The 200 families who bought homes in Lasalle’s Bois-des-Caryers development have been waiting two years for paved roads and green space — and now CBC has learned they’ll have to wait another winter.
“You keep your blinds down because you don’t want to look at the eyesore. That’s what it is to me — an eyesore,” said Rachid Markatti.
' I am a hostage,' - Cobber Liu, home buyer
Markatti spent $700,000 on a condo in the development, which mock-ups show was supposed to include sidewalks, a paved road and green spaces.
After two years, his front steps still lead to a gravel road, and his backyard is filled with rocks and mud.
“It’s not even a yard — it’s a pile of dirt. Are we supposed to settle for this? Because if that’s the case, give me my money back. I will gladly leave,” Markatti said.
Staff at the sales office told CBC that the work won't be done this year.
The developer also needs to get approval to run electrical cables underground, and the asphalt needs to be raised by at least a metre — work that won’t be done before the spring.
Homeowners say their patience is wearing thin, and when they try to get answers, the developer blames the borough of LaSalle for the delays.
“They both have their own stories. In front of one party, they say it’s the other party's fault, and vice-versa. I am a hostage. Everybody here is a hostage,” said home buyer Cobber Liu.
City says it’s pressured developer
The city says that because the roads aren’t finished yet, it can’t take ownership of the private development.
But officials say they have been putting pressure on the developer.
In August, LaSalle borough mayor Manon Barbe had said the roads were going to be finished by the winter.
“[At the time] that was true because he was telling us he was going to deposit plans - but he didn’t,” Barbe told CBC.
Who owns the project?
The Bois-des-Caryers condo development project is owned by a numbered company 9181-5172 Quebec Inc.
According to government records, that company is currently owned by Patricia Navarro and Allan Schachter — both of whom refused CBC’s requests for an interview.
9181-5172 Quebec Inc. was initially owned by Patricia Navarro and Ricardo Magi, who is the brother of Tony Magi — the controversial businessman with ties to the Montreal Mafia.
Staff at the condo sales office say Tony Magi initially "put together" the project and acted as a consultant, but that he is no longer officially involved.
Tune in to CBC News Montreal at 6 p.m. Friday for Part Two of Dan Halton's story.