By ROY WOOD
Several units that were considered sold at the Oliver Landing development will have to be re-sold following expiration of a statutory time limit between the signing of the agreements and issuing of building permits.
Project managing partner Thomas Beyer told ODN in a recent interview there have been substantial and unexpected construction delays in Phase 1 of the project at Sawmill Road and Co-op Avenue.
One of the results of the delays has been that five agreements for sale of units in Phase 2 have expired because more than nine months has elapsed and building permits haven’t been issued.
Beyer said the company will have to “re-engage with the clients. … We will have to go back to them and ask them if they would (still) like to buy and, they will say yes or no.”
The re-engagement will be part of an attempt to re-gain momentum for the ambitious project, which could eventually see as many as 130 homes on the 7.4 acre site a former horse pasture – commonly referred to as the Forbes property.
“We’ll re-launch and put ads in the paper and have a big splash,” said Beyer. “But that will all happen in the fall, in September or October.”
For the time being, Beyer said the focus will be on getting the three four-plexes in Phase 1 completed so that the place “will look like a building site, not a construction site.” Ten of the Phase 1 units are sold and three of them are occupied.
The project has been plagued by delays since construction began about a year ago. Beyer blames difficulty in hiring and retaining quality sub-contractors as well as a protracted dispute between the town’s building department and former Oliver Landing project manager David Perehudoff.
“We had delays of two months … because of building inspector issues,” said Beyer.
He has taken over direction of Oliver Landing, with Perehudoff now concentrating on the Oliver Heights affordable housing project in the town’s northwest section. “Oliver Heights is more up (David’s) alley,” he said.
Beyer tamped down speculation that Oliver Landing is in financial trouble. “We certainly spent more money than we envisioned a year or a year and a half ago,” he said. “But if you have pre-sales … and strong demand, the banks are happy to lend money. I was back (at the bank) today so it’s all good. It’s all lined up.”
The 1,350-1,450-square-foot, three-storey units are priced around the $360,000 mark, although some early Phase 1 homes sold closer to $300,000.
“Some sales were in the low 300s … we were losing money on those sales,” said Beyer. “But we’ll make that up in the latter part of Phase 1 and in Phase 2 and 3. Like most developments, you don’t make money on the first units, you make money on the last few.”
Units in the latter phases, particularly the 16 along the Okanagan River, will sell closer to the $500,000 mark.