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 engineerâ€™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, itâ€™s the strata council that decides to get an engineering report done and the city doesnâ€™t get involved until there is an application for a building permit to do the work, Vancouverâ€™s chief building official, Dave Jackson, said in an interview. But in this case, some of the owners complained to the city that maintenance wasnâ€™t being done.
Following an inspection, the city was concerned that the building â€œmight be damaged to the point where something might fall,â€ Jackson said. In its order, the city also referred to â€œwater … leaking out of structures in several locations and … algae growing extensively on the buildingâ€™s exterior stucco.â€
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. â€œUltimately, we expect them to do the repairs and if they donâ€™t, we would eventually order them to,â€ 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 Ownersâ€™ 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, â€œwhich eases the financial burden on the owners.â€
Full article in todays Vancouver Sun.