Province investigating condo developer Onni
A major developer in Metro Vancouver is being investigated by an arm of the provincial government after CTV found it was still selling condos even though construction has been halted at the project.
It's a big name developer, which has been building in Metro Vancouver for decades.
On Thursday, the Onni Group of Companies which is behind the V6A condo complex near Main and Union streets in Vancouver -- said the project has been postponed. But when CTV went to the sales center -- we discovered the units were still being offered for pre-sale -- and perspective buyers were not being told the project was on hold.
Now B.C.'s Superintendent of Real Estate is investigating.
"We have contacted the developer and asked for an update,'' said L. Jay Mitchell, B.C.'s Deputy Superintendent of Real Estate.
"We've indicated they have to make an amendment to their disclosure statement,'' she said. "We're making inquires about the deposits and the status of the project
The situation at Main and Union has not escaped the attention of NDP Housing critic Diane Thorne.
"I could hardly believe what I was seeing and hearing on television,'' she said. "It's the best example I have ever seen of the lack of consumer protection in British Columbia."
Meanwhile, any new protection for presale buyers would start with the B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen.
"If there's way we can strengthen the regulation and the procedures developers must follow, we are certainly willing to take a look at those and if we can do it in a way that makes sense, we will certainly be ready to do that,'' Hansen said.
Asked if he will looking into the situation at Onni, Hansen said he likely will. "I will certainly be looking into this particular example to see what lessons we can learn from it,'' he said.
As for the future of the V6A project, on Thursday, Onni's vice-president of development Beau Jarvis said he wasn't sure.
"I wouldn't say there is a timeline at this point,'' he said.
On Friday, Onni's executive vice president Chris Evans called CTV News and said that while he doesn't know when construction will resume, Onni plans on finishing the project sometime in 2010.
He declined an invitation to do an on camera interview.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson