Multi-million-dollar West Kelowna condo project finally clears legal hurdles | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Multi-million-dollar West Kelowna condo project finally clears legal hurdles

This 33-unit Gellatly Place condo project is still empty and not being marketed despite getting its occupancy permit almost two months ago.
February 09, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Gellatly Place is a 33-unit West Kelowna condo development that is sitting empty even though it was mostly finished in 2017 and given its occupancy permit on Dec. 13.

It’s near Okanagan Lake and the Gellatly Nut Farm so it has the location to make it an appealing home.

But, on a recent visit by there was one sign saying 'Gellatly Place' swinging from a post next to the snow-plowed driveway but no sign of life in the place. And if there's any marketing for the sale of units, they are so far tough to find. 

It has a long and sordid history of failed building inspections, mostly because work was covered over and finished, sometimes with concrete, before West Kelowna building inspectors could sign off.

In 2018, the City filed two stop work orders and finally had to go to court to get an injunction against the owner, 1031007 B.C. Ltd. in March 2018. In its court filing, the city listed problems such as deficient fire stopping measures and fire wall construction, water and sewer connections covered before inspections and serious safety issues.

Work resumed in 2019 finally satisfying City of West Kelowna building inspectors and an occupancy permit was issued Dec. 13, 2019.

“Representatives from Gellatly Place have been working cooperatively with municipal staff since January 2019 to resolve the outstanding issues that led to the City issuing a Notice on Title,” the City said in an email response to questions. “The remedial construction works were completed to the satisfaction of the Professionals of Record involved and the City of West Kelowna Building Department. The construction issues that caused the Notice on Title in November of 2017 have been completed and as such the Occupancy issued, and our file on the project is now closed.”

In March of 2018 the developer, identified in the court documents as Stewart Smith, started returning deposits to people who had bought into the project and were left waiting to move in. The units were once priced between $400,000 and $575,000 on the Okanagan Condos for Sale website.

Given those prices, the project could sell for $13.2 to $19 million. B.C. Assessment valued the site as of July 1, 2019 as being worth $12.6 million.

The developer now has a Facebook page and updated the cover photo on Jan. 24 but there is no contact information and nothing to indicate if and when units would start selling. He did not respond to a request for an interview.

However Don Workentin, a partner with Fortune Marketing which originally worked on selling units in Gellatly Place before pulling out because of the issues with the city, said he wouldn't expect them to hit the market right now.

He did get in touch with the realtor recently and while he could not speak for the owner, Workentin explained that it was “pretty normal” for the project to stay off the market even though it now has its occupancy permit.

“From Dec. 13 to where we are today is not the best time of the year to do a launch,” he said. “We would never do a sales launch for a project like this until the middle of March.”

Housing sales drop off significantly over the winter, he noted.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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