Condominium owners at Vancouver's landmark Wall Centre are in the midst of a five-year, multi-million-dollar battle with the project's developers over problems with the windows.
The 48-floor tower is strikingly defined by its shaped, dark glass. But a lawsuit alleges the windows in many of the condo units on the top 17 floors are faulty.
"The windows are failing," said Wall Centre condo owner and strata president Bruce Gleig. "The seal around the glass is actually failing and, as you may know, the building is floor to ceiling glass."
Gleig said a manufacturing error led to faulty windows being installed in the million-dollar units and now the strata is suing the developer and several insurance companies.
Court documents allege inconsistencies with the seals on the windows has resulted in, "an air leakage path through which moisture can and does pass."
The exclusive Nelson Street development is ten years old.
"Just because the building is more expensive doesn't mean it's better designed or better manufactured," said Gleig. "It just means your finish is probably more expensive."
The cost to repair the windows is estimated at about $7million. The strata is suing to at least get some of that hefty bill covered.
$100,000 repair for some units
"There's only 70 suites there … you can do the arithmetic," Gleig said. "And it's not what anybody wants to hear."
The strata has decided on a special assessment, or levy, with some owners on the hook for more than $100,000.
Numbers like that aren't attractive to potential buyers or mortgage lenders.
"There are lenders out there that will not lend on something that hasn't been remediated," said mortgage broker Michelle Byman. "So unless the fix has been done, they just flat out say 'no.'"
Some units in the building are currently listed for sale, ranging between about $1 million and $2 million.
The project's developer, Wall Financial Corp., has declined comment on the controversy.