By Mike Anderson
Alliance Holmes, the builder behind the delayed Hedge Road Landing development near Jackson’s Point, says it expects to register the condominium with the Town of Georgina next month and begin pulling building permits for the 144 homes it sold more than seven years ago.
“We are expecting to fund town fees within the next two weeks that will allow the executed development agreement to be circulated for agencies to clear conditions of approval and then registration can occur,” said Alex Troop, President of Alliance Holmes in an email to The Post.
“Building permits will then follow after registration.”
According to the Town, the builder must pay fees which include planning fees, building fees and development charges (DCs).
While the Town did not provide a detailed breakdown of those fees prior to posting, the DCs alone are more than $13 million for the first phase of the development.
This is also not the first time the builder has indicated that construction would begin soon. Last October, Troop told the Post that the development would be registered in 2021.
But a Town spokesperson, confirmed last week the condominium is still not registered and no building permits have been issued.
The draft plan for the development, originally approved by the Ontario Municipal Board in October 2006, has been extended several times by the Town.
Council approved the last extension on October 6, 2021 for three years. It is due to lapse on October 19, 2024, further extending the deadline for the builder.
Still, the Town said most of the infrastructure, which includes services and roads, has been installed.
The Post spoke to several buyers who purchased homes in the development, but they would not consent to have their names published as they fear it might cause issues with the builder.
After purchasing in 2015 with 2017-18 closing dates, they are hoping that their foundations will finally be excavated this spring.
Some, who sold their principal residences in anticipation that their new homes would be ready, are now either renting or have been living in their cottages for more than five years.
Many are also unhappy with how they have been treated by the builder, including some buyers who have been asked to pay a higher sale price or risk having their contracts cancelled and their deposits returned.
Troop has acknowledged that the cost of labour and materials had increased significantly threatening to make the project financially unviable.
“We have not asked for an increase in deposits, we have asked for an increase in the sale price which amounts to roughly 50 per cent of the increase in market value from the time the original sale was made,” he told The Post last October.
This may still be a good deal for buyers, as the final market value of the homes will far exceed the price they pay even with the additional sales increase.
But that is all contingent on Alliance Homes moving ahead with the development.
Some buyers are worried that the builder could still pull the plug.
Those concerns were heightened last year when Alliance Homes declared Red Maple, a subdivision it was contracted to build in Collingwood, no longer viable, returning buyers’ deposits.
If the project is cancelled and deposits returned, buyers will be faced with a double whammy: losing out on their new home’s appreciation and having to pay an estimated $300,000 to $400,000 more to purchase a comparable home.