As an owner who has no interest in selling any time soon, perhaps it's best if Parkside stays off the radar for now.
We, too, had read through the minutes prior to purchase and were concerned at the way things had been run, which no doubt contributed to the low purchase prices at the time.
1. While I have lived here, the pool has been open regularly and very well run. There are three licensed BC commercial pool operators on site, me being one of them, and there have been zero issues with the pool whatsoever. The strata spent approx. $30,000 last year on pool resurfacing. It's a real hidden gem in the area. Many dozens of people use the pool daily throughout the summer and in to the fall, and being a commercial swimming pool it is licensed by VIHA and inspected annually.
2 and 5 are certainly related! The current council led a successful revolt about 4 years ago, fired the management company and in fact we have seen two successive property managers taken to task over their misdealings. One has been stripped of his license and formally reprimanded, the other has a hearing before the real estate council of BC this year, where they will likely not fare well.
Current council is very pro-active and has re-written the bylaws to make penalties easier to enforce, including forced sale and liens. Proline has been contracted as property manager and they have been excellent to work with.
3. Rental restrictions have been tightened up and are being enforced. This has helped a lot with some less than desirable tenants on site. There are 120 units, which many people would find "affordable" to own, so this brings a mix of people into the space. However, pride of ownership is evident - you can take a stroll around and rarely even find a cigarette butt on the property, much less damaged common areas or graffiti. The townhouse units are 3 bed/2 bath 1200 sq ft over two floors. Some people, of course, don't take very good care of the inside of their units, but what can you do? Many on the other hand have spent thousands refinishing their suites, bringing back the original oak floors, renovating kitchens and bathrooms, building cedar decks on their patios and the like.
4. Council has been very proactive in spending money on preventative maintenance. There was a time when thermostats did not work right, so some units would have their heat on all day, and their windows wide open even in the winter to keep things comfortable. Can you believe it! Council has worked hard to pay for repairs such as this. There is a full time caretaker who liaises with trades, keeps the grounds kept, and perhaps most importantly keeps an eye on the place. The strata has been spending significant funds every year to try and catch up on the issues that had clearly been left to slide. $600,000 on new roofs over two years, new paint for every building, ongoing fence repairs, taking Chevron to task for their damages, tree pruning, even little things like line painting in the parking lot.
I am sure it's still one of the cheapest places to buy anything in the region and if you work in town it's that much closer than Langford or Colwood or Duncan.
The buildings are all 50+ years old, so there are certainly issues with aging infrastructure, but I have seen nothing to indicate poor construction practices. You are right, there are a number of young professionals with young families as owners, many of whom have lent their professional expertise to council. The buildings are dry, quiet and mostly square.
As a lifelong resident of Victoria with a young family and modest income who rented for approximately 15 years, I can't imagine why people in a similar situation aren't begging/borrow/stealing a downpayment to purchase a townhouse here. Monthly payments can be as low as $800.
I have heard mostly negative things about stratas, but in my experience a strong council and management company can really contribute to the common good, but it really is a democracy where majority rules. If you have a group of like minded people willing to vote, things can go well. Our last budget was approved unanimously, as owners are starting to see the benefits of investing in themselves.
End of rant.
I have to admit I have not looked closely at the place in the last couple of years, but there was a time, not that long ago when things were bad.
When I sat on the Property Assessment Review Panel we had a lot of people appeal their assessments from Parkside and we got a lot of information on how bad things were.
1) The pool remained closed
2) Many units did not pay their special levies (or whatever they are called)
3) Some were rented out to people that were of dubious quality
4) Too many people deferred all the maintenance on their unit.
5) The Strata Council would not enforce much and the management company was no where to be seen
I know that five to seven years ago it was one of the cheapest places to buy anything in this region and I know a number of young professionals bought into the Parkside.
I am glad to hear things are better now. The one thing I am not convinced of though is how solidly built it was in the first place. It never suffered from the leaky condo stuff, but some of the details and reports I saw on this development did indicate it was marginal construction for the era.