By Mike Anderson
Alliance Homes says it will soon begin construction on Hedge Road Landing, its highly anticipated but long-delayed 320-unit housing development near Jackson’s Point.
Marketed as an “active adult condominium community,” the development features cottage-style bungalow homes on 40 and 50 foot lots, located just south of Hedge Rd, one of Georgina’s more affluent areas.
The development boasts 260-feet of Lake Simcoe shoreline and a private club house with an in-ground pool.
According to Alliance Homes President Alex Troop, the company hopes to complete financing in the next few weeks and pay all outstanding fees, and development charges in order to register with the Town this month.
Troop says that once the condominium is registered, his company will begin pulling building permits.
“We expect to build the same number of units and the same designs,” Troop said in an email to The Post.
“There has been no change in the scope of the project.”
According to a spokesperson for the Town, while no building permits have been issued to date, the majority of required works — water, stormwater, sanitary and utilities — have been completed to allow phase one to go forward.
It’s welcome news for purchasers who, in some cases, have waited more than six years for their homes to be built.
It also alleviates concerns that Alliance Homes might pull the plug on the development.
Those concerns were heightened this spring when Alliance Homes declared Red Maple, a subdivision it was contracted to build in Collingwood, no longer viable, returning purchaser’s deposits.
Still, it’s not all good news.
According to Troop, purchasers in phase one – 144 units – have been asked to pay more for their homes.
In some cases, $125,000 to $150,000 above the purchase price, according to several sources.
Troop blames higher building costs and rising market values for the price increases.
“The sales are older, and materials and labour have substantially increased the cost making the project not financially viable,” he said.
But, Troop argues the increased sale price is still less than the current market value of the homes.
“We have asked for an increase in sales price which amounts to roughly 50 per cent of the increase in market value from the time the original sale was made,” he said.
While some purchasers have agreed to the increased sales price, others have demanded their deposits back and walked away from their purchase, frustrated with the delays.
In 2015, Corey Koneczny, and his wife, purchased two homes at Hedge Road Landing. The first, on a 50-foot lot, for $550,000, to retire in, and the second, for $399,000, on a 40-foot lot, as a rental property.
“The deals were good, and he had included a lot of upgrades, like granite countertops. It all looked very promising,” he said.
Koneczny was particularly interested in the private club house, where he could play cards with friends and watch NFL games.
“We had a lot of friends from Newmarket that were moving up there. We thought we’d move into a new area with an adult community lifestyle because we were retiring. So that was the plan.”
But the plan went awry for Koneczny when the development faced repeated delays.
“He [Troop] was promising people that they’d be in within two years, and all of a sudden, two years went by, and nothing was being done,” he said.
“He had all these excuses all the time, blaming the Town of Georgina about delays and permits and all that.”
Koneczny and his wife started getting nervous about their purchase, so they decided to let go of the cheaper investment property but keep the more expensive retirement home.
However, after additional delays, they decided to throw in the towel and give up on that too.
With the returned deposits, they ended up purchasing a new home in Orillia, which was ready to move in six months after signing the purchase agreement.
While Koneczny was able to move on, he says the delays have caused considerable financial and emotional stress to others.
“A lot of these people had sold their houses five years ago. Some of them are renting now. They’ve been paying rent for five years. Some of them moved to their cottage, thinking they could move into their new place in a year or two. Obviously, that never happened. It’s very sad.”
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