Failed King Street Condo Proposal Goes Bust

  • 09/12/16
  • |          Waterloo

WATERLOO — The controversy doesn’t end for 151-161 King St. N. in Waterloo.

After a proposed NKL Properties high-density development at the site was shut down by council in a vote earlier this year, the property is being advertised under power of sale.

Power of sale occurs when the mortgage lender sells the property when the developer defaults.

“NKL’s current lender decided not to extend financing due to the recent council decision. … NKL is in the midst of arranging new financing for the sold-out project and will make an announcement in the near future,” said NKL Properties president Mark Gauthier.

Gauthier said NKL was puzzled that politicians approved an official plan to guide development that focuses on intensification, yet voted down the NKL proposal. The developer is appealing that decision at the Ontario Municipal Board, which decides land-planning disputes.

Unique about the listing for the power of sale is that it says the buyer could build a more dense project than what the city’s zoning allows.

Coun. Jeff Henry said he is aware of the ad listed by SVN Rock Advisors Inc. Brokerage.

“Regardless of who owns the building, we expect anyone who’s developing the property to meet the expectations of council and the community and that doesn’t change with the new owner,” he said.

The proposed condo project has been controversial since it was first introduced in October 2015.

Concerns included the scale of the project, the number of amendments to city rules being sought and that the developer pre-sold the project long before it was up for approval.

The power of sale ad says the property is zoned for 266 units and 536 bedrooms with 189 parking spaces, 6,673 square feet of commercial space and two 2,000-square-foot penthouse units.

Under current zoning, according to a staff report, 88 units and up to 440 bedrooms would be permitted.

Council denied NKL’s request for exceptions in July. NKL wanted to build a 26-storey project with 250 units and 264 bedrooms.

Staff recommended a height of 25 storeys and fewer units.

Part of council’s frustration was the development was pitched to potential investors at an event in Toronto in January and sold out. Council had not given approval to the build.

Gauthier said that’s typical practice to raise cash for their projects.

Bids on the project are due Sept. 30.

Developer NKL Properties and SVN representatives did not respond to The Record.

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