It appears a South Pandosy shopping project, already inundated with numerous snags along the way, has hit another.
Court documents filed in BC Supreme Court on Dec. 30 show the SOPA Square project has fallen into interim receivership, with current tenants being told the project must find a buyer by the end of the month.
As of this writing, only one shop is open for business. Silent Noise Jewellery opened its door on Dec. 8 of last year and owner Gadi Nussen says he received an unwelcome surprise a few weeks later.
On Dec. 31, a man from Ernst & Young Inc., named as interim receiver walked through the doors and told Nussen the project had 30 days to find a buyer.
“That’s all they said. That they don’t want to hurt us, hoping they can find a solution – a quick one – its kind of hanging in the air,” says Nussen, who is trying to stay optimistic, but is obviously nervous at this turn of events.
“I don’t know. I need more details and I’ll probably need to call the guy and see what’s going on."
“But many other people are obviously involved with it. The builders themselves were told to stop. They’re waiting, I guess, for some developments to know when they can be back to work.”
He has also heard of some tradespeople not being paid out, but did not run into any problems himself when deciding to open his shop in the building.
“We were able to move in and start working. There weren’t any issues. We got the occupancy permit and all is good,” says Nussen.
“I think we’ll be OK here. This project isn’t going anywhere. I think it’s just a matter of who’s taking over. It’s a nice place and it’s a central location and it should be OK.”
When asked if he is planning ahead in the event that a new buyer is not found, Nussen says he does not see his business going anywhere and has no plans to move at this time.
Without being prompted to speculate, he believes the problems stem from poor management, and too many people involved in the building process.
“Its been going on for years. We just started dealing with them a year ago and we had to wait until we were able to move in. But other people were signing deals, and they had all these delays at the beginning of the year and some backed out – just didn’t want to wait anymore."
“We believe in this project, so we’re stuck with it.”
If you tried to lease space or bought a condo in the SOPA Square development and want to share your story, email [email protected]