Refunds for 1 Bloor St. buyers

Deposits were never in danger due to provincial law

Silvio Arone wanted to move from Woodbridge to downtown Toronto at 1 Bloor St. East.

He paid a deposit of about $100,000 for his piece of the pie in the sky that was to be an 80-storey tower at Yonge and Bloor Sts.

The proposed 500-unit project, by Bazis International, is now defunct and law firm Robins Appleby and Taub is in the process of refunding depositors money.

“I made my way to the law office to hand in my form to recover my deposit a few hours ago,” Arone said Sept. 3. “I’ll get my cheque a week or so later.”

He works as a project manager for a builder, so he never panicked over his money.

“I wasn’t concerned,” Arone said. “I trust the Condo Act.”

The Act states a lawyer for the property owner must hold deposits, plus interest, in a trust account just in case a project doesn’t get built.

For Arone it was more a question of having his money tied up.

“Our initial deposit was made in November, 2007 almost two years ago,” he said. “I was in limbo.”

Now he’s looking to move into a condo that’s already built. He’s currently considering Islington and Bloor or midtown.

Corrado Di Rosa also purchased a unit at 1 Bloor St. and is disappointed the project died.

“I loved the location and the project seemed second to none with a condo, hotel and high end retail,” Di Rosa said. “I was fortunate I was able to get in before it was announced to the public. Two weeks later the (price) went up considerably.”

Buyers and people paid to wait on behalf of purchasers stood in line for up to a week, which upped interest and selling prices.

Di Rosa hasn’t given up on the site now that it will be sold to an affiliate of Great Gulf Homes. That real estate deal is set to close around Sept. 16. The new developer has yet to disclose what it plans to build.

“Hopefully Great Gulf … will give us the opportunity to purchase before the general public,” said Di Rosa. “I’m looking to move into 1 Bloor if I can get the best possible price.”

Mike Rosenthall is also considering using his refund for 1 Bloor St. and reinvesting at the same site.

“I want to know the details and pricing,” he said of any new project.

Rosenthall has purchased a number of properties including a Yorkville condo from Great Gulf, so he’s pleased they are taking over this site.

“It’s great. They have a great track record,” said Rosenthall.

Whatever is built there, it won’t be the same dream people bought into two years ago, said Garth Juriansz and agent with Re/Max Realtron Realty.

“People lined up here for a dream to own the prime piece of real estate in Canada at 1 Bloor,” said Juriansz, who purchased a unit and sold 20.

“Myself and my clients, we bought facing south. We wanted to see the CN Tower,” Juriansz said. “My clients are very disappointed because they won’t be part of this spectacular building.”

The ball is now in Great Gulf’s court.

“They need something really great here. If they do, they may get lineups again,” said Juriansz.

Councillor Kyle Rae was a big supporter of the high rise in his ward and is looking for something similar in future plans.

“I’m hoping there will be a strong commercial component with a strong residential component above,” Rae said. “That’s what it’s zoned for.

“I expect the application will come in with less height and density.”

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Sep 14 2009 12:34 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto