The Con­nolly condo project put into re­ceiver­ship

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NATALIE PADDON npad­don@thes­pec.com 905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

A down­town high­rise con­do­minium project at the site of the for­mer James Street Bap­tist Church has gone into re­ceiver­ship.

The Con­nolly — owned by Louie San­taguida — was placed in re­ceiver­ship on June 22, ac­cord­ing to a no­tice from re­ceiver msi Spergel inc. posted to the fence of the James Street South prop­erty.

“I’m cer­tainly dis­ap­pointed,” said Ward 2 Coun. Ja­son Farr. “We worked very hard with the pro­po­nent … in see­ing the ap­provals process come to play.”

Farr said he plans to meet with plan­ning staff Tues­day to dis­cuss “what sort of time­lines and what po­ten­tial there is in the short term.”

The project has been en­vi­sioned as a 30-storey, $80-mil­lion un­der­tak­ing. San­taguida could not be reached for com­ment late Mon­day, but in May 2016 he told The Spec­ta­tor the 259 units were be­tween 70 and 75 per cent sold. De­posits for the project were 20 per cent of unit sale prices, which ranged from about $250,000 to $500,000.

De­spite project de­lays, most early birds were stay­ing the course, he said at the time, but those who wanted out could re­ceive re­funds on their de­posits as agree­ments of pur­chase and sale were amended.

Ac­cord­ing to Tar­ion War­ranty Corp., which of­fers buy­ers war­ranty plans for new homes, de­posits on con­dos are pro­tected up to $20,000, with amounts over that cov­ered un­der the Con­do­minium Act.

News of the re­ceiver­ship comes af­ter Mim­ico condo project On The Go, which was be­ing de­vel­oped by Ter­rasan 327 Royal York Rd. Lim­ited, went into re­ceiver­ship in late Fe­bru­ary. San­taguida has an in­ter­est in Ter­rasan.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­ceiver­ship ap­pli­ca­tion ap­proved by an On­tario Su­pe­rior Court judge last month, Duca Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Credit Union Ltd. says it is owed more than $5 mil­lion by 220 Co., a cor­po­ra­tion that lists San­taguida as its sole of­fi­cer and di­rec­tor.

A mort­gage loan was ad­vanced around July 8, 2015 to pro­vide fi­nanc­ing for The Con­nolly condo project. The ap­pli­ca­tion says the term of the loan ended on July 8, 2016, but was ex­tended to Au­gust 8 and again to Septem­ber 8. Ac­cord­ing to the ap­pli­ca­tion, Duca “caused its lawyers … to make de­mand upon 220 Co. for pay­ment of the afore­said amounts” on Dec. 13, 2016.

The Durand Neigh­bour­hood As­so­ci­a­tion, which has had con­cerns about the project from its in­cep­tion in 2013, is “very, very dis­ap­pointed” with the news, said pres­i­dent Frances Mur­ray.

“We didn’t feel com­fort­able with the whole project right from the be­gin­ning but the de­ci­sion was made and the city has to live with the con­se­quences, which is the 80 per cent de­mol­ished church and no new res­i­dences to make it all bet­ter,” she said.

Mu­nic­i­pal her­itage com­mit­tee chair Alissa Denham-Robin­son said she plans to ask staff to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on the sit­u­a­tion at this week’s meet­ing.

“The hope is if they have gone into re­ceiver­ship, the prop­erty can go into the hands of a de­vel­oper that can pur­sue the project,” she said.

A Spec­ta­tor in­ves­ti­ga­tion from 2014 also re­vealed San­taguida had three as­so­ci­ated com­pa­nies go bank­rupt and two oth­ers placed into re­ceiver­ship since 2011.

MCCAL­LUM SATHER AR­CHI­TECTS

The project at the cor­ner of James and Jackson streets has been en­vi­sioned as a 30-storey, $80-mil­lion un­der­tak­ing.

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