Con­nolly ar­chi­tect not no­ti­fied of re­ceiver­ship

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

The Con­nolly’s ar­chi­tect says he was work­ing on the high­rise con­do­minium project as re­cently as last week and was not aware it had gone into re­ceiver­ship un­til Mon­day.

Drew Hauser of McCal­lum Sather Ar­chi­tects said he spoke to rep­re­sen­ta­tives at owner Louie San­taguida’s of­fice last week and no one men­tioned the news to him. He had even put a de­posit down on a unit for him­self, he said.

“I was sur­prised as ev­ery­one else was,” he said.

The down­town condo project at the site of the for­mer James Street Bap­tist Church was placed in re­ceiver­ship June 22, ac­cord­ing to a no­tice from re­ceiver msi Spergel Inc. posted at the prop­erty.

A judge ap­prov­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion to put the com­pany into re­ceiver­ship sig­nals that there is a be­lief the com­pany still has value, ac­cord­ing to Mar­vin Ry­der, a McMaster Univer­sity busi­ness pro­fes­sor. That could stem from the land, the par­tially-de­mol­ished church, ar­chi­tec­tural draw­ings or the buy­ers, he said.

Now that re­ceiver­ship has been ap­proved, it’s the re­ceiver’s job to shop around for a new de­vel­oper and get as much money as pos­si­ble for the cred­i­tor — a process Ry­der ex­pects would take 30 to 60 days.

If the court feels progress is not be­ing made, the com­pany could be forced into bank­ruptcy, he said.

Ward 2 Coun. Ja­son Farr said Tues­day he had re­ceived a cou­ple of inquiries from third par­ties who are “very in­ter­ested” in the site.

Ac­cord­ing to the ap­pli­ca­tion, Duca Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Credit Union Ltd. says it is owed more than $5 mil­lion by 220 Co., which lists San­taguida as its of­fi­cer and di­rec­tor.

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

It also says San­taguida owed more than $106,000 in mu­nic­i­pal prop­erty taxes for the site.

A spokesper­son for Duca said they can­not com­ment on the mat­ter to pro­tect the pri­vacy of their clients, part­ners and mem­bers.

The Stan­ton Re­nais­sance project had been en­vi­sioned as a 30-storey, $80-mil­lion un­der­tak­ing. San­taguida could not be reached for com­ment Mon­day or Tues­day, 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.

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 trust pro­vi­sions of the Con­do­minium Act.

Farr said Mon­day there was “noth­ing out of the or­di­nary” about the ap­proval process for this project.

News of the re­ceiver­ship comes af­ter Mim­ico condo project On The Go — be­ing de­vel­oped by Ter­rasan 327 Royal York Rd. Limited — went into re­ceiver­ship in late Fe­bru­ary. San­taguida has an in­ter­est in Ter­rasan. A 2014 Spec­ta­tor in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed San­taguida had three as­so­ci­ated com­pa­nies go bank­rupt and two oth­ers placed into re­ceiver­ship since 2011.

MCCAL­LUM SATHER AR­CHI­TECTS

The 30-storey Con­nelly condo project at the site of the for­mer James Street Bap­tist Church was placed in re­ceiver­ship June 22.

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