View Full Version : Jarvis Mansions | In Receivership | Conversion | Downtown
October 14th, 2007, 07:04 AM
The article is from the Toronto Star:
Nightmare on Jarvis St.
Purchasers' deposit money tied up four years only to see retrofit project go into receivership days before completion
by ANDREW WALLACE/TORONTO STAR
From left, Barbara Miodonski, Alan Pinkerton, Jean Paul Kyer and Amy Powell waited four years for units in Jarvis Mansions, a condo conversion project that recently went into receivership.
Oct 06, 2007 04:30 AM
When Barbara Miodonski was widowed two years ago, she helped deal with her grief by thinking of the joy she would derive from owning a home for the first time in her life.
The 438-square-foot $162,000 unit she was purchasing at Jarvis Mansions – a condo combining new construction and a retrofit of a 19th-century mansion at 539 Jarvis St. – symbolized a fresh start after her husband's death.
"I honestly felt like a tourist in Canada until I could own my own home," says Miodonski, who moved from her native Poland to Toronto 20 years ago. "This project has the feeling of Europe and it very much touched my emotions."
But Miodonski and two dozen other Jarvis Mansions buyers have had their emotions touched in a very different way in the past two weeks. The project by Panterra Mansions Joint Venture Corp. went into receivership with some of their units just days from completion.
Though the buyers will have the opportunity to repurchase their suites, prices will be adjusted to reflect the current market value, not those of four years ago when most of their deals were made.
Though those who choose not to buy will get their initial deposits back with interest (most put down 10 to 15 per cent), they may not recoup thousands of dollars spent on upgrades or any of the equity accrued in Toronto's hot market of recent years.
SF Partners Inc., a bankruptcy trustee, has been appointed as interim receiver after two of the five mortgage holders filed an application to have a receiver take control of the development. Two of the mortgages were at 36 per cent interest. The application was approved on Sept. 24 in Ontario Superior Court.
According to the application, the project came to a standstill because of nine liens against it in July and August, including a $2,043,876.94 claim by the general contractor, Pegah Construction.
In an email to purchasers Caroline and Mike Northfield in late August, Panterra president/architect Sheldon Rosen said the developer was at an impasse with Pegah and construction had "temporarily" stopped.
A phone message left at Panterra offices requesting comment on the receivership was not returned.
An Aug. 7 report from Altus Helyar, a real estate cost consulting firm, said that Pegah had made many change order requests to its original contracted "guaranteed maximum price" of $5,444,000, some of which had been approved, while others had not. The report says due to this "and the ongoing source of funding shortfall on the project," Pegah had not been able to pay their trades in full and work had come to a virtual halt.
Brahm Rosen, senior vice-president of SF Partners Inc. (and no relation to Panterra president Rosen), says construction to complete the project will restart as early as this week and the suites will go back up for sale at current market value soon. He says, "there will be a negotiation" with the original purchasers and the hope is that many of them will still want to buy their units.
The purchasers are considering hiring one lawyer to represent them as a group for negotiations with the receiver. There were 25 sales agreements in all, with 22 made in 2003, with most buyers being either first-time purchasers or empty nesters. Nine units had not sold.
If sales had proceeded under the previous agreements, there would have been an approximate $1.3 million shortfall between the generated revenue and what the project would have cost to complete, according to Altus Helyar.
For the purchasers, the receivership is a bitter end to a frustrating, four-year wait.
The tentative closing date they'd been originally given was Oct. 29, 2004.
However, tentative dates are not firm and can be changed; the "outside" date by which it should have closed was April 29, 2006, according to a sales agreement made four years ago.
Teacher Amy Powell, 39, and her husband Moe Doiron, 41, were excited about becoming first-time homeowners after signing an agreement to purchase a 924-square-foot, two-bedroom garden townhouse for $308,900 on Oct. 4, 2003. Over the next month and a half, Powell and Doiron provided about 10 per cent in deposits and as the project progressed, spent another $7,000 on upgrades.
"What is killing me more than anything is the equity that we have lost," Powell says. "Losing the upgrade money is small potatoes to losing out on the increased value of our original investment."
Deirdre Brennan, a provincial government employee, was living in a townhouse she owned next door when sales at Jarvis Mansions were launched.
She was captivated by the high ceilings and layouts and "thought it would be great for me, being in an old historic mansion." She bought an 840-square-foot, two-bedroom unit for $273,900. Brennan sold her townhouse last March, believing her unit would be ready June 1.
She learned in mid-May it would not be ready. She was allowed to move her furniture into her unit, providing she insured it. She moved in with another resident at her townhouse complex and had to scramble to remove her furniture from Jarvis Mansions three days before the Sept. 24 court hearing.
Brennan is waiting to see what can be negotiated for her to keep her unit.
"It's been quite devastating. I will find out what the best offer is, but I'm not sure I can afford to stay in the Toronto market," she says.
The same goes for Miodonski, whose voice breaks as she discusses her plight.
"It's extremely painful," she says. "I lost my husband and now I feel I lost everything else I had left. I can't afford my unit by myself at current market value. The biggest pain is that someone took my dream away from me. What is the current market value of a lost dream?"
Alan Pinkerton, president of a company that inspects medical gas lines at hospitals, bought a $317,900, 960-square-foot townhouse. He put 10 per cent down and spent about $3,500 in upgrades. Pinkerton, who was living in the neighbourhood, has since moved two or three times as he waited for his townhouse to be built. "I'm no different than a lot of the buyers," he says. "Most of us have sold properties based on move-in dates we were told. We've sold properties prematurely and lost equity. Every week we waited, we lost."
Don Duncan, a consultant, and his wife sold a house in Guelph to buy an 840-square-foot unit for $254,900, plus spent $17,000 for a parking spot and $7,000 on upgrades. He says over the past four years, he has been given 13 move-in dates.
"If I still want to buy it, do I have to buy the upgrades I've already paid for?" he wonders. "I invested time and money to improve this unit, for whose benefit? Our upgrades have enriched its current market value. It's a mess."
Condo law specialist Harry Herskowitz of DelZotto Zorzi LLP, who served on the special committee studying delayed closings for Tarion and is a Tarion board member, says under the Condominium Act Section 81, the upgrade money paid by the purchasers to the developer should have been held in trust; as it was not, the buyers could sue for breach of trust.
As the legal fees could be more than the upgrades cost, Herskowitz says it may not be worth suing individually but it may be worth hiring a lawyer to act for the group. Money paid directly to suppliers likely can't be recouped, he says.
Jean Paul Kyer and his wife Erica put a deposit down on a 1,000-square-foot unit in November 2003.
"It was perfect ... and we were able to redesign it to meet our needs," says Kyer, a consultant for IBM. "We wanted something small but stylish."
In August 2006, they got a call from the developer's staff telling them they should book their move-in date and time for that fall. They sold the loft they had been living in, but as the move-in date came and went, they moved to their cottage at Wasaga Beach and commuted to the city from there — a trip that ate up 3 1/2 hours a day.
Although they originally planned on adding upgrades to their suite, they got into a dispute with the developer because their upgrade money would not be put in trust.
"We were extremely uncomfortable about paying out anything that wasn't in trust," says Kyer. "We wanted to ensure that our money was protected."
Three weeks ago, the couple moved into a house they've purchased in High Park.
Caroline and Mike Northfield, who bought a unit for themselves to live in and a smaller one for investment purposes, have had furniture in storage and have been shuttling between a winter home in Florida and their son's house in Toronto since they sold their house while the wait dragged on.
"Believe me, the stress is awful," Caroline says. "We are pensioners and the money we invested in these units has just been sitting there, not making anything."
Herskowitz agrees that getting deposits back, with nominal interest, is little consolation for these buyers.
"That's not much benefit when condo prices have gone up 20 to 30 per cent in the last years," says Herskowitz. "I feel very, very bad for these purchasers."
He says the outcome would have been no different if the project was a new one covered by Tarion rules, which conversions are not. Herskowitz says Tarion has no plans to start covering conversion projects because the risks are too great. He says, however, that some conversion projects are among the most beautiful and unique condominiums in the city.
Herskowitz says builders "need a certain level of experience before they do conversions ... they are tricky projects. Even very experienced builders can run into unforeseen problems and delays and that eats away the profit margin.
"Builders need to be very well-heeled and very experienced to cover contingencies. Even so, a builder could have had five great experiences with conversions previously, then run into bad luck on the sixth."
October 14th, 2007, 08:09 AM
Wait a second... did they call it a "retrofit of a 19th-century mansion"? There is sweet tweet left of that "mansion" after they built this hulking great monstrosity over top of it. I think it is an eyesore.
October 20th, 2007, 03:33 AM
Article from the Toronto Star:
'If it seems too cheap, it is too cheap'
Buyers warned to look into developer's record
Oct 06, 2007 04:30 AM
Sometimes bad things happen to good projects even in the GTA's thriving condo market.
Luckily for most buyers, receiverships as in the case of Jarvis Mansions are uncommon; but occasionally a project does get into trouble.
The Whitby Yacht Club, launched in 2000, went into receivership in 2004 before being purchased by the Whitby Waterfront Development Corp. and relaunched, with units reflecting higher market value. About 33 of the original 100 purchasers chose to stay with the project, which is now built.
Others may not fall into receivership, but run into problems and get taken over by another builder, such as Queen West Vintage Lofts, which was relaunched by Plazacorp as Chocolate Factory Lofts, and Avante, which Cresford Developments took over and relaunched as Bloor Street Neighbourhood.
Just last week, purchasers at another Cresford project, Mode, were told their sales agreements were being cancelled because the developer could not get the density it wanted approved by the city.
Condo broker Brad Lamb says there are three major reasons why condo projects get into trouble.
"First is marketing. If you can't sell it, you can't build it and your loan gets recalled," he says. "Or you might underestimate the cost of building and sell the units too cheaply. This is the typical way people lose a project.
"Then you have inexperienced, first-time builders who are design-oriented and allow buyers to customize and make a lot of changes. All of these custom units incur a lot of extra costs."
Or a project may have avoided all of the aforementioned pitfalls but run into some other sort of trouble. Lamb cites one project where higher-than-expected levels of hydrocarbons were found in the earth as excavation started, causing the project to be shut down for several months while the problem was remedied.
He said the builder was a large one with plenty of financial resources, but such a situation would have been beyond the means of a small builder.
Condo consultant Jeanhy Shim says small builders often are not able to get conventional financing through large banks and have to use other lenders and end up paying steep interest charges. Two of the five mortgages on Jarvis Mansions were at 36 per cent.
"It's difficult for smaller guys and often financing is the trickiest part," she says.
Another problem is that as big builders have a lock on most Toronto condo sites and smaller builders can't afford to buy land for new projects.
They instead look to small, infill sites or old warehouses or buildings they can convert, says Harry Herskowitz, condo law specialist and a Tarion board member.
How can buyers be aware that a project may get into trouble?
"If it seems too cheap, it is too cheap," Lamb says.
"If one project is selling for $50 less per square foot than the one next door, it won't get completed or the builder will chintz on finishes and substitute cheap materials."
Also be wary if a developer has "zero experience in the development world."
Get particulars on what that experience might be – for example, an architect may have designed previous projects but never acted as a developer before.
Buyers should research their developer or builder for their track record and length of time in business. Conversion projects won't be listed on Tarion's website, but Lamb says a Google search may turn up information. Many purchasers, especially dissatisfied ones, start blogs chronicling their experience with a particular project.
October 20th, 2007, 05:45 AM
"What is killing me more than anything is the equity that we have lost," Powell says. "Losing the upgrade money is small potatoes to losing out on the increased value of our original investment."
This story is a lesson that while the Toronto real estate market appears to be a guaranteed thing, you are still speculating by agreeing to purchase real estate in the future by gambling on pre-sales. It may be a small risk, but if you can't afford to lose, then purchase existing real estate instead.
That lady didn't really lose any equity, because she really didn't own any real estate.
January 3rd, 2008, 06:15 AM
Article from the Toronto Star.
Restart of Jarvis Mansion project offers buyers hope
Dec 29, 2007 04:30 AM
Work has resumed on Jarvis Mansions, a conversion project that went into receivership in September with some suites just days from completion. Many of the would-be buyers had been waiting four years for their units.
The project combined the retrofit of a 19th-century mansion at 539 Jarvis St. with new construction.
Brahm Rosen of SF Partners Inc., the receiver, says work should be completed in March, to coincide with the grand opening and remarketing of the project. He says all previous unit holders, except those who asked for their deposits to be refunded, have been contacted.
