Court ruling angers Vancouver condo buyers
Three years ago, Diana Becker would never have dreamed that she would be standing in a back alley looking at a hole that was supposed to be her new home
The founder of the Dubrulle Culinary Institute bought a condo on the 18th floor of Jameson House, a new development on West Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver. She was even featured in the real estate section of the New York Times
"When I posed for the picture for the New York Times, I was really joyous," she said.
That joy turned to concern when nothing happened at the project she was told would be ready in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics
When asked to explain the delay, developer Tony Pappajohn said one of the three banks involved in the project decided not to proceed.
Condo buyers like Becker reacted by attempting to bail out of their pre-sale contracts.
"I think at that point every purchaser wanted out of that contract,'' said Ali Sodagar, who also bought at Jameson House.
But Pappajohn needed those presale contracts to get new financing.
So he went to a judge to request that buyers be denied a chance to back out of the deal.
And this week he got his wish when the judge decided that the contracts will remain in place until the later completion date of may 2011
It is a decision, which has angered the buyers, who have decided to launch an appeal.
"It was called a fairness hearing and I found it to be extremely unfair," said Becker. "All the rights went to the developer,'' she said.
Meanwhile, the real estate market and construction costs have dropped significantly, allowing the developer to use 2007 dollars to build for less in 2009.
"The developer could come out making a profit out of this," said George Gregory, the lawyer acting for the condo buyers.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson