$50M St. Albert condo complex scrapped, potential owners waiting for money back
Published Thursday, August 7, 2014 7:48PM MDT Last Updated Thursday, August 7, 2014 9:36PM MDT
Until recently, plans were in place for a multi-million dollar condo complex in St. Albert – but plans have fallen through, and potential homeowners are wondering when they will get their money back.
The complex, dubbed ‘Sage Gardens’, was supposed to be a state-of-the-art and eco-friendly development.
It was planned to have more than 200 condo units, space for childcare and retail – and it was meant to go near the St. Albert Costco.
The development prompted Sydney Olson to take the first steps to becoming a homeowner.
“There were a lot of features that condos in Edmonton that I’ve seen don’t offer,” Olson said. “They had what was called living walls, with plants in the walls to clean the air.”
Olson, 23, invested more than $15,000 as a down payment so she could have her own.
“It was basically my life-savings, I was so excited to move out, it was a goal of mine, I was trying to be responsible,” Olson said
Developer “Vision Investment Properties” said sales fell short – only 35 units were sold, and it made it hard to secure financing for construction.
“You get to the point where you have to make the decision to pull the plug,” Thomas Napiontek, Managing Director of the company said in a phone interview from Hong Kong.
“We took a gamble, we took a chance, and unfortunately it didn’t pay off.”
The company said the project was dropped in July, but Olson said no one told her.
“I drove by the sales centre and saw construction workers taking it down which I found a little bit weird, and I couldn’t get a hold of anyone,” She said.
In an e-mail from the company, officials said it could be three to six months before Olson gets her money back.
“This is our first failed project, so there are a lot of items to go through,” Napiontek said.
Although her first foray into owning real estate has not been positive, Olson said it won’t keep her from trying again.
“I am going to look for a house, that’s probably already built, on the ground,” Olson said.
With files from Veronica Jubinville