Condo broker Brad Lamb, who is handling sales, says about a dozen buyers have interest in buying their same units, though prices will reflect current market value. Previous unit holders will be extended a bit of a discount, since their original agreements were cancelled when the project went into receivership, he says. Several of the previous unit holders got their deposits back and moved on.
Teacher Amy Powell and her husband, Moe, got back their deposit and are banking their money for now. "We have our eye on the real estate market and hope to have found a home by the spring." Powell says. "We are wasting no time being bitter, just hoping to find something we love."
But they have not had luck as yet getting their Paris Kitchens deposit returned.
Barbara Miodonski is hoping she may still be able to buy her 438-square-foot unit, even though the price has increased from $162,000 four years ago to $199,000.
Since her husband died two years ago, she has helped cope with her loss by looking forward to owning a home for the first time.
"I will be able to do a walk-through of the unit sometime in January," says Miodonski, who moved from her native Poland 20 years ago. "We are being given a 2 per cent discount on the price, but I have to think of my mortgage payment and what I'll be able to afford."
January 3rd, 2008, 05:54 PM
It is hideous. I walk by it nearly every day and curse the fact they butchered the Edwardian house that was there before.
January 4th, 2008, 03:22 AM
Great photo by dt_toronto_geek from UT. Why would they cover up the brick on a "historic mansion"?
Behold, from above.
January 4th, 2008, 07:27 PM
Oh god, what a shame:ohno:
January 15th, 2008, 05:08 AM
This was posted by urban 2.0 in the Toronto forum. It is not about the problems with Jarvis Mansions but about potential problem of buying condos in general.
Watch this CBC Marketplace episode about some of the downfalls of buying a new condo that has yet to be built.
Rather entertaining - and it's the full episode.
Condo Floor Plans Can Be Too Good To Be True: Lawyer
Source: CBC News
Posted: 01/11/08 2:43PM
VANCOUVER (CBC) - Slick suites promised by condominium developers may turn out not to be the urban dream buyers thought they were purchasing, a real estate lawyer warns.
Discrepancies found between floor plans or model suites and the actual apartment units or condos are not uncommon, said Charles Hanes, a Toronto real estate agent, who also runs a website on condo buying.
"There's a lot of creativity in this business all the way through," Hanes told CBC News: Marketplace.
"They [developers] can hire the best marketing people [and] the best staging people. You can make a 700-square-foot place look like a palace. You can have an unlimited ceiling height in it and neglect to tell the people what the ceiling heights are."
There are things consumers can do to try and protect themselves, said Bob Aaron, of Aaron and Aaron in Toronto. He stressed the importance of having a lawyer look at any purchase documents before signing them.
"The wording of these offers is good for insomnia because they are turgid and they are difficult to understand and they're written in legalese, not English," he said.
Jasmine Wong and Kenny Chang, from Burnaby, B.C., learned a tough lesson after falling in love with the floor plan of a proposed Vancouver condo.
"Based on this floor plan, it suited us perfectly," Wong said. "As you can see, there is the bedroom right here and it's an en suite to the bathroom. And it's connected by this walk-in closet here.
"Another thing we were pretty excited about, the den seemed to have pretty good size for the nursery for the first year of our child, which we were planning."
After their condo was built, Wong said their new home didn't turn out to be exactly what the floor plan portrayed. There was no walk-in closet.
"At first we were at a loss for words and then we walked out and just said, 'Where is our walk-in closet?'" Wong said. "That's all I could ask. That's all I could get out 'cause I was in such shock."
What's more, she said the den was small enough to be a walk-in closet.
According to their purchase agreement, " ... the Vendor may from time to time at its discretion ... make variations to the plans and specifications."
Chang said the developer gave them no notice of the change. When they complained, they were offered their deposit back.
"The whole point for them, of getting their money back, is so they can re-sell it at a higher price," Chang said.
From the time Chang and Wong bought the condo to its completion date, the value of the unit increased $90,000. Worried they would be priced out of the market, they decided to keep the condo and settled for a small financial settlement from the developer to compensate for the missing walk-in closet.
Danny D'Angelo, a condo owner in Penticton, B.C., had a similar experience.
When he moved into his new condo he expected a secured parking space. But when he showed up with his keys in hand, his parking space was actually outside the garage.
"They even gave us a clicker!" D'Angelo said. "What am I supposed to do with this?"
"Essentially the builders and developers write the rules for themselves ... the way I see it the consumer is hung out on a limb every time," said Aaron.
January 15th, 2008, 06:15 PM
In this case it sounds very deceptive, but in some cases people simply aren't used to reading floorplans, and the spaces "appear" larger than they are. A friend of mine was upset for months when he moved into Radio City and discovered how small his bachelor suite was in reality. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to use undersized furniture and appliance templates when drawing up the floorplan... that gives the illusion there is oodles of space around the fridge, stove, sofa, chairs, etc... it does sound like they have you by the short and curleys when you invest in a building that has not gone up yet.
January 18th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Was just reading over this thread, that really sucks
February 18th, 2008, 05:27 AM
The development is being relaunched and it is now called "The Mansions at Jarvis and Bloor". They have an ad in the latest Condo Guide Magazine on page 43.
February 18th, 2008, 05:35 AM
They can call it anything they want, but it is still every bit as hideous as before. They took a perfectly lovely Edwardian house and made it into a grotesque Monster House... right in the middle of downtown.
February 21st, 2008, 03:00 AM
The planner should be shot! What a mess of a neighbourhood. All about sqeezing in as many townhouses as possible.
February 21st, 2008, 08:25 AM
It looks like those little plastic houses that you jam onto Monopoly spaces... uggh.
February 21st, 2008, 06:11 PM
that actually looks like a pretty cool place, lots of alleyways and little courtyards...if they were better upkept, it would be really nice!
February 24th, 2008, 05:00 AM
Photos taken February 22, they are advertised "at Jarvis and Bloor" but the condos are located just north of Wellesley on the east side of Jarvis. Verve can be seen behind the Mansions.
Verve on the right.
Just a few doors south is the Keg Mansion.
April 13th, 2008, 02:20 AM
Two articles from the latest Condo Guide magazine. This applies only to new home or condo purchases and not to conversions like the Jarvis Mansions:
New delayed closing warranty for Ontario homebuyers set to launch in July 2008
Tarion Warranty Corporation has announced that effective July 1, 2008, Ontario consumers who buy a new home or condominium will benefit from the most comprehensive warranty protection against delays in closing or occupancy that’s available anywhere in Canada.
