New condo projects stalling in Metro Vancouver
June 12, 2023
Centra tower rendering, Surrey, B.C. | Everest Group
Haris Thiara, president of Everest Development Group, of Edmonton, is defending a four-year delay in construction of a nearly sold-out Surrey condo project that is now not expected to complete until December 2024.
But, unlike some other Metro Vancouver developers who have bailed out of troubled projects, Thiara said Everest would meet the new deadline and honour the original prices.
The Centra, a 167-unit, 23-storey condo tower at 13852 101 Avenue, was issued building permits in 2018 “allowing the start of construction,” according to the City of Surrey.
The project was virtually sold out in 2019 with the understanding the tower would be completed in June 2022. Instead, work largely stalled until recently when construction restarted on what one disgruntled buyer called a “hole in the ground.”
“The project is taking longer but that is the norm today,” Thiara said, claiming the COVID-19 pandemic which started early in 2020, rising interest rates, a labour shortage and soaring construction costs stalled many residential projects, including Centra.
Some examples of other troubled projects in the last few months include: a major 800-unit condo complex in Richmond which was stopped and the developer forced into receivership; Vancouver’s once-giant condo developer Coromandel stopped work on 16 projects across Metro Vancouver and is seeking credit protection; and, pre-sale buyers of Minoru Square, a 400-condo Richmond project set to open in 2025, were told on May 26, 2023, the developer has “paused” the project and will return their 20 per cent deposits.
Thiara claims he released an amendment to Centra’s construction schedule in 2022 extending the completion date until December 2024, which all buyers agreed to.
“We have assurances from our engineers and general contractor, who are experts in the industry, that we can finish the project by that time,” Thiara said.