Nolan Killeen invited a Times photographer to have a look at the wing of the Murrayville House condo where the two-bedroom suite he and his fiancee bought is located. They just learned that a court-ordered receiver has proposed canceling their sales agreement and 90 other contracts that are not considered “bona fide.” Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Condo buyer shocked to learn sales agreement could be cancelled

Was third purchaser of unit in troubled Langley project

Nolan Killeen pointed out the upper-floor two-bedroom suite he and his fiancee purchased.

“There it is,” he said.

He was standing on the recently-landscaped lawn outside the troubled Murrayville House project, a four-storey wood frame condo at 5020 221A St. in Langley.

He can’t get any closer than that, thanks to multiple legal battles that landed the project in court and have prevented Killeen and other purchasers from moving in.

Killeen had just discovered that his sales agreement is on a list of 91 purchases that are not considered “bona fide” by the court-appointed receiver now in charge.

“I was shocked,” Killeen said.

The report to the court by the Bowra Group Inc., filed on Nov. 16, says the receiver considers less than half of the sales agreements, 58, to be “bona fide” sales agreements because they were at fair market value.

The other 91 should be cancelled for a variety of reasons, the report states, including some units that were sold more than once, some that were sold at a discount, and some that were sold after the sales centre was closed.

The report says a number of the 92 units in the four-storey wood frame condo have been sold more than once.

“There are 149 (Purchase Sales Agreements) for the sale of 91 units,” states the report, which was filed Nov. 16 and has been posted on the Bowra website.

“A total of 31 units have been sold twice … 12 units have been sold three times; and … one unit had been sold four times.”

Killeen said he and his fiancee were actually the third buyer of their suite, and the deal was done after the sales office was closed. At the time, they had no idea any of that could be a problem.

“(We had) humongous reliance on the realtor,” Killeen said.

“It (the suite) was posted on the MLS as a unit for sale.”

If his contract is cancelled, Killeen will get his deposit back, but he says he won’t be able to make up the difference between what the suite cost when he bought it and what it would cost to replace in the current market.

He said the lost value could be as much as $100,000.

That is why he and his fiancee have bought a townhouse just across Fraser Highway from the Murrayville House project.

Because housing prices were continuing to rise while they waited for some kind of resolution, “we had to jump back into the market” Killeen said.

“It’s frustrating,” he said.

“You wonder, how does this happen. It just makes you question the entire system that governs real estate transactions in B.C.”

Mario Mainella, Bowra Group’s senior vice-president overseeing the Murrayville file, said the recommendation to cancel certain contracts won’t happen without input from the people holding the contracts.

“Everyone is going to have an opportunity to respond,” Mainella told The Times.

Asked whether any laws were broken when the suites were sold several times over, Mainella said it wasn’t an issue the receiver was required to consider, but it should not have happened, in his opinion.

“It’s wrong,” Mainella said.

“Whether you want to call it illegal (or not) it’s wrong.”

The builder of the complex owes at least $62 million to various creditors, more than double the estimated $29 million replacement cost of the building, according to the receiver’s report.

On Oct. 4, a B.C. Supreme Court ruling put the Bowra Group Inc. in charge of the Murrayville House condo complex, which has sat empty while creditors complain the company that owns it owes them millions of dollars that it has failed to pay.

Appointed under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA), Bowra is a Vancouver accounting firm with expertise in insolvency and restructuring, that has been named the receiver and manager “of the assets, undertakings and properties” of Murrayville House builder Mark Chandler, of Newmark, doing business as 0981478 B.C. Ltd.

READ MORE: Consumer alert issued about Langley condominium project

The receiver said the company that built the condo is refusing to say what happened to about $12.2 million paid “by 68 parties for the full payment of the purchase price of a unit.”

The company, according to the receiver, has not provided “any accounting of these transactions or confirmation of as to how much, if any of the funds are held in a bank account.”

The receiver went to court last week and obtained an order requiring the builder to provide the banking information.

READ MORE: Losses mount for buyers of troubled Langley condo project

All but one of the pre-sale purchasers have told Bowra that they want to complete on the sale of the units, the report states.

Following its appointment, Bowra immediately changed the locks on the project and hired a security company to patrol the premises.

The report says the project is virtually complete, and finishing it would cost between $108,000 and $158,000 for things like cleaning the suites, fixing interior deficiencies, landscaping and parkade membrane repair.

An online profile of Newmark president Mark Chandler describes the company as “a full-service real estate development and construction company with over three decades of experience in building homes of distinction, from mid-rise boutique dwellings to high-rise concrete towers, as well as commercial, recreational and retail properties throughout British Columbia, California and Arizona.”

Tag

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Murrayville House condo project is only a few thousand dollars away from completion, according to a report filed in court. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Just Posted

Chilliwack School District outlines plans for $3.5 million in COVID-19 funding

Pandemic funding from provincial and federal governments mostly goes to staffing

Fraser Health confirms expanded COVID-19 testing services coming

Long lines, several days waiting list as demand for testing surges in region

Two new candidates for Chilliwack-Kent riding

B.C. NDP and B.C. Greens announce candidates to run against incumbent Throness

Sunny skies ahead for Fraser Valley this week

Rain and smoke nowhere in the forecast after weeks of weather alerts

Chilliwack seniors invited to drive-through breakfast

Event held to acknowledge the difficulty faced by Chilliwack seniors during pandemic

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read