The new warranty provisions have established precedent-setting disclosure requirements for all Agreements of Purchase and Sale for new homes, together with new standards for notifying purchasers in the event of any potential delays in taking possession of their new home. In addition, the new regulations will provide the highest amount of compensation available in Canada to consumers who experience a delay in the closing of the purchase of their new home.
“Recent surveys have shown that many purchasers of new homes in Ontario have experienced a delay in the occupancy or possession date for their new home. These delays can lead to frustrations for new-home buyers who are looking forward to moving into their new home,” says Greg Gee, Tarion President and CEO. Among the benefits of the new warranty provisions to new-home buyers are:
• A new standard information statement will be required in every Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a new home (known as “the Addendum”), which will outline for consumers the closing details in clear language, including disclosure of critical information about the current status of the property being purchased;
• The Addendum will feature a cover page listing each important date related to a home’s closing/occupancy;
• Builders will be required to disclose key information at the time of purchase, such as when construction is scheduled to start, whether a building permit has been issued, whether sewer and water services are currently available, and any conditions precedent that must be met in order to complete the contract. This information will assist consumers to better understand whether a delay in closing is probable, and will assist consumers to manage their own affairs, including the timing of the sale of their current home; and
• A 50 per cent increase in compensation for homebuyers who experience a legitimate delay in closing, raising total compensation to $7,500 from $5,000.
The new Delayed Closing warranty came about as a result of extensive work by a Special Committee on Delayed Closings organized by Tarion in early 2006, and chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci. The Special Committee was comprised of 12 members representing consumers, land developers and highly respected builders of freehold and condominium homes. The Report of the Special Committee contained detailed recommendations covering all aspects of the Delayed Closing warranty, including rules and procedures. Tarion is currently providing training for all home builders across Ontario to ensure a smooth rollout of the new policies.
“The new rules governing delayed closings will give Ontario the most extensive warranty coverage regarding delayed closings that is available anywhere in Canada,” says Gee. “These policies also represent important progress in improving the warranty protection available to new-home buyers in Ontario.”
Prior to July 1, 2008, consumers interested in learning more about Tarion’s delayed closing policies should:
• Visit Tarion’s website (www.tarion.ca) which will have a special section explaining the policies together with an interactive web-based calculator that will allow new-home buyers to determine important dates related to their home’s closing;
• Attend one of Tarion’s Seminars for New Home Buyers which take place regularly in Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario;
• Order a copy of a new brochure explaining the new policies that will be available from Tarion prior to the effective date of the new regulations; and,
• Read the Homeowner Information Package which all builders in Ontario must provide to homeowners, as it will include an updated explanation of the new delayed closing warranty.
Pre-Delivery Inspection is important before you move in
There is a critical first step all new home buyers in Ontario must take when a new home is ready for occupancy: the Pre-Delivery Inspection or PDI. Much more than just a quick tour, the PDI represents the first opportunity for buyers to view their home in its completed state and thoroughly assess its condition.
All builders of new homes and condominiums in Ontario are required by Tarion Warranty Corporation to conduct a PDI with their customers prior to a home’s date of possession. Tarion is a private corporation that protects home buyers accordin g to the terms of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, which requires that builders provide warranty coverage on every new home built in the province.
“The PDI is an important starting-off point in the new home warranty process,” according to Carol Metcalfe, Manager of Claims at Tarion. “Most builders are committed to constructing a quality product, but today’s new homes are large and complex, made up of many different systems and components. The PDI therefore provides homeowners with a prime opportunity for assessing a home’s overall workmanship and features.”
The PDI takes place when your new home is ready for occupancy, making it the first opportunity to view your completed home and assess its condition before you take possession. During the PDI, you and/or an individual you select to attend (your designate) will be given the opportunity to examine the interior and exterior of the home with your builder or your builder’s representative present. The objective of this inspection is to make a written record of all items that are incomplete, damaged, missing, inaccessible or not operating properly.
It is the builder’s responsibility to explain how the various systems in your home work – including the heating, electrical, plumbing and air conditioning – thus making the PDI a good opportunity for your builder to go through them with you. It is very important that you understand how to operate your home’s systems because not using them properly could affect your warranty coverage.
During the PDI, homeowners should carefully examine the home both inside and out. While inside, they should look for things like chips brickwork and siding, whether window screens have been installed, and the appearance of the driveway and landscaping.
Additional information on the PDI, including a complete list of things to look for during the inspection, can be found in ‘Getting Ready for the Pre-Delivery Inspection,’ a brochure produced by Tarion. Copies can be obtained by calling 1-877-9TARION or downloaded from the website at www.tarion.com. - NC
The Pre-Delivery Inspection
Today we are going to address a small but incredibly important part of the process of buying that new home, the Pre-Delivery Inspection. As most of you know, included in the adjustments on the purchase of a condo (but not a conversion) is the cost of your Tarion (formerly the Ontario New Home Warranty Program) enrolment. Among the things that you are covered for are defects in the completion of your new home. Most of the Agreements of Purchase and Sale make the deficiency list, prepared as part of your final inspection, the only basis for repairs, subject to the major items such as foundation cracks. What does this all mean?
When it is time to do the Pre-Delivery Inspection, know that if you don’t list it, you may not be able to compel the builder to fix it. Therefore it is critical to list everything. Here is a minimum list of what I believe will help you in making sure you are covered:
1. Insist on having enough time to do the inspection, and allow yourself enough time with no need to be anywhere else.
2. Write everything down yourself. Don’t let the builder’s representative take charge.
3. Don’t rush! Do not let the builder’s representative push you, and insist at moving at you own speed.
4. Write or mark down everything, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
5. Do not accept promises of repair during inspection – if something is not right, mark it down.
6. Try every light, socket, tap, drain, toilet, every door, every lock, every window, every appliance, everything that could be defective now or go wrong later.
7. Watch for stains on the carpet, scratches on wood floors, cracks in paint or drywall, areas where they forgot a second coat of paint, etc.
8. Look for water stains or spots on concrete basement floors or walls, and if you see them, insist on knowing where they came from and why.
9. Go check out the common areas: lobbies, garbage rooms, parking areas, lockers, pools, tennis courts, health clubs, etc. Remember, you own part of the common area and if parts are incomplete, wrong or defective, get them on the list!
