Murrayville House. Times file photo

Murrayville House. Times file photo

Stalled Langley condo project owes $62 million, receiver says

Builders of Murrayville House sold several units more than once: report

The court-appointed receiver in charge of untangling the troubled Murrayville House condo project in Langley says the builder of the complex owes at least $62 million to various creditors.

The estimated debt is more than double the estimated $29 million replacement cost of the building, according to the first report to the court by the receiver, the Bowra Group Inc.

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.

Prior to the receivership order, the Superintendent of Real Estate issued a cease-marketing order to the owners.

READ MORE: Consumer alert issued about Langley condominium project

The report to the court also says a number of the 92 units in the four-storey wood frame condo at 5020 221A St. 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.”

The report 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 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 Company and their legal counsel have informed the receiver that the banking information, monies received and an accounting of the $12.2 million is not subject to the receivership order,” the report said.

“The receiver has requested details of all bank accounts from the company, however the company’s position is that the bank accounts do not form a part of ten assets subject to the receivership order.”

The receiver is going to court, seeking an order that, if successful, would require the builder to provide “ .. its books and records, including banking information which relate(s) to the Murrayville House development.”

The application was scheduled for Monday in Vancouver.

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.

“The Receiver is concerned that there may be other PSAs that have not been received,” the report says, so it has taken out ads requesting any pre-sale purchaser who hasn’t been in touch with Bowra to provide a copy of their PSA.

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.

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.”

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