Connolly architect not notified of receivership
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.
The 30-storey Connelly condo project at the site of the former James Street Baptist Church was placed in receivership June 22.