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[Vic West] The Wing rental | 6-storeys | Built - completed in 2010


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#1 D.L.

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 08:41 AM

Last I heard the first phase of the Wing in Vic West was sitting unfinished and the foundation for the second phase was finished, and it was waiting for a buyer to continue construction. Is this still the case? I remember there was a website for the development, anyone know the address?

The developer had not secured any sales in the first phase, spent all of his money on the second phase and then went broke.

This development has been continually lambasted by forumers for it's awkward appearance, but I really don't find it to be all that bad looking.

#2 Mike K.

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:01 AM

The workmanship and materials used in the project were less than desirable. And you're right, after not securing the sorts of sales worthy of expanding the project Da Costa (I think that's his name -- the developer) decided to pour a costly foundation for the second building.

In terms of real-estate development that was a costly and unnecessary move that killed the project outright.

Now the building sits vacant, falling apart (no jokes) and waiting for a buyer. The price is at $14 million but my sense is it will sell for a handful of million.

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#3 Holden West

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:07 AM

I'm on record as being one of those critics, however I noted that when the Tyvek was on it actually looked pretty sharp and modern. When it was stuccoed over, it suddenly became very blah looking--as if the severe design required a dramatic colour treatment to pull it together.

There is hope--as it was designed by Sam Bawlf, a respected architect, it may one day be appreciated for its eclectic look. Stranger things have happened in Victoria architecture.
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#4 Mike K.

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:09 AM

Actually, he never designed it -- he only signed off on it, believe it or not!

Da Costa got a relatively green architect to whip up the design and then used Bawlf to have it checked out and attributed to a well-known local.

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#5 Holden West

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:25 AM

Ah, I remember you telling me that.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#6 Holden West

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:51 AM

I wonder how The Wing has fared over the last few weeks with these lashing rainstorms. I think it will be easier to simply tear it down and start again. Shame.

Here's a recap from April: Note Costa says financing should be in place by October of this year.

Vic West condo project in receivership

Wing's developer fails to pay $11-million mortgage but says he's trying to find the funds to finish construction


The unfinished Wing condo development on Wilson Street sits behind a chain-link fence Thursday. It's the latest victim of rising construction costs in Greater Victoria. Despite foreclosure proceedings, a website was still advertising units for sale.

Photograph by : Darren Stone, Times Colonist

Malcolm Curtis, Times Colonist
Published: Friday, April 21, 2006

Strands of rebar poke from the concrete foundation behind a padlocked chain-link fence in Victoria West, where a sign warns trespassers to keep out.

Behind the fence stands a partially completed four-storey condo building, the first phase of the 99-unit Wing project, where construction work stalled last fall.

The 51-unit warehouse-style building at 109 Wilson St. is in receivership after developer Fernando Costa failed to pay off a construction mortgage of almost $11 million.

The sum, including interest accruing at the rate of $5,300 a day, was due in full on Oct. 1, 2005, to Calgary-based Gibraltar Mortgage. The lender plans to apply for a court order to either take over the property or to sell it to the highest bidder.

The Wing is the latest in a series of development casualties in Greater Victoria at a time when escalating construction costs offset lofty real estate prices.

Despite foreclosure proceedings, a website was still advertising The Wing this week, promoting the panoramic views of its loft-style apartments. The website indicated 13 units have been sold, with the remainder carrying prices from $220,900 to $492,900.

Costa said Thursday he is still trying to find the money to complete the building he called 80-per-cent finished.

He described the situation as a "soft receivership" that would be resolved in about six months, "We're all trying to work out a solution."

Costa said he faced unexpectedly high costs for the project. The city required him to complete underground parking for the second phase before approving an occupancy permit for the first phase.

He said he agreed to this without realizing how expensive the concrete work for the parking area would be. The extra costs -- estimated at $500,000 -- became clear only after plans were drawn up for the planned six-storey, 48-unit second phase, he said. The second building requires more concrete than the first, he said.

Costa said five of the people signed up to purchase units in The Wing have backed out, receiving back the average deposits of $4,000 to $5,000 held in trust. But eight investors are hanging on as the value of the property rises, he said.

Raymond Bergen, president of Canreal Management Corp., was named receiver-manager of the property after Costa did not borrow $3 million by last weekend as required by a B.C. Supreme Court order.

This was to pay contractors owed more than $1 million for work done and to cover mortgage interest payments, Bergen said from Vancouver.

Costa said he is $500,000 to $1 million short of raising the money required.

Bergen, appointed by the court, said he has taken action to protect the property.

"We're providing security," he said, adding that insurance on the property had lapsed, coverage which has now been picked up by Gibraltar Mortgage.

Bergen said he is authorized to oversee repairs to water damage to the four-storey building during a storm in February when glass doors were broken.

Construction materials left on the site will also be cleared, he said.

The city issued a building permit for the project on July 13, 2004, but no work has been done on the property since last November.

Victoria building inspector Ron North said a stop-work order was issued on March 2 after architect Nicholas Bawlf bowed out of the project.

Bawlf, who suffered a fall recently, has retired from the profession, North said. All construction projects require an architect to proceed, he said.

The wood-frame building has faced a range of problems during its construction, including a previous stop-work order last summer. "There's a lot of things to finish and correct," North said, noting that most of the units are not ready for drywalling.

The project is no longer covered by the National Home Warranty program, having been delisted Feb. 13, he said.

The Wing took off on property that used to house the clubhouse of the Royal Canadian Air Forces Pacific Wing.

When Fernando Costa, a Comox developer, came to Victoria four years ago, he proposed a 100-unit rental building for the Vic West site. But city council, concerned about the density of the building at 105-109 Wilson St., overlooking the Dockside Green development, preferred two buildings.

Costa came back with a new proposal but the changed economics meant most of the units would be condos. In the end, he and architect Nicholas Bawlf submitted five designs to the city before council approved a development permit for the two-phase condo project.

At one point in the 18-month process, Mayor Alan Lowe called one of the designs the worst he had seen in 10 years on council. The city's advisory design panel rejected proposals for the project four times. Costa and Bawlf, designer of the Victoria Conference Centre, threatened to file a complaint to the Architectural Institute of B.C. but nothing came of the issue.

Costa, who has also acted as general contractor on the stalled Wing project, said Thursday he was frustrated with the "bureaucracy" at City Hall. "It's my first project in Victoria and it'll be my last."

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2006
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#7 Galvanized

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:31 PM

It's been for sale for a while now, the Province could pick it up for a decent price and turn it into affordable housing.
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#8 Holden West

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 10:40 PM

Stalled Vic West project remains in limbo

Developers beginning to enquire about building site that has been silent since a 2004 bankruptcy

Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist
Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2007



While new glass towers transform the industrial Inner Harbour along Tyee Road into something starting to feel like a neighbourhood, an empty edifice looms in the background, the sounds of construction long silenced.

No construction work has taken place on The Wing condominium project since November 2004. The six-storey shell surrounded by rebar stands empty behind a chainlink fence, a monument to a deal gone oddly sour while the construction scene is in overdrive.

"I've lots of complaints [about the stalled development] from people in the neighbourhood," said Diane Carr, land-use chairwoman of the Victoria West Community Association.

She's also had calls from developers interested in the project and in seeing what the community might be willing to accept on the site at 109 Wilson St.

Carr, who is also vocal on the issue of homelessness, wonders if the building could be used to shelter people in the winter. The building never received an occupancy permit and Carr adds, "I don't even know if it would be suitable (to house people). But you can't help but look at an empty building and start to wonder about it."

The owners of the building, who acquired it through bankruptcy proceedings, are mum about their plans. A call to Calgary-based Gibraltar Mortgage didn't get past the president's executive assistant. She said: "Nobody is able to speak to the issue. I apologize, but have a great day" and then hung up.

Gibraltar, the main lending agency, was awarded ownership by the courts after developer Fernando Costa failed to pay off a construction mortgage.

At the time of foreclosure proceedings, the company was owed $12 million and, as one knowledgeable person close to the deal said: "They'll never see anything like that on the sale."

Prior to Gibraltar taking ownership the city issued a stop-work order on The Wing. The March 2, 2006, order was the second, this time because its architect bowed out, later to retire. Under building-code rules an architect is required for projects of that size. Most of the units were not at the drywalling stage.

Now, changes in the B.C. Building Code are adding to the list of issues facing the owners. The Wing was started using 1998 rules, which have been updated. Because of the lengthy lapse in construction, it now has to be built according to 2006 standards.

What the future holds for the site is unclear.

Victoria councillor Pam Madoff, liaison for the Vic West community, said she's been called by a representative of the owner inquiring how large a building could be put on the site if The Wing was demolished.

She adds the community has been concerned about safety around the site but as long as it is secured there's little the city can do.

Meanwhile, Carr is concerned any company wanting to do something on the land will look to increase their zoning allowance. "But it's not the community's obligation to make up for a bad investment on the part of investors. That's not our problem."

cheiman@tc.canwest.com

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007

===============
I think this one's toast and will be torn down. Rumours have been flying about it being uninhabitable and that was long BEFORE the brutal storms of last year.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#9 G-Man

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:13 AM

Being worried about increasing the density of the Wing site amidst the Dockside Bayview and the Parc residences seems a bit silly to me.

Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

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#10 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 01:11 PM

In my opinion this whole situation with the Wing could hardly have worked out better (except, of course, for the original developer).

The building itself was a disaster and should NEVER have been allowed in the first place. It was all wrong, almost grotesquely so. The project failed, so now the site will eventually be redeveloped. Since money wasted on the first project needs to be recouped, the obvious solution is to encourage bids by allowing a taller building. Demand signature architecture. Demand slim proportions. Demand good integration with the sidewalk and also with the park behind. Demand an affordable housing element.

It's a broken building on an unfinished site. Why are we musing about what we could do with it over the coming winter (or winters)? We should be getting the ball rolling and taking the opportunity to do this project right, as we should have done it in the first place.

#11 zoomer

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:18 PM

/\ wow, this appears to be an incredibly narrow escape for Victoria! The monster seemed unstoppable, so close to completion and now likely to be destroyed! I hope we have lots of good pictures of The Wing we can show future generations.

#12 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:26 PM

How much ink did their complaints about Parc Residences get? Meanwhile this gorilla was sitting right next door and you never heard a negative word about it.

I hope the Vic West crowd has learned their collective lesson. No more crappy buildings.

#13 winger1...

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:15 PM

sorry to dredge up and old thread, but.. is there any new news on the site..

i used to work on it.. and im curious as to whats happening to it..

#14 G-Man

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:42 AM

I have heard nothing. I think that it is still for sale but I imagine that the weather is pretty much destroying a lot of the work that was done on the first building.

#15 winger1...

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 05:49 PM

when we left i belive it was sealed up, roof on, windows and doors in, etc.. it should be ok.. but who nows now..

i wouldnt mind goin back and walking through it.. i was one of the first people on the site, and one of the last ones to leave. i was there from beggining to end.

#16 valdez12

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:19 PM

To Winger1 above... just act like a prospective buyer and ask the realtor for a site visit.. may work... it has been on MLS for a while now..

http://www.cls.ca/Pr...pertyID=6593018

#17 winger1...

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:07 PM

should be fun to tear down as its 60% concrete..

#18 G-Man

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 06:11 PM

The sign on the building today says building to be torn down and also that the foundation is fine.

#19 D.L.

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 12:58 AM

rad, another building of substantial size to be torn down in Victoria. at least this one wasn't built in the 1890s

#20 Rob Randall

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:43 PM

I'm hearing whispers about this one being re-habbed.

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