Major condo project falls into receivership

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Somewhere along the line, the creditors backing a major condominium project in Prince Albert lost faith in the developer.

 

In February, Windermere Properties Ltd. fell into receivership, with Meyers Norris Penny taking over The Blackstone -- a 63-unit condo project at the corner of 15th Avenue East and 15th Street.

The creditors “lost faith in existing management and want to make sure the project gets completed so they make that application in court,” Meyers Norris Penny senior vice president Eric Sirrs explained, noting that the process is similar to bankruptcy.

“Our job’s to go in and make the most amount of money as we can from the assets that are there, so in this case it’s to make a decision on finishing the construction of the project (and) selling off the units as the developer would have.”

Although he’s unable to discern why creditors lost faith in Windermere Properties Ltd., Sirrs said that in other situations it was a result of cost over-runs, an inability to get trades in to finish a project or poor management.

Although the building went up quickly in the days and months that followed its Dec. 1, 2011, groundbreaking ceremony, construction has since ground to a standstill.

During an open house for the project held in April, 2012, developers told the Daily Herald that they expected to see purchasers take possession of their condos by January, 2013.

When Meyers Norris Penny took receivership of the property a few months ago, they initially looked to sell the building to another developer to finish, Sirrs said.

“We didn’t get the results we wanted that way, so we’re now proceeding to finish the construction,” he said.

They’ve hired Prince Albert-based Miller Contracting to complete the project -- the same company charged with building the new Prince Albert SPCA building on North Industrial Drive.

“Part of our job is to go through it and we meet with the engineers and architect and the consultants that are involved and get them to report to us whether they have any concerns with the construction or anything else that’s been done, and to our knowledge there are none,” Sirrs said.

Our job’s to go in and make the most amount of money as we can from the assets that are there, so in this case it’s to make a decision on finishing the construction of the project (and) selling off the units as the developer would have. Eric Sirrs

Miller Contracting will also be asked to go through the building prior to beginning construction efforts to ensure there are no “skeletons in the closet.”

The current intent is to have the building done and on the market by the end of the year.

Although representatives from Skyrider Developments boasted plans during the 2011 groundbreaking ceremony for a total of 195 units, only the nearly-complete 63-unit building will be completed under Meyers Norris Penny, Sirrs said.

“If there’s extra land there for another building we’d probably be looking to sell that to another developer to let them do that,” he said, noting that the sale of the 63 units will be enough to settle things with the project’s creditors.

Windermere Properties Ltd.’s official website, eastwindermereprincealbert.com, contains no mention of its assets falling into the receivership of Meyers Norris Penny.

The website advertises the building’s units one and two-bedroom units between 696 square feet and 1064 square feet, with “Prices starting in the $160s.”

But, this website is also rife with puzzling inaccuracies on a page dedicated to market conditions in Prince Albert.

“There are talks of an 18 storey tower to be built adjacent to the Gateway Mall to meet the demand of this growth,” the website claims.

The website also cites plans for a new retail facility anchored by Home Depot -- a deal that fell through within a couple years of its 2008 announcement.

It claims that the Star Diamond Project could be in “full scale operations … as early as 2011” -- something that has yet to materialize.

The website also claims that “A biofuel production facility is being considered where the recently shut down pulp and paper will soon be demolished.”

The Prince Albert Pulp Mill was purchased by Paper Excellence in 2011 and at last update was still on track to becoming fully operational was early as 2015.

Organizations: Meyers Norris Penny, Windermere Properties, The Blackstone Daily Herald Miller Contracting Home Depot Star Diamond

Geographic location: Prince Albert Pulp Mill, 15th Avenue East, 15th Street

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  • Mel Jarvis
    May 01, 2014 - 17:11

    I thought it was almost done a few months ago? Since the the other group took over its been going nowhere, guys i know who were working on it said its getting worse now?