$29 million to build, $40 million to repair.

More depressing news on the local leaky condo front, this hot on the heels of the federal governments announcement that it is dropping its election promise to review culpability for the Lower mainlands leaky condo crisis:

“Owners in a leaky condominium project that cost $29 million to build in 1994 may now have to pony up a total of $40 million to keep the buildings standing.

The City of Vancouver ordered Gardenia Villa, at the corner of Nanaimo and East Broadway, to get an engineer’s report after an inspection showed various parts of the complex were at risk of failing structurally. The city also ordered immediate shoring to one of the buildings in the complex because of imminent danger.

Normally, it’s the strata council that decides to get an engineering report done and the city doesn’t get involved until there is an application for a building permit to do the work, Vancouver’s chief building official, Dave Jackson, said in an interview. But in this case, some of the owners complained to the city that maintenance wasn’t being done.

Following an inspection, the city was concerned that the building “might be damaged to the point where something might fall,” Jackson said. In its order, the city also referred to “water … leaking out of structures in several locations and … algae growing extensively on the building’s exterior stucco.”

If all repairs are done to this building it will end up costing an average of $160,000 per unit, an astounding figure considering that some of the units were originally purchased for much less than that amount.

“Options the owners will be considering today, according to a notice of the meeting, include doing nothing, proceeding with the repairs, suing the parties who designed and built Gardenia Villa, and dissolving the strata corporation and selling the land.

But legal action against the developer may prove difficult as Maple Resource Investments was dissolved in 2003 for not filing annual reports. And Jackson said doing nothing was also not an option. “Ultimately, we expect them to do the repairs and if they don’t, we would eventually order them to,” Jackson said.

Once the strata does the repairs, the city will require letters from structural engineers to ensure it has taken care of the safety issues related to the structure, Jackson said. The city will also need letters from envelope specialists that repairs meet minimum standards of the Vancouver building code.

Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association would not talk specifically about the Gardenia Villa project. However, he did say other projects with large assessments have been able to spread the repairs over a number of years, “which eases the financial burden on the owners.”

Full article in todays Vancouver Sun.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

There were two information meetings for these owners (over a total of 9 hours in total) to discussion options. It was FUN. Owners were blaming the strata council for it. I feel sorry for them.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

"Has anything been done to building standards to prevent the problems in the leaky condos?"- sorts of esp those constructions that require architects amd professional engineers' signature.However, an Asian developer friend here on visit shooked his head at those wood-frame structures, saying that they would never approve these to be constructed in Asia. He's right. Just look at those half-a-dozen fires last month at Vancouver-East.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

This is sort of off-topic, but the article mentioned the Vancouver building code. Has anything been done to building standards to prevent the problems we've seen in the leaky condos? Or was this a matter of crooked builders and crooked inspectors?Sorry if this is a silly question. I'm not from Vancouver.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

There should be stricter laws making builders far more accountable. Peoples' lives are ruined because builders cut corners and were negligent? That's ridiculous.Wonder how this article affected the minds of condo buyers.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

I think that was what they did in vain with the Cressey's case. Can't get back the links of those articles now.

bc_cele
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bc_cele

There's a possiblity that you can peirce the corporate veil and sue the owner's directly (or at least the board of directors and executives). This is difficult, but it has been done for certain extreme circumstances. They should also be able to sue the enigneering firm that designed and approved it.

what a waste
Guest
what a waste

But legal action against the developer may prove difficult as Maple Resource Investments was dissolved in 2003 for not filing annual reports.So not filing reports gets them dissolved and now they have no responsibility? This whole thing is an absolute outrage! Considering that the CMHC knew in the early eighties that the building code would cause leaky buildings along the coast, WHY THE HELL are they not being held responsible?!?