Trepanier Manor project in Peachland faces receivership
Some might compare Peachland’s Trepanier Manor project to the story of the Little Engine That Could, but these days one can’t help but wonder if it can at all.
While people behind the project seem to be chugging along, the mountain the project is climbing seems to be growing.
Trepanier Manor has more lawsuits against it than it has homes built.
The latest lawsuit is a big one, as financier Canadian Western Bank attempts to put the whole project into receivership.
Officially announced in February, 2006, Trepanier Manor was described as an ultra luxurious, 38-room hotel with 20 upscale homes on just over 25 acres of property off MacKinnon Road.
The project actually sits on the very top of Tabletop Mountain, overlooking the Peachland Elementary School and Peachland Centre Mall below.
Backers of the project include Richard Dudlezak, a lawyer from Alberta, former NHL goalie Byron Dafoe and the local face behind the project, Scott Wilshaw.
A big leap forward was taken in the winter of 2009-10, when Matcon Construction put in servicing for the property, including water and sewer lines, electrical cables and other underground services.
Prior to servicing, a showhome was constructed on the property.
On Feb. 15, 2010, Trepanier Manor announced via press release that a construction start at the project was “imminent.”
And then everything stopped.
Fast forward to the present day and it seems there has been no action at the site. But the action in the courts is heating up.
Just 15 days after Trepanier Manor announced construction was imminent, Matcon Construction filed a lawsuit against the developer.
The construction company claimed that $510,459 out of a contract worth $1.93 million was left owing to it, according to court documents.
Then in March of 2011, the Royal Bank of Canada went after Dafoe, Wilshaw and several others over an unpaid balance on a Visa business card.
The matter involves Vineyard Catering Ltd., which Wilshaw was involved in. The catering company set up a kitchen and restaurant in the lower level of Hainle Vineyards Estate Winery.
The Royal Bank alleges that $133,133 is left owing on the credit card account.
Also in March of this year, the Business Development Bank of Canada started a suit against Trepanier Manor, DaFoe, Dudlezak, Wilshaw and others, claiming that a $150,000 loan was unpaid.
On July 15, 2011, the Canadian Western Bank began proceedings against Trepanier Manor, claiming that the company defaulted on its mortgage.
The Canadian Western Bank is at the same time going after Wilshaw in the amount of $943,000 and Dafoe and Dudelzak for $1.829 million each, alleging that the three principals of the project signed a limited liability guarantee to secure the mortgage.
Canadian Western also asks the court to appoint a receiver for the project, which would instigate the selling off of Trepanier Manor assets to pay the mortgage.
“The bank just wants their money back,” Scott Wilshaw said Thursday.
Wilshaw admitted Trepanier Manor is “so far behind.” He said it is about 15 months behind schedule and the biggest problem was getting subdivision approval.
The land for the project was, at one time, one lot. It needed to be divided into 21 parcels: one for the hotel and 20 for the single-family homes to be sold off.
Wilshaw said he could not sell the homes to pay back the mortgage until the lots were subdivided and registered.
“We just got subdivision five weeks ago,” said Wilshaw, who claims he has new investors ready to loan money for the project.
“We’ve just got two new sources of funding,” Wilshaw said. “I’ve got one bank that wants out and two banks that want in.”
Wilshaw claims that the new investors want to see “X amount of sales” in order for the new loan to go through.
He didn’t elaborate how many ‘X’ is, but he did say the project has eight pre-sales of single-family homes waiting in the wings.
“We’re going to refinance,” said Wilshaw. “We’re going to build.”
“CWB (Canadian Western Bank) came in to service 21 lots. We did that 21 months ago,” said Wilshaw. “We’ve been screwed around with the subdivision.”
Trepanier Manor is also involved in another lawsuit against it, by Ponderosa Golf Course developer Treegroup. That lawsuit dates back to late 2009.
According to court documents, Treegroup states that Trepanier Manor made public claims that there was some kind of relationship between the two developers.
Treegroup states Trepanier Manor made claims on the web that buyers of homes at the project would get memberships at the golf course. Treegroup said no such relationship existed.
Trepanier Manor and its principals are also involved in several other lawsuits, which they initiated, against several other parties.
Dave Preston is publisher of the website www.peachlandnews.com.