By Lyonel Doherty
An investor with Oliver Landing maintains that the bankruptcy of a numbered Alberta company (formerly Prestigious Properties Inc.) has no impact on the housing project on Sawmill Road and Co-op Avenue.
Thomas Beyer assured the Chronicle that the recent bankruptcy will not affect the housing development that has seen some delays in construction.
“It has zero impact on Oliver Landing nor Oliver Heights (the new housing development on Princess Place). The companies, including 1041951 Alberta Inc. are not financially connected in any form and both OL and OH are now well managed by experienced business men.”
Scotty Grubb, CEO of Oliver Heights, clarified that Beyer is “not” an investor, director or an active managing partner of Oliver Heights
“The project is privately funded and has no financial concerns. Servicing to the lots for phase 1 will be complete in the coming weeks.”
Grubb thanked the support of the Town of Oliver for the project’s success to date.
Last week an envelope was dropped off at the Chronicle office consisting of more than a dozen pieces of paper detailing the bankruptcy of 1041951 Alberta Inc. that Beyer was involved in as a trustee. The company represented a housing project that folded due to changing economic times.
Beyer is an investor and managing partner in Oliver Landing and is founder/president of Prestigious Properties in Vancouver, according to the website.
Oliver Landing made the news this spring when delays were reported due to stop-work orders placed on the project by the Town’s building inspector. These were later cleared up, but the Chronicle began receiving concerns from the public regarding tradesmen not being paid and liens being placed on the property.
Recently it was announced by Beyer that project manager David Perehudoff was no longer involved in Oliver Landing. Instead, his new focus is Oliver Heights. Perehudoff said his passion is affordable housing, noting that Oliver Landing does not represent that goal due to market conditions.
Beyer said a new general contractor and site manager have been hired for Oliver Landing, which will put the project back on track. Three of the 12 units in phase one are already occupied and more are reportedly being sold.
But the Chronicle has learned that several tradesmen still haven’t been paid for previous work at the site.
Shawn Stevens from Lendrix Exteriors from Calgary said he is still owed $13,750 for siding work he completed there. He noted there was an agreement with Perehudoff to pay Lendrix $22,000, but only partial payments trickled through. Stevens said Perehudoff made promises but didn’t deliver, particularly in supplying all the required materials.
“The job was going so well in the first two weeks. It was a great place to work, but it just (suddenly) went over a cliff.”
Stevens said he was planning to move to Oliver with his family after thinking he was going to do the siding on 40 units.
“It was a crap shoot waiting for materials.”
Stevens said he placed a lien on the property and is now considering small claims court.
Perehudoff said Oliver Landing had some series issues with Lendrix when that company finished the siding work. “We wanted to meet with him (Stevens) but he disappeared. The material was always there.”
Perehudoff acknowledged that people need to be paid, and when Oliver Landing doesn’t pay them, it makes him look bad. He referred all further questions about payment in arrears to Beyer.
“I stand behind my word and will meet anyone to discuss the issue at Oliver Landing or any other company I work for,” Perehudoff said. “There are always two sides to the story and sometimes one gets missed.”
Beyer acknowledged there are a few liens, but they are being paid from money in trust. He noted one is going to court over a poor paint job.
Another tradesmen told the Chronicle that he is owed more than $100,000 for his work at Oliver Landing. The man, who didn’t want to be identified, said he is speaking out in order to protect other tradespeople and companies from getting stung.
The tradesman gave the Chronicle a list of approximately 10 companies who haven’t been paid for their work on site. At least two others confirmed they are in the same boat. One Oliver company indicated it was initially owed money but Perehudoff eventually paid the bill after some wrangling.
The tradesman who’s owed more than $100,000 defended building inspector Wayde Bliss, saying he did nothing wrong by issuing the stop-work orders due to questionable standards relating to the windows and spray foam insulation.
“Wayde was in the right; he did nothing wrong there.”
The tradesman said he had high hopes for Oliver Landing when he first started working there.
“Oliver does need it but not at the cost of local businesses.”
Beyer admitted that some bad decisions were made and Oliver Landing was not well managed, but with new people and bank financing in place, they are committed to finishing the project.
He told the Chronicle they are confident that the remaining tradespeople who are owed money will be paid, noting they have already paid off several invoices.
“Construction is progressing well. My goal is to get everyone paid . . . as soon as we can.”
Beyer said he has invested more than two million dollars into the project and no one wants to see it “blow up.”