The Connolly condo project is dead; buyer is interested only in the land

Condo buyers, says a letter from the receiver, will be relieved of their prebuild agreements.

Condo buyers, says a letter from the receiver, will be relieved of their agreements

This artist rendering will likely never happen now that The Connolly project is in the midst of being sold to another company.

The much-delayed and controversial Connolly condo tower project is dead.

The project's developer has found a buyer — but that buyer is only interested in the land, not the condo tower.

The developer, Spergel, sent a letter last week to buyers who purchased units in the planned 30-storey downtown development.

The letter says Hue Developments and Investments Canada Inc. has bought the land at the corner of Jackson Street and James Street South. But all the prebuild agreements will be terminated.

The sale would mark the end of a long saga for condo buyers who wondered what would happen to their money — not to mention their would-be condos.

The facade of James Street Baptist Church is still standing. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

"We're feeling mixed emotions," said Gordon Green, who purchased one of the units.

He's disappointed because the project would have been great for downtown Hamilton, he said.

On the other hand, "we are relieved that there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Our money has been tied up for a long time with a great deal of uncertainty. At least now we know where we stand, and can plan accordingly."

Hue still has to go to court to get approval, the letter says. It expects the transaction to finish by the end of May.

The Connolly project as a whole dates back to 2014. That's when Louie Santaguida and his company Stanton Renaissance demolished two-thirds the James Street Baptist Church, which was built in 1878. Many heritage advocates opposed that. Santaguida said the building was crumbling and had to come down.

Santaguida planned a 30-storey condo tower aimed in part at commuters who would use the nearby Hamilton Centre GO station.

His other Stanton Renaissance project, On the Go Mimico, went into receivership. Then last June, The Connolly did too. A judge appointed Spergel Inc., an insolvency firm, to be the receiver.

The Spergel letter dated March 6 urges existing purchasers to contact St. Jean Realty, which oversaw the sales.

If the Hue sale goes through, the letter says, "the receiver will forthwith commence a claims procedure process to address the recovery of deposits paid by purchasers to the debtor." 

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

Reporter

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca