World Sweeping Association, please take a look at our membership benefits – or apply for WSA membership – using the links shown above. Yearly membership is $325 and all who join by the end of February, 2013, will be designated at Founding Members. In addition, your membership will result in at least $175 being contributed to WSA’s scholarship fund named after the late Dale McCaskill, Sr. Click here or see the link to the right with Dale’s picture for more information on our Scholarship Program.
It has been reported by contractors that DDR is requiring that to continue to do business with DDR a release must be signed making DDR not responsible for all previous invoices. To review the wording sent to our office, click on the filename shown in parentheses to access the wording in pdf format. You will then access a page with the final link to the file. (DDRReleaseWording1.31.13)
The above decision has serious fiscal and legal ramifications and we urge all in this position to speak with an attorney prior to signing any such document.
A contractor wrote: “You may want to dig a little deeper. Oxford has some ownership relationship with Control Holding Group , based out of NJ – they own some janitorial businesses and also own a portion of facility source , the third party portal – FM Software – Service Provider.”
I found Control Holding Group via internet lookup. No one answered when I called; however, there was a specific mailbox for people having questions about Oxford. So, I left a message asking for a call back, press release or whatever else they might be able to offer. I’ll post it here if anything occurs in that regard.
In a telephone conversation with me an east coast contractor said he has reached an apparent understanding with DDR whereby DDR will pay him directly for work done in January only. He is told he will have to pursue monies owed for sweeping and other work in November and December.
I sent David Favorite, DDR’s VP of Property Management, a letter today. Use this link to view it as a pdf file. (Will open in a new window; then, click on the filename link shown below the page title.)
I received a report from a contractor that Oxford filed for bankruptcy protection in New Jersey yesterday, February 26th. Reports have continued to roll in from contractors owed significant amounts of money, with several in the 6-figures. Here is a link to the bankruptcy filing.
Here is the link to the bankruptcy filing for Oxford. All of the ongoing paperwork for the bankruptcy should become listed at the link location.