There is probably more, and I do not warrant that this list is totally complete, but I hope it helps. Remember that this inspection is extremely important to establish your position as it relates to deficiencies, in order that no-one can say a defect happened after possession, so make sure you check carefully.
Some readers ask about what happens if the builder rushes them, or something happened that did not allow them the opportunity to finish their Pre-Delivery Inspection. The answer is to immediately compile a complete list, and send it to the builder and to Tarion in order that the record is on file. In addition, don’t forget that you have an opportunity to raise these issues in the Tarion 30-Day Statutory Warranty Form, which is submitted to Tarion during the first 30 days of possession.
Perhaps the most difficult part of writing these articles relates not to the actual writing, but thinking of a topic to address. So help me!!! Mail, deliver or fax letters to the magazine or to us. Use the website (www.schwarzandcompany.com), email (email@example.com) and give us your questions, concerns, critiques and quandaries. I will try to deal with them in print or electronic form.
Happy home hunting!
Jayson Schwarz is a senior partner with the firm Schwarz & Company LLP. He can be reached at 416-486-2040 .
Toronto Star article:
Effective July 1 2008
New delayed closing rules good for buyers
May 24, 2008
How do you get nearly 400 home builders, real estate lawyers, brokers, agents and lenders into a room first thing on a Tuesday morning after a long weekend? You promise to explain the complex new regulations pertaining to delayed home closings or condominium occupancies coming down from the Tarion Warranty Corp., effective July 1.
The new rules are good news for buyers, albeit difficult to follow without a lawyer – which might be a good thing, since you should always engage the services of a lawyer for a real estate transaction.
From the builders' standpoint, our role and goal is to understand the new rules so we can make adjustments to our agreements of purchase and sale and to our business practices to be fully compliant by the effective date.
Former Consumer and Business Services Minister Gerry Phillips started this whole thing a year and a half ago when he wrote Tarion demanding more consumer protection in the area of delayed closings. Tarion responded by completely rewriting the rules, taking them from about seven paragraphs to seven pages (legal size) that must be included with every agreement of purchase and sale.
Tarion has actually produced four mandatory addendums depending upon whether the agreement is for a freehold or condo home and whether the agreement states a firm closing date or a tentative closing date. Unless builders are selling an inventory unit, GTA new homebuyers will generally see the tentative closing date addendum.
Effective July 1, buyers will enjoy the benefits of far more up-front disclosure, including a statement of critical dates, more ongoing communication, and more advance notice of any change in the tentative or confirmed closing date, and more compensation in the event of a delayed closing.
On the disclosure side, new areas of up-front freehold disclosure include whether or not there is sufficient water and sewage capacity to service the development and the nature of the approval or the issues to be resolved if approval is pending. Both addendums require the builder to disclose when construction is expected to commence and then notify the purchaser within 10 days after the actual date of commencement of construction.
The mandatory statement of critical dates requires the builder to set out every milestone date right up to an outside closing date, as well as disclose the purchaser's rights every step of the way.
At the risk of getting it wrong, I won't even attempt to summarize the specific notice provisions with respect to tentative and confirmed closing dates. Suffice it to say that the purchaser will always know where they stand with plenty of time to make key decisions such as listing their existing home for sale or giving notice to their landlord.
As for compensation in the event of a delay, it is rising from $100 per day, maximum $5,000, to $150 per day, maximum $7,500.
Getting back to the effective date of the changes, for freehold homes, if you buy before July 1, you are subject to the old rules and if you buy on or after July 1, the new rules are in effect. With condos, you will need to check when the building went on the market because if just one unit was sold before July 1, every unit in the building will fall under the old rules.
While the new rules will take some getting used to by everyone involved, the minister's demand for more consumer protection has been met, if not exceeded.
Michael Moldenhauer is president of the Building Industry and Land Development Association. The views expressed are those of the president. Email:
Condo Guide magazine article:
Disclosure How to navigate all those documents
When you finally make an offer on paper for that beautiful new condominium, the sales agent will hand you either a book, often bound, or a pile of different documents, and will then tell you that have 10 days to finalize your decision to go through with the sale. There you are, with more legal papers then you have ever seen at one time, and a huge question: what is all this stuff?
The law requires the builder provide you with a number of documents as part of the Disclosure Statement in order for you to learn what is really going on with that new condominium before it is too late. This statement must be provided to you under the Condominium Act s.72(1), and (2) and pursuant s.72(3) it must contain some very specific information, listed in the legislation below.
I will endeavour to explain each of these items. I may only be able to deal with one per article because of space constraints, so you will have to read the next issue to learn more. This is sort of like a serialized mystery story, and you will only find out the ending when you read it.
Here is a list of some of those points:
72(3) b – a statement indicating what kind of condominium it is;
72(3) c – name and municipal address of the declarant and the property;
72(3) d – a general description of the property. This includes the type and number of buildings, units, and recreational and other amenities and conditions that apply to them;
72(3) f – whether or not the Tarion (Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act or ONHWPA) applies or will apply;
72(3) g – whether it is a conversion;
72(3) h – what units may be for commercial or non-residential use;
72(3) i – information about the portion of units that the builder intends to market in blocks of units to investors;
72(3) j – information about the portion of units that the builder intends to lease;
72(3) k & l – amenities, when ready;
72(3) m – copy of declaration, by-laws, rules and insurance trust agreement;
72(3) n – an executive summary of most agreements outstanding;
72(3) o & p – statements as to the possibility of amalgamation;
72(3) q, r & s – budget information and fees.
You now have a better idea, I hope, about that first document, and please let me stress how important it is that you read the material provided within the 10-day cooling off period” in order that you can make an educated decision.
Perhaps the most difficult part of writing these articles relates not the actual writing, but thinking of a topic to address. So help me! Mail, deliver or fax letters to the magazine or to us, use the website www.schwarzgillen.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your questions, concerns, critiques and quandaries. I will try to deal with them in print or electronic form. Good luck and happy condo hunting. I’ll talk to you next issue!
Jayson Schwarz is a senior partner with the firm Schwarz & Company LLP. He can be reached at 416-486-2040 .
From HomeTrader (January 2010):
GST and real estate for new homes By: Jayson Schwarz and Konstantine Chatzidimos
When you purchase a newly built home, condominium or townhouse, the entire purchase price, including land, is taxable. If the property is bought with the intention of renting it to tenants, the full five per cent GST is charged on the purchase price. However, if the home is going to be your primary place of residence, it may qualify you for a partial GST rebate, depending upon the sale price.
For homes costing $350,000 or less, you will receive a rebate of 36 per cent of the GST paid, to a maximum of $6,300. That means you pay 3.84 per cent GST (not five per cent) on the purchase price. An example to better illustrate this is presented as follows:
New home purchase price inclusive of GST is $300,000.00. The 5% GST is $14,534.88, less a 36% rebate of $5,232.56. The result is that you pay $9,302.32.
1.$300,000.00 ÷ 1.032 = $290,697.67
2.$290,697.67 x 5% = $14,534.88
3.$14,534.88 x 36% = $5,232.56
Understand that the value of the GST rebate decreases proportionately once the purchase price of the new dwelling exceeds $350,000.00. Thus, the maximum GST rebate – irrespective of purchase price – is $6,300.00. To show an example:
New home purchase price is $400,000.00. The GST rebate is $6,976.75 with the total GST owed being $19,379.85.
1.$400,000.00 ÷ 1.032 = $387,596.90;
2.$387,596.90 x 5% = $19,379.85
3.$19,379.85 x 36% = $6,976.75
4. Maximum rebate =$6,300
It is important to note that for new homes that include GST in the selling price $472,500 is the rebate cut off and any increase thereafter will not qualify for a GST rebate. It is also useful to understand that “substantially renovated” homes purchased from builders who supply both the land and the house as a single transaction carry the same GST rebate conditions described above.
GST and Investment Properties
One of the qualifications for the applicability of the GST new home rebate is that the buyer must use the new home as his or her primary place of residence or the primary place of residence of a family relation. This requirement of the governing legislation would seem to suggest that investors who buy and rent out newly-built homes or condominium units are excluded from the benefit of this rebate. Up until 2001 this was, in fact, the case.
Strong lobbying of the federal government by investor/purchaser groups, however, resulted in a change to the then existing law in June, 2001, with the addition of the GST New Residential Rental Property Rebate (“New Rebate”) to the underlying statute. Under the new law, investor/purchasers of new homes/condominium units are also eligible for the rebate – which is calculated the same manner as it is in respect of owner-occupied dwellings.
In a notable departure from the GST rebate afforded owner occupied dwellings, however, the New Rebate is not limited to individuals as it can also be paid to corporations. Just like the ordinary GST rebate, however, there are criteria which must be met in order to claim benefit of the New Rebate; a few of the notable ones are listed as follows:
(a)New home/condominium investor/landlords must have paid full (5 per cent) GST on their purchase, but did not receive the ordinary GST rebate;
(b)The unit must be a “self-contained residence” with private kitchen facilities, private bath and private living area; alternatively, the unit is a suite or room in a hotel, motel, inn, boarding house, or in a residence for students, seniors, or the disabled; and,
(c)It is “reasonably expected” that the first use of he unit is or will be by a tenant occupying the unit as their primary place of residence for at least one year.
Purchasers have two years after the month in which GST was paid to file their rebate application with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Required supporting documentation will include the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the Statement of Adjustments, the insurance policy on the property as well as the lease with the first tenant.
It is important to note that while investor/purchasers of new long-term rental accommodation are eligible for the New Rebate, speculators are excluded. Under the new law, anyone who buys and rents a new home or condominium unit must repay the full amount of the New Rebate (plus interest) if the property is sold within one year – unless the new purchaser acquires it for use as their (or a relation’s) primary place of residence.
Jayson Schwarz is a Toronto real estate lawyer and partner in the law firm Danson Schwarz Recht LLP. Konstantine Chatzidimos is his Associate. If you have a topic in mind, mail, deliver or fax letters to the magazine or to the firm, use the web site (www.dansonschwarz.com), email (email@example.com) and give us your questions, concerns, critiques and quandaries.
From Condo Guide magazine(summer 2010):
Choosing a condo builder and making the right decision
You’ve made your decision – You’re ready to buy a condo, and you want to purchase one that’s new. But with literally thousands of builders of all shapes and sizes to choose from, how do you know which builder is right for you?
Choosing the right builder can be just as important as choosing your new condo. When you purchase a home, you also “buy” the company that will build it for you. Their experience, skills and commitment to customer service will play a key role in determining how satisfied you are with your condo and with the whole buying experience.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) offers the following tips on how to find and select a new-condo builder that will meet your needs and expectations:
To begin your search, check the Homes section of your local newspaper to find out which companies are building in your area, the types of homes they offer and the prices you can expect to pay. (Editor’s note: Condo Guide is a great place to start!) Ask friends, family members and co-workers for names of reputable builders they have dealt with. You can also check the Web sites of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) or Tarion.
When you visit a builder, ask how long they have been in business, how many homes or condos they build each year and what kind of background and experience they have.
Make sure the builder belongs to an industry organization and has the licences and registrations required for your province. Ask for references, and contact them to find out if they are satisfied with the homes they bought and the service they received.
Once you have narrowed down your list, visit the builders’ models. Go through each one in detail, carefully noting down what you like and what you don’t. Take your time, and if you feel you don’t know enough about construction, bring someone with you who does.
Read through each builder’s Web site and other information materials to get a clearer picture of the company and what they have to offer. If possible, request a tour of a work site to look at a condo that is currently under construction.
If you’re considering buying in a new development, go on a tour of the community or take a close look at the master plans. Ask yourself if this is the type of community where you could see yourself living or raising a family for years to come.
Always bring a notebook or even a camera with you. Ask as many questions as you can think of, and write down the answers to review later. After all, you’re choosing the place your family will call “home” for the next five, 10 or perhaps many more years.
Take your time, and make sure you make the choice that’s right for you.
For more information or a free copy of the About Your House fact sheet, Selecting a New Home Builder, or for information on any other aspect of owning, maintaining or buying a condo, visit the Web site at www.cmhc.ca or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642. For more than 60 years, CMHC has been Canada’s national housing agency and a source of objective, reliable housing expertise.
From Condo Guide magazine (summer 2010):
Highlights of the Condominium Act By: Jayson Schwarz
This article is just going to touch on some of the items in the Condominium Act (the Act) that may be of interest to you:
1. The Act permits different types of condominium developments. This means you could have a condo of just the common elements. As an example, a number of homes could have a common swimming pool condominium. Vacant land can be condominiumized and there can be phased and leasehold condominiums.
