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Kelowna News

Future of Sopa Square a waiting game

KELOWNA – The company that owns the Vancouver Canucks may still breathe life into an on-again, off-again Kelowna development but not before it jumps through a few more legal hurdles to bring it out of receivership.

Sopa Square was supposed to be the project to change the face of the Pandosy neighbourhood. The mix of commercial and residential development included a 12-storey tower of high-end condos along with townhouses at a cost of about $70-million.

The project went into receivership with Ernst & Young in January of this year.

Aquilini Group senior vice president Kevin Hoffman tells Info News his company put in an offer of $29.5-million in what is called a ‘stalking horse’ bid, but the court has refused the offer.

“The judge told the receiver to go away… the offer was refused. It had nothing to do with us. It was more about the way the offer was presented (by Ernst & Young),” Hoffman says. “It had nothing to do with the value of our offer. The judge was looking for more information from the other bidders.”

He says it was more a judgment on the process than anything else.

The Aquilini Group isn’t giving up, but now it’s a waiting game.

Hoffman says the receiver needs to figure out what the next steps are and the company will follow whatever process the court agrees to.

“We see it as a good development. We like the location. We thought we put in a fair offer,” Hoffman adds. “We have roots in Kelowna. Ownership of the company have residences in the city.”

“We do feel there has been enough improvement in the market and the economy to make Sopa Square successful.”

This isn’t the company’s first foray into the Kelowna market.

It owns property along Bernard Avenue downtown next to the Lululemon location and is behind a proposal for a 26-storey residential tower called 24 Kelowna.

“But we’ve put that on hold for now,” Hoffman says.

Artist's rendition of what the completed Sopa Square development would look like.
Artist's rendition of what the completed Sopa Square development would look like.
Image Credit: Contributed

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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