2. If there are existing condominium corporations registered within the same land registry division, provided 90 per cent of unit owners consent in writing within 90 days of a meeting called to consider the issue, they may amalgamate into one condo corporation which will save on expenses and administration (but I can see some real issues as to equality evolving).
3. One of the rights granted is the right of a purchaser of a new unit to make full payment of the purchase price on the date set for interim occupancy.
4. One of the many things I am not happy about is the power given to condominium corporations to pass an occupancy standards bylaw, or a more restrictive bylaw based on the design of the building. This will allow the corporation to charge extra for increased use of common elements and utilities.
5. Don’t go into arrears because the condominium corporation is entitled to a preferential lien against a defaulting owner’s unit and common interest for an unpaid amount in addition to interest, collection fees and legal costs.
6. Should you get into a dispute with your condominium corporation (over dogs, maintenance, etc.) you must try Alternative Dispute Resolution first, and if mediation doesn’t work you can still go off to court.
7. If you notice some extra charges in the annual budget for something called "reserve fund studies" that’s because the corporations are required to conduct periodic studies and updates, and maintain reserve funds at prescribed levels.
8. Another charge that you may see passed on relates to post-construction audits of the common elements. This is necessary for new condominiums to preserve warranty coverage under the Ontario New Home Warranty Program.
9. In order to avoid controversy as to what means "complete," there are new Regulations on completion which define when a building is deemed completed for the purpose of registering a condominium corporation and thereby allowing the condominium to be transferred.
The Grid TO article:
Why you should never buy a pre-construction condo
Identifying the six factors that have turned pre-construction condos into a deal you don't want to make.
BY: David Fleming
_Thu Jun 16, 2011
Until a few years ago, pre-construction condos offered buyers a true deal compared to resale properties. You would have likely paid $400 per square foot for pre-construction while prices at the two-year-old condo next door were $475. But times have changed, and so too has the industry. Today, I’m seeing a rise in “boutique” developers, poorer quality buildings and more and more frustrated buyers. Last year, I made a significant change in the way I do business: I completely stopped selling and advocating the purchase of pre-construction condo units. Here’s why.
Price. The purchase made sense when you were getting a discount for taking on the risk, the uncertainty and the three- or four-year wait rather than purchasing a resale condo and taking possession tomorrow. But now that prices for pre-construction are the same as (and, in some cases, higher than) resale, what’s the incentive?
Material changes. That 200-page sales contract is ridden with phrases like “more or less” and “subject to change without notice.” These agreements are iron-clad, and developers have free rein to make sweeping changes to the building, and your unit, without much recourse for you. Imagine if you bought on the 28th floor, which was the top or even the penthouse, and then the developer added 10 more floors, leaving you in the muddled middle.
Occupancy fees. When you’re given the keys to your condo, you’re undertaking occupancy but you don’t own the unit. The building is not registered as a condominium corporation until well after all the units have been completed. Until that time, residents aren’t able to make mortgage payments; instead, you have to pay an occupancy fee to the developer. It’s like paying rent on a condo you own. This used to take four to six months, but now it’s closer to a year.
Constant construction. If you’re given occupancy to your condo on the fourth floor, chances are that there’s still construction happening on the fifth, while the 28th will be lucky to have walls and a ceiling. Construction could be ongoing in every area of the building except your own unit, and the workers won’t care that you call this place home.
Incomplete common areas. When you move in, the hallway floors will most likely be concrete with no carpets, the walls will not have been painted and there may be no mouldings or lights. You’ll probably find pieces of drywall scattered about and, perhaps, old lunches left behind by workers. The lobby won’t be complete for some time, although the developer will assign a “concierge” to sit at a card table and pretend to watch who comes in and out of the building. And if you think you’re going for a nice steam or a workout in the gym, be prepared to wait a year.
Careless, clueless salespeople. By the time you take occupancy of your new condo, the salespeople for the original project are busy selling phases two and three. The same people who were so helpful when you were ready to buy won’t answer your calls when you need to remedy issues with your unit. Many developers move on long before the job is done, and your only option is legal action, which most people can’t afford.
There’s no doubting that reputable, responsible and high-quality developers do exist. But the floodgates have been opened to a host of fly-by-nighters who constantly disappoint buyers and who generate the horror stories we’ve become so accustomed to hearing over the past few years. Don’t be fooled by the launch party with all the pretty girls, crab cakes and chicken skewers. That’s not a reason to buy a new condo when you can buy a resale unit and take possession in 30 days, knowing exactly what you’re getting.
Toronto Star article:
Aaron: The importance of reviewing condo floor plans
September 2, 2011
A Superior Court decision released last month underscores the importance of reviewing condominium floor plans before completing the purchase of a unit.
The trial of the action took 42 court days and involved nine lawyers representing the parties. I was one of the many expert witnesses called to testify about some of the legal issues in the dispute.
Back in September 1997, Kelly Jean Rainville signed an agreement of purchase and sale to buy one of 39 condominium townhouses in the Grand Harbour complex on Lake Shore Blvd. W. in Toronto.
Richard Weldon was one of the developers of the project. He bought one of the townhouse units for $402,366.09 from the court-appointed official receiver when the development ran into financial difficulties. Weldon’s unit was finished as a two-storey unit, with common element attic space above the second floor and a basement below the main floor.
The following spring, Weldon began construction to expand the unit into the attic. The added third-floor area consisted of a new set of stairs, new windows and skylights, a bathroom, sitting area and bedroom, totalling 862.2 square feet.
When the condominium corporation was registered in 1993, the surveyor’s floor plans filed in the Land Registry Office did not account for the finished attic space. The plans showed that the upper boundary of the townhouse was the second floor ceiling. No steps were ever taken to amend the condominium declaration, and plans to legalize the third-floor attic build-out, which would have converted it from common elements to a part of the unit below.
Four years after moving in, Weldon sold the unit to Rainville for $975,000. The certificate she obtained from the property managers as part of the purchase stated that there were no continuing violations of the condominium declaration, bylaws or rules.
In January, 1998, Rainville went to her lawyer’s office and met with a law clerk to review and sign the closing documents. Although she was under the impression that she owned from the ceiling of the third floor right down to the basement, she was not shown any condominium plans.
Before moving in, Rainville began a $700,000 renovation to the townhouse. During construction, it was discovered that there was mould in the third floor due to water leaking through the roof. The condominium board and property managers became involved to resolve the water issues, and it was soon revealed that the third floor of the townhouse had been built into the attic space without permission of the condominium corporation.
In 2001, Rainville sued her lawyer, the condominium corporation, the property manager and two of its employees, as well as a number of individuals who were condominium board members at various times.
In her claim, Rainville asked for the attic to be legalized as part of her unit, approval of the work she had done, and extensive damages for the cost of renovating and repairing the unit.
The trial took place before Madam Justice Darla A. Wilson in late 2009 and early 2010. I was one of the expert witnesses called to testify as to whether Rainville’s lawyer was negligent in failing to show her the horizontal and vertical plans, which would have revealed that the third floor was not part of the townhouse.
It was my opinion that Rainville’s lawyer’s clerk was negligent in failing to show the purchaser both the horizontal and vertical floor plans on the townhouse. In a detailed 69-page decision, Wilson agreed with my opinion and ruled that the law firm had indeed been negligent.
The judge, however, dismissed Rainville’s claim to have the third floor legalized. She was ordered to close up the third floor and restore it to attic space.
The law firm was ordered to pay Rainville almost $300,000 in damages, plus close-up costs and renovation costs to the third floor.
Sadly, the legal costs of having nine lawyers involved in a 42-day trial far exceeded the damages awarded. My guess is that the combined legal bills were several million dollars.
Sometimes in litigation, nobody wins.
Bob Aaron is a Toronto real estate lawyer and consumer advocate. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.aaron.ca.
April 16th, 2008, 07:06 PM
Sales centre is now open. From the latest Condo Guide magazine:
The Mansions at Jarvis: properties with pedigree
Over the last few years, Toronto’s dramatically renovated historical buildings – largely factories and warehouses – have earned a certain cachet in the city’s condominium market. Such conversions tap into a growing urban nostalgia, a yearning for authenticity and for “retro” charm. They speak to our heightened awareness that restoration of century-old buildings is vital to preserving the character of our city.
At a time when city dwellers treasure unique living spaces more than ever before, the conversion of one of Jarvis Street’s original mansions is truly significant. In terms of history, architectural merit and its central downtown location, the recently completed Mansions at Jarvis is one of the most exciting projects the city has to offer.
“This is a rare opportunity for people to own a home in one of Toronto’s oldest and most desirable neighbourhoods,” says Brad Lamb, broker for the Mansions at Jarvis. Aside from the building’s own merits, purchasers will benefit from the unusual circumstances of sale. As Lamb explains, “This is a receivership sale, and the prices of these units are substantially below pricing in the area.” And, because the final finishing nail has already been hammered into place, new buyers can take possession immediately.
The three-storey, 10,000-sq.-ft. mansion was originally built in the late 19th century, in the heart of what is known today as the Jarvis Mansion District. On this street, once called “Canada’s Fifth Avenue,” wealthy landowners built their dream homes; happily, today’s residents are painstakingly restoring these homes to their former glory. Lamb points out that, prior to the conversion, Mansions at Jarvis was well-known to area residents as the popular dining spot, Julie’s Mansion. Just next door is the home in which Canada’s once-Governor General Vincent Massey and his brother, actor Raymond Massey, were raised.
While the interior of the mansion has been adapted to accommodate individual suites, the builder was careful to preserve the integrity of the building’s exterior. The period architecture remains intact, and has been re-clad with a view to refreshment, not dramatic change. Varied rooflines, extraordinary window detailing and an elegant, discreet entrance all contribute to the Mansions’ distinctly un-apartment-like street presence. Wrought iron fencing with pillars of masonry surrounds the property, adding to its distinction.
There are 34 units in all, including 13 condominium suites in the original mansion. A number of garden terrace homes and penthouses with rooftop decks have been seamlessly integrated with the addition of an eastern wing.
“In keeping with the pedigree of the original mansion, these homes are outfitted with some impressive features,” says Lamb. “They’ve got high ceilings, high-end kitchens, rooftop gardens – all the things buyers would hope for.” Standard appointments include granite countertops and upscale cabinetry, while flooring ranges from oak to oversized ceramic tile to sisal carpeting.
The real fun comes in perusing floor plans, which start at 468 sq. ft. and range upwards to an expansive 1,765 sq. ft. Due to the nature of conversions, those suites within the original structure are strikingly different from one another. Amazingly, the penthouses and garden terrace homes in the new wing are nearly as diverse in design. Clearly, the architecture of the original mansion was used as a guiding light.
Each home boasts outdoor access, whether through private terraces, Juliet balconies or extraordinarily spacious rooftop gardens. Some floor plans are designed around open-concept principles, while others maintain a more formal delineation between rooms. Some plans boast skylights, others have pantries and walk-in closets, and still others double-sided fireplaces.
As the Mansions’ original owners must have felt, it’s difficult to imagine a better downtown location. While the immediate surroundings are comprised of gorgeous century homes, a short walk can take you everywhere from favourite local watering holes to the upscale shops and famous museums of Bloor-Yorkville; from the neighbourly atmosphere of the Church Street Village to the remarkable convenience of the Eaton Centre. And for cross-city travel, TTC access is wonderfully close at hand.
With over 25 years of fine condominium projects to its name, Elm Developments is now at the helm of Mansions at Jarvis. Broker Brad J. Lamb and his team are well-known throughout Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa for marketing innovative, design-driven developments, of which this unusual project is the quintessential example.
The Mansions at Jarvis sales centre has recently opened for business. Located on the east side of Jarvis Street, just south of Bloor Street, the sales centre is open Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5 pm. For more information, call 416-368-5262.
April 16th, 2008, 10:08 PM
"They speak to our heightened awareness that restoration of century-old buildings is vital to preserving the character of our city.
At a time when city dwellers treasure unique living spaces more than ever before, the conversion of one of Jarvis Street’s original mansions is truly significant. In terms of history, architectural merit and its central downtown location, the recently completed Mansions at Jarvis is one of the most exciting projects the city has to offer."
Preserving the character? Restoration??!? What exactly is left of the original building? It sure as heck didn't look this way to me ten years ago. I grind my teeth and seeth every time I walk past this pile.
April 16th, 2008, 10:27 PM
Whenever I walk past this development, I always think of fondant.
July 31st, 2008, 11:48 PM
I got an email the other day saying these units are for sale (again?). Around $229 000. What are everyone's thoughts?
August 1st, 2008, 06:25 AM
My thoughts are that the building is still as putrid as it was before. But the location is great.